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TRUMP AND CIVIL COMMOTION

March 18, 2017
  1. TRUMP AND CIVIL COMMOTION

    Today I had occasion to respond twice to a piece by Shelia Kennedy, professor at IUPUI in Indianapolis. I responded a second time in response to what another commentator wrote in his response to her invitation to respond. The other commentator suggests that a civil war may be necessary to end the developing nightmare under Trump, and I thought that deserved an additional response. I have segregated my two responses, as will be seen. I am not in favor of a civil war in order to settle domestic political grievances; we have elections to settle such issues and a civil war would be likely to only increase animosity and not settle anything. My efforts, slightly edited, follow.

    (1) Civil wars are hardly civil and are the worst kinds of wars to have since, as in our Civil War, all casualties were Americans. All of us have to learn how to disagree without being disagreeable and yet stick to our principles while either agreeing or disagreeing with our fellow Americans. Trump has made such an approach hard to do with his irresponsible chatter and incessant lying to a gullible audience, but we as good citizens have to somehow work with Trump voters in dismantling his influence over his own backers, which I predict will be easier to do as his anti-people policies take hold and many of such misled millions come to understand that they have been duped.

    Day to day fear-mongering, governors who take block grant monies to shore up their budgets and/or give tax cuts to their supporters, Tillerson’s ad hoc warlike changes of policy toward North Korea (which are not changes at all since the military option has been on the table since 1953), return to the cave social policy and other such poorly considered initiatives by the Trump administration are all fair game for dissent and we as concerned citizens must dissent forcefully and without letup, but let’s do it by civil commotion and not civil war.

    In any event, before we have civil commotion, let’s first identify the “enemy.” It is not Trump voters; they, like the rest of us, are victims. It is the rich and corporate class and such political perverts as Bannon and Trump who if not rejected who will do us in. These are the “enemies of the people,” not the press and other guardians of democracy. Let’s not have a misguided brawl with fellow victims; let’s brawl with the properly identified “enemies of the people.”

    Bannon knows our democracy is at stake, and so do we. He apparently wants (as he says) to destroy administrative government in favor of some ill-defined “New World,” whatever that is. From appearances to date, his New World involves some sort of authoritarian control which is in direct opposition to the fundamental idea of self-government contained in democratic institutions. That must be resisted at all costs since if our democracy evaporates, we don’t have a country; we have an ATM machine where the voteless masses make their serfdom official in the service of their overlords in a return to a form of medieval politics even while our economy continues to automate and unemployed humans become a burden to their rich and corporate owners.

    Let’s not have a civil war; let’s talk our way out of this and have a rebirth of democracy that is people-centered rather than Wall Street-centered. The transition of our economy from the industrial to the knowledge is providing us with many points of friction in re trade, wage inequality etc., but we have survived transitions before and can manage this one as well without spinning our political wheels on trade treaty threats of protectionism, abandonment of NATO and the like. Do we have time to engage in the luxury of day to day gotcha politics (though we cannot disengage if we are to prevent the crash of our democratic edifice)? I think the answer is yes; but time is fleeting and under assault by the Bannonites. If we are to save our most precious asset – our democracy – then we must work ceaselessly to preserve it. Nothing is more important, since without it we are just another Rome awaiting 476 A.D.

  2. (2)“Civil” wars are to be avoided but if we are to have some form of civil commotion, what will be the Mason-Dixon demarcation line? I think, geographically, that it will be a rural-urban one and will be fought over false beliefs based on propaganda framing. The “war,” if that designation fits civil disorder, is in reality still one of slavery and any such “war” should be between Wall Street slaveowners who have nicely succeeded in enforcing wage inequality versus the rest of us. If median wages as adjusted for inflation had risen in tandem with the Dow since Powell’s infamous memo in 1971, just imagine what our minimum wage scale would look like these days with full employment of our workforce and a booming demand for the economy’s goods and services!

    In any event, before we have civil commotion, let’s first identify the “enemy.” It is not Trump voters; they, like the rest of us, are victims. It is the rich and corporate class and such political perverts as Bannon and Trump who if not rejected will do us in. These are the “enemies of the people,” not the press and other guardians of democracy. Let’s not have a misguided brawl with fellow victims; let’s brawl with the properly identified “enemies of the people.”     GERALD       E

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One Comment
  1. As usual, a fine analysis and advice. However, I posit one problem, albeit, a BIG one. It is the democratic system itself. Democracy survived the Great Depression and WW2 because, as any aware person can distill, regulations were put in place to protect our democracy from the enemies that brought this country to its knees (25% unemployment overall) in 1929.

    Both parties, Democrat and Republican, have worked in tandem since 1978 or so to deconstruct those protections and, at the same time, open the barn doors to what is now called “the global economy.” The results are, as we sit today, catastrophic. Everything from poverty wages to human made climate change, destruction of public education funding at all levels, infrastructure decay, a “for profit” health care system under the protection of Big Pharma and Insurance companies who pay off congress, unlimited monies to candidates, gerrymandering of districts, Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare all on the chopping blocks replaced with Wall Street “private investment” schemes, etc, etc, is today’s reality. Orwell’s “1984” is no longer a book of fiction!

    And it is the system of government that, again since 1978, has made it ALL possible.

    God help us if it does come to civil war. Personally, I don’t see how voting will change anything. I hate to say that, but most of my voting life has been for the party of the working stiff (Democrat) over the last 40 years and look where it has gotten us??? How can a system that allows a Candidate who received arguably 3-7 million votes less than the others in the race and STILL be considered “the winner?” It’s laughable and tragic at the same time.

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