The failure of political imagination: Trump 4th of July post-mortem edition.

Folks, this is more or less a sequel to my previous diary, The Failure of Political Imagination -- if you haven't read it, you should read it now, and then come back to this diary. As such, this diary will be short and sweet, because what I really want is for more people to read my previous diary.

Anyway, just before the Fourth of July weekend, the Chinese government uses its mouthpiece "Global Times" to argue that the US Coronavirus epidemic is a threat to the rest of the world. You'd think the elites would notice this, given the key role China plays in the global economy. So things are cooking. In fact, there's a compound crisis going on, though the big news is that Richard Wolff, one of the most insightful people to have been granted a media voice, finally recognizes this:

At any rate, so you have all of these crises going on at once. What does the Trump administration, with its vast reserves of political and military power, do? Trump goes to Mount Rushmore to deliver an identity politics speech full of white-supremacist dog whistles. Here's Krystal Ball taking it apart:

Krystal Ball is exactly right here. Donald Trump has all sorts of options, and presumably he knows he has all sorts of options, since he used some of those options in his 2016 campaign. But what does he do? He shows that he's completely bought into the opposition narrative of who he is. Any other option would win, given Joe Biden's many and potentially fatal weaknesses; Donald Trump chooses the one losing option available to him because he can no longer imagine being anything other than what MSNBC has made of him.

If this doesn't scream "failure of political imagination," I don't know what does.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

...it will be because the Democrats have decided to push all the way through Election Day without Joe Biden ever once leaving his basement.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

Cassiodorus's picture

@Pluto's Republic with the debates. "Sorry, Joe is out with the flu. Here to take his place is his VP candidate..."

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"Scab of a nation, driven insane" -- Frank Zappa

Cassiodorus's picture

A massive repudiation of Trump’s racist politics is building

(Click here if it's paywalled)

But the Donald keeps going for that failing option...

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"Scab of a nation, driven insane" -- Frank Zappa

Other than FDR, and that was weak tea, we have never even tried. The founders designed a governmental process not a nation. We got what we inherited, the bastard child of the British nation with a few other Western European values thrown in, mostly imperialism, racism, guns, steel and germs. Even the NYT this morning was front paging what a disaster our response to Covid-19 has been. We are less than 5% of the world population and 25% of the cases. Consider, we claim to have the best healthcare system in the world ..... NOT. We claim to have the greatest wealth the world has ever seed to call on in an emergency ...NOT. We are well prepared for any emergency ...NOT. We have the greatest government and leaders in the world ...NOT. We have the best medical science in the world ...NOT. We have the greatest people in the world willing to do whatever it takes to get through a crisis...NOT. I can tell you that the rest of the civilized world is either disgusted with us or laughing at us. We have absolutely no use for a system of world order. Most of our wars of choice have gone around the UN charter, to which we are signatories. Of late we either refuse to join in, refuse to sign or unilaterally drop out of treaties. We refuse to be responsible to any world body unless it is us complaining about some other country.

The reason we get nothing from our elected politicians is that we have a country based on nothing and refuse to use our imaginations to create a nation that has intrinsic worth to its people. We are, as a nation, an accident, brought to you by genocide of the American native population. That created a vast opportunity for immigrant Europeans in a "new world", read imperialism, the ultimate form. "We are going to wipe you out and take everything that you have" and distribute those things to our fellow immigrants from Europe. The democrats get into office and they concentrate on identity politics because there is absolutely nothing of value to their beliefs other than that. The Republicans get in and they concentrate on corporations and undoing any legislation introduced that forces the corporations to be good citizens. It's not clear that the democrats are any less predisposed towards the corporations, since they also have no interest in implementing economic justice.

Our response to Covid-19 should prove conclusively that we cannot survive as a country. Fortunately, we are not needed now. The rest of the world has more than enough Science and Technology and infrastructure to carry on just fine without us. They just need to realize that. As the British empire collapsed, they became a financial center and survived on that, and not manufacturing. But that was all smoke and mirrors, and worked only because the rest of the world allowed value to the British Pound. The world will not make that mistake with the US Dollar.

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Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

Cassiodorus's picture

@The Wizard On COVID-19: "Just get used to it." To which you want to ask: really? Is that the best you can do?

Or on single payer: "It costs too much." Yes, please, parade a debunked calculus before us and expect us to believe it.

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"Scab of a nation, driven insane" -- Frank Zappa

magiamma's picture

I read both posts twice and listened to both r wolff’s twice and the other two as well. Agree that Wolff is one of the most insightful. It doesn’t seem that he sees a way out. I would agree and am at a loss as how to move forward given, as he says, the four crumbling pillars of our nation. Locally we have been recently taken over by developers and our efforts at awakening people to the very real dangers of sea level rise are going nowhere. So I spend a lot of time in my garden. But I keep reading and thinking. Must bring capitalism down. But how.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@magiamma -- to point out: you have the imaginative faculties the people in power do not have!

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"Scab of a nation, driven insane" -- Frank Zappa

magiamma's picture

@Cassiodorus
Need some really creative protesting then to wake those people here the fuck up. And I am not sure that will be enough. The problem is that even with imagination it is hard to move the ptb’s iron grip off the levers. Time is getting short.

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