This is one of the occasional free Credit Writedowns posts I write. If you like what you read please consider subscribing to the newsletter at the link below. I apologize in advance for posting this downbeat narrative. But it's what came to mind after reading the news after the Mueller Report was released in the US yesterday. Let me tell you where I'm going with this and what I think it means.
This feels too pessimistic. At think it's important for those less prone to motivated reasoning to not get confused by partisanship. Personally I've always thought the Russian collusion angle was mainly a way for status quo democrats to avoid facing up to the real reason they lost to the worst candidate in history, that is the status quo had stopped working for too many people. The Mueller investigation revealed that but also confirm what a low grade con man has filled the void. Unfortunately the democrats have no choice but to pursue this side of things less they accept the lowering of the bar around norms. All that said I do see the beginning of a real progressive, class rather than identity based politics on both sides of the Atlantic. Yes it will be messy, but that's just the nature of real change.
The American political spectrum runs diagonally, cross cutting instead of running vertically, according to social class. The choices are exactly like those offered in a cable TV package - a little of what you want and a lot of what you don't want. Identity politics, culture, and especially race, enable social issues to dominate our political discourse. These issues, again especially racism, are interpreted by our society to be a matter of psychology and culture, and serve to keep us permanently at war with each other.
As psychology and culture, political economy never needs to enter the discussion, and therefore the remedy to our problems is lost because the diagnosis was wrong. Our cultural differences and the racism that does exist are due to political economy, not innate biology or culture/psychology.
Writers like Adolph Reed Jr. and his son, Toure Reed, are 2 thinkers who completely and utterly get it. Adolph Reed helped Bernie Sanders in 2016 and hopefully he and his son will help Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard for the upcoming 2020 elections.
The Liberal solution of the Democratic party is based on guilt and shame, accompanied by throwing debt-money (give away to bond holders) at the mis-diagnosed problem and will enrage (on purpose?) Red state voters and enable the GOP to mobilize. No doubt more hideous behavior by Red staters in response will enable the Democrats to mobilize and say "I told you so." In other words, America has found a formula for a perpetual motion machine that hides cronyism and corruption in plain sight because the people in the room are too busy yelling at each other. Maybe Jerry Springer should run for president.
In my opinion, Bernie did the right thing in 2016 by running a 50 state campaign, and he did the right thing again last week by going to FOX news for a town hall meeting where he showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that Red state voters want medicare for all. He and Tulsi should campaign as much as possible in Red states now, during the primaries, to show everyone in all states how much we want policies that reverse the wealth extraction committed against all Americans over the last 50 years. This begins with medicare for all. It doesn't end there. It begins there.
The damage done by rent seeking can be reversed. We can only do it if people are willing to speak the truth. The areas that are top of the list include public banking and its resulting ability to cheaply fund public infrastructure; Bank lending creating the money supply and its resulting downward pressure on incomes and wealth distribution from a) lending mostly for speculation instead of productivity via small businesses, and b) the money loaned into the economy is the principle, therefore the money supply never contains enough for the interest.
The GOP uses the myth of the "Job Creators" to explain how money becomes incomes, which fits in perfectly with Protestant morality that good morals make one wealthy. The psychological interpretation of racism and prejudice in general is like post modernism in academia: it cannot be proved or disproved. It therefore has a potentially infinite lifespan, as long as it isn't replaced by something that demonstrably works better to explain and remedy.
Enter social class. Now is the time to show Americans that the "economy" as it has been set up doesn't function to reward work, but rather functions to extract the wealth created by work via rent seeking. The bad behavior we reflexively ascribe to psychology and culture are actually behaviors found anywhere in the world where culture is used to explain wealth extraction.
Both the GOP and the Liberals use faith to unite their bases. The GOP uses traditional right wing Christianity. The Liberals use a derivative of Freud's ideas of suppression and repression. They both amount to the same thing in the aggregate - a few winners and a lot of faithful losers.
We have to show the country and the world that faith is the enemy of hope. Hope is what a person has when he/she has vision; can see a path to victory. Faith is what a person has who is hopeless. A faithful person has no path forward, so they leave it to fate.
The Sanders 50 state strategy is built on hope. Tulsi should follow in Bernie's footsteps. Pull back the curtain on currency, banking, and real estate (save R.E. for another comment). Our Wizard of Oz moment is coming.