Monday, September 7, 2015

A Labor Day "Share the Wealth" BBQ: The Right-wing has Donald Trump, When Will the Left and Progressives Get Their Huey Long?

I hope that you are gorging on innards, scraps, and other discarded animal products while drinking high fructose corn syrup and fermented beverages that destroy brain cells and the liver on this Labor Day.

My plans are simple. I will be going for a walk, sitting by the lake, doing some reading, and feeding the animals while I look at the perverts who ogle young and supple flesh as it exits Lake Michigan, the latter's semi-nude wading pants causing much titillation (and envy) for an aroused public.

A question for this Labor Day.

Trumpmania continues unabated. Donald Trump is a demagogue. He is the leader of a cult of personality that mistakes performance art for substantive and real politics. Trump is a charismatic personality. Moreover, there is nothing new about Donald Trump. He is the latest in a long line of American demagogues. For Right-wing faux populists and petite authoritarians, Donald Trump is the political Febreze for their soiled and old clothes; he masks the stink while dissolving the fabric.

America's economy is broken; wealth inequality is at levels akin to those of a second Gilded Age; upward mobility has been snuffed out; the police state is real; Austerity and the Culture of Cruelty have smothered dreams and life chances; and both direct interpersonal, as well as institutional white supremacy racist and classist violence remain (semi) permanent features of the country's social and political life.

The American White Right has excreted a Donald Trump in response to this political and historical moment (as the culmination of decades-long trends). If politics is supposedly a system of push and pull, action and reaction, thesis and antithesis, factors, then where is a Left-wing or radically progressive version of the charismatic personality to balance Donald Trump?

The obvious answer is Bernie Sanders. But, Sanders--based on his behavior to date--is not a demagogue. He also believes in normal politics.

Will American politics of the 21st century produce a Huey Long? Where is a contemporary American version of his "Share the Wealth" plan? Was it Occupy Wall Street?

No comments: