Judging by the latest post on the New York Times entitled “Doubling Down on W” it seems the obvious answer would be 1. 1 election. It scares me but it feels as if the US electorate simply doesn’t know what’s best for them. Do they lack the requisite info needed to make smart decisions? Don’t they have critical thinking skills? Are they brainwashed by the mass media’s uncanny ability to share talking points across networks, remove stories from their historical context, never fact-check pundits who are paid shills for military think tanks, and who deal almost exclusivly in hearsay and sensationlism while actual journalism dies? Who knows? But it’s done a fabulous job of dividing the electorate into a false left/right duality where each side rages on the other until they are both blue in the face and nobody has a clue what the hell all the shouting is about.
Were divide and conquer functioning correctly, the US as it is now is what it would look like. Pity the poors (and middle class and non 1%ers) don’t understand that, and thus fail to unite against the authors of their plight.
Now the reason one might suspect the US is headed toward American Putinism is the appearance of Donald Trump as frontrunner. It’s quite clear to anyone listening he has the instincts of a demagogue and will waste no time making America his personal feifdom. But he’s just the tip of the spear. By breaking all barriers of decency, Trump’s taken the floor out from beneath the entire Republican field, and now all laws of commen sense, factuality or decency are out the window.
As Paul Krugman has points out, our current field of Republicans are one and all, extremists. From quasi-incestual egomaniac Donald Trump–a man whose ban on Muslims and tirades against Mexican immigrants have that good ol’time Hitler sound; to Jeb Bush–whose inclusion of Operation Iraqi Oil architect Paul Wolfowitz on his foreign policy team denotes either a misunderstanding of the terms “war crimes,” or “bankrupting the state” or a heartfelt wish to start WWIII; to Marco Rubio whose economic plan puts W’s disastrous, goverment-solvency-destroying tax cuts for the rich policy on steroids, to Ben Carson–a neuro-surgeon campaigning against science. Dare I say the list goes on? So yeah, lucky us.
As a side note, every candidate in this field has said they would repeal Dodd-Frank. It’s an invitation to the same banks that caused the last crash to be even more corrupt and irresponsible under even more opaque conditions and cause an even larger financial calamity than last time–and guess which lucky population of taxpayers will get to pay that!?
Would that for some reason necessitate that the 99% surrender the last of their rights, freedoms, earthly possessions, minimum wages, social security and anything else the vultures see value in to bail the bankers out? It’s like: “Oops, bought myself 20 yachts and created 50 trillion in liabilities you have to pay, so you lose your healthcare, schools and roads ok?” Seriously. Lucky us.
Without rights or money, it’ll be hard for America’s newly disenfranchised electorate to seek redress, justice or vertical mobility of any kind. Kinda like Russia. So it goes.