Hayes is no genius. He’s not a standout super-CEO. He’s just a solid performer who worked his way up through the ranks of business management to a leadership position. In other words, he is far more qualified than our President to do anything outside the entertainment or marketing industries. And as you read carefully through the interview you discover that it will be pretty easy for an average American CEO to take our next President to the cleaners.
Robbed of credible leadership and frustrated by an absence of vision, our options for resolving economic and social contradictions through conventional politics have, at least for the moment, collapsed. Our most powerful levers of government are in the hands of con artists and cranks.
The Third Republic is over and there is no roadmap to the fourth. Few channels remain through which the demands of a new era can be peacefully and democratically expressed. We will either build a new political framework, very quickly, out of a new set of alliances and policies, or experience the usual consequences of political collapse.
Election 2016 has prompted a wave of head-scratching on the left. Why would economically struggling blue collar voters reject a party that offers to expand public safety net programs? The answer is simple – they don’t want these programs. Working class white voters are not interested in the public safety net. They want to restore their access to an older safety net, one much more generous, dignified, and stable than the public system – the one I and my neighbors still enjoy.
Jeff Pearlman reached out shortly after the election and invited me to participate in one of his Quaz segments, a quirky Q&A session. Pearlman is a former ESPN and Sport Illustrated writer who has authored several books. His latest, Gunslinger, is a biography of Brett Favre. His questions were thought-provoking and I liked the format. You can find the final results here. Hope you enjoy it.
There was ample good news for Democrats in the 2016 results, but without some coherent vision it won’t matter. Clinton was remarkably popular in suburbs everywhere, even across the South and especially in Texas and Georgia. Trump is on track to finish this race with a lower popular vote percentage than Romney, and will possible reach McCain’s level by the time the last ballots are counted in California. Republicans won the generic national Congressional ballot with barely 51%. The last two Republican Presidents will have assumed office while losing the popular vote, finishing with 47% and 46% of the vote respectively.
Just to be clear, I know absolutely nothing about Chris Knight’s politics. For all I know he’s walking around right now with a safety pin on his lapel. That’s not the point. Knight’s music is a unique window into the frustrations of a certain chunk of the white electorate. If you want to understand the emotions that would inspire support for Trump among white voters who could still, potentially, vote for a Democrat, then you should probably become familiar with the music of Chris Knight.
For Brawndo and Starbucks and Carl’s Jr. and Costco to continue to function and thrive in this Idiocracy, an entire class of humans must have escaped the reach of democratic politics. They exist in a realm beyond the conception, much less the authority, of President Camacho and his cabinet of simpletons. Idiocracy may not be about the descent of humans into stupidity, but rather the collapse of politics as a means of achieving common human interests.
The left loved big government when they felt like they could potentially control it. With the entire central government under the leadership of a radically dangerous figure, maybe we have an opening to consider alternatives.
We have some time here before the shit truly hits the fan to gather our thoughts, get better informed, and make plans. Along those lines, here are a few things I’ll be reading over the next few weeks.
Let me suggest, however, that we resist the temptation to normalcy. Regardless what we may have done to fight this menace, we all own what happened here. I live in an affluent suburb, insulated from much of what was wrong about the world yesterday. I will still be insulated tomorrow and next week. I have a choice to make about whether to continue that isolation, whether to rest, whether to accept comfort.