Election 2020: A Symbolic Reading

By: Bill Whaley
27 April, 2019

So far, no single democratic candidate appears strong enough to beat the incumbent president. The Trump crime family and its combination of hoi polloi and elite supporters form the bedrock of a 40% floor and can capitalize on republican uppers to maintain control of the status quo. The two statistical favorites among democrats, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, the Neo-New Dealer and the Wall Streeter neo-liberal (Clinton-Obama redux) zero in on the income gap (Bernie) and the so-called rust-belt white-person gap (Biden), but neither represents the new democratic persona of the future.

Bernie and Joe seem incapable of adapting to the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the voter’s needs and identities. Neither knows how to address women and minorities.

Bernie is like your older kinder uncle, slightly out of touch despite his FDR lineage. The accounts of Uncle Joe’s most recent blunder, an alleged excuse for his 1990s socially callous behavior toward Anita Hill and subsequent refusal to take existential responsibility for change in the cultural dynamics, more nearly resembles republicans and originalists, who still adhere to Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which denies the vote to Indians, Black people, the poor and indentured and doesn’t even mention the women they all groped.

As we can see from the Trump era, racism, misogyny, and elite financial chauvinism drive crimes against children, families, and students, and nature. Some of these crimes are couched in the language of Christianity but resemble heresies like the blasphemy associated with the interpretation of the Second Amendment, which aims not at mercy but at death by the devil’s progeny.

Democrats need a candidate, who addresses the “whole” human being in America, not just white guys in the rust belt or the economically deprived have-nots among Millennials or left-leaning baby boomers. We need a leader, who combines quantitative and qualitative economics and cultural issues, not unlike Roosevelt, who, in another time, saved Capitalism with a Compassionate New Deal (and a propitious war).

Regardless of their self-destructive and carnival-like tactics, the rich and the white apologists know the republican party shares common cause with their passion for the prejudices of power, a passion, too, stimulated by the fear of peasants with pitchforks.

In this Month’s Harper’s writer Kevin Baker demonstrates how history shows capitalism, its propaganda, the ag industry, railroads, and farm tractor, all destroyed, in historian Timothy Egan’s (The Worst Hard Time) words, “the native prairie grass, a web of perennial species evolved over twenty thousand years of more, so completely that by the end of 1931 it was a different land—thirty-three million acres stripped bare on the southern plains.”

The “dust bowl” was a man-made agent of continental dust storms and climate change in the thirties. “When will we ever learn…”

Currently, it’s women like Nancy Pelosi and her hardball experience as leader in the House, AOC’s vision of the necessary “Green New Deal,” and the passion represented by Emma Gonzalez (see how the post-Parkland NRA is collapsing), who represent brains and vision. Kids like Beto and Mayor Biggie, remind me of my own nostalgia for DQ vanilla lite or maybe its Jimmy Stewart, who appears in “It’s a Wonderful Life” as antidote to the Grinch who stole Christmas (and the American Dream).

AOC and Emma are too young to run but they represent the future. Today Elizabeth Warren, smart as a whip, and Kamala Harris, a kind of street wise tough from Oakland, both snap-back like cats among mice, while Bernie and Joe are blinking and still trying to get it up. We need vision with our polemics, intelligence and passion with our politics, lightning with our thunder.

Remember Hito and Hita, your abuela always knew best. (I won’t tell you about the retrograde sexism and chauvinism in Taos local government.)