Chris Hedges: 'Fear vs Fear'...GOP and Dems Are Simply Selling Fear

Mr. Fish / Truthdig

A genuine populism and New Deal socialism are the only hope of thwarting the rise of neofascist movements.

Truthdig! - August 12, 2019

"We will save ourselves only by pitting power against power. And since our two major political parties slavishly serve corporate power, and have few substantial differences on nearly all major issues from imperialism to unfettered capitalism, we must start from scratch."

The old rules of politics no longer apply. The only language understood by Donald Trump and his coterie of con artists, billionaires, generals, misfits and Christian fascists—and a Democratic Party that has sold us out—is fear. Calling out Trump’s lies and racism does not matter. Calling out his nepotism and corruption does not matter. Calling out the criminality of his administration does not matter. Calling out its incompetence and idiocy does not matter. Calling out the abject subservience of the ruling elites to corporate power does not matter. Trump and his Democratic Party opponents are immune to moral suasion. The more we engage in this empty kabuki theater with its predictable outlandish outbursts, usually from Trump, and predictable outraged responses, usually from Democrats, the more certain are government paralysis and corporate tyranny. The drivel and invective that passes for political discourse is a giant hamster wheel that goes nowhere. It masks the root causes of our political and economic decline and fractures the population into warring camps that increasingly communicate through violence, which is why the United States has suffered mass shootings with three or more fatalities more than 30 times this year.

We will save ourselves only by pitting power against power. And since our two major political parties slavishly serve corporate power, and have few substantial differences on nearly all major issues from imperialism to unfettered capitalism, we must start from scratch. The political personalities, including those on the left such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar and Elizabeth Warren, are distractions. They have no power within the Democratic Party, as Nancy Pelosi often reminds us. They serve to reduce politics to personal feuds, the currency of the vast reality show perpetrated for profit by corporate media. The daily back and forth by these personalities diverts our attention from the rapid consolidation of wealth and power by the ruling elites, the degradation of the ecosystem into a toxic wasteland and the eradication of basic freedoms and rights. The American political system is not salvageable. It will be overthrown in a mass uprising—a version of which we saw recently in Puerto Rico—or vast swaths of the globe will become uninhabitable and the rich will feed like ghouls off the mounting human misery. These are the two stark options. And we have very little time left.

The Democrats, if they had a functioning political party and were not owned and managed by corporations, could easily displace Trump and demolish the Republican Party in electoral landslide after landslide. From poll after poll, as Charles Derber points out in his book “Welcome to the Revolution,” we know what the majority of Americans want. A whooping 82% think wealthy people have too much power and influence in Washington, with 70% singling out large businesses as having too much power. Nearly 80% support stronger rules and enforcement of regulations on the financial industry. Nearly half of Americans think economic inequality is “very big,” and 34% concede it is “moderately big.” Almost 60% of registered voters and 51% of registered Republicans favor raising to $18,000 from $14,820 the maximum amount that workers can make and still be eligible for the earned income tax credit. A staggering 96% of Americans, including 96% of Republicans, believe money in politics is to blame for the dysfunction of the American system. Close to 80% believe wealthy Americans should pay higher taxes. Nearly 60% favor raising the federal minimum wage requirement to $12 an hour. Sixty-one percent, including 42% of Republicans, approve of labor unions. Sixty percent of Americans think “[i]t is the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have healthcare,” and 60% of registered voters favor “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American.” Nearly 60% favor free early-childhood education, and 76% are “very concerned” about climate disruption. Eighty-four percent support requiring background checks for all gun buyers. Fifty-eight percent of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

A genuine populism and New Deal socialism are the only hope of thwarting the rise of neofascist movements. This, however, will never be permitted by the Democratic Party hierarchy ...
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