Maybe it’s just the grand cycle of history that every eighty or hundred years we come to be governed by insatiable, totalitarian rentiers. Maybe we should just be thankful that, come next January, the US government may finally turn the corner and impose meaningful limits on robber baron and MBA depredation after only thirty or so years.
It’s a possibility with Trump, and a greater possibility with Sanders. Trump is theoretically less corruptible on account of his sheer wealth than Sanders is on account of his relatively modest means, but Sanders is one of the very few national politicians who does not appear inherently corrupt of spirit. He seems to have sincerely modest tastes, to be thankful to his country and especially to his adopted state for having allowed him such prosperity, and to want his fellow Americans to share in it. As things stand now, he’s just about on track to take on the guy with the monogrammed 757 who orchestrated the removal of homeless veterans from his corners of Manhattan and the firing of his business enemies.
The rest of both current major-party fields is worse beyond words. Rand Paul was the only credible exception, and he’s now withdrawn from the presidential race. Paul sincerely, even passionately, wants to clear American prisons of those who do not pose a clear and present danger to society, especially nonviolent drug offenders, and has won the goodwill and support of an ideologically diverse cohort of black political and civic leaders in particular. His stumbling block was his libertarian economic orthodoxy. Few Americans are aware that George Wallace won a supermajority of black voters for the Alabama governorship by running on an economic populist platform against a staunchly pro-civil rights Republican challenger. (For that matter, few Americans are aware that George Wallace was not in fact a bigot, but merely played one on TV.) Popular feeling about government as an institution has improved greatly since 2008 because government is so obviously more amenable to improving the lives of ordinary Americans, to the extent that it’d held accountable to the electorate, than the rapacious, belligerent, cutthroat, dystopian hell that influential parts of the private sector have done their level best to impose on the country against the popular will. Rand Paul has never been willing to compromise much on his economic libertarianism, a not-too-dissimilar version of which has been driving the country towards utter ruination, so he’d inevitably be a weak candidate in an economic climate like today’s.
To Paul’s credit, he always understood that he holds some fairly unpopular positions and wasn’t in the race to assuage his own sense of pride. He gave the primary a shot, found that the voters weren’t showing any interest, figured that it was a lost cause, and withdrew without shame. He has left behind some real human garbage: the evergreen managerial-class mendacity of Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio’s perseveration of warmed-over talking points, Rick Santorum’s endorsement of Rubio without being able to articulate a reason why, the general slime of Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush’s plea with his unabashedly bored audience to “please clap.” These people have no self-respect. Meanwhile the chattering class is obsessed with Ben Carson’s sleepy demeanor, because it’s dominated by people who are too sheltered and enstupidated to consider that conservation of energy can be a crucial asset to a surgeon. Only a moron would think that the separation of twins conjoined at the head is an episode of Iron Chef, but the United States today is led by people who are exactly that stupid. If Donald Trump in fact believes his own line about Carson’s “low energy,” he, too, partakes of this stupidity. On the other hand, Carson looked a bit befuddled at the start of the most recent debate, when he flubbed the stage cues on live television as the candidates were introduced.
Nearly the entire Republican field is advocating some combination of religious bigotry, religious tests for public office, further abrogations of civil rights and liberties, the preemptive sabotage of Social Security in service to private financial institutions, Medicaid austerity for the purpose of establishing a thrifty working class, ruinous foreign military adventurism, dogshit partisanship for the sake of partisanship, and the continued wholesale importation of foreign scab labor. Trump is the only one who is credible on economic matters as someone who may not throw the native working class under the bus, and so he’s running one of the strongest, most resilient dark horse campaigns in recent memory. What’s stunning is that the rest of the field cannot fucking understand how or why he’s appealing to voters with his message of making government stop screwing them over and start serving them. The only candidate who is able to think outside the box of the #TCOT country club set is the one who has literally put his name on everything he has been able to buy, cash or credit, with a total market value into the billions of dollars (a new 757 alone runs into the nine figures these days). Trump understands that ordinary voters are in a world of hurt and angry at treacherous economic elites for putting them there; the others are clueless. Or maybe they’ve stopped caring. As a gubernatorial candidate and governor in Florida, Jeb! was renowned for listening to constituents one-on-one, but now he’s butthurt that his black sheep failure to launch brother got to be POTUS and he, the diligent one, may not.
On the Democratic side, there’s this sense of disbelief that the Donald, of all people, could possibly be outflanking their sitting president and their formerly presumptive presidential nominee to the left. This is yet another reason why the Founding Fathers were wise to warn their new country against factionalism and shitheads to so disreputably ignore their own advice. If partisanship doesn’t cause politicians to accuse each other of sedition and incest, at least it can cause partisans to believe the talking points over everyone’s lying eyes.
The current Democratic establishment has a failing reputation for left-wing economic policy precisely because it is no longer a left-of-center movement. Obama and the Clintons talk about a vigorous social welfare state and economic justice but stand for center-right kleptocracy. They’ve lost their mass credibility. No real progressive would support the TPP. The TPP isn’t so much a shit sandwich as a shit Salisbury steak. Yet Hillary went on stage the other night to stridently accuse Bernie of insinuating that Barack Obama, he of the hope and change that we believe in, is not a progressive. This is like accusing a political rival of questioning Stalin’s commitment to entrepreneurship, smallholders’ land rights, civil liberties, and prison reform. The Clintonistas today are as politically marginal and self-discrediting as the most dedicated freelance Comintern apologists for Uncle Joe were in 1955. The incumbent Democratic leadership isn’t misunderstood; it’s perfectly well understood to be misrepresenting itself. Barack Obama is down there in the Tidewater swamp twisting Congressmen’s arms to vote for a body of secret law that will cede US sovereignty to Monsanto, and Hillary is sputtering and steaming that the meshuggah is accusing him of not being a progressive. Hare Krishna, my sweet Lord.
A great example of the Democratic Party’s red herring leadership on behalf of Bougie is the Obamacare debacle. It’s very much worth reexamining just how this kludgeball went about covering young adults, by allowing them to stay on their parents’ insurance policies until their 26th birthdays. Aside from the demeaning infantilization of Millennials at a time when the elders are out of line not to approach us as fellow citizens, this half-measure proceeded from the bizarre premise that, why, of course everyone’s parents have health coverage at work. Oh? This is true in the same way that, according to one of my parents’ tenants, everyone in Thailand has a servant. I very nearly told her ditzy, Valley Girlish American assistant that, yeah, not only that, everyone in Thailand has an elephant, except for the really sorry bastards who are forced to ride the elephant buses, which keep getting cut off by the riding tigers used by the wealthiest Thais, but I deferred to business considerations and held my peace.
There are at least two parts to the insufferably obnoxious class presumptuousness at play here. One is the assumption that grown children should piggyback on their parents’ coverage instead of, say, having Tommy Douglas come down from on high, publicly bless Bernie in the Rose Garden, watch him sign legislation expanding Medicare to everyone with a Social Security number, give grandpa a beaming thumbs-up, and then reascend on a cloud, waving and smiling at the assembled as he returns to his reward. Nothing about this constitutes profanity in the country that has given the world Joel Osteen and Congressional prayer breakfasts. What we have instead assumes that grown-ass men and women of a certain age have parents who are professionally secure enough to have workplace health insurance, allowing the failures to launch to get by with trash-heap pay and benefits.
Then there’s the corollary assumption, probably even more pernicious, that no one starts a family before establishing financial and professional security in perpetuity, because this just isn’t the done thing. Of course tens of millions of Americans do start families before they become financially and professionally secure. They can’t wait for a security that they never expect to come; if they do, they’ll miss their shot. Many of these people are sensible enough not to want to go into old age alone, but with children and grandchildren to look after them and keep them company.
The bougies are the abnormal ones here. In what Twilight Zone universe is 25 inherently too young to start a family? For most women, that’s at least a full decade past puberty. Many of these handwringing strivers expect their children to wait until perimenopause. This is fucking insane. They find it scandalous for someone like Bristol Palin to get knocked up at 17. Why did that trailer trash skank have to spread her legs and let that doofus shoot nut up her twat? Granted, the two of them were none too forward-thinking when they rawdogged mid-cycle at a time when they were hoping not to conceive, but their crypto-center-right haters have never made a case that Bristol is an unfit parent. (Baby Daddy Levi is enough of a doofus that the Palins have encouraged him to take parental responsibility no more than the extent to which he’s presentminded at the moment, which isn’t particularly often.) They’re worked up about Bristol Palin because she is showing by her own example that teen parenting doesn’t have to be ruinous, especially for parents coming from reasonably financially stable and cohesive families. This example might encourage bougie girls to carry pregnancies to term after getting knocked up by their college boyfriends instead of ordering their lives around the exquisitely SWPL assumption that, not only for practical economic reasons but also as a matter of public policy, they should remain their parents’ dependents clear into their mid-twenties.
This whole arrangement strays towards corruption of blood. Not for the lordly SWPL, mind you; they get the upside, the disattainder, if you will; but for the peons who are socioeconomically manipulated to support Bougie in times of non-contribution to the economy. If you like your parents’ insurance, you get to keep your parents’ insurance. But if your parents don’t have insurance? Get fucked, you uppity little serf. Remember, the premise is that, for mysterious, capricious reasons, the blessed parents in question here get free health insurance through their employers, while the other parents, the cursed ones, don’t. It’s probably because the blessed ones are fragrant and pleasing to God.
What’s actually happening on the ground, though, is that more and more people of all ages are being bullied into paying Kaiser Permanente $500 a month for a policy that will be worthless unless they first spend another six grand out of pocket. I’m currently performing Marketplace mitzvahs of $266.80 a month for Kaiser, assuming that there hasn’t been some kind of mix-up causing my policy to be canceled or put on hold. (The February withdrawal still hasn’t been made, but I’m too annoyed by it all to do anything about it right now.) I’d have to earn $220,800 a year to pay that much to Medicare at the current withholding rate. If this were actually insurance, though, what percentage of Americans would actually need over three thousand dollars’ worth of medical care as individuals at a reasonable market value in a given year? Medicare is currently in modest trouble because it’s being aggressively robbed by shitbird hospital administrators, concern trolls in orthopedics who get to bill their Mercedes payments to the federal treasury every time some fatty miraculously needs new knees, and fellow-traveling bottomfeeders.
If you don’t pay up, the IRS docks $95 or something from your refund, and maybe you get to go on Medicaid if your governor isn’t an asswipe. Then some concern trolls fret about how the coverage rates still aren’t what they should be because these fools don’t cherish private health insurance above rubies, never mind that the coverage rate under universal Medicare would be 100%, minus Ebenezer, Rebekah, and the mule team over in Intercourse. Which, with their birthrate, they must be having from time to time.
Let’s not forget that this is a country in which the Doge meme has been used to advertise political candidates and mandatory health insurance. Doge is the fliest thing evarr, but when it’s used earnestly to hawk that kind of sleazy shit, it’s a national disgrace. So is Hillary, come to think of it. The dipshits have company. They order their lives so that they’re surrounded by their own kind. These are people who assume that their target demographic, consisting of all young people from coast to coast, is thick bitches who drink tallboy glasses of zinfandel while sitting on medicine balls in workout rooms. Bitch I’ve run crush and press equipment unassisted. I don’t know who the fuck those bimbos spending wine o’clock sitting on medicine balls are, or if they exist, but they aren’t my people.
Wow Much insurances Many omg got insurance Such deductible None civics Very versailles. I might suggest Maoist agricultural edification for the fuckwads who approach the American public in this fashion, but it would suck to end up as their crew boss because they’d be goddamned useless whiners. Food stamps and Section 8 should be adequate to take care of this weasel problem.
Seriously, though, think about what on earth they’ll be reduced to doing, and how bitterly they’ll pollute the public sphere with their complaints, if they’re Berned out of their current sinecures come the glorious revolution. That much I do not await in joyful hope.