And now an optimistic view from hell

Trump’s base grows every day, and every item of news that would make him look bad in a self-respecting society only works to his advantage. At least half of the country is addicted to substances, digital and traditional media outrage; aspirational esoterica; and/or conspiratorial thinking. Apophenia and scapegoating are almost national pastimes. #hell

As far as 2020, establishment Democrats are even more clueless about how to formulate resonating and winning messages than they were in 2016. And it doesn’t help that all of the major media organizations – not just Fox – knowingly profit from Trump. They are ethically compromised, and there’s no overnight fix for that. The Pro Trump and Anti Trump sides are poles that feed off of each other in a positive feedback loop of negative attacks on the other. #hell

Also, much of what’s happening isn’t some random event localized to Trump. White Supremacy runs deep in this country. It might not always manifest in racist or anti-semitic or other bigoted epithets, but it’s there. It’s in laws and policies and uniforms. It has innervated much of our history so much so that many are blind to it – in some cases, some will get viscerally angry if you attempt to identify and explain it. It’s hard to elucidate the mechanics of a system when so many don’t even want to hear it. It is, after all, painful stuff to take in – imagine the pain its victims feel. Pain hundreds of years old, pain that is mocked when revealed. #hell

Do you recall Regan’s “Doom and Gloom” meme? Well, that was one of many steps that lead to “Love it or leave it!” and “Send them back!”. It’s the same fundamental message: if you dare to mention inequity, injustice, or otherwise dare bring up any subject that isn’t mindless fealty to jingoism then you are an enemy of freedom and the flag. His rhetoric ran interference on civil rights and social equality, opening the path for corporate-sponsored government and the weakening of the ways and means of individual and collective expression and empowerment. The dog-whistling tactics of that era ‘worked’. #hell

Trumpism only made it easier for white supremacists to say the quiet part aloud. Over the next few months and years, the volume will dial-up, rendering dog whistles largely unnecessary. Even if Trump loses, the proverbial cats are out of their bags. Wednesday, November 4, 2020 will be one of the ugliest days in our history – regardless of who wins. #hell

By the Fall of 2020, White Supremacy will be full-out in the open. #hell

In spite of that, there’s no reason not be be optimistic or to be idle. But so far, I’m not seeing any of the Resistance surfacing any substantive counter-force to Magasm. That’s a problem. I simply don’t see an optimistic route that doesn’t involve radical action (and I don’t mean violence) on an unprecedented scale and with a massive level of effort. The DNC is not part of that project – it’s part of the problem. #hell

It was easy for us to castigate ‘good’ Germans for their inaction in the 1930s, wasn’t it? They too experienced the same kind of surreality manifesting before our eyes. But this round, there will be no Normandy invasion, no bunker bombing, no sixteen year old farm boy from Iowa sacrificing himself to rescue a continent from its own madness, nor atrocity trials to speak for the dead and broken. #hell

The digital apartheids of this century will be harder to break than the physical cages and gulags and concentration camps of the last one. A lot harder. The Digital adds a whole new layer of Ideological #hell.

2008 was the penultimate chance for America to set itself aright, to wake itself out of the gluttony of inanity it made of itself. It was our chance to see how public funds and governments were being used to enrich private enterprises masquerading as free market initiatives.

But when capital runs out of opportunities to invest in productive assets, it’ll find its way like water to the places it can grow. And right now, authoritarian and nationalist governments are the best bets to create artificial opportunities of growth.

We have one more chance. We have a vote to cast, and it won’t be on any one ballot.

So what is to be done? A lot.

But first: what are we willing to give up for an America that lives up to its promise?

Will we give up our lives? Our jobs? Our homes? Our comforts? Our distractions? Are we cut for this moment in history? Do we have the strength for optimism – and the clarity to not mistake it for delusion?