By Kent R. Kroeger (November 4, 2020)
Conservative writer George Will said after Barack Obama’s 2008 election victory that the loss was good for the Republican Party: “Republicans are a bad governing party, but an exceptional opposition party.” Which soon will be evident as the Republicans spend the next four years calling into question the validity of this election and the president and Congress it elected.
And why shouldn’t they? Republicans and their wealthiest constituents win whenever their party can so effectively muck up the legislative system nothing substantial or transformative ever gets passed. Doing nothing — the status quo — serves them as well as when they are in power and bear the aggravating responsibility of governing.
While the news networks are saying the final results for Tuesday’s election may not be known for days or even weeks, the actual result was hard-coded into the Constitution, monetary system, federal budget process and U.S. tax code years ago. America’s political and economic elites win every election. Its not necessary to count all of those unprocessed mail-in ballots. We already have our outcome: Hail, Caesar!
Also clear is that the biggest losers on Tuesday were progressives who think their progressive policies will ever get a fair hearing within the U.S. halls of power.
A Green New Deal? You’ll have to wait another four years. Address the looming student debt crisis? Not anytime soon. Shrink the nation’s growing wealth gap? Not gonna happen.
At a unique time in history when no Republican incumbent’s seat should have been safe, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell crushed his well-funded opponent by 20 points. One of my close Iowa friends insisted in the weeks before Election Day, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst was doomed. “She’s toast.” Supposedly, Theresa Greenfield, her Democrat opponent, was generating enthusiasm unlike anything they’d ever seen since a young Senator from Illinois traversed the state as he ran for president. Ernst won by almost seven points.
Joe Biden will be the next president, but any expectation of a mandate was crushed Tuesday night. Biden, similar to Trump in 2017, will limp into the presidency, already damaged goods — and that’s after every major news network (less Fox News) was basically a 24/7 Biden ad over the last five or six months. [Yes, there is data to support that charge; you’ll find it here. And don’t get me started on how bad journalism has become in this country. IMHO, we have propaganda outlets, not news organizations.]
If you are a progressive, do not despair, no matter how easy it is at the moment. Instead, now is the time to spiritually free yourself from the shackles of a one-party system that poses as a two-party system. It has failed, again, to give anyone hope for real change…and it will fail in the future as well. Cartoonist Charles Schultz warned us 50 years ago of this reality with his iconic bit where Lucy Van Pelt never lets Charlie Brown kick the football — yet Charlie never loses faith that ‘next time’ he will succeed. Spoiler alert: He doesn’t.
[In this analogy, think of Nancy Pelosi or Charles Schumer as Lucy and Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as Charlie Brown.]
Do you want an economically rational, universal health care system? Do you want an economic system where our best and brightest aren’t operating under the oppressive cloud of student debt for half of their working life? Do you want to end our pointless forever wars? Do you want to reduce the wealth inequality gap?
If you do, consider abandoning the Democratic Party. They are working for the same entrenched elite interests as the Republican Party. And I suggest a similar consideration for the populists in the Republican Party.
Progressives and populists joining forces? Now that would be an interesting political party.
Send comments to: email@example.com