December 12, 2019
Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos

I can’t argue with Chris Hedges on this, and so I won’t. The message of the 2017 Million Women’s March and the 2018 mid-terms wasn’t that the Democratic Party should double down next time on presidential candidates from the Republican wing of the party. Quite the opposite. It pointed to a fundamental change in the voters, away from the Bidens and Buttigiegs. Picture either of them on the debate stage, smothering Vladimir Trump with powerful displays of competence, knowledge, reason, ability, civility, sweet reason and simple decency. Might as well toss roses into a cesspool. This is America, not Oxford.

So here goes Hedges:

The liberal class and the Democratic Party leadership have failed, even after their defeat in the 2016 presidential election, to understand that they, along with the traditional Republican elites, have squandered their credibility. No one believes them. And no one should…

They squandered their credibility by promising that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would, as claimed by President Bill Clinton, create 200,000 new, well-paying jobs per year; instead, several million jobs were lost. They squandered it by allowing corporations to move production overseas and hire foreign workers at daily wages that did not equal what a U.S. unionized worker made in an hour, a situation that obliterated the bargaining power of the American working class. They squandered it by allowing corporations to use the threat of “offshoring” production to destroy unions, suppress wages, extract draconian concessions and push millions of workers into the temp and gig economies, where there are no benefits or job security and pay is 60% or less of what a full-time employee in the regular economy receives. They squandered it by forcing working men and women to take two or three jobs to support a family, jacking up household debt to $13.95 trillion. They squandered it by redirecting wealth upward, so that during the Clinton administration alone 45 percent of all income growth went to the wealthiest 1%. They squandered it by wiping out small farmers in Mexico, driving some 3 million of them off their lands and forcing many to migrate in desperation to the United States, a human tide that saw the U.S. right wing and President Trump direct mounting rage toward immigrants. They squandered it by turning our great cities into urban wastelands. They squandered it by slashing welfare and social service programs. They squandered it by supporting endless, futile wars that have an overall price tag of between $5 trillion and $7 trillion. They squandered it by setting up a surveillance system to spy on every American and then lying about it. They squandered it by catering to the big banks and gutting financial regulations, precipitating the 2008 economic meltdown. They squandered it by looting the U.S. Treasury to bail out banks and financial firms guilty of massive financial crimes, ordering the Federal Reserve to hand over an estimated $29 trillion to the global financiers responsible for the crash. They squandered it by not using this staggering sum instead to provide free college tuition to every student or universal health care, repair our crumbling infrastructure, transition to clean energy, forgive student debt, raise wages, bail out underwater homeowners, form public banks to foster investments in our communities at low interest rates, provide a guaranteed minimum income and organize a massive jobs program for the unemployed and underemployed, whose ranks are at least double official statistics. They squandered it by cutting child assistance programs—most drastically during the Clinton administration—resulting in 16 million children going to bed hungry every night. They squandered it by leaving over half a million Americans homeless and on the streets on any given day. They squandered it by passing laws that keep students burdened by massive college loan debt that has climbed to $1.4 trillion, debt they cannot free themselves from even if they declare bankruptcy. They squandered it by militarizing police and building the world’s largest system of mass incarceration, one with 25% of the world’s prison population. They squandered it by revoking due process and habeas corpus. They squandered it by passing massive tax cuts for the rich and for corporations, many of which—such as Amazon—pay no federal income tax, ballooning the federal deficit, now at $779 billion and climbing. They squandered it by privatizing everything from intelligence gathering to public education to swell corporate bank accounts at taxpayer expense. They squandered it by permitting corporate money—an estimated $9.9 billion will be spent this presidential election cycle on political advertising—to buy politicians in a form of legalized bribery that sees corporate lobbyists write legislation and create laws. They squandered it by doing nothing to halt the looming ecocide.

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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at December 12, 2019 03:13 PM
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Picture Elizabeth Warren on that stage with Trump. She'd climb right up into his mouth and shout him off the stage.

Posted by: Nugatory on December 13, 2019 1:43 PM

This is the worst formatted blog I've ever seen. Have you ever even looked at your own blog? Small bold type stretching all the way across the screen? Remember newspapers and magazines? They have columns for a reason.

Posted by: Michael Allen on December 14, 2019 10:27 AM

Wow. Even my comment went wall to wall for extra unreadability.

Posted by: Michael Allen on December 14, 2019 10:28 AM

This will happen when people are duped into believing that there is someone who is good enough to rule over them.
"But constant experience shows us that every man invested with power is apt to abuse it, and to carry his authority as far as it will go." ~ Charles-Louis de Secondat

Posted by: EWM on December 14, 2019 10:29 AM
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