Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The Final Solution: Left of Center?

It is always astonishing how quickly the unacceptable becomes acceptable and how long it takes to unapologetically recover high standards and values. The latest attacks on Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg, which would have been unthinkable in any other presidency, have become normalized. Now the sole object of many voters in the current election is simply to get rid of Trump, with the solution relying on some sort of centrist coalition made up of moderate democrats. A Biden/Klobuchar ticket may be more inviting to a part of the democratic electorate who might have been disposed to Sanders, simply because a socialist can't win. Let’s say that hypothetically Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote, had also won the election, then the base line would have been slightly left of center to start, but now much of the energy of progressive politics is being used up to recoup losses. Health care, the environment and economic inequality have all been put on the defensive and many voters are just interested in securing a beachhead for restoring the United States’ commitment to NATO, to the Paris Environment accords, to the Iran Nuclear Agreement and to a two-state solution in Israel. The motto of the Weather Underground (taken from Dylan) “you don’t need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows,” (from Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues,") is still oddly oracular (though in a different way than it once was). Politics is almost barometric. The needle has to swing back toward the center before it can go left again.

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