by Mike Meyer
In the midst of the wreckage of the American Dream the scramble to restore and recover has seriously begun. Twenty plus declared Democratic presidential candidates, the majority of which seem to be polling ahead of Trump, show the power of this need. But it is only the beginning and the reality we are facing is still obscure.
It is the worst of times but the pleasantest of hopes. All the candidates and most of the official pundits are immersed in a virtual reality of American restoration. The silver lining is the lessons learned from a dose of the fascist horror delivered by a buffoon. The unstated assumption is that America has been inoculated.
Like a reaction to a bad year’s flu vaccine we came down with the symptoms but this is prophylaxis, not the full disease. Recovery will be quick. By the summer of 2021 all of the brutal and ugly executive actions will have been reversed, alliances will be in restorative care, the economy will be in recovery from the Trump/Republican recession, and all of Obama’s climate correction policies will be, again, in bloom.
The borders will be open to workers, thousands of children will be on their way home, concentration camps closed, and all illegally deported US veterans and residents will be welcomed back. The Gestapo (sorry, ICE) will be gone and refugees will be swiftly processed and given options for a new life.
Weekly lists of Trump regime criminals being transferred to prisons will increase the feeling of cleanliness being achieved after a very dirty experience. There will be no mention of Trump as the buffoon, himself, suffers in isolated custody under medical supervision.
All of this will have been done by someone (does it really matter who as all the candidates are rational, sane, and conscientious?) working to achieve a return to an Obamaesque America with greater equity, full public services, healthcare, and free college education.
What could go wrong?
If you have begun to feel strangely uneasy while reading this, that is probably a sign of sanity. You should also be having serious problems with the images already being sold by the Democratic candidates and their captive pundits.
Obviously this magical restoration is impossible by the summer of 2021 but is it possible at all? This is what is being sold as the answer to our needs. Does the world we now inhabit allow such a return? Is that even what we want?
I would suggest that we are much farther along the road to hell than we realize and our vision of heaven is badly out of sync with our current reality. You can’t go home again and, if you do, it is not the place you thought it was. Experience brings knowledge and change and we are neither what we were or what we thought we were.
It doesn’t matter that part of the cause of the changes we now face was the result of criminal, immoral, and despicable people or that the titular head of the disaster was a mentally damaged, narcissistic fool. We can’t erase the past as only deranged, egotistical idiots think that. We must deal with the new reality as a result of all the forces that have made it.
Let’s take a closer look at the reality we have and the golden vision of restoration we all want. Yes, this excludes the several million citizens who remain Trump supporters but one of the first adjustments we need to make is that these people are already collateral damage.
The media war
We have been in a nasty, national, cold war against a desperate fascist and racist minority managed by predatory oligarchs using exploited citizens as their tools. The nature of information and social media manipulation creating virtual realities for target populations in the 21st century is that these select populations are made partially insane. Our casualties now are not killed and maimed but are ethically, mentally and socially crippled.
Many of these people will be a burden and a challenge to care for for years and, in some cases, decades just as we carry the burden of veterans from America’s endless military conflicts. We need to think of them in this way. It will cost a lot of money for rehabilitation and management of the worst cases. This must be planned for and budgeted adequately. And this will be complicated by the implanted perception of victimhood as they have been ingrained with the need to blame “others” who have nothing to do with their situation.
This immediately rules out any of the above candidates who pretend that none of this happened and, by removing the Trump figurehead, sanity will suddenly return to the damaged ones. No, that won’t happen.
If you are doubtful of this need, I suggest you look at any of Trump’s “rallies” as they are all nearly identical with the same lies and chants of hatred. But these are only one aspect of years of propaganda and manipulation by Fox television and social media actions managed by Russian military intelligence teams. This portion of our population have been subject to horrors producing the effects of PTSD. The high suicide rates of these people with decreasing longevity clearly illustrates the costs of our latest modes of warfare. We will need to deal with this.
While implementation of Medicare for all is the best solution by simply building on existing successful systems, many changes will be needed dependent on the elimination of private insurance or the maintenance of some kind of Obamacare hybrid. The laws requiring provision of adequate care by medical personnel will be complex.
Needless to say the biggest economic issue is the conversion to a sustainable, carbon neutral, economy while structuring the redistribution of grossly out of sync assets. There is no good way to do that without extensive disruption and pain for those who were in complete control of the economy for decades.
We need to assume national healthcare and, at least, free community college with elimination of student loan debt. The focus already should be on exactly how this could be done. There is no room for any discussion except how and how fast? We don’t have much time.
The climate crisis is the monster that ate our golden, Obamaesque, future. This monster is growing bigger by the week. We have been facing steadily worsening projections of critical climate pieces that will trigger unmanageable planetary changes. There is no good news.
Earlier this month a series of articles on research papers identified the likelihood that we have, at most, thirty years before the combination of drought, heat, sea level rise, storms, and loss of food resources with arable land will begin to trigger major social collapse. (See list of links below) The proposed carbon correction plans, progressively gutted by the Trump regime for America would not even go fully into effect before thirty years.
This is now World War III (and IV, V, VI) extending into the future. But that was before the discovery this month that the arctic permafrost projected to begin thawing, with massive consequences, by the end of this century is already thawing. The terrible reality is that the results of this are understood on a broad scale and the details will take research, the results could be devastating.
The essence is that our remaining time just took a major hit. While my topic here is America and the decision to bet it all on an ordinary election in 2020, it is important to understand the changes that may make that election irrelevant. Put simply we already know we need complete economic and political restructuring to have hope for any reasonable survival. Yet the steady sequence of scientific model changes are removing whole ranges of options and the time needed to implement them.
Pretending that this is not happening is approaching insanity. We are already struggling with quality of life that we will have in the coming decades. This makes spending the next eighteen months arguing over how to return to a past that was a major cause of the disaster we face even more insane.
We do not have the luxury of playing historical games. Right now we have only the Green New Deal as a broad sketch of a linked set of actions and investments to get to a survivable future. Other candidate policy suggestions are mostly nonexistent. Those that do exist assume a distant crisis point with time to allow slow change to minimize disruption and pain.
What if we do not have that time?
It will take us, at least, ten years to make any significant change in our carbon levels. The current guidelines in places that are taking this seriously see fossil fuels eliminated from private vehicles in thirty years. Commercial vehicles will take longer.
To reduce production to sustainable levels, in conjunction with eliminating fossil fuels, will mean shutting down significant portions of rich and newly rising nations factory capacity. How do we minimize social outrage tied to poverty and starvation in predatory capitalist states?
Socialist states have infrastructure in place for common services but will be bankrupted by the demands. Or will they? We need to know what is possible and what the demands will be in the worst case. And that worst case is already far worse than it was a year ago.
But America has crippled itself in the public commons. Decisions will need to be made quickly to get universal healthcare and essential services in place beyond the rust belt that produced the Trump disaster. Economic restructuring is not going to be easy.
We need a war footing financial plan to mitigate the economic disruption plus the climate crisis that will destroy regions and reduce the most arable areas of North America, North China, India, and Africa. Candidates for leadership of major nation states should be required to provide priorities and planning schedules.
In America and everywhere, the primary political debates must be on or closely related to the climate crisis and how to mediate the worst case scenarios. But we must be flexible. If we are prepared for the worst case and things prove to be easier we can quickly adjust and reduce the strain of disruption. But if we fail to plan for the worst and the worst happens, there will be no time to start the process over.
What we must do immediately is make very clear what is expected from any national candidate. Those that refuse to plan or continue to deny reality must be removed from the process of selection. This is a logical and simple requirement that can be made by people continuously asking for each candidates plan. No climate crisis plan, no candidacy.