“Historians have a word for Germans who joined the Nazi party, not because they hated Jews, but out of a hope for restored patriotism, or a sense of economic anxiety, or a hope to preserve their religious values, or dislike of their opponents, or raw political opportunism, or convenience, or ignorance, or greed. That word is Nazi. Nobody cares about their motives anymore.”
– Julius Goat
“Why can’t we be nicer? Well, here’s the thing. We’ve tried being nicer, and it didn’t work….Fuck it. They were warned.”
– Laurie Penny
There’s so much insidious shit flying around that it’s tough to keep it straight – the FCC as a subsidiary of Comcast and Verizon, the Sinclair shit trying to build a new Fox out of local stations, the ongoing shenanigans around the Mueller investigation, the continued horseshit of gun worship, the constant postmodern meat grinder, the appointment of Fascist Captain Kangaroo to the NSA and the mutilation of a half-century of North Korea policy to no good end, the NFL’s performative jingoism, Elon Musk’s entire life, the ongoing madness of Silly Con Valley, the continuing impact of the GOP’s quarter-century of abject surrender to racism and conspiracy theory, and now actual concentration camps for children –
There’s no cleaning this up. Things are going to slip through the cracks, and there’s so much to remediate that it’s going to take half of forever to do it even if you don’t get active pushback forever from the GOP like Obama got. We already know the Trumpshakers will never acknowledge a Democrat as a valid President – Clinton and Obama are proof of that – and we already know the GOP is willing to break every norm of American politics to hold the line on behalf of racists and fascists, whether it’s the Clinton investigations and impeachment or the scorched earth for 8 years under Obama or the filibuster record and appointments held open forever.
The reason I keep thinking about emigrating is because I’m not going to live long enough to see the Confederate virus purged from the American bloodstream. Every move they make is further to the right – from the Bushes to anti-Obama-ism to Trump, from Limbaugh to Beck to White Power Barbie and Heart Attack Jones, the insanity only gets worse. And yet, the right continues to ride it out for—what? The prospect they can make time run backward? The possibility of locking everyone born after Jim Crow out of the political process somehow? The notion that if they just stall long enough, they can live forever?
I mean, an abbreviated list of things that would have to pass – and not be overturned as soon as the Democrats lose 60 seats in the Senate or the White House – in order to remediate just some of what’s gone wrong:
* Actual oversight of the police, federal and otherwise, and probably just dissolve ICE outright and return DHS agencies to their original 2001 departments
* Statutory net neutrality with meaningful enforcement so you get a choice of broadband providers
* A doctrine of antitrust and “monopoly” that isn’t just based around “it’ll be cheaper for consumers” (spoiler: it almost certainly won’t)
* Restoration of the Voting Rights Act with actual federal standards and enforcement of same
* An end to mandatory arbitration and signing away your rights just to be able to do business with a corporation
* An end to “carried interest” and the other things that let the 0.1% get away with a pittance in taxes while you can get caught on AMT just by owning a house in California and filing jointly
* Some kind of superficial minimal effort to prevent every limp dick redneck owning more firepower than a Marine platoon
* Something that will put a cork in Facebook and its peers to make it harder for them to be used as tools of electoral manipulation
Basically, a return to the state of the law six months into the Bush 43 administration. This isn’t some kind of wild liberal fever dream, this is how life was for most of the 1990s under a Democrat who was to the right of any of his own-party predecessors going back to — Wilson? Maybe? Never forget that Obama’s health care plan – what finally passed – was the Republican plan fourteen years earlier and had already been implemented by a Republican in Massachusetts.
And yet, we have a political system that provides one actionable moment to affect the incumbent government every two years. There’s no vote of confidence, there’s no snap election, there’s no get-out-of-botch-free card. Frustrating as it is, you have to pace your outrage, because we haven’t yet had a way of effecting meaningful change and won’t until November. The crazy party has the White House, both houses of Congress, and the Supreme Court. All you get in that minority is the filibuster, for as long as the majority remains willing not to blow it up. And even if any of that does change in November, remember that no President has ever actually been voted out via the impeachment process, and even if this one is, all you get is a holy roller freak in his place along with a party and a media that will proclaim the job is done and normal service is restored and why you bringing up old shit.
All you have is containment, and waiting for them all to die. So if you’re never going to get rid of Trumpism in my lifetime – and you aren’t – I’d love to be somewhere that has less cultural poison, less of a wealth gap, while I still have health enough to enjoy it. If I look up ten years from now and we’re living in Galway somewhere, that’s a far better scenario than where I expect to be in America in 2028. Even in California. Assuming some rich asshole hasn’t bought his way into splitting up the state by then. Of which.