Natural disasters come barreling out of nowhere, unforeseen. Before they occur, cataclysms and catastrophic events of the physical world–tidal wave, earthquake, wildfire, eruption–are inconceivable. They blindside us utterly. Human caused calamities are quite another matter.
When Augustus Caesar, at the height of his imperial power, sent three crack legions–unmatched fighting units–into tribal wildland across the Rhine on a routine disciplinary action he never imagined they would march into Teutoberg Forest and never come out, slaughtered to the last man.
He didn’t. But he could have. Because most tremendous shocks and dislocations in human society occur only after an accumulating series of predictive and prefiguring indicators, a data set that, properly assessed, points toward an inevitable outcome. The run-up is obvious in hindsight.
The Democratic Party apparatus, from its governing elite down through all its controlled and managed bureaus and affiliates, is vitally absorbed now in the effort to terminate the flourishing Presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders. It believes it’s engaged in a mortal effort to prevent a “democratic socialist” from betraying its governing ethos and subverting its creed. It is.
The tools it uses to achieve its end–the smarmy commentary and acid innuendo, the sly denigration and biased sniping, the techno manipulation and sleazy assaults on his character, sanity and goals–are the desperate tactics of a political elite that believes it’s fighting for its life. It is.
What its ruling clique can’t understand is that the mortal threat it faces is not Bernie and his politics. It’s the fatal reality of what it has become.
Factional contradictions within a party are all manageable to a point. The charade of trampled, abandoned principles, cynical dissembling of intent, and cosmetic masking of policies as what they are not, can continue as long as key constituencies are mollified and rewarded.
When they can’t be, when all pretense that they are is an open sick joke, when the yawning gap between its rhetoric and its reality is baldly, flamingly clear and all spoils accrue to a single, voracious controlling faction, the writing is on the wall.
The fact of Bernie brings the reality of the Democratic Party today into plain view and exposes, as an open casket does, the grisly horror within it.
The last fifty years have seen the appalling descent of the Party from one which could–when forced–take halting steps to benefit The People, to the money-hustling brothel it is now.
It was rare, but from public force plays came Social Security, Medicare, and the Civil Rights and Wilderness Acts. Those coerced deliveries of popular social good gave some color to its claim to be the “Party of the People”. There has been none for fifty years.
The Vietnam debacle did us irreparable harm in many ways but one most prominent was that, with the total U.S. takeover by the corporate oligopoly and the War Machine, Democrats who ran opposing them were pulverized.
The answer to that in the minds of the Dem politburo and Bill Clinton was to move all in after money and just bullshit the proles because, hey, they have to stay with us anyway. We’re nicer than those other pricks.
It made perfect sense to the corporate mind. Cater to the massive bucks of Wall Street and the War Machine, befuddle the dim, sappy, declining middle class with pleasant, polite, high-minded blather, and cut the poor, ill, elderly, and immiserated dead. They have no money to give. They don’t matter.
Between the glib, ingratiating, snakeoil poster boys for faux progressivism, Clinton and Obama, the transition was made.
The Party became the toy of the Big Kahuna donors of the Oligarchy while its traditional electoral base–ordinary, working people–like tipsy, seduced debutantes, surrendered and embraced the two Prom Kings it adoringly permitted to fuck them.
But America finally got a belly full of it, and the inevitable reckoning came: enter Trump and his coven of inverts, sociopaths, and kookball Christer warlocks. And into that resulting chaos rode Bernie, the Knight of Flaming Social Equity, wielding his magic sword, Medicare For All.
Where does this face-off go? First, there is the dingbat Slough of Despond of our half-assed primary maze for Bernie to negotiate, with one of two results: he gets a clear majority of delegates or he doesn’t.
If he does, he’s nominated. If not, he gets brokered out at the convention and that ends his threat… but not their problem. That just moves it closer to endgame.
Because Bernie’s damage to the big bosses is already done. In the ’16 race, his treacherous sabotage by the Party machine in favor of Hillary was revealed for the world to see.
By that, and in denigrating him and his ideas, intensifying now many fold, he has consistently shown them up for what they are: a second-string party of Big Money, of the .0001%, of the War Machine, banking/finance thieves and pirates, and the Vampire Squid of remorseless Capitalist exploitation that has sucked the economic life out of The People, raped and fouled our world, and sold our children’s futures. That exposure can’t be eradicated, regardless of what happens to Bernie.
The Democratic Party has ingeniously arranged two ways to fail, one odds on, the other a real long shot, but either will destroy it in its current form.
If the combine of reactionary nonentities who bombed, with Mike Millions, and vindictive team mole Warren, deny Bernie his majority, then the Party will nominate its flaccid, fatuous Nowhere Man who will be joyfully flogged by Trump, beaten like the vacuous drum he is. In that event, the Party dies of permanent 1% donor withdrawal and mass youth abandonment.
If, spectacularly, Bernie somehow fights through the blazing broadsides of his Party to nomination, he will thrash Trump against the open opposition of his own power elite. When elected, the Party, with its traditional voter base energized but completely alienated from the official apparatus, will be riven and dismembered, which will mean formation of a real progressive party.
Contrary to popular belief, parties do die. The Federalists did. The Whigs did. And the Democrats have every confidence they can do it, too. And they should. A more sleazy, cynical betrayal of a mass voting body has perhaps not been seen since the Reichstag Fire.
When the nation demanded a party dedicated to the health, prosperity and welfare of a yearning citizenry, what it got was vile betrayal and cowardly abandonment by Democrats, who sold every iota of concern for Americans for the money of a grasping, visionless, suicidal Capitalist oligarchy.
So… as The Bard put it, “Now blow wind, swell billow, and swim bark, for the storm is up, and all is on the hazard”.
Paul Edwards is a writer and film-maker in Montana. He can be reached at: email@example.com
First published by ICH
The 21st Century