What Really Matters in 2020
By now, it must be clear that Trump is a relentless plague that will not go away simply because many of us wish it to be so.
With the attorney general’s attaboy channeling of Robert Mueller’s investigation results bestowed upon Trump, it is increasingly likely that it falls upon the American electorate to halt the daily governmental carnage in our midst. The US Congress will flail and fail. So it is up to us. And now it is gravitas time for the Democratic Party. The Democrats can no longer play with a large deck of candidates, most of whom will flail and fail as well. It is time to focus on those who can do more than raise money. It is time to focus on those few who might take charge of removing Trump from office at the polls and who are capable of articulating a vision for a better America that will get the job done.
It is critical to understand that America is already gearing up for another presidential election that is still over a year and a half away. Even though Americans are often fed the notion that the nation’s political system is the greatest experiment in democracy in the history of mankind, we apparently have to do it longer to try to get it right that any other country on the planet. Oh, do we ever have to do it longer, so much longer that it seems like we start electing a new president before the old one can even find the whoopie cushion left behind by his predecessor.
This time around, there seems to be a manic urgency to move forward to 2020, perhaps born of fear that America can screw up the 2020 election as badly as it screwed up the 2016 version. Although fear of failure again should provide considerable institutional cause for examining how it happened last time and taking serious steps to make sure it doesn’t happen next time, there is no evidence to suggest that much of an examination has taken place.
Look at the mainstream media. There seems to be some hard-wired drive to avoid actually learning anything from their 2016 Trump debacle. All of a sudden, we have wall-to-wall coverage of something called a candidate “roll-out.” I suppose that since coverage of Trump’s triumphant escalator entrance in 2016 went so well, replete with an opening salvo of bigotry, those who report our news have decided to find the bar, coffeehouse, snowstorm, factory or hometown hoedown from which springs each hopeful candidate. And guess what, the flavor of every one of these events is exactly the same and completely inconsequential.
This candidate roll-out craze seamlessly follows endless speculation about whether or not the latest he or she will run at all. I know it is important to some that every word spoken by Joe Biden in the last two months be parsed to divine his intention to run or not. That none of the coverage is anything other than speculative blather is not of apparent concern. Without a moment’s hesitation, panels are empaneled, minutia is dissected and planes full of people falling out of the skies that should never have been in the skies in the first place are of secondary importance. Run Joe Run!
A few weeks ago, it was Beto O’Rourke basking in the breathless glow of a triumphant entry into the 2020 Democratic Party presidential sweepstakes. My goodness, who knew that anyone on the planet could raise over $6 million in a mere 24 hours while demonstrating a great command of movement over substance. And what if Biden enters the race — will he outgun last week’s gunner-in-chief? And oh, by the way, they are both white males, so now what do we do? And what will happen if Biden kisses someone on the head at a campaign stop, creating his very own #HeToo movement?
This nonsense has got to stop. And how about those “town halls”? While I love a good town hall meeting, particularly the kind that end up setting the ground rules for the about-to-open dog park nearby, I have no time for the puerile inquiries at the heart of these event exercises — “are you a socialist,” “what will you do on the first day in office,” “will you repeal the second amendment.” Watch to see the erstwhile host trying to make news, a candidate trying to look earnest and an audience trying to cheer at anything said by a candidate who doesn’t drool.
What must be addressed seriously in the moment is the place for “diversity” in mounting a serious challenge to Trump. I am all in favor of diversity as that word is used in today’s political context. However, when it comes to sending Trump unceremoniously on his way to a very long weekend in Mar-a-Lago before answering the bell in criminal courthouses across the land, it would be very useful to move a different type of diversity to the forefront — that is a type of diversity defined by a clear divergence from the destructive bile that is at the heart of the undoing of our government now underway.
What Really Matters
To me, it won’t matter one bit whether that type of diversity comes out of a white mouth, a brown mouth, a black mouth or a mouth of any specific gender. What will matter is the vision, the message and the delivery.
By now, it must be clear that Trump is a relentless plague that will not go away simply because many of us wish it to be so. Relying on revulsion to move the nation from its darkness has not worked. There are simply too many disaffected Americans being fed a steady diet of amplified lies that they choose to unquestioningly believe.
Informed and caring progressives, liberals, socialists, capitalists, establishment types, white, black and brown, gay and straight must together seize the moment from the pervading willful ignorance at the core of the darkness. There must be swift pushback from labels that divide us. It is substance that has to be made to matter again.
And we have to do it in the face of the media onslaught that sells its opiates with simplicity and conflict. I am a proud progressive socialist. It is a nice label that I embrace, but that label does not amplify the policies, programs and type of governance that I advocate. If you read what I write, you will have a pretty good idea what I propose. Since I am not running for anything, I hope those who are will have the intellect and integrity to tell us what they propose.
It is imperative that those who can’t tell us or won’t tell us should get out of the way quickly, so that those who can and will can begin to engage the nation in the fight to regain at least a portion of what has been lost.
*[A version of this article was also featured on the author’s blog, Hard Left Turn.]
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.