Why we doesn't learn, response to Big Al
Like Big Al said in his essay earlier this week:
biggest perpetuators of the two party fraud along with the corporate media where many reside. The ones who went to college at Harvard, Duke, Princeton, U. of Chicago, George Washington, etc. Those who come from solidly middle to upper middle class, even upper class backgrounds, secured jobs working on some Senator's staff as an "intern" or work at think tanks, institutes with fellowships and whatever else they're into to make themselves and so on.
A lot of good points were made in that essay and the comments which followed. I would like to add one more reason which wasn't touched upon.
First we need to remind ourselves that only about half or so of eligible voters do vote, and many if not most states make registering and voting as difficult as they can get away with. Does ANYONE reading this live in a district where voter registration offices are open evenings or weekends? How about widely dispersed polling stations so folks without ready cash can walk to the polls. How about free bus rides on election day. Oh, and here is an idea, how about general election day being a national holiday? So before anyone starts in about those ignorant so-and-sos who don't bother to go vote, just remember the many ways in which they are actively discouraged from doing so. By both parties.
The half or slightly less who do vote, I suggest, are, roughly speaking, partly those who have personal wealth at stake, who mostly vote Republican, in hopes that the GOP will put in policies which protect and expand their wealth. The rest, the Democratic base, are the apparatchiks, hangers on, soi-disant "professionals" who mostly live off various kinds of patronage, govt. employment, NGO "positions", plus some of the minority and immigrant communities. Check out Glenn Ford at Black Agenda Report about what he calls the crippling fear within his community of the "white man's party". In return for minority votes, Dems have learned to see that plenty of patronage goes back to those neighborhoods--not actual investment which might support small businesses--but various programs, projects, etc. of which favored supporters get to be director and hand out the (meager) goodies.
What I think we need to understand is that underpinning and informing the behavior of the kind of folks referred to by Big Al is a mistaken but extremely seductive ideology. I would call this ideology Multicultural Internationalism. Some of its' characteristics are:
1. The belief that the nation state is obsolete, borders don't matter, national sovereignty is passé.
2. A corollary to that is that there is no more need for any sort of making and building, we have robots and computers for that. "Knowledge workers" are the coming thing for ever and ever, Amen.
3. People who are makers and builders of any kind are held in contempt, as boring, sexually repressed, overweight, unhealthy and unattractive mouth breathing useless eaters with a taste for Cheetos, pink flamingos and polyester clothing. Besides that, if you presume to do anything for yourself, you are cutting into the livelihoods of their immigrant clients who have been promised that they can get rich by selling crap to American (formerly) working class dummies. Never mind that us dummies ain't got no money left.
4. The people that count are the folks with advanced degrees--"educated" people. Please be aware that I use the term 'educated' advisedly. Most of these Little Tin Gods speak only one language, rarely read a book, and read none which are not first approved by the NYT or similar authority. Most have almost no general knowledge outside their areas of specialty. They are avid travelers, and travel is a major status symbol for them.
5. What makes this ideology so seductive is that it enables folks who are little more than drudges and drones with no discernible practical skills to imagine and believe themselves to be part of an international elite--the Crown of Creation. I almost wonder if these folks do not believe themselves to be a separate species, distinguished by good looks, fashionable wardrobe, and pushy attitude, miscalled "assertiveness". Their manners are appalling, bullying towards working folks and obsequious towards persons of wealth.
Hillary Clinton is a poster child for their entitled attitude. Significant lack of intellectual depth? check. No discernible practical skills? check. Outsources every possible intimate chore to the servant class? check. Bullying, contemptuous attitude? check. Appalling manners as evidenced by her behavior to Sanders during their debates? check. (Not to mention testimony from former Secret Service officers.) Revels in luxury, bling and other conspicuous consumption? check. No wonder they were all With Her.
Me, I fear a good many of these folks are beyond redemption, because they know that were it not for the sugar daddies who uphold their party and their perches, they would be out on the streets. Their ideology justifies, in their minds, their selfishness and narcissism.
I also think we should stop calling ourselves "The Left". The terms 'left' and 'right' date back to the French Revolution, and, IMO, are out of date.