Coalition politics in America today
If you believe the election hype, either 1) Trump made America great, and if you re-elect him he'll keep making America great, or 2) America was great before Trump, who came out of nowhere to make America a bad thing, and America will be great once again when Joe Biden shows up in January to claim the White House.
The reality is that America was, is, and will be ruled through coalition politics, before, during, and after Trump. Now, of course, this wasn't a topic you could discuss on The Old Site -- the mods on that site would call it "conspiracy theory," as if all politics were conducted by individuals operating separately and without assistance and as if they never worked together on anything.
There's also an election run-up discussion of omigod Fascism, as if some sort of Fascism was going to spring up out of nowhere and rule America. In reality there are plenty of people who experience American politics as Fascist, once again before and during Trump, and who will continue to do so in the future, because of the way American politics is organized.
Now, I'm not an expert on any of these coalitions, but I'm not stupid like the mods at The Old Site, so I know they exist. And maybe I missed some coalitions that need explaining, in which case you can voice your objections in the comments section. For now, we have:
1) Police and militias -- this was a coalition that was broadly exposed by the Black Lives Matter uprisings of this year. When people saw the militia "counterprotesters," they were able to see in full daylight the police support for militia violence, the police acting as surrogate militias in committing violence against African-Americans (see e.g. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others too numerous to mention), and the acquiescence of numerous mayors afraid to challenge police unions on their connections to groups that would make the Ku Klux Klan look like the Wobblies by comparison. Some day, we can hope, people will look back at the police killings of more than 900 people each year throughout the last decade of American history and wonder why it had to be this way.
2) Donors and politicians -- this was of course the main avenue of political education offered by the Bernie Sanders campaign. In the early stretches of the primaries you had Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, Marianne Williamson, Andrew Yang, and a couple dozen other candidates whose main interest in life was to get a lot of billionaire money and fool everyone into thinking that, if elected, they were going to do something other than what their billionaire donors wanted them to do. In reality, politics in America is a pay-to-play affair -- you donate to political candidates and their shadow organizations, or you put something into the great river of dark money that's out there, and the candidates do your bidding with the understanding that if they don't follow orders the great river will dry up for them.
Thus the main purpose of the American political class today is to further enrich the already-rich. Our country fights wars to prop up military corporations, funds oil companies in pretend "climate change" bills, grants the super-rich direct Federal Reserve "loans" (actually gifts), and so on.
3) Anti-homeless city councils and wealthy homeowners -- Some day, we can hope, it will be seen as ridiculous that a country with the resources ours has, also has more than 500,000 homeless people. Anyone can see why this number persists by observing what the cities do. Most every city in America, with a few shining exceptions, pushes its homeless populations away by creating extremely restrictive rules as regards "loitering" or "vagrancy" or whatever nice term can be conjured up to get rid of this population. Of course the problem is not solved at all this way.
Why do these non-solutions persist? American housing is based on a Ponzi scheme. In the American scheme, property buyers are obliged to borrow absurd amounts of money to buy properties. The properties must, over time, then accumulate value in order to allow said property buyers to sell their properties at a profit, thus to pay off the absurd loans. The American Ponzi scheme affects the homeless situation, and this is readily apparent in the municipal politics of states like California, which have absurd property values and enormous homeless populations.
The city councils of America's thusly-created
dens of iniquity cities are beholden to these property owners, who think that the main way to maintain their high and ever-increasing property values is to scoot the homeless out of their towns. Building houses for the homeless, apparently, only further incites the paranoia of said property owners. Thus, as housing become less and less affordable, America accumulates an ever-larger population of persecuted individuals suffering from COVID-19, starvation, drug addiction, hypothermia, and other such hazards of year-round outdoor existence in polluted cities.
4) NGOs and political parties -- Onetime rabble-rouser Jane Hamsher publicized this connection back in 2009 in two brief posts on a blog which was once called Firedoglake: Rahm Goes Apeshit on Liberals in the Veal Pen, and Van Jones: A Moment of Truth for Liberal Institutions in the Veal Pen. The idea behind calling it the "Veal Pen" is to dramatize the notion that "public interest" organizations are more or less bound to endorse whatever it is that Democratic Party politicians want to do with their power, regardless of how bad said Democratic Party politicians actually are. If said organizations were to stop with the "Vote Blue No Matter Who" strategies, they'd lose their foundation money.
Thus one of the main hurdles for any new political party trying to make it in America is to be able to pry away membership from the NGOs -- the Sierra Club, NARAL, and so on -- given that all of the money and effort that goes into these NGOs goes into propping up neoliberal Democrats. As Hamsher pointed out, under the Obama administration:
The truth is — they’ve all been sucked into insulating the White House from liberal critique, and protecting the administration’s ability to carry out a neoliberal agenda that does not serve the interests of their members. They spend their time calculating how to do the absolute minimum to retain their progressive street cred and still walk the line of never criticizing the White House.
We can expect the Obama ties to the Veal Pen to re-establish themselves with a vengeance when Biden re-takes the White House.
Okay, now we proceed to the problem of what to do about coalition politics in America. The situation is such that a revolution will be necessary. Richard Wolff explains, below, what has to happen. The material on transitions begins at 15:00: