¡Pobrecitos! I take a look at my Liberal brethren with pity. Yes, I'm aware that that "sounds" arrogant, but it's not meant to be. It's genuine concern about how the essence of what it means to be a Progressive can, in times like this, be the biggest contributor to the demise of our democracy.
The Republicans are not crazy. Within their world view and objectives they are doing exactly what they should be doing; by the book.
Obviously, when one thinks about "The Right," there are sub-segments within that may have slightly different world views and motivations, but somehow they all coalesce into a brutally efficient and effective movement.
So at the lower levels of their movement you have the bible-thumpers holding the Book in one hand, the semi-auto in the other one, with a wild-eyed expression, while rocking back and forth waiting for "signs" of the "end-of-days" so they can engage in an "Army of God" struggle. And then you have the Ayn Rand and Leo Strauss disciples, with a tinge of puritanical legacy, who are influenced by Social Darwinism and Eugenics thought (many of them without knowing it). And then you have the movement leaders at the top; the plutocrats manipulating their minions down-channel.
A movement that is now in the process of a wholesale fascist takeover of the country, taking advantage of the inherent weakness and naïveté prevalent in modern progressive thought.
I've given this a lot of thought, and unless someone can convince me otherwise, the biggest weakness I notice on the Left is that there is an inclination to address all issues from a logical, thoughtful, reason-based approach--exclusively.
In moments like this, that limitation (or deficiency) could prove fatal for what is left of our democracy (which at this point is very little), or for the hope of ever being able to restore it.
And this should not be that hard to understand. Going back to parables, there is a time for everything: "And a time to every purpose, under Heaven A time to be born, a time to die. A time to plant, a time to reap. A time to kill, a time to heal..."
The only time reason, justice, intelligence, empirical evidence, and fairness apply in human affairs is when the other party you are dealing with has also agreed to be bound by those things.
So for example (and to put it in perspective), if you live in a small village and you become aware that a group of marauding barbarians are heading to your village on horseback, after having plundered three previous villages, leaving in their path a trail of death and destruction, you should know that the upcoming "power struggle" with these barbarians is not going to be about being reasonable, or thoughtful, or talking about evidence, and philosophical differences.
You have to prepare to be as ruthless and vicious and relentless as they are when you come face to face with them.
Likewise, many of my fellow progressives want to hold on to the idea that they can challenge the barbarians coming down to destroy them by appealing to reasonable discourse and debate, and by counting on the governmental institutions that are supposed to ensure a level playing field.
For some strange reason it's hard for them to understand that the entire government has fallen into the hands of the barbarians; that the entire media is a propaganda machine; that the judicial system has been corrupted to the core.
Burying their heads in the sand, they cling to the idea that they can count on these thoroughly corrupted institutions to make things right; to address criminality, and impunity, and abuses of power, and exploitation. It's very sad to see that!
Some reading this would say, "Well, what do you suggest we do? Do you have any 'solutions' to offer, instead of sitting in front of your computer writing stuff?"
Well, yes, I do have suggestions. And again, I don't think they are too hard to implement.
First, understand that in order to help bring about a better, more just, more "perfect union" you have to have the power to do it.
Also understand that at the most fundamental level the concept of power is amoral.
We are at that junction. On the one hand you have a side that is on the verge of gaining power with the purpose of subjugating and enslaving the populace.
On the other you have a side that believes in fairness, and justice, and equality under the law, and in a secular form of government, and in the U.S. Constitution.
This is an existential struggle at this point. We are not in normal times.
If the Left and Progressives fail to understand and conceptualize this reality on time, we are doomed. The Republic of the United State of America (as envisioned by her Founding Fathers, and all those who have worked to make her better since) will be no more. The answer to Benjamin Franklin's comment when asked what type of government we had, and he replied "A Republic, if you can keep it," would be "We could not keep it after all."
All people of good will; all progressive organizations, unions, community organizers, social activists, must join forces under one banner and engage in the struggle, with the understanding that the gloves are off.
Distill all that is good and fair into one single movement. Know and believe that you are right. Know and believe that this is akin to a battle between good and evil. Know and believe that this is an existential battle. Know and believe that if you don't win this battle, you and future generations will be subjugated, exploited and enslaved.
Design your own media strategy; your own messaging. Completely drop out of the "framework" which has been set up by the fascist sociopaths consolidating power right now.
It should not be that hard, since you have the truth on your side. So frame it. You frame all the issues. You don't let anybody else frame them for you. You set the terms; you make your demands.
You have to be ruthless, relentless, and act with extreme conviction and even zealotry. There is nothing wrong with being a zealot in the name of democracy and justice and equality.
This can happen, and we can win, but not until we all collectively realize that the system right now is broken and corrupted to the core, and that it is being turned against you. Once millions and millions of people are able to conceptualize this and see this very clearly, what needs to happen will happen.
But this cannot happen without principled leaders who speak truth to power. I'm hopeful that those leaders will rise up. We, the people, are ready.