Clinton’s email fiasco that may or may not turn into a criminal charge. And the arrogance and lack of judgement that the incident demonstrates.
Sander’s longshot campaign, his lack of foreign policy experience, and does he understand how dangerous terrorism has become? A handful of crazy people could nuke a city, or poison its water, or a mall’s ventilation system–or do that to several cities at once. Or they could blow up the House while most everyone in the Federal government is present (suggested solution: most people can send representatives while watching it on TV in someplace dignified–for example, their state’s capitol). Can he handle this? Privacy is important but so is keeping New York City from evaporating (actually, any city dweller with any imagination will notice that evaporation is about the best option for dying in a terrorist strike).
Trump’s insane ideas: building walls across Mexico that the Mexican government will pay for; stopping all Muslims from entering the country; using his magical bartering abilities to turn the world’s governments into rival businesses that he strong-arms and outmaneuvers. And then also the usual (for a couple generations anyway) bank-breaking Republican fiscal policies that make the poor get poorer, the rich get richer, the government unable to fund necessary services (D+ on our last infrastructure report) and the economy stay unstable. Oh and then there’s the narcissism, flagrant misogyny, and general Nietzschian conception of “might-makes-right or at least it wins and winning’s the thing”. Except that doesn’t even win: when you reduce all to power plays, you are the ones that become Nazi Germany, and someone else must give the King’s Speech and say that might doesn’t make right, that there is more to life than power and money, and that government’s are responsible to those human values first: to creating and maintaining places where people can be both physically OK and morally decent. That is the vision that allows for the mutual trust and support necessary for collective success!
So what can be done?
Because Elizabeth Warren isn’t running and so I’m thinking we won’t unite: we’ll all stay alone in this giant, ill-conceived, incoherent mosaic.
What can be done?
Why would it have been different with Elizabeth Warren running? Because she can explain the necessity of financial regulations, the compatibility of healthy capitalism and taxation and even some redistribution. She can explain that ad-money linked to a candidate’s ear is corrupting our democracy, and she can help us think through our way back to the steering wheel–or at least the brakes: in a representative democracy the primary responsibility of the electorate is to serve as a final check against excessive corruptions and flagrant madnesses of the political class, a duty we’ve largely traded-in for teatime with pundits and rabble-rousers where we pretend we’re all political geniuses and/or that the other side’s too perverted to talk to.
What is different about Elizabeth Warren? Well, she’s not hated by the right like Clinton is, and she lacks Clinton’s email problem. The left acts like it’s the Republicans fault that Clinton is hated: that’s somewhat true, they’ve spent 30 years maligning the Clintons. But is the point here who’s fault it is? And isn’t the email mess more than just Republican headhunting? Wasn’t that at best really stupid? The nation desperately needs someone who can unite us, and it is hard to see how that person could be a Clinton, and easy to see how it could be that sunny, sweet, irresistible, and so very accurate without being pretentious or impractical Elizabeth Warren, who, I regret to say, is not running for President.
Bernie Sanders still is running for president, but he’s excessive: we could make college an affordable part of life without mandating that it be free; we could improve the health care reforms we’ve started without demanding that we jump straight to single-payer; we could regulate the financial sector without acting like they’re all a bunch of crooks; we could move slowly but surely towards a better society–and cranky perfectionism is not the way to do that.
The Republican party is hopeless because their budget ideas are all based on fanatical magicalism, and they flip constantly between hating and trying to dismantle government and pretending they want to and can govern–and even keep social security going. Donald Trump is an arrogant fool with no experience governing and even supposing he is a good businessman and not more like a good self-promoter and con-man, the country is not a business–it is a country, and the bottom-line is not the annual profit report: it is justice, freedom, liberty, safety, and the tools and space for everyone here to become their best so that we as a nation can become our best: yes, staying safe and financially healthy, but most fundamentally becoming kinder, more just, wiser, more fun, more creative, more human–living out our inner landscapes more completely: that is the path to sustainable collective success, and anything else is the Titanic.
What can be done? What has gone wrong? Why can’t we even unite around no-brainers like stopping banks from using publicly-insured money to fund risky investments, taking back the political process from the “ad money + lobbyists = you listen to me” political investors, and improving our D+ infrastructure? Look–the sickness is most pronounced in the Republican party because they’ve given themselves most completely over to the myth that money is the point and justifies everything else. It is that ugly truth that makes bipartisanship tricky. The Democrats are not perfect, but the Republicans have lost their minds. And yet this exact same position in reverse is held by the majority of Republicans. How can I see with their mind/hearts enough to find a common ground? It is painful for me to try. I am so baffled by them. And yet no progress will come to the land that now slouches with flat heavy feet down the rocky ravine–just asking for the decisive tumble into the abyss–unless we can find a common reality.
AMW and BW, worried on of a Sunday morn in the year 2016.