Musings on Contemporary Waffle
As America continues to convulse under the brutality of the Trump administration in all of its forms, now most recently as the result of the murder of George Floyd by a police officer and the present administration’s victimization of the protestors, something else that is horrifying was made clear to me during the reactions to the murder. This something is the difference between the parallel threats to the current occupants of the Executive Branch as represented by the Corona virus and by the demonstrations. It is clear that the present government in Washington, D.C., sees both as its enemies in probably equal measure, and mostly for the same reasons, to do with its breathtaking, malignant, and utterly corrupt attitude to the well-being of ordinary Americans.
But the two events are different in one specific way that throws into brilliant light the wanton recklessness against democratic principle of the current government and, especially, by the core disease of US politics known as the Republican Party.
Here it is: while there are still not enough protective personal equipment (PPE) for Americans fighting against the Corona virus — especially the most in need of them, and so everyone from health-care workers to service employees to people of lesser means who are grouped in close quarters without the luxury of finding space within which to ‘distance’ — this same problem of a lack of resources to fight against the demonstrators does not exist for our police and military personnel.
Isn’t that ironic?
Notice how, overnight, enough protective gear against angry citizens protesting an injustice was at-the-ready for law enforcement workers. There was no shortage of rubber bullets, tear gas, paint pops, face shields, helmets, protective armor, Billy clubs, assault rifles, and armored vehicles in which to take away the protestors. There is no concern about a stockpile shortage here. And no hand-wringing about whether to blow out the hardware rather conserve and re-use, for there is probably plenty more in stock; probably more than enough for the whole population to be protected from expressing itself.
At-the-ready PPE for our law-enforcement personnel has obviously been planned for, while measures designed by the previous administration to fight against a potential pandemic were eliminated by the current administration. Ironic, isn’t it?
But it is not ironic. It’s become too clear for those who have eyes to see that as the current president’s pathetic reign trudges on, Americans are increasingly being left to their own devices not only to protect themselves from a pandemic, but also to uphold their values, ideals, and to protect themselves from the disregard by their government.
The lack of virus-related PPE is just one particularly glaring example that proves the rule that this president and, of course, his Republican Party, have absolutely no interest in the vast majority of American’s safety and security, in any way, shape, or form that benefits American society, and only in ways that benefit the Republican Party and the disease it has become. Think about it. There is no Democratic and Republican dichotomy anymore. There is a Democratic Party that wants a government “for the people”, and an Un-Democratic Party, formerly known as the Republican Party, that couldn’t care less.
The betrayal of America’s essence as the most important democracy on earth is a stunning occurrence. And that is what the demonstrations are about, still mostly subconsciously, in my view. Americans feel their essence being maligned and minimized, and now finally also Whites do, as well as people of color. These demonstrations seem to me to be a blind rage against the inequality of a society that has become powerless to effect a re-balance towards these ideals, either through its electoral process or through public discourse including its media, and sustain its values against those in power. This conflict and the victory of American values over their corruption has always been what America was about; that is how the enlightened world has seen things, anyway. And now, not only do Black Americans feel the inequality as they have from the beginning of America’s birth, but Whites are getting it, too.
There are the seeds of possible real change in American social consciousness in these demonstrations. But the fight from here will be awful.
The corrosive effect of the toxic players behind the diminution of social and legal rights for Americans by this ridiculous president at the forefront, is being seen on the streets of Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Louisville, Seattle, San Jose, and elsewhere — almost everywhere. These demonstrations are a reaction to the betrayal by those in power who have begun to use democratic processes to enable undemocratic outcomes.
It is the classic bait-and-switch of despotic regimes. There is no difference between the tactics of today’s Executive Branch and office of the Attorney General, and the Republican Party itself and its media partners, to those used in the early days of the Nazi Party in Germany, or by the early Communist movement in Eastern Europe after WW2, or of China and Russia today. None.
They all used the same tactics designed to subvert democratic values, except that one of these entities is operating in plain sight on US soil, not incognito under the cover of fake users posting garbage on social media. It is in power, and using it, right now, in Washington, D.C..
If anything should expose the danger of what the Republican Party has become, then the reaction by this cancerous institution to Covid-19, the killings of innocent Black men, the struggles of lower- and middle-class people in the most trying times since the Great Depression, should complete the picture for anyone who still believes that there are equal political choices between the two main American political parties.
The fact is that there are no longer “liberals” and “conservatives” anymore. There are only those who have more and those who have less; those who are protected and those who are not; and those who recognize the danger and admit it, and those who don’t or won’t or can’t.
Those are the sets of choices in America today.
For this reason, the November election will be the most important in America’s history — because, things can and will get worse if America’s democracy allows another 4 years of the Republican Party to reign. Perhaps now is the time to reflect again on the protests in Hong Kong. But America is not Hong Kong; it is the most powerful democracy in the world. But it is being eaten away from inside as a political and symbolic force in the world, by the bigots, chauvinists, and oligopolists operating within something called the Grand Old Party, a name surely as ready for the dustbin of history as the Confederate Flag.
As the election nears and the demonstrations continue, the demonstrators need to turn the anger towards more of the issues that ordinary people are facing. The demonstrations need to evolve into protests about the current government and its tactics against the rights of citizens to vote and vote equitably and safely, about the insidious treachery of handing money to well-off corporations while ordinary Americans wait and suffer for the help, and healthcare, they need to get by during a debilitating pandemic, and for an end to the injustice being institutionalized even further in the country’s education, judicial, and environmental agencies.
But I’m worried. Seeing how well the government has been arming itself, as symbolized by the ready show of force, seemingly out of nowhere, and limitless militaristic PPE available, and the professional and efficient deployment of military “personnel”, Americans better be ready for a bloody fight to protect their freedoms. The first step is to realize who the real threat is to those freedoms, and that if Americans do nothing, or fail in the fight, there will be no one else to turn to, to save the day.