I knew a waitress who got mugged. She had gone into work on her day off to collect her tip money. She left to go get her car which she had left parked a few blocks from the bar. On her way there she was jumped. They took her phone and her cash. About $600.
She went to the cops.
They listened. Took down information.
Then spent the next two hours accusing her of having been ripped off while trying to buy drugs.
There was they said, no other reason for her to have been in that neighborhood with that much cash…
The problem the so-called Progressives*(1) have with Clinton is that, she won.
That the election was stolen can’t be allowed as a reason or even the reason among several because it touches two cardinal points in the Progressive psychology.
First it proves that her mainstream (i.e. not Bernie – *2) message resonated…exactly as her advisors and pollsters and the media said it would…which means that a majority of Americans either liked her or hated Trump more than they hated her but either way she received nearly 3 million more votes than he did. And it means that Sanders failed.
And as to the phantom issue of the swing voters – the disenfranchised White workers who listened to Trump and Bernie because – allegedly – their populist message resonated where her neoliberal corporatist message did not…tell the truth! The John Stewart collaborationist excuse is a con*(3).
If you voted for Trump then you’re an idiot and either a fool who doesn’t care that he’s a neo-fascist race baiting demagogue with the emotional stability of a rapist and the intelligence of a third rate con artist or you do care and you like it. And people like that wouldn’t have voted for HRC if she had gone to their homes and handed each of them a bag of cash. (They would have taken the money – and then called her a cunt just as soon as the door closed) The racist and/or indifferent mass of morons, the slime pit of the mob of Americans waiting for an excuse to lynch someone, to burn a cross, to rape someone, to shoot someone, to order the Jews and the Muslims, the queers and everyone else who is different into a camp is a genuine persistent threat to the safety and national security of the world. The only thing exceptional about America is the exceptional extent to which people are terrified of telling the truth. We’re not any different from the rest of the world because we are the rest of the world. Everyone comes to Rick’s and everyone comes to America. Including the brain-dead fascist thugs who hate women and vomit at the thought of a woman with her finger on the button.
The second reason is that if you accept that she won you have to deal with the idea that the election was stolen (and that for months the corporate media did not attack Trump as he deserved and are utterly complicit in his assumption of power and the damage he is doing) and that means you have to reimagine the Russians as being closer to the boogeyman of the right than the misunderstood enigma of the left…that is, what is a poor Progressive to do when the bureaucratic establishment and the CIA are telling the truth? Having spent decades righteously condemning the spooks for their legacy of ashes and leaving a mountain of skulls on every continent – having rightly excoriated them for every disgusting illegal immoral incompetent act of torture and depravity what do you do when the psychopath is the one telling the truth.
Taken together the inability of the Progressives to see these ideas as possible demonstrate the limits of their imagination and more importantly the extent to which they are just a recalibrated, reheated version of the typical liberal who is utterly unwilling to see the right wing for what it is. And it reveals the adolescent style of American politics – beaten into submission by the threat of the state (sixty years of J. Edgar Hoover in a dress is some sort of national David Lynchesque induced trauma replete with midgets speaking gibberish while threatening you with a whip ) infantilized by post-industrial marketing, seduced by the lies of the tech industry to believe in an ihave it all now reality – one part Star Trek one part utopia where everyone gets to be Tony Stark (as Terry Gilliam said of the difference between Spielberg and Kubrick – Kubrick gives you questions. Spielberg gives you answers. American Kapital Marketing is Spielberg – everything will be provided just don’t ask questions for which we have no answers) – devoid of any urgent need to ever have to actually do something that requires physical danger and thus responsibility – they go on and on about how no one is doing anything…to change the system. What is wiped from the collective memory is that the key part of Mario Savio’s speech at Berkeley was that he said there comes a time when you must put your body on the gears of the machine to stop it. Applauding the coolest sign at a march is not a revolution. It’s not even protest. It’s the political version of Netflix and Chill.
If you’re a Progressive you call yourself a Progressive because it sounds somehow different from liberal and allows you the room to rhetorically dodge having to actually take a position. It’s marketing crap in a cheap suit designed to provide camo and avoid responsibility and above all else it’s designed to avoid being called a leftist. You say Progressive because you find liberals and liberalism tainted by Clintonian and Obama-esque middle of the road compromise and because like liberals have always believed…it’s better to politely ask the right wing for change rather than demand it because if you demand it…they might beat the shit out of you or they just might shoot you.
And that’s the key issue…it’s the key to the Sanders supporters and to the whole of the liberal spectrum in American politics. It’s the key to understanding why no one wants to call Trump supporters what they are because if you call a fascist a fascist they might kill you. Progressives are congenitally incapable of admitting that if they want transformation of the system from ruthless exploitation Kapitalism with its permanent underclass of wage slaves and ongoing slow-motion (though accelerating) environmental genocide, they will actually have to take action. Not massive marches or wearing this colored hat or some other but actually organizing a general strike that brings significant portions of the country to a standstill and risks the reactionary neo-fascist Trumpsists calling out the National Guard. It means a General Strike that creates a crisis for the establishment instead of waiting for yet another crisis moment generated by Bannon’s strategy of wearing everyone down by taking advantage of Trump as a blunt instrument – and taking advantage of Trump as a fucking lunatic. It means that unlike Occupy with its adolescent rejection of hierarchical discipline in the service of political agendas (and it’s utterly craven naive disregard for the ruthless power of the Secret Police to infiltrate, disrupt, manipulate, and decapitate the movement) they would have to accept some form of party discipline. It means calling Steve Bannon’s bluff because, fascist thug that he is he would like nothing better than to unleash the full fury of his blunt instrument and declare a state of emergency. It means not being a coward.
And just imagine Occupy recast – instead of revisiting the 1960s by occupying a park or a building or a campus – imagine simply refusing to pay for your damn government sanctioned slave manufactured tracking device…and watch how after a few weeks or a few months the system begins to crack and have a nervous breakdown. Where is the machine most vulnerable? In its insanely overextended financial supply line. Strike (sic!) there and the whole creaking shambling irrational abusive system will start to shoot sparks and drop bolts.
But instead, the Progressives will march…and listen to podcasts…and…and…
Norman Mailer, speaking to William F. Buckley, (a man with what was called the greatest mind ever produced by the 11th century) correctly pointed out that the problem with liberals is that they spend their lives with the fear that someone will accuse them of being a leftist…
And so it goes…
The Progressives are trapped. Hillary couldn’t have really won because then the Progressives have nothing…and the Russians couldn’t have done it because then they’d have to agree with the spooks (and in typical fashion it wouldn’t occur to the Progressives or the Mandarins of the left at The Nation or tolling the bells at the London Review of Books that more than one thing can be true at the same time – yes, the CIA can be full of fascists and professional cynics and goons…and they also can be right about the Russians…)
And how do they resolve this internal dissonance?
Blame the woman for getting raped
And continue to do essentially, nothing…and hope that something or someone topples this lunatic despot from his perch.
Before he destroys everything.
*1. we are aware that as in all things, there is a spectrum and one person’s definition of Progressive is not anothers. For the sake of argument we are here speaking in general terms. In other words we understand that The People’s Front for Judea and The Judean People’s Front are both worthy of ridicule.
*2. At one point during his campaign, during an interview with a mainstream broadcaster, Sanders came dangerously close to calling for a revolution – a genuine mass movement that stepped outside of the constraints of the system and unleashed the mob. He was asked, exactly how, given the nature of the system, he would produce results if elected. The entire Sanders’ platform of course hung on this issue. Strip away the rhetoric and even the logic of his arguments and you’re still left with the immovable facts on the ground – the very essence of Sanders’ argument is that the system is corrupt. Therefore, if it is corrupt how does a new president, get a corrupt gerrymandered House and decadent millionaires club Senate, and a gang of billionaire Wall Street Caligula’s, and an entrenched Secret Police bureaucracy, and an army of rutting pigs in the industrial scale lobbying apparatus, to go along with the biggest redistribution of wealth since the New Deal?
Sanders came within a sentence of saying he would call on his supporters to march on DC and surround the capital. Instead, he went for business as usual and sealed his fate. And his supporters are complicit because they have not and will not admit that their entire effort hung on that moment of truth.
The fact is the system is broken and it is corrupt and it is never going to change unless it is forced to change. Power never succumbs to lesser power.
Update: Under the dictionary definition of feckless, unrepentant political animal, here’s Chuck Schumer soaking everyone else in gasoline and waving a match in the air while screaming for the fire department:
And consider this: Schumer is saying that being against Trump was and is not sufficient. As if being against a race-baiting, misogynistic, demagogue neo-fascist, incompetent, lunatic, is not enough of an incentive to get off your ass and vote – if need be for a fire hydrant instead of Trump.
So again, the liberals are trotting out the same turd in a different rhetorical package.
But the fact remains – a majority voted for HRC. And Schumer is unwilling to call out the slim swing percentage that voted for Trump for what they are – fascists and fascist sympathizers. A demographic that Schumer is in effect calling morally lethargic and mentally incontinent because they need to be sweet-talked into voting against everything Trump stands for. A demographic the Democrats should not want and should repudiate instead of trying to court.
We would say shame on Chuck Schumer but that would require him to have a conscience.
Instead – Hey Chuck. Go fuck yourself.