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Posts Tagged ‘2020 elections’

Aftermath of COVID-19 Shutdown will Deepen Political Divisions in USA

May 1, 2020 11 comments

Here is another prediction I am willing to make.. ready? I predict that the COVID-19 shutdown, specifically its aftermath, will greatly deepen existing political divisions in this country. To better understand what I am talking about, and get an appreciation of how far things have deteriorated, let me take you back to November 1984. In the presidential election of that year, Ronald Reagan won the electoral college in 49/50 states and got almost 60% of the popular vote. Interestingly, despite such a landslide victory for the republican candidate in presidential elections, democrats held their majority in the house and even gained a few states in the senate. If I told anyone who is not old enough to have remembered this particular election, perhaps someone born after the late 1970s, they would find this particular result to be highly implausible. But why was this the case in 1984 and more importantly.. what changed between 1984 and 2020 (or even 2000).

To understand what changed between 1984 and 2000, we have talk about the peculiar political environment prevalent in this country between 1945 and the late 1980s. To make a long story short, during those four decades there wasn’t much difference in the public and private positions of members from both parties. You could find tons of CONservative racist democrat legislators (even after 1968) as easily as you could find socially LIEbral republicans who were not especially racist. Even when attitudes changed (such as embrace of neoliberalism after late 1970s) there wasn’t much light between the positions of democrats and republicans. This is why republican presidents such as Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan got along well with democratic legislators and JFK and LBJ got along pretty OK with republicans. When some living fossils such as Pelosi and McConnell bemoan the lack of “bipartisanship”, they are referring to this era.

Of course, the flip side of this bonhomie was that both political parties developed a knack for repeatedly screwing over the majority of their constituents, to benefit their donors, under the guise of bipartisanship. To make matters more interesting, the realignment of late-1960s also resulted in both parties gradually cultivating different voter bases. There is a reason why the republican party is today associated with the white working class in non-coastal states, while democrats are the party of affluent white coastal professional types + inner city minorities. 1984 was pretty much the last major national-level election where the majority of voters still saw themselves as part of a larger group. We can argue about which party abandoned which group or vice-versa but it is clear that by the late 1980s, the emerging divisions between political parties (and their bases) were ideological rather than socio-economic. But what does any of this have to do with future political divisions and how is any of this related to aftermath of this pandemic?

Sometime ago, I tweeted about something which can be summarized as follows: Trump’s electoral success was largely due to his realization that american politics was about providing empty reality-show theater, rather than competent governing. In other words, he figured out that most people had lost all hope in the system actually working for them and were only in for the stupid drama and dumb pet peeves indulged in by both parties since early 1980s. Since that time, politicians from both parties have been busy pushing for ever increasing levels of job outsourcing, de-industrialization while simultaneously defunding social safety nets, destroying job security, increasing costs of higher education, making housing less affordable and much more. Electoral turnout in this country is so low because people correctly assume that elections have no effect on public policies. The only way either party can get anyone to vote for them, nowadays, involves empty posturing on meaningless or minor cultural issues such as gun control, abortion or vague and equally meaningless ideological position such as ‘diversity’, ‘patriotism’ or support/disbelief in one set of charlatans.. I mean.. “experts” vs another.

Basically, this country and most other western countries are run by two (or three) “teams” of D-grade actors on the payroll of same corporate masters. This might sound cynical but just have a look at how poorly the political systems of most western countries have dealt with major systemic crisis for the past 2-3 decades. Now.. it is much easier to go slowly go downhill if you you start at a higher point than others. But ultimately the course of events throws up challenges which expose the decrepitude and incompetence of the underlying system. In the past two decades, we had at least three major events (9/11 and its aftermath, GFC 2008 and its aftermath and COVID-19 and its aftermath) that have exposed the allegedly competent western systems for their reality. But what does any of this have to with ever deepening political divisions in this country?

Well.. it comes down to how politics in this country has evolved. Long story short, it has become a meaningless team sport played by an increasingly geriatric and dumb group of elected leaders posturing against each other to win applause from their own crowd of partisan morons (such as Mike CA) rather than come up with even a half-decent solution to a problem- especially if such a solution angered their corporate masters. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, but more so in its aftermath, this has taken the following forms..

1] Neither political party in this country has a clear exit plan from the lockdown and its massive associated job loss, some of which will be long-term. On one side, the ‘scientism’ worshiping democratic morons are working themselves up into a frenzy every time somebody suggests that the broader economy has to reopened soon or the disease is nowhere as lethal as they want to believe. On the other side, republican idiots believe that simply opening the economy after such an unprecedented shutdown will miraculously restore the economy to its previous (and let us be honest.. pretty shitty) state- because of “free market” and “american capitalism” pixie dust. But more importantly, neither party has demonstrated any clue as to how to reopen the economy and keep it open while simultaneously fixing the very real human misery (a good part of it medium term or longer) caused by this shutdown.

And here is why this will matter. In Chapter 17 of the ‘Prince’ by Niccolò Machiavelli, he wrote “Men sooner forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony”. Let me explain that in terms of the COVID-19 crisis.. in the end, most people care far more about the effect of this pandemic and ensuing shutdown on their own financial status than the possible demise of their 81-year old parents or grandparents who have been warehoused in some nursing home. As many of you might have figured out by now, the aftermath of this crisis will cause a large sustained increase in unemployment in sectors of economy that have a lot young people- such as tourism, hospitality, retail and many part-time/ seasonal gigs (concerts, festivals etc). This will occur even if the lock down is lifted today. To make matters worse, there will be an unprecedented number of small-business bankruptcies which, once again will, occur even if the lockdown is lifted today. The point I am trying to make is you will sustained unemployment rates of over 30% in people under 40 and millions of small business owners whose whole sense of self-worth and livelihood will be destroyed for no fault of theirs. As you will soon see, this has an interesting historical precedent- specifically continental Europe in the decade after end of WW1.

Have you ever wondered why so many fascists came to power in continental Europe between 1920 and 1932? Well.. in each case (and this include countries in Eastern Europe) there was a massive increase in unemployment among young men, old and sometimes new political systems that were unable to adapt to new reality, tons of small-business owners who has experienced business failure due to finance-based consolidation and.. oh.. a party that appealed to these disaffected groups- often led by some charismatic individual. Italy had Mussolini, Poland had Pilsudski, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania had their own dictators, Hungary had Gyula Gombos, Austria had Engelbert Dollfuss, USSR had Stalin, Spain had Franco and Germany had Hitler. While each took a slightly different manner to power, the overall circumstances and forces which let to those outcomes were remarkably similar.

2] And this brings us to why the existing political system or establishment in those nations was unable to stop the rise of all these strongmen to power. The simple answer is.. the pre-existing political class of those countries was largely insulated and disconnected from the dire struggles of their fellow citizens during that era. They simply could not care, did not want to care and thought they could get away with it while still retaining their old positions in those societies. Today we are seeing something similar, among members of both political parties- but especially democrats. You might have many instances of members of the sinecured LIEbral classes lecturing to and scolding white working class and small-business types who are desperately looking for any sign of the economy reopening and things getting back to normal. These LIEbral shitheads, holed up in their nice suburban houses and condos while being paid via various secure streams of money for their useless jobs have the temerity to confidently tell everyone else that the economy is not going to reopen for 12-18 months while vehemently denying every bit of information that points to a different outcome truly deserve the Guillotine.

But the underlying problem is worse.. if that is possible. These LIEBrals (mostly of the democratic party persuasion) spend time fantasizing about the imminent death of working class people just because they want to get a regular paycheck. Did I mention that USA has a deliberately shitty social safety net and that the number of people without their regular income is closer to 50-60 million, instead of the 30-something million official number) right now. But wait, it gets better. These dumfucks, who decry the desire of working class and petit bourgeois for a return to ‘normal’ have no plan of helping them through measures such as cancelling rent, mortgages, auto and health insurance payments.. let alone give them some sort of universal basic income until the economy returns to some level of normalcy. AS I mentioned in one of my previous post, it would not be surprising if these LIEbral attitudes led to an electoral defeat for the democratic party in 2020 inspite of running against orange man and a bunch of assholes.

I will wrap up this post by giving you one more example of how clueless and disconnected these LIEbals are from reality. You might have heard about how some meat-packing plants have been temporarily closed because of local outbreaks of COVID-19. While I do not support the way these plants are run, especially the working conditions within them, I understand why keeping them open and running at this time is necessary to prevent food shortages, more panic buying and social disorder. But what do LIEbrals think? Well.. these retards are busy lecturing to poor people about their “excessive” meat consumption. I even saw a few urging people to adopt a vegan diet! Yes.. even in the midst of such a massive crisis, rich LIEbrals are busy performing virtue displays. If you still believe that political divisions in this country wont intensify in aftermath of COVID-19 crisis, I have a bridge in London to sell you.

What do you think? Comments?

Why the El Paso Shooter’s Manifesto is Relevant to Elections in 2020

August 7, 2019 6 comments

By now, most of you must have heard that the guy (Patrick Crusius) who shot up a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas posted his short manifesto on multiple social media sites. As regular readers will know, I like to read manifestos of mass killers since they provide an insight into their mind and the society they used to inhabit. For example, Elliot Rodger manifesto and videos gave us a view into the world of hapa male children as well as the social mores of rich white people in SoCal. Anders Breivik’s manifesto gave us an insight into how a rapidly increasing number of white men in some Nordic countries feel about the world around them. Some might want to dismiss these works of literature as the output of a deranged mind, and they are free to do so. But look at how well some manifestos anticipated changes in popular culture before they were obvious.

In the case of Elliot Rodgers aka ‘Supreme Gentleman’, his 2014 manifesto not only shone light on the unspoken racial hierarchy of sexuality in USA but also was the first instance of the general public becoming aware of a growing number of incels within western countries. Since then, many far more “respectable” outlets and “scholars” have repeatedly identified the same drop in sexual activity among young males without a corresponding drop in females of the same age group. Or take Anders Brevik’s manifesto. While he shot up those 69 children in 2011, many of his critiques about unrestricted immigration, mass influx of refugees and the publish backlash against them came true. If you don’t believe me, have a look at how many anti-immigration parties have either come to power or increased their vote share in west-European countries over past 5 years.

In other words, we should not ignore the manifestos of spree killers just because we find their actions icky. And this brings us to the contents of Patrick Crusius’s manifesto. Though short (4 pages long), that document verbalizes some ideas that are highly relevant to the 2020 elections. So what makes a guy who lived in Allen, Texas drive over a thousand km to El Paso for shooting up Hispanics. Also, here is an interesting fact about Allen, Texas.. it has more people of Asian than Hispanic ancestry. Anyway.. now let us talk about the main issues Crusius discusses in his manifesto. According to him, the current set of politicians (both republicans and democrats) want to import Hispanic immigrants in this country on a large scale for working in low-paid jobs and eventually changing the racial demographics of USA.

Democrats and their stooges in the corporate media are now calling it a conspiracy theory, even though they have repeatedly making the exact same claims for over a decade. Here is a book talking about that issue from 2004. The so-called ’emerging democratic majority’ or coalition of the ascendant’ has been masturbatory fantasy for democratic wonks for almost 15 years, which is especially ironic given how poorly they performed at the federal and state level during Obama’s presidency from 2009 to 2016. Despite what some would want to believe, the electoral setbacks suffered by republicans were largely due to fucking up on the ACA. All of which means that part of the ‘white replacement conspiracy’ is the official policy of the democratic, and to a lesser extent, republican party. And I, being non-white, am perfectly OK with that change.

He goes on to talk about issues such as job loss due to automation, outsourcing and competition from immigrants. Again.. his thoughts on these issues are pretty mainstream. He them moves to the issue of the educational credentialism race and how attaining more educational qualifications is becoming worthless as more people get them. He also mentions how corporations require ever more desperate immigrants to work at shitty and poorly paid jobs which american-born people won’t or cannot accept. Again.. most of this is pretty mainstream and also a significant part of the reason why a troll like Trump won against the establishment candidate, aka HRC, in 2016. He then goes off on a screed about how it is all damaging to the environment, which is a common “concern” among white people who want to be racist but cannot do so openly.

There is more in his manifesto such as how he chose guns and ammo, thoughts on race mixing, likely legacy etc. However, the thing which should really concern establishment politicians is how these sentiments, especially the more main-stream socioeconomic concerns are now so widespread that a young guy in some medium-sized city in Texas can effectively summarize them in a couple of pages. It is no secret that, for 90% of its population, life in this country has been a slow downward spiral since 2008. This is the reason Obama got fewer votes in 2012 than 2008 and why he would have lost in 2012 had the republicans selected someone less repulsive than Mitt Romney. Yet even today, establishment democrats spend more time and energy in chasing “RussiaGate” than even attempting to present a better vision of the future to potential voters.

To some extent, this is because the political establishment and elites are too incompetent and intellectually bankrupt to think creatively. But far too many of them also live in a social bubble where regurgitating self-validating bullshit and lies to each other is a way of life. That is why all their attacks on Trump have not decreased his approval ratings below 40-45%, which is where they were when he was elected in late-2016. And yet, after three years of consistent failure, these ivy-league credentialed losers are doubling down on strategies which don’t work. Perhaps, they might want to think a bit more about why the approval ratings for mainstream corporate media are now far lower than the orange troll they are trying to target.

But why do the consents of his manifesto matter for the 2020 elections. Well.. because it shows the depth and spread of hopelessness about the future and disenchantment with status quo. As some of you might remember, Trump was able to exploit these issues to win the presidency in 2016. The reaction to manifesto and shooting by establishment democrats highlights their lack of an alternate vision of the future. It is as if democrats have not learned a single useful thing from their humiliation in 2016. Everything they are doing in the wake of this shooting is a redux of what they have done in the past and failed at miserably (calls for banning guns, more useless and dangerous laws etc). And I am not even going to start talking about the clown car of mostly insipid and phony neoliberal candidates in the ongoing democratic presidential primary.

What do you think? Comments?