The closer we get to the Most Important Elections Ever in History, the more the Duopoly is ramping up the fear factor. The end of the world is nigh, not so much because of the ongoing climate catastrophe, but because neither of the two corporate political parties we're stuck with thinks that more than a billion dollars in campaign contributions is enough.
A glance through your inbox gives you the impression that every day is a deadline of doom. The money-raking professionals are getting more brazen, going from begging to demanding, informing you that your payment is past due and that you only have until midnight tonight to fork it over.
And what if you don't? I really hate to tell them this, but the democracy repo man came and went decades ago.
So they'll try to scare you silly anyway. Always near the top of their bag of tricks to get you to fork over the cash before voting is the warning that "they're coming after your Social Security and Medicare!"
Democrats say this of Republicans, and Republicans say this of Democrats (and also about "illegals" and welfare cheats.)
As is his convenient wont, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman limits his own critique of the continuing attack on the New Deal and Great Society programs to the Republican Party and to the deplorable Republican voters who get all their information from Fox News. That he again fails to mention that it takes two corrupt bodies to tango comes as no surprise, although I do happen to agree with him that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blatantly announcing his attack plan before the midterms was pretty shocking.
My published comment:
The timing of McConnell's threat surprised me too. The only explanation is that he so secure in his iron grip on both Kentucky voters and the Senate that he's willing to play "bad cop" for the duration.
The first step in this stale old routine is to gaslight and terrorize the sick, the old, and the poor. Demonizing people and calling them fraudsters works wonders in the divide-and-conquer department.
The Dems, as they have done before, might react to his snarling cruelty by offering to snip and slash here and there to save what is little is still left of our social programs.
Trump might even achieve the "Grand Bargain" with Congress that Obama and Boehner could not, thanks to the Tea Party faction insisting that the cuts weren't cruel enough.
He could accept slightly less sadistic cuts in exchange for the building of his nasty wall. Who knows? I wouldn't put any subterfuge past any of them. This is, after all, government of, by and for the oligarchs, who really comprise one political party unto themselves, the Pathocratic Party. Their unbridled greed to possess everything and to control everybody has reached truly pathogenic proportions.
They need to go, and we need to make them go.Now we come to Times columnist Michelle Goldberg's piece addressing the despair of women in the Age of Trump. Her solution? Get involved working for the Democratic Party, and do it for free! Or at the very least, chat with some party activists to cheer yourselves up. (That this advice column is directed at affluent women not having to work at multiple low-paid gigs is punctuated by the accompanying feel-good photo showing a Democratic candidate hugging an unpaid campaign worker in a room full of white people.)
So let's tell the Democrats in no uncertain terms that we will agree to no more of their "pay-go" rules, aka robbing from the poor and working class to keep our social insurance on life support.
Stop the trillion-dollar wars if you want to tame the deficit. And soak the rich.
Heaven forbid that you should storm your local social services office, go on a wildcat strike, or join Cindy Sheehan in the anti-war Women's March on the Pentagon on Oct.20-21! If you're nervous or depressed from spending too much time stressing over Trump all by your lonesome, then put all your energies into joining others in fixating obsessively on Trump, and forgetting all about the toxic neoliberal system that created him. If you're affluent, you will benefit mentally under a more rhetorically tasteful Democratic majority and thereby save yourself all those trips to the therapist.There is, I find, only one thing that soothes my galloping anxiety, and that is talking to women who are actually doing the work of campaigning. The people who are knocking on doors and organizing rallies tend to be much more cheerful and confident than those who spend too much time on Twitter obsessing over each new poll....Now, part of the job of a good politician is projecting optimism. But again and again over the horrible months of Trump’s reign, I’ve found that spending time with the women who are working their hearts out against him is at least a temporary cure for despair. So if you, too, are scared, or furious, or despondent, find a Democrat close to you and go canvass for her (or him). “It’s the best way to feel good about the world and connect with people,” (Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen)Whitmer said.
My comment, trying to gently change the subject from the "liberal women are emotional wrecks and victims of Trump" trope, with its artificially narrow emphasis on gender/reproductive rights, to the wider economic justice/class struggles that are so ignored by the liberal elites during this campaign season:
The more that Donald Trump denigrates women, the more obvious it becomes that he is terrified of women the same way that a middle school pre-adolescent boy is afraid of girls. His rallies are fascist iterations of the Little Rascals' He-Man Woman-Haters Club.
We should treat Trump with all the derision we can muster. He is a weakling at his core.
We must treat the establishment which spawned him with equal derision as a balance to our well-placed fear. We should also recognize that this is essentially a class war. The Republicans under Mitch McConnell have made no secret of the fact that the next big item on their agenda is to slash Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, and Social Security. The citizens who depend the most on these programs are women and children.
Trump's tweets calling women names might sting and cause outrage. But the economic attacks on women's pocketbooks and pantries literally endanger our lives, if we are not so lucky to reside in the top 10% of income earners.
Rather than merely demand protection for the increasingly whittled-down social insurance programs we contribute to all our working lives, we must insist upon their enhancement. The Democrats have to do more than pay lip service to diversity and gender rights. We have to ensure not only equality of opportunity, but basic fairness of economic outcomes.
Repeat after me, ladies: Conservative men are afraid of you. Use the power that has been within you all this time. Make them even more afraid of you.