The Futility of Politics
I’ve been a political junkie since at least the age of eleven, when I rooted with all my heart for Bobby Kennedy to win the Democratic Party presidential nomination. When RFK was assassinated, it absolutely crushed my young spirit. I think I realized even then that the good guys simply aren’t allowed to win.
Still, I remained keenly interested in the political world. During Watergate, as a high school student, I’m sure I exasperated most of my classmates with my nonstop anti- Nixon, burgeoning radical leftism. I also converted a few of them. In this regard, I guess I’m still doing the same thing; offending or persuading others.
Donald Trump has made politics infinitely more interesting. But he has also made it divisive to the point of physical confrontation, merely for wearing his MAGA hat, or placing a pro-Trump sign on one’s property. The hatred a substantial portion of Americans feel for him is unprecedented. It is indeed a form of derangement.
On the other hand, those who remain absolutely loyal to him can only do so by ignoring his constant flip-flops and capitulations. “He’s playing 8,000D chess!” “Keep your enemies closer!” Or they’ll claim the president has no authority. Which begs the question then of why any hopes are pinned on him, or any other president.
At this point, it is what it is; Trump is a grand tweeter, taking on the odious establishment with often incisive and biting comments. In terms of policies, this hasn’t meant much. It’s been neocon Republican business as usual during his term in office. Illegals aren’t being deported. Visa workers are still being hired. The crumbling infrastructure remains untouched. The troops remain in countries where they don’t belong. Not a single Deep State villain has been prosecuted.
The indictment of former Trump insider Steve Bannon last week illustrated this point all too clearly. Bannon was prosecuted, like Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, and Roger Stone, by Trump’s justice department, not Obama’s. The same justice department that declined to prosecute the Queen of Corruption, Hillary Clinton. A justice department led by William Barr, a swamp creature whose allegiance to the corrupt establishment was best reflected in his appearance as a character witness for FBI sharpshooter Lon Horiuchi, who blew Vicki Weaver’s head off while she was holding her baby, during the government assault at Ruby Ridge.
The swamp isn’t being drained. There aren’t 150,000 sealed indictments, or whatever the number is claimed to be now. The notion that someone as horrific as Barr could be leading the “White Hats” is beyond laughable. Barr, in case you didn’t know, has long been best friends with Robert Mueller, the man perceived publicly as Donald Trump’s arch nemesis. Barr is not an anomaly in Trump’s administration; he has filled it with Never Trumpers like Nikki Haley, Rod Rosenstein, and John Bolton.
The election of Trump was shocking, and at the time electrifying. But the novelty quickly wore off. It became obvious very early on, that none of the promised executive orders, to ban birth-right citizenship, H-1B Visa workers, and the like, were forthcoming. Mexico wasn’t about to build the wall. In fact, Bannon’s indictment on charges of fraud surrounding donations for the wall’s funding was the first news we’d heard about that wall for quite some time. Somewhere, Mexico is laughing.
I get attacked from both sides all the time. Whenever I post something on social media, invariably someone with Trump Derangement Syndrome, or Trump Enablement Syndrome, jumps in to question my motives, call me names, etc. My own niece deleted me as a friend recently on Facebook. I’m starting to understand how it must have felt in the 1860s, when brother really was fighting brother. Trump’s personality has created a fault line the size of the Grand Canyon. The few of us who view Trump dispassionately have a hard time fitting in to any modern political discussion, like lonely wallflowers at the big dance.
If I could only get more of my fiction published, I’d be done with political commentary. How many times, and in how many different ways, can you say that we’re ruled by absolute tyranny? How often can you drum home the fact that anyone with a large public platform is part of the corruption?
I get tired of sounding so pessimistic. But as the great cynic Ambrose Bierce said, pessimism is enforced upon the rational observer by cold reality. A part of me continues to believe in the fairy tale resolutions in all those great Frank Capra movies. So I am predisposed to believe in something like QAnon. I hope in vain for some “White Hats” to come riding into our rescue. I want to believe people are inherently good, despite myriad examples of reckless mob mentality, and the shameful fact that, even with widespread electoral fraud, plenty of people do actually vote for the Nancy Pelosis and Lindsay Grahams of the world.
I often question myself; why am I a populist? Populism derives from an affinity for the common people. The common people I’ve met are mostly just that; common. Not especially perceptive. Prone to bigotry and susceptible to even the most ridiculous aspects of mainstream indoctrination. Yes, they’re getting screwed royally by this rigged system. But most of them don’t seem to care. And most continue to focus their attention and anger at their neighbors, who are mired in the same circumstances. Everything is perfectly fine, as long as they don’t have anything, either. The analogy of the lobsters pulling down the ones trying to escape the tank is very apt here.
Seeing the ugly, screaming faces at some of these protests, I have to ask; do they deserve better? If some of these delusional people were in charge, it’s hard to imagine the kind of draconian laws they would devise. The other side is more reasonable, but their go-to move seems to be chanting “USA! USA! USA!” In other words, cheering on the system that is openly discriminating against and censoring those who share their views. Stockholm Syndrome isn’t a strong enough term to describe that.
This election, which we are assured once again will be the “most important” one ever, boils down to a referendum on Donald Trump’s personality. The issues that really impact the lives of the 80% being railroaded by the rigged system will be ignored again, as they have been in every previous presidential election. Except for 2016, when Trump’s populist rhetoric brought things like “globalism” and immigration to the forefront of the discourse.
There will be no debate about the great 9/11 lie, and the unconstitutional niceties, like the Patriot Act and Homeland Security department, that followed. I don’t think even Trump will have the audacity to talk about illegal immigrants and Visa workers, given his lack of effort in those areas. No one will talk about peace, or the sprawling Military Industrial/Intelligence Complex, unless Trump makes another insincere threat to bring the troops home from somewhere. The disparity of wealth will only be touched upon in a broad, meaningless way by the Democrats who still despise the greatest champion the common people ever had, Huey Long.
With the Democrats demanding widespread mail-in voting, which will ensure even more electoral fraud than usual, we can expect an even more contentious result. Neither side will trust the results, and with good reason. Voting has been fixed in this country since “Honest” Abe Lincoln prevented troops suspected of being Democrats from being furloughed to vote during the war, since Samuel Tilden was robbed of the presidency in 1876, since “Landslide” Lyndon Johnson proved the importance of the dead vote during his 1948 Senate “victory,” which was rubber stamped by ex-KKK member Hugo Black, who went on to become a “liberal” Supreme Court justice, to cite a few glaring examples. It isn’t “Russia” corrupting our electoral process.
I’ve voted for enough Third Party candidates. Ralph Nader. Pat Buchanan. Ross Perot. Various Libertarians. Only Perot had even a sliver of a chance to win. Americans love their “two party” system. And with the emergence of Trump, virtually everyone is split into those disastrous two camps that Alex Jones used to accurately call the “phony Left-Right paradigm.” Nobody seems to want more choices. A truly independent, Reform Party-style of alternative has never seemed less possible. Trump’s election crushed the chances of any alternative parties.
We have a choice between the tweeter-in-chief, and a Deep State veteran of decades, who appears for all the world to be suffering from some form of dementia. Perhaps the “highlight” of the Democratic Party’s convention- held in virtual, surreal lockdown style- featured a woman who was an ex-prostitute. But not just any prostitute- one who participated in a gang murder of a client. And only served twenty some years, which is par for the course in our maddeningly bad injustice system. No one, naturally, talked about peace or civil liberties.
I’ll keep writing and talking about politics. It’s a part of my character. But I don’t have much passion left for it. Emotion drives the debate now. Petty partisanship and hypocrisy reign. There is no place for reason or idealism in the politics of personality.