We the People
I’ve noticed that much of the Clinton-Obama-MSM-DNC, etc., anti-Trump tirade very much reflects a twisting of Clinton characteristics and their attribution to Mr. Trump, a kind of projection, not based on psychological factors but a cold, calculated political strategy planned and implemented with the collaboration of the darkest econo-political forces around.
The result may or may not have been what was expected, at least not by all of them, although they facilitate the least desirable Trumpian politics, solidifying neoconservative-neoliberal policies. Not everyone on every side of the political spectrum has been taken in, especially as recent facts tend to show how utterly hypocritical much of the criticism has been, how much of a fraud the faux Russiagate scandal is and how the real Russia related scandals, all involving the Clintons and the Obama administration, have been ignored or tortured into ludicrous self-serving parodies. Unfortunately, the result is certainly not that for which real progressives ought to hope. In spite of the revelations, we’ve been successfully so set against each other that truth no longer matters, hypocrisy reigns ascendant.
The really important issues facing us: healthcare, wealth inequality, the environment, corruption, the purchase of political power, a reverse Robin Hood monetary system, the horrors of Financialization are all obfuscated, replaced by massive polarization through Identity Politics setting us at each other’s throats. Examples abound: the idiotic campaign to destroy historical monuments instead of supplementing them with new monuments dedicated to opposing viewpoints; attempts to reignite racial conflicts; efforts to restrict the free expression of contrary opinions; attempts to ignite inter and intra sexual conflict; all the foregoing by distorting real related problems but rather than seeking solutions, exacerbating them for political purposes, distorting them. Thus, we have battles to keep worthless Obamacare in place, or to replace it with little better Trumpcare rather than adopting the tried and true worldwide free universal health care option; or the battle to protect and preserve the faux Paris Climate Accord rather than replace it with legally and diplomatically binding agreements to really address and resolve environmental issues. Wonderfully divisive and polarizing political battles designed solely to divert our attention, divide and conquer and rip us off some more. And the rich get richer but are nobly willing to share their good fortune with political leaders we trusted and who artfully betrayed us, most notable recently of course the Clintons and now the Obamas.
The critical weapon of choice is, of course, what passes for journalism in the mainstream media and perhaps the most important immediate battle facing true progressives is the alliance between the mainstream media and its political allies to quash public sharing of information, opinions and perspectives through social and alternative media; the attempt by the main purveyors of “fake news”, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, etc., to control what information is deemed appropriate, control to be exercised through algorithmic censoring by Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc., the new billionaire classes whose interests have now aligned with their new billionaire buddies. Given that a corrupt and dishonest Deep State, part of that nefarious cabal, controls the Internet infrastructure, progressive prospects for preserving social media as we now understand it seem dim. And even were we able to communicate, all of it is now subject to interception, privacy having become merely an illusion. George Orwell déjà vu, over and over and over again. It seems a progressive awakening, if one is still possible, will be filtered, fragmented and dispersed so that even if the majority were to waken and attain civic enlightenment, the individuals who comprised it would be maintained separated, fooled into thinking they were alone; communication intercepted and even distorted so that the message you send might be very different than the message received.
Of course, as insurgent movements around the world have rediscovered, advanced technology can be supplemented and even replaced by primitive tactics, word of mouth spread through organized cells, writing on paper instead of electronic communication. Not only more difficult to intercept and distort but to shut down as well. Will we really be forced to resort to that, would we be able to adapt to a world without our cell phones and computers or even our telephones? The chances, as Cassandra is screaming for us to perceive, are not all that likely.
But it may still not be too late, … although … then again, it may well be,
Consider what political and social conflict based on real issues and underlying realities rather than on pejoratives and polarization might engender, one that seeks to convince opponents rather than denigrate them, perhaps even a workable consensus, perhaps even real democracy and equity and common welfare. The chaff separated from the wheat. Imagine voting for what, and in whom, you believe rather than out of fear. Not against someone by supporting a purportedly lesser evil, the tactic most responsible for keeping us in velvet chains fast morphing into steel. Imagine refusing to denigrate and insult your neighbors and friends for their beliefs but rather trying to understand them, to understand how and why they evolved, considering the possibility you too might be wrong, or at least that you do not understand enough to have found the only answer, and that based on real communication, a positive modus vivendi beneficial to most of us, most of the time could be attained, the way participatory government was meant to function.
But success in progressive causes does not seem as much fun as inducements to emotional overreaction. And inducement to emotional overreaction is the sociopolitical distraction from which those pulling the strings most profit.
Something to think about.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.