Saturday, May 20, 2017

Seven Days in May, Part 2: Symptom of the Universe

"And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything." -- some asshole

Picking up where we left off the other day, I want to explore the notion of what happens after enough of us decide that the king is a fink (or maybe a wild animal), that it's high time to send Princess Snowflake back to Butthurt Tower once and for all, for the good of the country. The momentum builds, drip by drop by plop, a tantric level of mendacity and dumbfuckery. This is a man who shoots himself in the foot practically by the hour, and reflexively blames the manufacturers of the gun and bullets.

Obviously, this sort of nonsense is unsustainable. Things cannot continue on like this. Perhaps the big overseas trip will serve as the "narrative reset" the bastards think it will. Certainly the corporate media are instinctively positioned to accept it as such; if not for the continued events unfolding and Snowflake's unerring knack for fucking up the simplest of things, the mediots would go back to default as quickly as possible. Keep that in mind as we go along here.

It's a parlor game -- and a fun one at that -- trying to predict how much longer it can go on. Here's exactly how long it will go on:  until enough of the treasonous cocksuckers in his own party decide he's bad for business. Even then it'll be an uphill struggle; even then it'll be close. There are Republicans and conservatives who are already bemoaning the GOP's imminent collapse for the next generation or so. They seem to have forgotten that Saint Reagan stormed the breaches just six years after Nixon resigned in disgrace, that Gerald Ford came shamefully close to winning in 1976. People are stupid and their memories are short. Shocking, I know.

So let's say that everything "works out" in the best possible liberal-progressive shorthand scenario:  Princess Snowflake is either impeached or resigns one step ahead, Mike Pence is an ineffective placeholder, Democrats come back bigly in 2018 and 2020. The terminal assholes who thought it'd be a grand idea to advance their careers in the service of a pro-wrestling cartoon have trouble finding gainful employment, and have to result to their natural skill, blowing crab-ridden hobos in a urine-soaked alley. Karma comes through for once. What then?

Recall that Princess Snowflake is not the disease but the symptom, the tangible result of the malaise that has plagued our political superstructure longer than any of us has been alive. Snowflake is the natural consequence of a cancerous system. So what actually changes once the tumor is excised, but the cancer remains? Which policies and large-scale trends get addressed and corrected by the "good" guys?

This is not the usual "evil of two lessers" complaint and false comparison, this is a challenge. To take perhaps the foremost current example:  the health care system cannot be improved until someone seriously addresses why things cost what they cost, why captive customers must be forced to subsidize the eight-figure salaries of insurance and pharma CEOs. As long as lobbyists from these entities continue to bankroll politicians from both parties, nothing will change there, it just becomes another can to be endlessly kicked.

Insurance in general is a net societal benefit; we could not afford to drive cars and own homes without comprehensive risk pooling. But health-care insurance specifically is essentially the one industry where the actual business model is literally predicated on not providing the customer with the service for which they have been paying for, and continue to do so.

This is just one of many issues that have not been addressed with any real impact by either party. I do believe that the ACA has been a net benefit, and would become very much like Social Security (i.e., politically popular and therefore untouchable) with enough time and tweaking. But it still does not address the usurious business practices of the health-care racket and its nefarious components (insurance, pharma, HMOs).

Another issue is energy independence. Fuck the fucking Saudis already, amirite? The bowing is merely a symbolic representation of what we actually do for these fuckers, who are nothing but trouble. They snap up our expensive real estate as investments, while they drive Yemen into misery and keep the Syrian civil war going. They bankroll at least as much terrorist activity as the Iranians. The American policy of propping up these disgusting pricks with our petrodollars needs to cease, like now. It starts with making it clear that unless you actually need to drive a truck, you're going to start paying for all the externalities borne by driving your Excursion to the post office. And make it a national Great Works project, similar to landing on the moon, to achieve true energy independence. Start with rehiring the coal miners to make solar panels and wind turbines.

There are actually a few things that Snowflake and his snowflake rally goons were right about, the main one being the disappearance of their jobs, and nothing to pick up the slack. While I do believe that these real 'murkins, rugged individualists to the very last, need to suck it up and retrain or relocate, the fact is that there is also a role for the gubmint to help them to do so. It was promised to them as far back as NAFTA, and never really took place to any meaningful extent. So after Snowflake goes, what is the presumed Democratic savior's plan to set this situation right? A bunch of mealy-mouthed jabber about deferring usurious student loans for a couple years is not going to cut it.

Look. While the case presented by Snowflake and his cult followers is hysterical and overwrought, it is not imaginary. The wur muh country gawn "cultural" whinge is stupid, but there is a great deal of truth to the economic component of their argument. It's just that Snowflake, between his borderline retardation and his complete inability to empathize with other sentient beings, was never going to be the one to handle it.

It will only get worse. Climate change will continue to affect most harshly the countries who are already in a whole, overpopulated and impoverished and desperate. They will continue to flee to the havens of the industrialized nations, who are undergoing their own societal convulsions, and are simply no longer prepared to take all comers. Put more abruptly, Germany is essentially paying Turkey protection money to warehouse refugees from Syria and other countries. The Turks have the EU countries over a major barrel, and both sides know it. And the Turks control all the levers that affect the Syrian conflict, especially water.

All of these issues -- overpopulation, resource depletion, extreme poverty, terrorism -- are not just going to continue, they are going to accelerate. That's not politics, it's math. The numbers don't lie. Hell, they can't even keep the lights on in a lot of these countries.

The people who really run the country and the world, the media and the political system, have invested heavily in keeping us pitted against each other, for sensible reasons and stupid reasons, for economic verities and tribal emotions. They are certainly getting their money's worth, and there is no reason to assume that pushing Princess Snowflake off the Iron Throne would change that larger dynamic.

Meanwhile, the prion disease that affects the 27-percenters that make up the permanent doofus base only gets worse. They are in their cocoon, and they aren't coming out. As Steve notes, they can bullshit all they want about how they love them some 'murka, but they don't. They hate this country, what they think it has become, the road they think it's headed down, and the people -- which are, you know, the numerical majority -- who drive those demographic changes, or who accept those changes for what they are. They care more about monuments to traitors and slavers than they do about their own role in the here and now. It's unclear whether even helping them achieve better economic security would cure their epistemic closure, considering that that is entirely voluntary on their part.

Some of the Snowflake suckers are in counties that voted for Obama twice, but that doesn't mean that those individuals voted for him. Some of them can be won over or won back, and some simply cannot be reached. It is important to determine that distinction, and proceed accordingly. The Democratic party suffers from its own prion disease, that of fucking over its own base to curry favor with people who will never vote for them.

So rather than fixate on the exact moment of Snowflake's impending exile to his Manhattan Elba, it would behoove the liberals and progressives and party-liners to look beyond the schadenfreude of a lifelong schmuck meeting his entirely foreseeable political fate, and develop a grand strategy for breaching the very real political impasse. Not just to return to power, but to at least make a competent effort at walking their talk, at being an organization that is actually responsive and attentive to their constituents, and not just their donors.

Because the alternative is this:  there will be another Republican candidate to come, who will embody all the loathsome Snowflake traits, but will be smoother, slicker, less abrasive, more intelligent and well-spoken. A clumsy fascist is relatively easy to parry, especially one so anxious to step on his own dick voluntarily. A fascist with even a modicum of self-control will find an electorate ready and willing to actualize their daddy issues at the ballot box again, and a media environment willing to sell its soul down the river one more time for buckets of clickbait.

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