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ASSAULT ON OUR DEMOCRACY

March 22, 2018

ASSAULT ON OUR DEMOCRACY

Professor Kennedy’s blog today laments the loss of fair play in politics, citing the psychological profiling of Cambridge Analytical as evidence of our descent, and asking for commentary. The following, slightly edited, was my response.

Our democracy is not fading before our eyes because of our ability to harness facts and psychological profiles better than ever; rather it’s how we process such harnessed information through the sieve of our own biases which have been created by the likes of Fox, Grover Norquist and other right wing people and organizations interested primarily in making the rich richer at the expense of the poor and middle class. It’s a long way from the pamphleteering of Thomas Paine and Karl Marx to Cambridge Analytical and other algorithm-heavy sources of information, but new and better means of communication (and thus manipulative ability) do not change the idea of America, an idea grounded in democratic values and without which we have nothing and are mere widgets and ATMs and citizens no longer.

Those who would destroy this American “idea” for power and money (such as the Kochs and Mercers) are the real “enemies of the state” as their democracy-destroying antics are played out in political daylight by such as Bannon, McConnell and Ryan (the latter an Ayn Rand devotee). Bannon’s idea of “deconstruction of the administrative state” and as a self-admitted Leninist should have given every thinking American reason to reject Trump’s choice as his chief adviser, but this strange amalgamation of socialism and capitalism espoused by Bannon which targets the state for extinction in his attempt to mix theoretical oil with water persists with the terminally narcissistic Orange Buffoon and his Putin embrace, market-roiling tariffs, denials of reality that do not fit his narcissistic preconceptions etc. Bannon is officially gone but his ideas are far from gone as Trump is busily involved in deconstruction of the administrative state (one of the priorities of Lenin during the Russian Revolution in the early 20th century).

Our task? We must defeat any candidate of any party who is fronting for the Kochs and Mercers and their ilk because these people would destroy our democracy in their lust for money and power via their handmaidens in the Congress and Oval Office and, as I often write here and elsewhere, democracy is our most important asset held in common and one of the last few things worth dying for, and we need not wait for June 14th to storm the Bastille in its defense.     GERALD       E

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