Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/08/losing-both-elections
This election DOES define who WE are as a nation. That is why it is so important that we each do what we can individually to insure he is not re-elected.
So many things I find unfounded in this article. Listing just a few.
(1) “So there is still a deep well of respect and trust for the United States in Europe.” Author makes a conclusion with very superficial evidence. As a European who lived with the vivid memory of the 2nd WW and with the lived memory of the Velvet Revolutions, the average European, just like the average Canadian or Mexican, does not have respect and especially much less trust in the US state, while they may like the individual American or individual aspects of the American culture. It is a widespread belief in Europe that “the Americans turn their back on you when their interests require it”. And there are so many protests in Europe against American bases.
(2) It makes the 1965 immigration act based US practices seem as open, fair, and egalitarian in terms of world representation. Wrong. There are carefully designed quotas in the US immigration practices that make for a carefully controlled design of who comes in.
(3) Throughout its prose, this article makes the (wrong) assumption that the US empire state is a democracy.
(4) Concludes with an evolution of history reason, rather than with an empire history reason.
(5) It makes the assumption that if the world power configuration changes, it is a bad thing. Why?
I don’t really know Gwynne, and though he seems sufficiently anti-Trump, it would also seem that his “Canadian-ness” is why he does not take this situation as seriously as one might hope.
When he says two terms of Trump would not likely end democracy in the United States, I feel him way off base.
Democratic practice is already under attack by both parties to the point where virtually ANY ideas, majoritarian or not, that represent empowerment of the general population, whatever race, are silenced, or thoroughly dismissed.
The way mainstream media works here is by itself anti-democratic, as not unlike regular advertising, it fills our brains with what monied interests desire while ignoring “inconvenient” realities that don’t spark profits, or bolster PR-office Myths, or contribute to general knowledge or understanding of unofficial enlightened and/or proactive efforts of regular citizens such as those you might find in an alternative media such as Yes! Magazine.
Sanders in '16 and '20 is an further illustration of this. His large crowds of supporters which in itself should have been highly “newsworthy” (and more ) were basically ignored (or worse) by the mainstream media.
You can add Tulsi Gabbard to that. Her anti-war stance (ironic as a military person), caused her to be removed from most public exposure including having the DNC on several occasions suddenly changing basic debate rules specifically in order to exclude her, even tough she had qualified.
Where was “the press” on this glaring contradiction — and cheating, actually? In addition, she was consistently attacked by influential Democrats and pundits, as an “Assad sympathizer” which was ridiculous. But the goal it would seem, was to completely eliminate … her words and ideas. Democratic process? Super-ironically, Gabbard’s most famous and popular moment was her very successful on-air attack during a debate on the trustworthiness of … Kamala Harris, Biden’s VP pick.
Oh there was more, with other “candidates” throughout the Primary, but way more basic, historically and structurally, are the “election rules” that at every opportunity have, altered, distorted or prevented actual democratic practices DURING supposed elections. It is already fairly obvious that few “elected representatives” actually REPRESENT their constituents’ expressed needs and desires, putting in much more effort and time supporting well-paid lobbyists who too often write much of the legislation themselves.
But the actual electoral processes themselves, have been undermining and distorting democracy … for decades!
“Fair elections” … since WHEN?? Rarely, if ever, do the candidates or proposals come anywhere but back room deals, bordered by powerful interests.
The often cited, but rarely seriously questioned, Electoral College is the most obvious of regular democracy-distorting practices.
The there is the incredibly questionable practice of … gerrymandering … DESIGNED to alter voters’ wishes to favor the Powerful.
Electing officials — even presidents — with LESS than 50% support is an incredible anti-democratic practice Incredibly, this is EASILY resolved by RANKED CHOICE VOTING which allows voters to CHOOSE their order of PREFERENCES for candidates (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) thus guaranteeing that whoever wins, has a majority backing! This is in practice this year in Maine and in a few other locations. It is a simple answer to FAIRNESS and Electoral Justice … that is ignored … by the Powerful.
Access to media and televised debates is RESTRICTED. By WHOM?? By the “leaders” of the Republican and Democratic Parties. The League of Women Voters used to be in charge of the Presidential Debates, but SOME PEOPLE decided “No” … and so any and ALL smaller parties (official or not) cannot and will not be HEARD nor SEEN, therefore relegating any new or different ideas to the trash bin of American politics.
ALL of this has been contributing to a long-term regular deterioration of a functional democracy in the United States. IMAGINE: a nation that neither SEEKS nor PERMITS new or alternative thinking to enter into public discussion during elections!
… and we Talk of “Defending Freedom” Ha!
Even in a nation like Brazil, ALL candidates received free television time, even if it was a reduced amount due to party size. And they hold runoff elections if the presidential candidate does not receive a majority. Ranked Choice Voting essentially includes a virtual RUNOFF in the election itself … guaranteeing a Majority Win!
The U.S. has not had a true democracy for decades, and it is getting worse … unless we MAKE these modifications. Trump’s actions modifying rules and practices, only worsens this situation.
So, although Mr. Dyer seems to have legitimate concerns about U.S. politics, I feel he seriously misses the point about comprehending the dangers of an already disappearing democracy that could easily be gone for good if we are not careful of the politics of BOTH major U.S. parties!
This article is full of more holes than Swiss cheese.
For starters, most of the world – and pretty much anyone who isn’t rich – would welcome the opportunity to “complete the destruction of the existing international order…”
And while we’re on that topic, how goddam weak is the existing international order if a buffoon like Trump can destroy it? Here’s a thought: Maybe a different axis of power can do a better job leading the international order – because right now it’s about burning fossil fuels until we’re extinct, maintaining an oligarchic socioeconomic system, and killing and displacing anyone who stands in the way of the US.
“Losing one election to Trump is unlucky; losing two in a row may be saying something about the national character.”
True, but DNC, win or lose this election, we are coming after you next!
–the utter irony of calling yourself the democratic party.
Goal 1: Get rid of Trump.
Goal 2: Get rid of Democratic Corporate Leadership,
–and replace it with caring people who truly represent their constituency.
As I have to keep killing people…
“Just because I despise Republicans, that doesn’t make me a Democrat.”
Not even close.
Losing another election to Trump does not reflect the Character of America.
What it does show is the stupidity of the Democratic Party to run an old Senile Warmonger, who is owned by Wall Street, the Health Care Insurance Companies, the Military Industrial Complex and is a Democrat in Name only.
How the hell can you possibly win an election with a guy who has advanced Senility and disdains the Progressive Wing of the Country??
You cannot beat a devout Far Right Wing Republican with a devout Far Right Wing Democrat.
The American People would have come out enthusiastically for a Candidate that inspires, a Candidate that embodies the Ideals of FDR and a Candidate that is energetic enough to carry a Progressive Agenda to ALL 50 States.
You cannot give us the oldest person in the Nursing Home and expect us to be enthusiastic supporters of their Right Wing Agenda, not going to happen.
Blame Trumps victory on the Character of the DNC not the American People.
You get 100% agreement from me!
blame voters for the fact that they have nearly zero substantive choices in elections, and after years of flat out being ignored, express amazement that the riff raff decide to start trolling back.
you lose to Trump twice, it says far more about the character of ruling class elites than anyone else. Dems have had two easy peasy elections they could have waltzed away with and they know it. But of course, there’s that little problem of who pays them being completely at odds with who votes for them.
And as long as this tension remains unresolved–either by elites surrendering their party control (and thus their cash) or by the Dem version of the riff raff finally getting that clue to leverage their votes for once–then this kind of farce election will continue for the forseeable future.
Of course there’s a price for these shenanigans: in order to continue to maintain the facade that these parties are “really different!”, the politics of fear mongering on steroids has to continue as well, slowly pathologizing citizens into actually believing the members of “that other tribe” are a mortal threat to them, thus leading to violence.
What started out as a cynical exercise in voter manipulation is quickly escalating into an entirely elite manufactured civil war.
Dyer has never been anything like progressive. I would call him “hyper-conservative,” trying his best to keep the planet from spinning on its axis. Not a right-winger, just a fool.
Quite so. But I see no candidates capable of organizing a different axis that would be significantly better, quite a few that would do even worse. Maybe if the “advanced” or “developed” or “civilized” countries could blow themselves up it would make room for genuine advance, development, and civilization by the people who have been denied the opportunity by the current crop of Greater Badasses.
I agree with you 100%. This article blames Trump on America without examining the reasons why he got elected. And one of those reasons is Obama’s eight years of no hope and no change. Biden is merely Hillary 2.0 (and I wrote that long before others said the same thing). So in the words of Bush Jr., “Fool me once, shame on…whatever.” The DNC will not fool me twice. I will not vote for Biden.
Trumps election in 2016 and his likely election in 2020 have no reflection on the American people. Neither party even pretends to represent the people. We live in an oligarchy not a democracy. Trump’s elect reflects the stupidity of the elite and has little to nothing to do with the American people.
I agree though that Trump has certainly brought to the surface the issues of white supremacy. The wide breath of activism supporting BLM does reflect where the people are.
How many times does the DNC and FBI have to tell you, man: Russia is creating and taking advantage of the political divide in this country. On Facebook!
I’m not placing much hope in their being all that much better, but I’m willing to give a Chinese/European-led axis a chance to handle the international order at this late stage in the game. They’ve got the relationships, the economic muscle, the currencies.
All the authoritarianism, a lot less war. Hell, I’d settle for the high speed rail.
Boris and Natasha are paid influencers!
Did you vote for Obama twice?
With the population of China twice that of all of Europe and with their own population tightly controlled–with just enough bread and circuses to avoid desperation–and with no other population bloc of similar size among the developed countries, I think that Europe would quickly become a colony of China.