Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Susan Sarandon, Donald Trump and the Next American Revolution

Wait. What??
Bernie Sanders' entire campaign has been premised on a fundamental change in the American political dialog. In his envisioned 'revolution', the American people would suddenly rise up in huge numbers to embrace a very liberal vision of governance and economics he calls 'democratic socialism'. Instead of a long, grinding, generational fight for big ideas and strongly held ideological beliefs unfolding over decades, politics in Washington DC would suddenly shift on their axis in an unprecedented transformation in beliefs and expectations around tax policy, government services and the redistribution of wealth.

Certainly, this kind of instant gratification politics appeals to anyone who is fed up with the endless status quo, obstruction and the slow pace of progress. The high hopes for this revolution require pretending, however, that there is a vast, pent up demand for liberal political and government solutions - the very idea of which is called into question by the most cursory look at the American electorate, or an afternoon watching our House of Representatives in action. But the people who have embraced the Sanders campaign most passionately have no interest in this kind of analysis - they want a President who believes what THEY believe, and they have succeeded in convincing themselves that a significant plurality - perhaps even a majority - of the American people believe the very same things and that a fervent, passionate leader could implement them in a singe four-year term.

Take, for example, noted liberal actress Susan Sarandon. She went on the Chris Hayes television show and said that if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, she'll consider voting for Donald Trump instead. Why? To hasten 'the revolution', she said with a straight face. Left tragically unexplored is what, precisely, she meant by 'revolution'. Does she believe that a Donald Trump that could actually WIN the White House would somehow trigger the kind of outpouring of liberal activism that the candidacy of BERNIE SANDERS could not? Or is she considering something considerably darker - that perhaps a Trump presidency would be so horrible for so many Americans that the people would rise up and violently overthrow his rule?

But that's even sillier. The American people are comfortable, wealthy, employed and entertained. They do not suffer from the poverty, disease, oppression and hopelessness for the future that has driven revolutions and popular revolts for a thousand years. What American has had it so awful for so long that they are willing to risk arrest, imprisonment or violent death to try to overthrow the government? For that matter, as horrible a President as Donald Trump would certainly be, can anyone truly expect that presidency to create an army of desperate, starving hopeless revolutionaries manning the barricades in cities across the country?

The entire basis for some kind of large-scale hope for near term transformative change in American governance that seems to have attached itself to the Sanders candidacy is in every way a fantasy. A Sanders presidency would be very much like a Clinton presidency, and while a Trump presidency would be significantly worse for a variety of constituencies, in the end America would look very much the same as it does today.


  1. As you know, I don't agree.

    Change requires someone pushing for it.

    We've had radical change in this country. Rich people pushed to make themselves richer, and they succeeded.

    And they wouldn't have done it without their wholly-owned subsidiary, the Clinton-Obama wing of the Democratic party.

    You want to pick on Susan Sarandon? Fine, I'll see you and raise with Rahm Emanuel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and the entire Bob Rubin successsion of banksters.

    Anyways, here's The Guide to Voting in 2016.

    Hint: Shit is fucked up.

    What Hillary will deliver is more wars and corporatism, and more losses to the GOP in the statehouses.

  2. This premise requires that a significant plurality of American voters agree with you. If you are part of a small, left wing minority you not only cannot generate the political power to effect change, you are entirely offset by the right wing minority at the other end of the spectrum. The reason Clinton has won is that the Sanders 'revolution' didn't turn out to be an actual, real thing. It was a fantasy. The reason McGovern received NINE electoral votes in 1968. Americans are not, in general, like you - or even me. They dislike and distrust liberals, they don't like taxation, they are afraid of high cost/high service governance and simply reject its proponents, even if they quite seriously reject the Republican message.

    THAT, my friend, is how you get President Hillary Clinton...