That's the message we're getting today from the mainstream media in the wake of Bernie Sanders's terrible, horrible, most epic defeat ever in the history of political history. It is the sad duty of the Punditocracy to gleefully inform us that Bernie has been smashed into South Carolina roadkill by the unstoppable Hillary Clinton juggernaut. And just on the off-chance that he's still barely twitching, there's always Super Duper Terror Tuesday. That is when Hillary's metaphorical drones are poised to finish the job with the old one-two punch, aka the double-tap. They hope to finally render Bernie and his swarms of crazy unicorns into naught but a warm fuzzy pink mist of a memory.
But not so fast! We haven't reached the lowest circle of hell just yet. We're still breathing and intact, despite that vaunted Firewall.
Whatever the ultimate outcome of what is essentially a rigged primary process orchestrated by a corrupt party machinery, there is nothing that says the revolution cannot continue. I've said right from the get-go that we mustn't put all our eggs into one Bernie Basket. Let's face it: political parties, especially the Democratic Party, have historically been where popular movements go to die.
Dejection is the enemy. So is cynicism. The powers-that-be are extremely and inordinately anxious to curb our enthusiasm. And since widespread enthusiasm and trust in a Hillary Clinton presidency is not yet in the offing, despite her very best efforts to portray herself as Wartime Granny Populist, they'll use the fear card to get our votes. Elect the Lesser Evil if you want to survive Benito Trump: that is the not-so-subliminal message of the Clintonian neoliberal thought collective.
And that brings me to Henry A. Giroux, prolific author and public intellectual. In a Truthout interview coinciding with the publication of his latest book, America's Addiction to Terrorism, Giroux says:
We no longer live in an age of long-term possibilities. The certainties of a long-term job, a better future and hope have disappeared in the age of what Zygmunt Bauman calls liquid modernity. We now occupy an era of precarity, uncertainty and insecurity. Yet, these conditions do not constitute some inevitable historical evolution. They are politically and socially constructed and just as they were made by human beings, they can be unmade. I think it is precisely this concern about imagining a future that is not a repeat of the present that offers an inroad into addressing the current crisis of historical and political agency at work in the United States. I'm concerned with how you mobilize existential despair away from a paralyzing cynicism and depoliticizing dynamic into a sense of political outrage that can be marshaled into collective action. Trauma is not a psychic phenomenon alone, but can also be a steppingstone to mobilization.Henry Giroux (who is not endorsing any particular candidate) lists three essential methods by which we can overcome the existential despair that is the byproduct (and pretty much the intended purpose) of neoliberalism:
There are three pre-requirements for being able to think in utopian terms - that is, in terms that are capable of producing a militant form of hope that not only imagines a better society but also inspires collective action based on such desires. First, a utopian imaginary must embrace history as a resource, willing to engage its "dangerous" memories and to use it as a resource for challenging those discourses that have frozen the present. Second, educators, artists, intellectuals, workers, young people and others must find a way to construct not only a discourse of merciless critique but also a discourse of possibility. Thirdly, politics has to be reinvented so as to recognize that power is now global and that politics is still tied to nation-states.There's a lot more to the interview. Read the whole thing, and you will probably not only feel better, you'll feel energized and inspired. Better yet, you'll feel the outrage. It's the perfect antidote to the gloom and doom of the New York Times and Politico and the entirety of the corporate owned media/political complex, which would like nothing better than for us all to lay down and curl into the fetal position on the yellow line in the middle of the neoliberal highway to hell.
We must not give in to despair, no matter the outcome of any one election or endless series of elections. Onward and upward!
For your further viewing pleasure and energization: