Boston University Professor of History Andrew J. Bacevich writes about what Trumpism means for Democracy.
If Trump secures the Republican nomination, now an increasingly imaginable prospect, the party is likely to implode. Whatever rump organization survives will have forfeited any remaining claim to represent principled conservatism.
None of this will matter to Trump, however. He is no conservative and Trumpism requires no party. Even if some new institutional alternative to conventional liberalism eventually emerges, the two-party system that has long defined the landscape of American politics will be gone for good.
Should Trump or a Trump mini-me ultimately succeed in capturing the presidency, a possibility that can no longer be dismissed out of hand, the effects will be even more profound. In all but name, the United States will cease to be a constitutional republic. Once President Trump inevitably declares that he alone expresses the popular will, Americans will find that they have traded the rule of law for a version of caudillismo. Trump’s Washington could come to resemble Buenos Aires in the days of Juan Perón, with Melania a suitably glamorous stand-in for Evita, and plebiscites suitably glamorous stand-ins for elections.
On October 20, 1956, W. E. B. DuBois wrote for The Nation on the upcoming Presidential election.
I believe that democracy has so far disappeared in the United States that no “two evils” exist. There is but one evil party with two names, and it will be elected despite all I can do or say.
Is the refusal to vote in this phony election a counsel of despair? No, it is dogged hope. It is hope that if twenty-five million voters refrain from voting in 1956 because of their own accord and not because of a sly wink from Khrushchev, this might make the American people ask how much longer this dumb farce can proceed without even a whimper of protest.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Read the Entire Essay: W.E.B. Dubois, I Won’t Vote
With the news that GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump is in favor of establishing a national database of Muslims in America drawing comparisons to Hitler, a new poll released by Public Policy Polling shows that Republicans are right in step with him.
Donald Trump floated the idea this week of shutting down all the mosques in the United States. 27% of Republican primary voters support that concept with 38% opposed, and 35% unsure on the issue. Among the top GOP hopefuls supporters of both Cruz (41/27) and Trump (37/27) support shutting down the mosques while backers of Carson (17/43), Rubio (25/37), and Bush (12/45) oppose doing so.
The latest poll confirms broad support in the GOP nationally for extreme views noted in a poll of Iowa two months ago.
Only 49% of Republicans think the religion of Islam should even be legal in the United States with 30% saying it shouldn’t be and 21% not sure. Among Trump voters there is almost even division with 38% thinking Islam should be allowed and 36% that it should not.
Decent Americans must stand up now, while there is still a Constitution to defend.
In September of 2012, I wrote about FDR’s 1944 State of the Union Address which proposed a “Second Bill of Rights.”
I wonder what might happen if President Obama were to make these rights the foundation of his bid for re-election. Would the American people rally to such a program? Would we recognize that political rights alone cannot ensure liberty and justice for all? Would we recognize that today our freedom is most threatened, not by the government, but by the tyranny of the marketplace? Would we recognize, at long last, that there is no democracy without economic democracy?
Today, at Georgetown University, Bernie Sanders appears to have taken up the challenge, putting Roosevelt’s speech at the center of his own campaign.
Sander’s speech begins about one hour and eight minutes into the video.
You can read the full text of the speech here.
I can’t say that I agree with everything Senator Sanders said in this speech, but it is certainly refreshing, even heartening, to hear a presidential candidate make such a vigorous defense of Social Democracy in this era where political discourse in the United States seems limited to the range between Neoliberalism and Fascism.
I wonder what will happen next.
Tony Wilsdon analyzes U.S. politics in flux ahead of the 2016 elections.
The central contradiction of our time is that capitalism is in decline, which means the system’s ability to make concessions has been significantly narrowed. Corporate profitability has been maintained by massively increasing exploitation while in the public sector there is endless austerity. Both major parties lie to the public to get elected, and then do the dirty work of big business once in office. Behind both parties and the mass media lies an elite 0.01% whose massive wealth rests in ownership of shares in big companies, financial institutions and real estate and other assets. They plough money into the two parties to represent their interests. They flood the corridors of Washington with their paid representatives to make sure pro-big business policies are enacted. These corporate-serving politicians from both parties then have to come back to the public with a new story as to why we should put faith in them again. As the cracks grow between corporate politics and the needs of the 99%, so the cracks grow in the political system, and so the opportunities grow to build a new political party of the working class and the poor.
Read the Article: 2016 Presidential Campaign Underway | Socialist Alternative