Have we hit bottom and bounced?
by Mike Meyer
At least 2018 did not going out with a bang. Fear for the explosion of ignorance and violence in America as a result of an irresponsible and incompetent usurper in charge obliterated 2017. Who remembers that year? It disappeared in anxiety and fear. Even humor was worn out and useless.
2018 started with the fear of worse but sputtered, shedding pieces, dripping oil and other things in a long noisy descent. Trump began as a dangerous joke and ended as a joke but with consistent incompetence and the steady removal of staff leaving mostly embarrassment in its wake.
Desperately lying and frantically tweeting, hunkered down in the White House, Trump has become an object of pity. The danger, as it has been from the beginning, are the forces that put Trump in the presidency to distract everyone from their plundering of the US economy. The Republican Party is a husk having been destroyed to achieve a wildly dangerous tax change that was anything but reform.
The bills for these exploits are beginning to come do with 2019 the year of payment. Will the payment schedule be survivable? What new bills will come due and what absurdities will we discover that we now own courtesy of growing insanity in a segment of our population?
With rapidly worsening climate effects and a declining world economy pushed hard to recession by mindless trade warfare managed by childish tantrums, 2019 is going to be painful. But pain is a little better than fear. Perhaps there will be some recovery and we will all be able to look back at lessons learned and future mistakes prevented.
I’m afraid that is the most that can be said for 2018. It appears that enough of the population may have learned a lesson from accepting corruption as simply another political position. We have also begun to seriously reject racism, misogyny, and bigotry as some sort of legitimate political options.
This could be the foundation of a new shared ethic bringing together compassion, mindfulness, and secular spirituality to achieve sustainability and maintenance of our planet through democratic socialist mechanisms with a Green New Deal. That is the potential promise for 2019.
It’s a long shot but better than nothing at all. After two years of nothing but failures and collapse some hope feels very good.
The key to gaining a foot hold toward real recovery will come from maximizing the new knowledge while structurally changing the old political apathy and obstruction. The two party system in American politics is dead. You can’t operate with one party in a two party system and the Republican Party is now criminal. The Democratic Party is complicit but could hopefully be showing signs of metamorphosing into something viable with the DSA and the Green New Deal.
Sadly the old forces of predatory capitalism and political corruption are working desperately to retake control of the new Democratic controlled House of Representatives. Nancy Pelosi has made promising noises but allowed the new rules to include PayGo that will cripple the reform. In representative politics compromise is essential but that does not include compromise with budgetary devastation. There is no reason to allow the destruction of federal tax revenue to become the responsibility of the new House majority.
The power of a new ethical and moral unity needs to be shown from the first move. Actual policies can be discussed and compromises worked out but stupidity, greed, and sabotage can not be condoned.
I think we will see very quickly if there is hope for the old Democratic Party or if it, too, needs to be done away with. Let’s hope for good surprises and real hope.