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Boardman writes: "Perhaps enough Americans in enough numbers in enough places have woken up to the wildfires consuming our country. Perhaps these woke Americans will throw some water on the fires in the November 6 election."

Voters at a polling precinct. (photo: Getty Images)
Voters at a polling precinct. (photo: Getty Images)


The Fire This Time – It Will Keep Burning Long After November 6

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

03 November 18


The election will be a moment of truth for the country, and then what?

erhaps enough Americans in enough numbers in enough places have woken up to the wildfires consuming our country. Perhaps these woke Americans will throw some water on the fires in the November 6 election. Perhaps an emerging American majority will slow the Republican burn of American idealism, decency, and justice. Perhaps an emerging American majority will elect enough new Democrats to prod old Democrats out of their lazy collusion with burning the country down. Perhaps.

Whatever happens November 6, the fires of political fascism and capitalist authoritarianism will continue to rage out of control. The conniving right has been feeding these flames for decades and it’s likely to take more decades to extinguish them, if that’s even possible. The Long March of the right from the debacle of Goldwater in 1964 to the triumph of Trump in 2016 has been astonishingly Maoist in its determination, orthodoxy, and political correctness. One has to acknowledge them for their sheer ruthlessness and determination. Minority rule is no mean trick.

The Republican right had help from supine Democrats with no coherent alternative. They had more help from media quislings and collaborators (yes, that’s Fox) whose idea of analysis involved telling “both sides” regardless of what might be true. They had more help from an educational system producing increasing compliant, ignorant voters who could no longer reliably assess what was real or important or even in their self-interest. And they had still more help from elitist leaders who, rather than engaging the country as a potential unity, dismissed millions of people as deplorables in love with their guns and their religion (as if either of those were unquestionably evil).

Whatever happens November 6, we’ll still have a president who aspires to dictatorship, as illustrated by his assertion that he has the power to rewrite the Constitution all by himself. We’ll still have a ruling party that relies on racism to maintain power, that enables its bigots to spread hate by graffiti and murder. We’ll still have concentration camps full of migrants and migrant children separated from their parents, rounded up and held with no due process of law.

We’ll still live in a country where Twitter enables the president to release a shamelessly dishonest racist ad scapegoating immigrants and libeling Democrats. We’ll still live in a country where Facebook profits by selling lists of likely customers to white nationalist marketers promoting myths of “white genocide.” We’ll still live in a country where the dominant culture makes it unsafe and sometimes lethal to be different, where the president invites the military to kill innocent, unarmed people with impunity. This is not politically correct, but it is true: even as we mourn the synagogue murders in Pittsburgh we remain silent about Israeli executions of innocents in Gaza or Saudi genocide in Yemen.

We’ll still live in a country where the government no longer makes grants to organizations fighting US terrorism. We’ll still live in a country where the government deliberately pursues policies that threaten the global climate. We’ll still live in a country that abrogates nuclear weapons treaties and pursues new, “usable” nuclear warheads and the domination of space.

In a sense, November 6 is a moment of truth for the country. In a deeper sense, that’s fundamentally facile and false. Nothing magically changes on November 6, no matter the outcome. The election of a Democratic House looks like the most likely best outcome. But that Democratic majority wouldn’t be seated till January, leaving Republicans two months to feed the flames consuming us. The reality is that every moment is a moment of truth. Radical Republican reactionaries internalized that decades ago. Perhaps the realization that the moment of truth is now, always now, has finally generated a humane, tolerant, democratic majority in America – and maybe even an enlightened majority that can sustain itself. It’s worth dreaming.

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+42 # Benign Observer 2018-11-03 12:52
I do believe people have woken up. It gives me hope despite the fact the Democratic establishment has screwed over progressives again.

Even though only a few made it through the landmined primaries, the people have been loud and clear. I don't think the party is going to be able to deny their constituents' calls for improved healthcare and wages, and a relief from debt, for long.
 
 
+53 # Carol R 2018-11-03 13:40
"They had more help from an educational system producing increasing compliant, ignorant voters who could no longer reliably assess what was real or important or even in their self-interest."

Don't blame anyone inside the educational system...teache rs or administrators. If there is a deficit in what today's students learn, blame the ed reformers who are financed by billionaires to destroy public education. Blame ignorant politicians who put worthless tests on kids and then blame teachers whom they say are lazy or incompetent. Teaching to the test has become the norm. There isn't time to teach what is essential in our democracy.. how to think and discern truth from the lies manufactured to keep people ignorant. The wealthy want to control the system. Ignorance lets them do that. Do not blame teachers. Blame billionaires and lousy politicians.
 
 
+8 # wrknight 2018-11-03 16:25
The billionaires didn't elect the lousy politicians as they are too few in number. So you also have to blame the voters that elected the lousy politicians.
 
 
+11 # economagic 2018-11-03 21:45
That would be true if the rule of "one person, one vote" prevailed. In 1976 the Burger Court, under a Nixon appointee, instituted a "one dollar, one vote" rule in Buckley v Valeo, three and a half decades before the Court under John Roberts (appointed by Bush the Younger, known as Shrub) ruled that corporate persons could vote as many dollars as the wished.
 
 
+1 # Benign Observer 2018-11-04 23:28
The billionaires decide who can run. That's why we've gotten the LOTE argument every time for years. No sane person would have chosen Hillary to run in 2016. She was shoved down our craw like so many others have been.

The billionaires tell Steny Hoyer-types who's okay and then they give the chosen ones lots of money to run out usurpers.

Kamala Harris is the latest chosen one. Let's watch.
 
 
+10 # economagic 2018-11-03 21:32
Amen to almost all of that, but we cannot give a blanket pass to all administrators, and possibly not even to a majority. Some buck the agenda of the billionaires, know-nothings, fascists, and corporatists, others support and facilitate it.

I taught for more than 13 years at community colleges in two states, the last eight and a half at the largest in a large southern state, at which nearly everyone from the president down to the non-teaching department heads was on board with the Gates agenda, blissfully unaware that it is ultimately an agenda for privatization.

While community colleges serve as a gateway to a bachelor's degree or to technical certifications for many students in many states, completion rates tend to be low because these institutions are trying to reteach the high school curriculum at the same time as the lower-division college curriculum (again not due to "bad teachers"), and because of the abysmal home and work situations many students face. Every one of my colleagues had known at least one student who was homeless for all or part of a semester, and many had one or more nearly every year.
 
 
+2 # Jim at Dr.Democracy on Facebook 2018-11-04 20:50
Right On! Sister Carol R!
 
 
+47 # ddd-rrr 2018-11-03 13:41
William Boardman tells the terrible truth in this article that we all need to hear,
understand, and absorb!

And, we NEED BOTH THE HOUSE *AND* THE SENATE in order to have
any chance for saving this country from "the orange scourge" and his minions!

PLEASE VOTE *THOUGHTFULLY* ON TUESDAY!!!
Our democracy depends on our doing this!
 
 
+11 # Jim Young 2018-11-03 15:10
From the atricle, "Minority rule is no mean trick."

It certainly seams a "mean" trick to me.
 
 
+5 # economagic 2018-11-03 21:56
I think it was almost universal prior to the late 18th century, and quite common right down to the present.
 
 
-5 # aljoschu 2018-11-03 15:21
Well, William, that may all be true and very bad. However, from a Europen perspective, to be honest, we don't care so much about "American idealism, decency, and justice", because we have not really benefitted a lot recently from all those intangible assets. Instead, we have been ecperiencing aggressive wars, anti-democratic regime changes, mass murder, slant, endless chaos and displacement of millions which are about to threaten the stability of our societies. We have been taking on millions of muslim migrants who really belong to the United States of America.
All this has been staged by Mr. Trump's predecessors including Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton.
Now, the current president has been in charge for two years and, oh wonder, we haven't experienced any new war, new mass murders and displacements. Instead we experience that Mr. Tump is talking to, up-to-now, "irrational psychopaths", such as the North Correan communist leader. We believe this is outrageous, quite unheard-of. We like it! So, why'n'cha go for it?
 
 
-4 # aljoschu 2018-11-04 03:57
Quoting aljoschu:
Well, William, that may all be true and very bad. However, from a Europen perspective, to be honest, we don't care so much about "American idealism, decency, and justice", because we have not really benefitted a lot recently from all those intangible assets. Instead, we have been ecperiencing aggressive wars, anti-democratic regime changes, mass murder, slant, endless chaos and displacement of millions which are about to threaten the stability of our societies. We have been taking on millions of muslim migrants who really belong to the United States of America.
All this has been staged by Mr. Trump's predecessors including Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton.
...

Dear William, I believe you cannot completely deny what I wrote in my comment above. However, if this is true then many members of the American Intelligentsia have been falling victim to some quite significant fallacy regarding Mr. Trump. I believe this fallacy has a lot to do with ideology, observational bias and false loyalty within elitist peer groups. While I do not ignore the fact that many of Mr. Trumps tirades and invectives are outright racist, anti-democratic , sexually degrading against women or simply dumb. Certainly not within the realms of political correctness - a virtue in which obviously his predecessor scored very highly. But when you judge the latter by his deeds - well, decide for yourself - as, obviously a meek majority of your fellow Americans did and do.
 
 
+1 # WBoardman 2018-11-07 20:11
aljoschu make a good point from an overseas perspective,
that America's "beneficence" isn't always what we say it is.

Examples abound, but "freeing Iraq" should suffice.

And Trump's handling of Korea, while pretty erratic,
has so far been reasonable – but the main credit goes to
the president of South Korea.

Other of his actions are just freaking dangerous or destructive:
leaving the Paris Accord, leaving the Iran Agreement, leaving
the IMF, pursuing smaller, "usable" nuclear weapons, sanctioning
Iran for not violating the agreement, blaming the people of Honduras for their own suffering, and so much more.

Trump has never had a majority of Americans approve
anything about him, not even voting for him to be Pres.

The sins of Bush and/or Obama have no exculpatory effect
on the sins of Trump.
 
 
0 # banichi 2018-11-15 14:28
with respect, I have to disagree with you abut Trump's handling of North Korea, though I agree any real progress is due to South Korea's president. Trump is embarrassingly, solely, about saying he is great while not really doing much to justify it. The 'agreement' which Kim and Trump signed is so general that it is practically meaningless, and it has not become any more specific since that time. The historic meeting of Kim and Moon at the border was far more meaningful, as was their expressed intention to finally end the war officially instead of having a ceasefire that everyone forgets is not a permanent solution.

Kim is not a fool by any means. While he is not any kind of Boy Scout, he has to know that 1) the US is the biggest terrorist and regime-changer in history, and 2) only the developing countries who have developed nuclear weapons are treated with kid gloves. This was, in my opinion, the real point of his missile and nuclear programs.

Will he give them up? I doubt it. He may use the negotiations to draw out the process so as to keep the US and Trump publicly mollified, i.e. Trump needs to look as if it is working. It doesn't really have to work to keep him from making threatening noises.

Kim only has to be paying attention to the voiding of the Iran nuclear agreement and subsequent negative press by Trump to see the writing on the wall.

Nothing Trump does can be called 'reasonable' as far as I can see.
 
 
+3 # Jim at Dr.Democracy on Facebook 2018-11-04 20:58
It is true that Money-Driven Imperialism did not originate with Mr T-Rump. However, while we're not fully informed about any "new wars," there certainly are new engagements by US troops and weaponry (Somalia, Yemen, threatening now Venezuela which has lots of oil but is being deliberately choked by business-allies of the US capitalists). We have a fantastically huge increase in Offense Department spending... creating debt that working people will end up shouldering, further weakening the prospects for our children and our grandchildren. And our government IS actively engaging in warfare against international collaboration to face and address climate change... which is already killing lots of people in south Asia and the southern Middle East as a result of droughts, floods, and crop failures.
 
 
+15 # franpryor 2018-11-03 16:26
Nothing moves people to action, especially younger people, more than telling them it is forbidden to them. I've been voting since JFK's election and I admit to having been lackadaisical about it. Seeing the spreading effort by the right to suppress the vote for anyone in opposition should and will inspire scores of stay-at-home citizens to vote. It's definitely coming to be a case of "USE IT OR LOSE IT". If you are threatening to take away my right to vote I am certainly going to vote - but not for YOU.
 
 
+14 # elizabethblock 2018-11-03 18:23
Unfortunately, it won't be enough to vote Democratic. We have to remake the Democratic Party, and that will be much harder. The Democrats, long ago (i.e. under Bill Clinton) dumped the working class, thinking that the only people they needed to pay attention to were the "creative class," because the working class had no place else to go. Well, guess what.

And BTW, in the photo, people are clearly voting on PAPER BALLOTS, not hackable voting machines. I wonder how often that happens,
 
 
+10 # economagic 2018-11-03 21:54
Those are "multiple choice" paper ballots, which once marked by the voter are read and recorded by computers. They are far more secure than the "direct record" machines from Diebold and others, only slightly less physically secure than all-paper systems, which of course are vulnerable to fraudulent counting and to theft and/or destruction of ballots, which is still alive and well.
 
 
+1 # lorenbliss 2018-11-04 21:06
Witness the most devastating consequence of the end of the Soviet Union -- the conversion of the Democratic (sic) Party to Clintonite fascism.

Thereby leaving us with a choice between the Evangelical Nazis of the Republican Party or the progressively less closeted fascists of the Democratic (sic) Party -- the only truly "progressive" element allowed by the DNC.

Which is no choice at all -- which is why I suspect the Midterms will be another example of "change we can believe in" -- NOT.
 
 
+3 # c.e. taylor 2018-11-05 13:52
I would urge everyone reading here to seek out a 2015 independent documentary called "The Brainwashing of My Dad" if you never saw it. In my town, it just had a cinema-airing once again this past week and resonates in this discussion here.

It powerfully traces back to 1964, as Boardman alludes to, but might be necessary to revisit to be fully cognizant of all the complex ways that indeed there is a media-based "vast right wing conspiracy" that will NOT be undone, as Boardman asserts, even if the Democrats were to take back both houses or even reclaim the Presidency, mercifully, in 2020:

Recall 2008. For two years the Democrats controlled all three, but then the "Tea Party" happened and caught the Democrats asleep at the wheel ... Granted, you can say (as I did at the time) that Obama made a big strategic mistake to take on health care first before putting all his bully pulpit political wind behind WPA-type re-employment infrastructure projects so people had jobs and THEN take on health care, and it was that one fateful choice that fired up the Tea Party ("death panels" et al.)

BUT 2008-2010 was the vivid evidence that....

(part 1 of 2 -- to be continued)
 
 
+3 # c.e. taylor 2018-11-05 13:55
Part 2 of 2 (continuing)

BUT 2008-2010 was the vivid evidence that even being at the wheel in two branches of government and with a fighting chance to survive in the third was not enough to keep the five decades' long conspiracy to rule the airwaves (and all other "education" systems) and thus program far too many people's minds - lacking critical thinking skills, vulnerable to being led by their fear-sniffing noses into truly brainwashed capacities to hear lies as truth, night as day, black as white - by the Limbaugh Et Al. progenitors of alternate (mythic, us vs. them, and hate-filled) "realities" …

Those masses will not go away after even a retaking of every branch, if that were possible yet in my lifetime and now they are armed militia-minded as well to 'voice' their indoctrinations and brainwashings via violence and chaos (see, for example, today's RSN posting of "White Nationalists Have Killed 500 People Since 1990, 10% Over Religion") ...

For far too long, the left has slept (innocently trusting in democracy’s resiliency and in people to suss out lies, to decry such things as voter suppression, thinking the Civil Rights Act would survive forever) while the right subterfuged all the roots of information-spr eading that a democracy has at its disposal ... free press, free public education …

We may be relatively “woke” but we’ve got a long long long long way to go …
 

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