News ID: 265514
Published: 0526 GMT February 11, 2020

The indispensable nation and its nonexistent democracy!

The indispensable nation and its nonexistent democracy!

I have to start by saying that I really find it depressing and almost embarrassing to find myself back in this time frame of commenting on the quadrennial farce the Americans call an “election process.” It really is terrible. And what the Iowa debacle shows to the world is that there is no limit to the hypocrisy of the American consciousness or the American ruling class when it comes to accusing everyone else of having rigged elections, bad systems, not democracy etc etc.

I have to start by saying that I really find it depressing and almost embarrassing to find myself back in this time frame of commenting on the quadrennial farce the Americans call an “election process.” It really is terrible. And what the Iowa debacle shows to the world is that there is no limit to the hypocrisy of the American consciousness or the American ruling class when it comes to accusing everyone else of having rigged elections, bad systems, not democracy etc etc, Presstv Reported.

The latest twist—of there being a neck-and-neck battle for New Hampshire, which is tomorrow (today)—is just the latest stint in this show, which is all about stopping Sanders. There is only one story in this whole election cycle, and that is stopping Sanders. The Democrat Party has been working on it not just for the last four years, but the very idea going back to at least 1980, with the Democratic Leadership Council. What they always want is just a new neoliberal with a twist. A fresh young face: Obama was the ‘black’ one; Mayor Pete is the ‘gay’ one. And that is new and fresh enough for the Democrats as long as you never say anything about class, or actually threaten the status quo in any real way.

It is designed to create a certain narrative. They’re making it up out of whole cloth. “There are no results.” This is 2020. Everyone has a cell phone, everyone has devices. They had results. But they relied on this app that was a sort of DNC front group called “Stealth” or “Shadow” or some other creepy name. They’re hiding the fact that this is an oligarchy. And the way the parties pick their nominee—not only do they produce two virtually identical candidates. But the process is repulsive; it’s completely opaque.

The real threat (or what they perceive as a threat) is this idea of a Sanders. And Sanders’ supporters call him a “movement” politician. I reject that, because I don’t think that the US voting populace has enough of a developed political consciousness to spawn a movement politician. But I would say that he is a moment politician.

As terrible as he is, especially on foreign policy, he has captured this moment on all these issues that he has been working on for decades. And at a time when people are very, very angry. Trump exploited it as a sort of faux populism that was based partly on a racial, xenophobic appeal. But there is a popular anger: people are unbelievably angry in this country. They don’t yet understand imperialism, and they have been bred not to ask questions about the wider picture.

But they know when somebody tells them that the economy is doing well they look around and they say ‘What are you talking about?’ And these are normal people. The statisticians can say well, the US created 225,000 jobs in January. And some poor schmuck in the pub sharing a drink with you will say ‘Yeah I know there are a lot of jobs—I have three of them!’ The question is why does it take 3 or 4 jobs to have the living you used to be able to have with one job.

The sad part is that Sanders is anything but an anti-imperialist, especially on foreign policy. The way he speaks about Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Russia –he comes down full force on the wrong side of history. It’s absolutely terrible. But, that said, he does reach into the anger in the vast majority of Americans, who are living paycheck to paycheck, who are scared about tomorrow, scared about health care, scared about the safety of their children, they’re scared about the future of the job market. They’re scared about education, and costs, and money, and working all the time and not being able to retire.

And what I think is that this idea is powerful. And if allowed to continue, it would have a solid chance of beating Trump. It would beat anybody: the people united, you know… But the Democrats are determined to divide people along all lines but class, so that they keep this non discussion [in place].

And I think that even from the perspective of the left—I mean, I’m not a Sanders supporter—but I think it is reasonable to try to organize on the outskirts of this moment. I think it’s silly not to engage. This is like the Superbowl; everybody is talking about it. So why not join the conversation? It’s a chance for a thousand—for millions of conversations—where you can talk to people who ordinarily would not be able to discuss anything like this. And say “What do you mean? What’s wrong with universal health care? The whole world has universal health care.”

Or “What’s wrong with universal free education? The entire developed world has this. What is wrong with questioning the idea that billionaires don’t need to be restricted in what they can say and buy and do?” And the ability to have that [discussion] is exceedingly rare. What foreigners don’t realize is how terrible the system is in this country in terms of restricting thought. They constantly use the term “autocrat” or “authoritarian” to describe Iran, or Russia, or anyplace that they don’t like, and then they say it’s not democratic, it’s this or that.

Not only are there crappy non-democratic elections here, where it’s just about how much power rich people can buy—the atmosphere here is so scared. There is no secret police—well of course there is, but I mean they’re not sitting in the bar listening to your conversations. Everybody is their own censor. It’s shocking. Foreigners are constantly shocked at the range of things that are just off the table, that you cannot discuss in American society. And because it’s kind of self imposed, or purchased—i.e. the idea of manufactured consent—people think they’re free.

So the Democratic National Committee, the Leadership Council, the GOP, the Deep State, all the powers that be, the oligarchs—are absolutely petrified—scared to death of these conversations taking place. But they are the key to getting rid of the US empire, of not only Trump but in the long term, beyond Trump: The Forever Wars, the permanent war machine, the oppression of black and brown people at home and abroad. All of this has to start with those conversations. And Americans are just not allowed to participate in it. So we have to fight for the very idea of talking, which is kind of strange. Wish us luck!

Daniel Patrick Welch is a writer of political commentary and analysis. Also a singer and songwriter, he lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts with his wife. Together they run The Greenhouse School. He has traveled widely, speaks five languages and studied Russian History and Literature at Harvard University. Welch has also appeared as a guest on several TV and radio channels to speak on topics of foreign affairs and political analysis--around his day job. He can be available for interview requests as time and scheduling permit. Despite the price of being outspoken against US foreign policy and military adventurism -- which can be steep in today's circumstances -- he believes firmly as did Rosa Luxemburg that "It will always be the most revolutionary act to tell the truth out loud."

 
   
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