The natural course
Editor of the Reformer:
The "people's choice" that underpins American democracy is being beautifully exposed as a myth by the presidential primaries. It is a figment, assiduously crafted and repeatedly burnished by the establishment to make people believe they are in control. It makes the people feel good about themselves. This is much like the proverbial American dream — another figment implanted into the minds of the toiling masses to make them feel good about themselves. Like the gambler, there is the endless possibility held out that they could be the next millionaire. These figments are created to keep the people quiet, well behaved and toiling — for the greater glory of capitalism.
However, things are not well in the "hood" these days. Great anger and polarization stalks the land. People are upset after all that the establishment has done for them. The establishment's charity (and largesse) is being thrown back in their faces, and they are perplexed. The punditocracy is blind-sided, unable to explain what has caused this anger, or perhaps they are too embarrassed to make the attempt, for fear of exposing themselves.
The primaries have revealed the people moving to the extremes and supporting contestants well outside the bounds of what the establishment desires (a controlled, obedient leader is so much easier on imperial aspirations). These contests, while still very much in play, are causing great anxiety within both parties. Since the primaries began, Republican and Democratic "leaders" have spectacularly lost control of the proceedings. In the last few weeks they have been furiously pulling the strings, desperately trying to get back in control. The funny thing is that the more vigorously they have pulled the levers, the more things have spiraled out of control, and the more people have flocked to those extremes, rejecting the controlled middle and smooth-talking politicians. All this manipulation has been going on behind the scenes, away from the people's gaze, so as not to tarnish that figment.
One candidate is sufficiently far ahead that panic is beginning to settle over the Republican party. As this panic grows, so the efforts to derail become more strenuous, and these efforts are then forced "kicking and screaming" into the light of day. Efforts to control the primaries, and indeed the whole election process, are now being exposed for all the world to see. The Republicans (but no less the Democrats with Bernie) are now openly trying to collapse Trump's efforts. They are incapable of allowing the democratic process to take its natural course, so denying the people their choice (however egregious some may think that choice is). One cannot have it both ways, but in their supreme arrogance these two parties think they should. And the Democrats (those little weasels) are up to the same shenanigans, still behind the scenes, doing everything possible to derail Bernie's efforts, unwilling to allow Democratic supporters their rightful choice. Before these primaries are over, we will most certainly see the DNC out in the open, too, proving that the whole process is very tightly controlled by two equally corrupt parties.
Another way of looking at all this is that the Establishment is reaping what it has sown over the last half-century: a deliberately degraded education system (attributable to the political class) that produces a bovine herd mentality; a propaganda machine teaching "manifest destiny" and "we are the greatest," so generating arrogance and superiority, without foundation; an evaporating middle class bequeathed by corporate America that has been allowed to much power; exposure to heroic endless war for the greater glory of the defense industries; a corrupted political system that produces immense contempt. And, voilà, we have a burgeoning Trump surging to the finish line. We deserve it. Our comeuppance is neigh and I hope the Iraqis enjoy the spectacle.
John Penford, Brattleboro, March 10