“What are we doing here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in the immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come — ”
I have been very careful not to take sides in the Bernie v Hillary fight. This website takes pride in making prescient analysis. We explained back in August why Trump would be the likely nominee, but I have been sitting on an analysis of who would win the Democratic primary for quite a long time, as I see no point in trying to cause dissension in the ranks of those opposed to Stupidparty. I have been inclined just to let it play out. Cowardice or good strategy? I really do not know.
Nevertheless, Bernie remains the underdog. His campaign is being propelled by the fuel of youth. The support broadened to white progressives and is just hinting at catching the flame from so called middle class voters (a euphemism for people who are struggling financially). With the exception of older progressives and people from union type work environments–the Bernie fan base could not be a worse mix. People might blame the media for not giving Bernie enough attention, but that would be wrong, once you accept that the media is now more driven by ratings than anything else. Bernie’s fan base does not drive the ratings of news shows, preferring the Kardashians or alternative social media. This is not the first time that we have seen this dynamic—a possible revolution. Many people invoke Obama, except that there was one huge difference– Obama was always destined to capture a huge percentage of minorities especially at a time when the Stupidparty was becoming ever more exclusive. Then there is Trump, who is tapping into the rich veins of bigotry that underpin the Stupidparty voting base. This base has an entirely different ratings dynamics–but it is a base that is easy to profit from, since fools and their money are easily parted–as Murdoch, Sheldon Adelson, Sean Hannity and politicians who promote the lottery can easily attest.
But here is where I get most cynical. There have been so many interesting off cycle elections where the more progressive candidate seemed destined to win. We watch the rural vote come in, comfortable in the knowledge that the urban areas and campus town will deliver–only to see absurdly low turnout in areas that matter. Another seat gone, another legislature whose balance has changed, another incompetent judge that loves voter suppression or gerrymandering. Everyone always goes on about the young, large crowds, voter enthusiasm. Obama did get huge crowds–yet this remains a bad analogy–he was breaking glass ceilings, his oratory reached unseen heights, he was youthful, charismatic with a photogenic family (well, photogenic for anyone who does not have problem with equal rights for all races). He had no legitimate flaws, possessed an extraordinary intellect and a Zen like demeanor.
Bernie inspired large crowds. The young came out in droves alongside people who correctly understand that the Democratic party is far too right wing, far too timid. On a side note it was also tragic to see how some of the arguments made by Bernie’s fanatical base were precisely as weak and mean spirited as those of a Stupidparty disciple. Bernie never wanted, never deserved such elements–as he becomes diminished by their actions. But mathematically speaking I never quite felt the “Bern” even though I would have been happy to have been inflamed.
There were two main reasons for this unfortunate circumstance.
1) Yes the Democratic Party is far too right wing – but this argument by definition cannot be won within the US. Not overnight at least. This argument is easily recognized by virtually everyone who follows politics from overseas –but it is mathematically impossible for Americans (who have not traveled) to recognize how far to the right they have become. Everything is relative, their world view severely limited by living in a parochial rationalized bubble constantly inflated by 24/7 jingoism. Bernie has at least created cracks in this façade.
So America is destined to remain perhaps the most right wing country in the world – yes Saudi Arabia can give it a run for its’s money, Russia is slightly further down the fascist road. But why is America so stuck in the mud? Below might be the most succinct explanation,(with one big exception):
The United States of America. We’re number one! Consider this Venn Diagram: “Policies that have proven themselves in non-U.S. countries” and “policies that U.S. conservatives favor.” Not a lot of overlap, right? I used to believe that was myopia, but perhaps it actually comes from a justifiable snobbery, or what they’re now unapologetically calling “American exceptionalism.” Let’s face it: we’re still writing the book on how to be our own kind of conservative. Nobody knows how to hate government, while hypocritically loving its strong-armed officers, better than we do. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
Justifiable snobbery?–For a nation that is only number one in military spending and lags behind numerous other countries in virtually every other dynamic, on the cusp of nominating Trump – no you have to remove the word Justifiable.
While America remains cut off from the facts –expecting Bernie to reach into the heart of American “snobbery” was always too much of an ask
2. The Youth vote; Yes the youth voter is *almost the most pathetic demographic – with the shortest attention span.
*They might not be quite as bad as the poor, but the poor have more excuses:
In spite of Obama being a far more inspiring 2008 candidate than John Kerry of 2004 –in spite of Bush having destroyed the economy, an illegal war etc. in spite of Obama’s massive rallies , inspiring peoples across the globe— the youth vote only increased from about 44% to 49% in the 2004- 2008 cycle, while the stupidparty base demographic stays constant at 70%. And when the nation needs the youth vote most, no body bothering to stop the stupidparty tide of 2010 (only 20% of youths show up compared to 60% old folk). In 2012 the youth vote falls from 49% to 40%.
Basically in non-general election years older voters are 300% more useful than young voters, in an election year older voters are almost 80% more useful. This dynamic is even worse amongst the poor. The trouble is that it is a fat lot of good just turning out in election years because only 50% of the congressional power is decided in election years, and a lot less than that if you consider all the elections that do not take place on “election” night. So the Senate and then congress can consistently fall to the Stupidparty during the off years – thus neutering any impact the youth may have had on who would be president. So thank you young ones – for helping getting Obama elected, but you failed to allow him reach his potential because you allowed congress to fall to the Stupidparty. It takes more than two years to recover from the greatest financial implosion since the depression – or did you not take any economics at high school?
Even if Bernie were to somehow become President – highly unlikely unless the young demographic actually gave a dam; even if that were to happen – they would undoubtedly lose interest in subsequent elections, the moment he hits the inevitable roadblocks, leaving Bernie high and dry. One of the main reasons why Bernie will likely fail –is that we (the rest of us) recognize that the youth demographic is all talk, seven second video’s, 140 characters and 80,000,000 Instagram followers short. Instant movements built upon viral Tweets and Facebook pages -lack the sweat and toil necessary to build something that is lasting, something that people are vested in. Hopefully some bright spark will design a new app that might sort that out. How about a voting app – free for all? If a finger print is good enough to make a secure credit card purchase – you would figure that a finger print ID for a texted vote would be quite sufficient. But in the interim if you are not prepared to come out and vote when it is raining –when granddad does –what is the point of trying to have an impact? It does not work like that. How will we ever deal with voter suppression (i.e introducing finger print technology) if you can not be bothered to vote for politicians who would welcome this? Ultimately the better disciplined army wins the war.
Maybe these non voters are way smarter than the rest of us –we are all doomed, so why worry about it.
One way or another the Stupidparty voter is about about 300% more diligent than their youngest, poorest counterparts. I have heard it argued that young people are fed up with the lack of progress in Washington and they prefer to engage in activities that can have a direct impact. But with all due respect, this is a rather silly argument – voting can take as little effort as mailing in one’s vote, whereas changing the world directly is a really heavy lift – I am thinking at least an hour a week? And what is the point of trying to save an endangered species – if you have politicians who will block laws aimed at saving endangered species – of helping out poverty, if you allow politicians to be elected who abhor sex education, or remain stuck on trickle down economic policies seeded by a tsunami of cascading campaign donations. Mother Theresa is a about to be declared a Saint – but I have a problem with that since she promoted the Catholic values that created the poverty that she worked so hard to alleviate. All she was doing was cleaning up her own mess. This is what young people are guilty of if they facilitate the Stupidparty by not voting. I fear Florida will disappear before the young arise and start asking their parents -“what the f**k were you thinking”- how can we go on spring beak to Florida, if there is no more Florida?