Now don't get me wrong, I know democracy can be ugly and we here in the UK know that only too well at times. We have had our share of cash for questions in Parliament and there can be little doubt, lobbyists have a degree of influence here too. However, it appears to me, as with all things related to excessive greed, the US has become a victim of stage 4 corporate influence cancer. I remember watching this excellent guide to just how bad this influence has become by AOC. Now whilst I may not agree with all she believes in, she is without doubt on the money (no pun intended) when it comes to the influence of dark money in US politics.
Republicans shout about freedoms and free markets from the hilltops. Profit is king and is the answer to giving those at the bottom a fair shake. The reality is, trickle down economics is the golden shower on not only those at the bottom, but those in the middle too. As Lyndon B Johnson said;
“If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you.”
This statement was made by a Democrat, but has been fully embraced by the GOP of today and is the bedrock of Trumpism. Who said irony was dead? It's not an unreasonable question to ask why Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema are members of the Democratic Party? It appears to me that Joe has always been a well known Dixiecrat, who has been on the cusp of being a Republican forever, but Sinema is a whole different story. She is the very worst kind of politician, one that convinced those that elected her, that she would faithfully represent them, only to walk away when in office. Indeed, those that knocked on doors to get her elected, simply can't understand who she has become. The reality is, politics is a great corrupter and it takes a certain kind of character in the modern world, to resist the thirty pieces of silver. Of course corruption has always been there, but now it seems to be on steroids.
Kyrsten Sinema, aside from being an impediment to the Democrat's policy agenda, appears to me to have some sort of psychological issue. Watching her sitting in the chair at the Senate, I was actually disturbed by what appear to be attention seeking ticks. She has become obsessed with the the power she holds. Her crimes against fashion are in my view a cry for attention. Whilst this attention seeking is relatively harmless and often provides some with amusement at her expense, her constant rubs with the fashion police, are a danger only to her image and not to the American people. However, blocking legislation to garner attention is a whole new ball game. Politicians who become intoxicated with the need for attention, are an absolute prime target for lobbyists, hence big Pharma have adopted her as their poster girl. Add a little ego massage from the GOP and she is the equivalent of a political suicide bomber for the Democrats.
This has now become for me a defining moment in the Biden presidency. I have long said that Manchin and Sinema would simply use this opportunity to exploit the power that has been bestowed on them by the narrow majorities the Dems secured in 2020. I hear much said about Biden won the popular vote by almost 8 million votes. It's a great stat, but in reality it means nothing, if that's not how you measure an election victory. The harsh fact is, you can only work within the system you have. That system gave Democrats a narrow victory at a time when the opposition had killed half a million Americans, tanked the economy and handed $2 trillion to the rich. You can argue with me all day, but had it not been for the black vote, Donald J Trump would still be in the White House today. Democrats need to move away from thinking this was a victory of some note. The reality is, it came down to Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. As with most elections, it was won in a small number of states that were they all to be fought again today, are by no means a given. Whilst logic would tell you Trump should have lost BIG. Despite all he did, he was just pipped at the post. Now call me old fashioned, but it's not a ringing endorsement when the other guy gets 70 million votes.
We are where we are and you can roll a turd in glitter, but a turd is still a turd and it stinks. Today Biden will fly to climate talks on my side of the pond with at the point of writing this, NOTHING in his hand to offer a world that is screaming for action. Putin and Xi are not attending and our own blonde homicidal maniac, sees the event as nothing but an advertising opportunity for a diminished nation that has killed nearly 150,000 of its own. He is desperately trying to get the UK population to look the other way from BREXIT with happy talk on climate change. The Botton line is, we're all FUCKED and unless 'we the people' say, 'enough is enough'. We look destined to live in a world on fire, where the vulnerable and poor are simply regarded as acceptable collateral damage in the rush to the right's authoritarian agenda.
Americans seem to have little idea, it is they that are the last line of defense between saving democracy and a global apocalyptic shift to authoritarianism. Leaders around the world are looking at America. They believe that if America becomes an autocracy, it will give them permission to impose the same and the global consequences of that, are beyond comprehension. So the immense responsibility on Americans who hold decency, fairness and integrity as sacred pillars of society, is beyond measure. They stand between an equitable society and dystopia. You can call me an alarmist or whatever other words you might use to describe an overreaction, but just pause for a moment, step back and THINK. Now tell me I'm wrong. YOU are on the frontlines of a battle to save humanity as we know it.
We can spend our time attacking Manchin and Sinema, we can post populist liberal ads that play to our own crowd, or we can start to try and reach out to the margins to convince those whose votes are needed to make a difference. Now you could take the position of 'who are you to tell us what to do?' I would never be so arrogant as to think that I have the answer, or that I can bring much influence to bear, but I would say this. We are all citizens of the world and what happens in the US is critical to the wellbeing of the global community. My pitch to you is one that carries no political baggage, I come to you as a friend looking in from the outside, with a pragmatic approach that hopefully provides food for thought at a critical time in US history.
Tomorrow, I'll layout some considered ideas on the way forward in terms of messaging to reach the voters that will be critical in 2022 and 2024. I've said it many times before, I am but a grain of sand on a beach looking out on an ocean where the autocratic tide is coming in. If Dems do not wake up to the creation of a coherent emotionally connective messaging strategy, we're going to need a lifeboat as democracy is exiled to some desert island. I'm sorry today is a message of doom and gloom, but I for one, am not prepared to give up. If you're with me, join me again tomorrow to take a look at my pitch.
Thanks for stopping by, see you tomorrow hopefully. Stay safe out there.