|Loudest damn crickets I can recall.|
It’s probably not impossible for liberals to morph into radicals, though it surely can’t happen until liberals are ready to sacrifice an element of material comfort for the sake of whatever revolution we’re talking about. Being a radical means you might win, and you might lose; either way, something changes.
Is Donald Trump Turning Liberals Into Radicals?, by Sarah Leonard (New York Times)
On Nov. 9, 2016, millions of Americans woke up with a crushing sense that something was terribly wrong with their country.
Donald Trump’s election inspired such moral revulsion and political outrage that by that afternoon, parts of the American electorate had taken to calling themselves “the resistance,” evoking the guerrillas who took to the hills and fought the Nazis during World War II. Just a day before, many of these same people were enthusiastically casting their ballots for a centrist Democrat; suddenly they were self-styled revolutionaries.
The day after Mr. Trump’s inauguration saw enormous protests across the country that incorporated a panoply of groups and interests. For those of us on the left, the millions of protesters in pink hats and the dads toting funny signs was a promising sight: Could this be the moment that liberals were converted into radicals?
This point cannot be stressed and repeated often enough: “Inequality’s staggering growth shows no signs of stopping.”
Mr. Trump — like right-wing populists across Europe — rode into power on waves of discontent with unaccountable globalization and growing inequality that have increased even under liberal and social-democratic parties. As the French economist Thomas Piketty demonstrated in “Capital in the 21st Century,” inequality’s staggering growth shows no signs of stopping. And it’s pulling democracy apart at the seams; no one but the rich feels represented.
The failure of the Democratic Party to reverse this over the past 40 years can’t be overstated, which is precisely why the resistance cannot just be about getting Democrats elected.
Especially here in New Gahania, where the words “Democrat” and “resistance” are diametrically opposed concepts. Want to know why I chose not to block Kool-Aid?
Because if I did, there’d be no more Floyd County Democratic Party infomercials.
Local Democrats apparently are unaware of staggering inequality, because if they were, more than a handful of the better informed among them would be holding Dear Leader’s personality cult to the fire, because for an allegedly Democratic mayor to be waging war against affordable housing and the community’s less fortunate isn’t tremendously democratic, is it?
Returning to Leonard’s essay, we are referred to a phenomenon of interest in this context.
THE ELECTION HAS GALVANIZED activists of all kinds. After Hillary Clinton’s poor performance with working-class white voters, many on the left have realized that this constituency deserves more of its attention. I spoke recently to Kate Hess Pace, who founded Hoosier Action in her home state of Indiana, a membership organization for working-class Indianans who, with the decline of unions, have few ways of influencing politics. The group has brought members to Washington to lobby their senators on health care, among other actions. Ms. Pace says that most of the people she talks to in Indiana don’t hate Democrats or Republicans, but “outsiders,” people in Washington who have caused their state’s decline.
Some new members of the resistance may have people they can turn to easily for guidance: their kids. The radical movements calling attention to inequality and racism well before Mr. Trump’s election — from Occupy to the movement for black lives to a growing interest in socialism to the Dreamers protests — have been driven by millennials. And these movements are eager to grow.
Indeed, we’ve already been introduced.
Meet WE ARE NEW ALBANY, and tell Jeff Gahan: No demolition of public housing without a plan to replace!
I’ll keep asking local Democrats about their cognitive dissonance. They’ll keep not answering. The Jeffrey’s got the Kool-Aid, all right — but I think the raging hypocrisy will begin nagging at those Democrats with a conscience. They’re there.
They just need to regain control of Gahan’s sinking ship.