I’m glad I did. Moore makes a very compelling case.
It’s depressing, because I love that friggin’ country, and the global ramifications are frightening. But I do wonder if the great socio-historical experiment in democracy that is the United States of America is coming to a wind-down. A bit like Weimar Germany. And yes, I am aware of Godwin’s Law.
I think Moore is falling into his own trap too. On the one hand he tells us we must take the threat of Trump seriously and not as a joke, but then (with his own sense of superiority) he cannot resist ridiculing the men and women who are voting for him. We have to remember that those sober citizens of Germany who voted Hitler in as Chancellor did so because they genuinely felt it was the best option for themselves, their families and the future of their country. By referring to these U.S. voters and his fellow citizens as ‘Billy Bobs’, Moore only strengthens them and their case. These people are sick of being talked down to, instead of being talked to – and sick of not being listened to, also.
Clinton’s main challenge is to convince those voters that she doesn’t represent the status quo, the system that has failed them and talked down to them. And I’m not sure if she’s able for it. The Democrats fucked up. They should have picked Bernie for that job. Brexit didn’t come in time for them to learn that lesson.
And they didn’t pay attention to what Thatcher said: a referendum (which is kind of what the US election will be – a referendum on what kind of country Americans want) is a vote on the popularity of the government. Cameron didn’t learn from his very smart predecessor – Maggie would NEVER have had a referendum.
Of course the Republicans fucked up big time too. They lost control of the train. First they let the Tea Party divide and weaken the party. Then, with the over-confidence of the rich and powerful, they let an interloper in their midst. They welcomed him in. They thought they could control and put him down and they were wrong. Very wrong. It’s not that he’s smarter than them (though he is smart and now he has some very smart bandwaggoners with him, who can smell the intoxicating fumes of power), he’s just fluked his timing to coincide with the zeitgeist. And timing is… everything. Now the train is a runaway.
At least the Brits (Mr. Gove take a bow) pulled back from the brink with Johnson. I’m not sure the Americans will do the same. They aren’t at this game as long as the British. The USA is a very young country. And the inbuilt flaw of their bipartisan Republican/Democrat system of picking one man into power has become acute.
A dreadful image arises: of the Second Amendment coming into its own when Trump’s finger hovers over the button. A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. Because one thing is for sure: if that man takes power, the security of a free state will be in grave peril.
It’s hard not to ponder on Yeats’ Second Coming:
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
And then I think that a lot of the inherently decent people who support the Republican Party will have a change of heart, that they will see the type of society that Trump really represents. That some leaders will emerge from the shadows over the next four months and re-invigorate the inherent values of so many Americans. Not the Michael Moores, they won’t do. Some Republicans would be good. People who value their country more than their party. People who will talk to the Trump voters as equals. And convince them to keep the baby of democracy and tolerance while dispensing with the bath water of a flaccid political status quo.
Even if the baby’s name is Hillary.
God bless The United States of America.
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