“Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That’s not my department,” says Wernher von Braun.”
— Tom Lehrer
We have already outlined the hypocrisy of Jon Stewart (1*) but to this we must add a growing list of spineless uber liberals.
In a recent MSNBC appearance (2*) Michael Moore offered up what is clearly the now standard liberal defense of the neo-fascist American Bund – they are angry and disgusted with the establishment so they threw a Molotov cocktail at it in the form of Trump. Add to this Moore’s insistence that because he’s from Michigan and knows these people he therefore has some special claim to righteous insight and you have the tautology of the moral contortionist as pundit.
As with Stewart’s pseudo-intellectual malfeasance Moore is telling the truth – they – the desiccated post-industrial predominantly White working class – are angry and disgusted with the system that betrayed them. We’ve discussed this at length:
What Moore doesn’t say is this: They are angry at the system for its betrayal so they decided to throw a Molotov cocktail at it…AND…they did it in the form of a race-baiting, misogynistic demagogic neo-fascist psychopath. AND that means the people who voted for him either want a psychopath running the country or they don’t care if he’s running the country and if he destroys everything that’s fine with them because if they can’t have their piece of the pie let’s put rat poison in the crust so everyone bleeds to death.
It is necessary to call this out for exactly what it is: the same feckless immoral defense of the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1920s and 30s that turned out so well the last time it was tried.
Then the argument was we have to stop the Bolsheviks and the barbarian hordes from the East or they will destroy everything. So let’s hire the fascists. They’ll save us.
Now the argument is we have to stop the barbarian liberal multiculturalists and neoliberal elitists or they will destroy everything. So let’s hire the fascists. They’ll save us.
Or to put it another way, Moore is saying these people hired a pyromaniac to burn your house down because no one would sell them fire insurance.
And he adds, two points: The democrats should understand that and court these people.
And: having been betrayed they have hired a lunatic to hold the country hostage and now the democrats should pay the ransom.
Which is not to say or condone the rape and pillaging of the industrial backbone of the country. The democrats were either wrong or knew exactly what they were doing when they took a flamethrower to the country in the form of NAFTA and neoliberalism. The republicans whose pimp is Wall Street never pretended otherwise and knew from the beginning that the goal was to skull fuck the unions and give the wealthy a massive lube soaked hand job in the form of unrestrained Kapital.
But Moore and Stewart and others are only telling half the story. Just because you know Trump’s supporters are angry doesn’t mean they are right or shouldn’t be condemned for supporting the fascist takeover of the country. They do not get a pat on the back because they have pitched a fit and are holding a gun to the world’s head.
That molotov cocktail has labels. One says: Fuck the Muslims. Another comes with a picture of Hillary and a rape kit. Another has a gas mask because when the environment collapses you’re going to need one and you’ll have to decide if you use it or you give it to your kids.
The stakes are simply too great to pretend it’s somehow alright that an unhinged bottomless pit of narcissism with deep and murky connections to any number of gangsters is suitable for the job or that it’s alright that anyone voted for him because they’re angry. If a nuclear bomb goes off in South Korea, or in Anchorage or Chicago, Michael Moore can go back on MSNBC and explain that the people who voted for Trump were really very angry, feel betrayed and damnit someone should listen to them. And then Richard Lewis and Jon Stewart can explain that they know these people and that they are good people who have been wronged.
And we can inscribe their words in a radioactive field somewhere amid the burnt out husk of Seoul or Tokyo. Or New York.
Moore and Stewart and the ex-comedian Richard Lewis (3*) and the establishment rat-fuckers like Chuck Schumer (with Elizabeth Warren & co in his wake) are all desperately trying to score points with a demographic that would be perfectly happy at a torch lit ceremony in which books were burned and people talked openly about the need for discipline, more leather, an end to decadence, and the establishment of safe zones devoid of anyone or anything of which they did not approve.
Moore’s argument, as well as Stewart’s, that these people are not bigots, is at best a distinction without a difference and at worst immoral pettifogging designed to protect Moore and Stewart from having to actually do the dangerous work of confronting the fascists.
It is either fascism or fascist sympathy. It is either outright support for an official policy of racism or it is being a fellow traveler. Michael Moore is either an idiot or a useful idiot doing the unintentional heavy-lifting for the Bund.
What he refuses to say is this: that the utterly catastrophically moronic predominantly White working class decided that either that want to set fire to the system in an operatic fit of gotterdammerung because they hate everyone or that they want to do it because they are spiteful and don’t care that everyone else could suffer and that they are so unbelievably stupid that they actually believe Donald Trump gives a flying fuck in a rat’s ass about them when clearly he doesn’t care about anyone except himself.
And Moore believes the democrats must listen to these people.
Well, he’s right. They should. And then they should call them out for what they are – moronic useless racist neo-fascists who pose a clear and present danger to the country and the safety of the planet.
To this of course the whores of the system, like Chuck Schumer will say: but then we’ll lose the election.
And to that the answer is: try actually courting the millions of fools who voted for the Greens and tell the White radical right to go fuck itself.
Tell them that tech barons and retail gulags like Walmart and Amazon must answer for making money from slave labor and selling off the nation’s industrial might to third world dictatorships. Tell them that environmental genocide is a genocide and therefore a crime against humanity and the corporations that have committed this crime and turned a profit from it will be held accountable(4*). Tell them that these people are thieves and the penalty is forfeiture of what they have stolen. Tell them that the corporatists call it profit and we call it stolen property. Tell them the penalty is the forfeiture of what was stolen and that the money they stole will be returned to the people from whom it was stolen – and it will be used to pay for universal healthcare, and education and cleaning up the environment and transforming the slave-based exploitation economy into a sustainable economy.
Tell them you will fight for them.
Tell them you breath the same air that they do and drink the same water and that like it or not we all share the same small blue dot and if a radioactive cloud rises above South Korea, there is nothing that will prevent it from drifting wherever the wind blows it.
Tell them the truth.
But of course that would require the democrats to actually be in opposition versus being the other side of the coin labeled ESTABLISHMENT. Or: Kapital with a fresh coat of paint and a smiley face. And it would require liberals like Moore and Stewart to call for direct action that risks their financial standing. A play on Broadway and an HBO special are all well and good but actually placing your body on the gears of the machine is something else altogether.
And of course that won’t happen.
Instead we will continue to get Pablum – liberal and conservative – without a single person telling the truth: Donald Trump is a professional demagogue and an amateur fascist (who is learning fast and will soon be a professional) and there is no moral justification for supporting him.
Voting for Trump means you are either a racist and therefore a fool, or a fool who is so fucking stupid you don’t realize you’re supporting a racist. Or worse, you know it but don’t care. Stewart’s argument that his Trump supporting friends don’t hate Muslims but are afraid they can’t afford their insurance premiums is not any less vile than someone in Europe in the 1940s saying they have to protect themselves so…please take my neighbors away instead of me. Besides, they’re Jews. Or Queer. Or Catholic…
The fascists have taken over the White House and their supporters have taken control of the House and the Senate and the liberals have as always crawled into a corner where they are begging not to be hurt.
The Washington Post is wrong. Democracy does not die in darkness. It dies under a klieg light, on television, with snark, background music, color graphics and commentary provided by hair with personality.
*4 After all, if as the Supreme Court has held, corporations are people and money is protected speech than corporations should be treated as anyone else. Having used slave labor they should be arrested and put on trial and be found guilty of committing Crimes Against Humanity. The minimum punishment being that all profits made from their criminal actions should be placed in a national trust and that the money should be used to save the environment and provide for what should be considered fundamental and basic rights including, healthcare, education, housing and food.