dear Americans: your country is doomed (part 1)

The election cycle draws closer to its fireworks finale and, as Admiral Ackbar might say, “It’s a trap.” On one pole of the duopoly we have Trump, whose rise was made entirely possible by the confluence of the media, celebrity culture, the GOP’s moral bankruptcy, and the Democratic Party’s Machiavallian political maneuverings. There is nothing surprising about Trump himself. The surprise is that, after lavishing so much attention on him, the media has suddenly decided to do some actual dredging during the traditional electoral month of surprises. Of course, this suggests how blind, stupid, or both the media was in claiming shock that Trump was the Republican nominee. A few early primary wins, along with dramatic escapes from normally fatal controversies, should have been a cue that this wouldn’t be a “normal” election. But fuck all that. The commentary on Trump ranges either from banal expressions of outrage or shock, shock that the GOP’s sociopathy has been flying its freak flag so blatantly. Of course we have to denounce the criminal, the immoral, the injustice. But when the whole effort itself becomes a smug exercise tantamount to munching on popcorn while the city burns, Trump commentary and coverage deserves this scene from Happy Madison:

While Trump’s denunciators congratulate themselves for their moral acumen, there’s Hillary Clinton and the DNC. The eMails released by Wikileaks confirm – albeit to a great yawn by Big Media – that neither care about progressive issues, and both are institutionally sociopathic. The primaries were heavily biased against Sanders, who ironically turned out to be a paper tiger. Wall Street, the Oil Industry, and the accumulation of wealth for the few at everyone else’s expense – it’s all there too. And so is Clinton’s utter failure to pay more than lip service to the Left, if even that, and articulate a positive vision.Democrats represent the very problem of which the GOP is only the most cartoonish expression.

None of that, however, quite compares to the unprecedented challenges we face on a human scale; anthropogenic climate change, the nuclear arms race, global economic instability, environmental collapse…the list goes on until utter despair settles in. Taken individually, each challenge demands a movement, a collective and strategic action. But how many movements can we support as individuals? Activism for a single cause can require tremendous effort and engagement, which is why signing petitions and donating money is such an accessible alternative to joining the front lines.

Thinking of this, I wonder if there isn’t a single fulcrum that we can push against, or at least a smaller set of pressure points we can needle to affect systemic change. How can we act – and I admit I’m not asking an original question – if we see all the problems listed above as symptoms of the same fundamental disease? Is it possible to focus our efforts on a root cause and, in the process, make it easier to achieve progress on multiple fronts?

To be continued…

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