Progressive Cowgirl's BLOG -- 1/20/2017 Inauguration Day Bad News: America's First Orange President Sworn In (And the Clown Car Has No Brakes)
Good News: Yes, There Really Is Good News -- Even Today
Perhaps you have followed whatever snippets the corporate media has played of the senate confirmation hearings. Perhaps you saw the grilling that Betsy DeVos received -- how ignorant she is on all matters educational, and how her responses to questions proves that she is not only not-very-bright, but also devoid of irony.
Example: She told Bernie Sanders that the problem with his tuition-free college plan was that "Nothing is free."
This, from someone who obtained ALL of her wealth by inheriting it, or marrying it. And, who bought her cabinet position, rather than earning it.
Not to mention her belief that schools in Wyoming need guns on campus to protect against grizzlies (in actual fact, guns are illegal in schools per Wyoming State law, and Wyoming schools adjacent to wildlife habitat areas have a far more effective way to protect children from bears -- called "fences.")
But here's the good news. PEOPLE ARE NOTICING.
People are talking about how unqualified DeVos is. People are talking about how she bought her cabinet position with hundreds of millions in donations to the Republican party. People are talking about her complete lack of experience with public education on any level (she herself was educated only in wealthy private schools, and she sent her children only to wealthy private schools). People are talking about her desire to privatize all education, and the negative impacts therein. People are talking about her lies and contradictions at the senate hearings.
People are TALKING about it.
In fact, there's been a great deal of coverage and discussion of Trump's cabinet picks. Much more than we remember about Obama's cabinet picks. Which, by the way, were not HIS picks at all -- they were all listed on a memo that new-president-elect Obama received from... Goldman Sachs. Yes, that's where Obama's cabinet came from -- they were hand-picked by the Wall Street donors who paid for his campaign. And yet, we did not complain about that, in 2008. Certainly the corporate media did not complain, or talk about it, other than to nod approvingly (such good, solid, establishment-friendly candidates).
So, in truth, we never got the real change that Obama promised when he campaigned in 2007. Turns out, he is a middle-of-the-road corporatist, a don't-rock-the-boat, maintain-the-status-quo kind of guy. "Hope and Change" was a mirage, a campaign gimmick.
OK. We know that now.
"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
Turns out, a significant percentage of American voters -- both Democrats and the far larger group, Independents who are Democrat-leaning -- were not willing to be fooled twice.
In 2016, millions upon millions FEWER people voted for Hillary than who voted for Obama in 2008. Why? It wasn't the FBI, or racism, or sexism, or Russia... It was the simple fact that in 2008 people voted for CHANGE (yes, we really believed him) and by 2016 those same Americans now understood that Obama had not delivered change, and that Hillary would not, either.
As Thomas Frank points out in LISTEN, LIBERAL, in 2009 this country was at a turning point. And, Obama failed to turn. His top priority was to save the Wall Street donors who put him in office, not to save the people
Consequently, with no change, things got worse for most people. Better for Wall Street, yes. Worse for everyone who was not at the very top of the pecking order.
We need change now, more than ever. Bernie Sanders would have demolished Donald Trump, because more people would have voted for GOOD Change rather than Orange Change. Unfortunately, the corrupt DNC wouldn't allow Americans to have a Good Change candidate.
So, the only "change" candidate put up by the two main parties... won.
In the Year of Change, this should have surprised no one.
Of course it was all an act, but don't blame voters for falling for it -- not when the other side had nothing to offer except (at best) "Obama-Third-Term" (no change).
Of course Trump will not "drain the swamp" -- quite the opposite, as all his cabinet picks prove. He is President Swamp Thing.
But THAT IS THE POINT. Trump is making the corruption OBVIOUS.
And, that is a good thing.
I'll take obvious corruption over subtle, cleverly disguised corruption any day.
Under Obama, the corruption was more subtle, and therefore... acceptable. Even people who did not like the concept of corruption, were able to pretend it did not exist, under Obama. Ditto, under Clinton if she had been elected.
But Donny TinyHands is pushing the envelope to ridiculous extremes. In the end, this may actually save democracy.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Trump is making corruption so obvious and sickening, that if we can survive his tenure, we are likely to see an unprecedented and unique opportunity to clean up the system, after we boot him out.
Reinstatement of Glass-Steagel? Oh yes. Break up the Big Banks? Pulverize them! Is anyone Too Big to Jail? Hell no.
While there may not be another storming of the Bastille, and we may not see heads of aristrocrats rolling in bloody puddles beneath Madam Guillotine... I do foresee a reckoning, when all is said and done, after Trump's obvious looting of America.
For every action, there is an opposite reaction.
I know, I'm just a pie-eyed optimist. But you gotta believe in something.
Being as this is MLK week, let us remember that 60 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr observed that one of the greatest obstacles to progress is moderate white people. You read that correctly. Not right-wing racist white people. Not radical progressive white people.
The biggest obstacle to progress was middle-of-the-road, moderate white people.
Their well-intentioned moderation impedes change.
I can think of no more accurate words to describe most people who voted for Hillary in the primaries -- people who said they liked Bernie's ideas but they were "afraid" he was "too radical."
Let us remember that 60 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr observed that capitalism was failing our society and our nation, widening the divide of economic inequality. MLK's "radicalism" aroused the enmity of the Democratic Party itself. They really would have preferred him to stick to battling segregation.*
*Identity politics, you see, keeps the elites on top. As the elites like to remind themselves, one can always hire half the poor people to kill the other half.
But MLK did not stick to segration and voting rights, subjects the elites did not feel threatened by.
60 years ago, he opined that Democratic Socialism was the direction we should be heading, and he called upon the economically down-trodden of all races to come together in a Grand Alliance to resist the Vietnam war and fight for economic justice.
Shortly thereafter, he was killed.
As Cornel West writes in his essay on the Santa-Clausation of MLK, there is nothing accidental about the fact that today we "honor" MLK for his "Civil Rights" legacy. This so-called honoring is, at heart, a white-washing... a deliberate move to obliterate from the public's mind that MLK was a champion of ALL people, a champion who was in the process of successfully UNITING people of all races, in resistance to exploitation by the wealthy elites (then and now, a club whose membership includes establishment leaders in both the Democratic and Republican parties).
Today, just like in the 1960's, the Democratic Party Elites have no interest in a candidate that can unite people, like MLK did in the 1960's and Bernie Sanders does today.
The difference today is that we have the internet, which allows millions of people to communicate with each other directly, without corporate interference. Without the internet and social media, Bernie would not have been able to get his message directly to The People.
If you get your "news" from television, you are not getting the whole news, and you are more likely getting propanda that supports the establishment's preferred narrative.
Remember, the pundits and experts on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC etc were WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING in this election, from day one.
Why would anyone continue to believe them?
Today, the Democratic establishment would rather re-start the Cold War and risk military engagement with Russia, rather than admit all the mistakes they made in the 2016 election.
Every time you hear a TV talking head say "Russia," remember that. Russia is the red herring which the DNC uses to deflect attention away from its own sick corruption and failure.
These people have been wrong, wrong, wrong about EVERYTHING to do with this election from the get-go. And, rather than admit they were wrong, they'd rather start World War III.
(Gee, I meant to end this on a more positive note.)
There IS good news.
The progressive win in the CADEM election two weeks ago was HUGE.
Progressives are on their way to completely taking over the California State Democratic Party, which is the second largest Democratic structure in the nation, right behind the National Democratic Party. Now we just need to see Keith Ellison elected Chair of the DNC in February, and Kimberly Ellis elected Chair of the CA DP in May.
We SHALL overcome.
There, you see -- I did manage to end on a positive note!