Democrats Actually Have to Make the Case Against Trump

Professional Democrats, once again, are failing to make the case against Trump’s maladministration during the COVID-19 pandemic themselves. Instead, they are assuming that people will figure it out on their own, with an assist from the political press corps. STOP LAUGHING! STOP LAUGHING NOW!

…Anyway, that’s not very likely (boldface mine):

The anger of Americans, once they figure out what’s being done to them right now, is going to be volcanic. The fallout from 9/11 and the great recession of 2007-2010 will be imperceptible in comparison.

Not long from now, almost everyone will have a family member or friend who died of Covid-19, many of them suffocating in isolation wards with insufficient treatment, perhaps deprived of a ventilator that would have saved their lives. Huge swaths of the country are plummeting into desperate penury, even as they witness large corporations unlock the U.S. Treasury and help themselves to everything inside….

Now it’s cheap ventilators that were never built because a company called Covidien worried they would compete with their more expensive models. It’s N95 masks that were not available because President Donald Trump delayed invoking the Defense Production Act in order to protect corporate power. It’s tens of thousands of hospital beds being eliminated in New York and New Jersey because the surplus capacity cost money; some of those hospitals were turned into luxury condos. Now, as it was 85 years ago, human beings are being offered as a blood sacrifice to profit. Now as then, the resulting wrath will be towering.

What we know from history is that someone always shows up to harvest this level of ambient rage — but it can go in two directions. If people can be made “angry at the crime,” as Steinbeck wrote, there can be huge positive political changes. During the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt and unions organized the anger and used it to create the New Deal and the largest middle class in history. In unluckier countries, like Germany, Italy and Japan, the political left failed. The fury was organized by fascists, and directed at innocents.

It’s tough to be optimistic that today’s liberals can replicate Roosevelt’s success. The corporate-managerial-legal class that operates the Democratic Party fears anger and sees it as illegitimate as the basis for action. Having beaten back the threat of the Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren presidential candidacies, both fueled by strong populist emotion, they dream of a technocratic politics purified of messy, fickle human feelings.

But the American right specializes in the politics of anger. If the Democrats refuse to harness the legitimate rage of Americans and direct it at those responsible for our predicament, the right will make this anger its own and will win.

Can anyone imagine a typical Democrat saying something like “human beings are being offered as a blood sacrifice to profit?” I’m not even sure Warren or Sanders would go that far. But when we consider the carnage–American Carnage, to use a phrase–being inflicted on all of us, anger, even fury, is the appropriate emotion. Trump and his Republican enablers are literally killing us in the most obvious ways possible. Democrats must learn how to speak like this, because if they don’t, the rest of us will pay the price.

Once again, we will have to save the professional Democrats from themselves.

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