Tuesday, September 8, 2015

It's Trump's illusions I recall, I really don't know Trump at all

  Benjamin  Christensen's Häxan (1922), via Picslist.
David Brooks has finally found a way he likes of criticizing Donald Trump from the bothsiderist perspective, that is of mirroring anything unpleasant he has to say about Republicans with a corresponding unpleasantness about Democrats, but it still has a couple of glitches.

First, there aren't enough annoying Democrats to match his list of annoying Republicans, and he has to go all the way to England and borrow a Labor leader to make up the complement. Second, he has to abandon one of his favorite complaints, against politicians who are overly partisan, or "partyist" as he was calling it last October, to complain that Trump isn't partyist enough, alongside Dr. Strange Ben Carson filling out the Republican card and non-Democrats Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn substituting for the uncooperative other team.

You see, in the good old days, Americans understood that
they were citizens, members of a joint national project, tied to one another by bonds as deep as the bonds of marriage and community.

As much as they might differ, there was some responsibility to maintain coalitions with people unlike themselves. That meant maintaining conversations and relationships, tolerating difference, living with dialectics and working with opposites. The Democratic Party was once an illogical coalition between Northeastern progressives and Southern evangelicals.
(Actually that set of Southern Democrats were the white supremacists; they only started billing themselves as "Southern evangelicals" after they moved en masse into and ultimately took over the Republican party in the wake of the Democrat-sponsored civil rights legislation of the 1960s, but let that pass.)

World-famous Old-Hegelian political philosopher David Brooks explains it all: the unity of the American world-historical spirit depends on the disunity within its antithetical poles, as long as it's civil, and loyal, and cooperative. Rather than being an "organization of people which seeks to achieve goals common to its members", a political party should be an illogical, but always polite, conversation among people whose goals are the opposite from one another. However, Donald Trump seems unable to understand this simple and straightforward point:
Donald Trump didn’t even swear allegiance to his party’s eventual nominee until last week. He is a lone individual whose main cause and argument is Himself.
In exactly the same way, Sanders, a lower-case socialist and member of no political party for many years, was a founder of the Congressional Progressive Caucus the year he was elected to the House, in 1991, and has continued to work to build a progressive and almost entirely Democratic progressive coalition ever since. What a moron, huh?
Ben Carson has no history in politics and a short history in the Republican Party. He is a politically unattached figure whose primary lifetime loyalty has been to the field of medicine.
Likewise, Jeremy Corbyn has never been in the Democratic party at all, as I believe I have pointed out already. He is a lifelong member of the British Labor party whose views have been directly opposed to the party establishment since 1995, when Tony Blair maneuvered the removal from the party constitution of the commitment to socialism that had been Labor's entire raison d'être since 1918, and who is now working to restore its original identity, apparently with some success (though his likely victory in the party leadership contest may not do the party's electoral chances any good).

Thus it is amply demonstrated that the Democrats and the Republicans are the same, when the Republicans are being bad, though quite different when Republicans are being good, i.e. working in a consistent way to transfer wealth to the upper class. In distracting people from the crucial task of hiding these aims from the voters, Trump and Carson are harming our country, in the same way as Sanders and Corbyn (who is technically harming his own country, not ours), with their uncivil insistence on transferring less wealth to the upper class, with their outrageous suggestions like
"Prosperity can't be just for CEOs and hedge fund managers. Democracy can't be just for billionaires and corporations... Prosperity and democracy are part of your basic bargain, too. You brought our country back. Now it's time, your time, to secure the gains and move ahead."
No, wait, that was insurgent candidate Hillary Clinton. I tell you, those damn Democrats are all alike! Civilly agreeing with each other on the issues central to the long-time party platform! You cannot trust these people!

More from Steve M, and a fine rant from Tom Levenson.

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