Summary: Most reporting of political campaigns is dreck, empty calories to fill the empty hours of the passive. But some provide insights. Some provide entertainment. A few provide both, like this by James Howard Kunstler about the psychology of the Democratic Party’s presidential primaries.
James Howard Kunstler at his website.
Reposted with his generous permission.
A mental health assessment of the Democratic Party suggests that identity politics had lately turned into an identity crisis. Years of staying woke finally produced hallucinations and violent outbursts. It was time to medicate the patient. Enter, stage right, the Tranquilizer, smiling Uncle Joe Biden, the perfect agent to quell an acute case of adolescent rebellion.
Mostly, the rank-and-file don’t seem to know what to make of Uncle Joe’s arrival on the scene. It’s as if they popped .5 milligrams of Xanax a half an hour ago and all the intersectional strife that seemed so urgent last month just up and flew out of the room, like so many leaf-nosed bats from a frightful cave of winds. The chemical rush Uncle Joe provides is reflected in his impressive polling numbers, lately cresting near 40% against his closest pursuer, Bernie Sanders – the reincarnation of my 10th grade math teacher, and hence a figure of horror and loathing – at about 18% in the polls. The rest of the presidential pack just slogs down-low through the sucking muck of single digits. Many of these are women candidates in a party determined to produce the first president of the female persuasion. What’s up with that?
The salient psychodramatic feature of the Democrats’ relationship with Mr. Trump is that he represents Daddy’s in da house, a situation so alarming as to provoke a nearly three-year-long fugue of patricidal fury among his detractors. In fact, he’s an order of magnitude worse than Daddy… he’s more like Ole Massa – living in that big White House – lumbering out the south portico in that terrible capitalist business suit… the very cutting edge of oppression and misogyny. Of the Democratic women running for president, so far only Elizabeth Warren has gone after Mr. Trump with any real passion – and then, like some stereotypical housewife trying to brain him with a frying pan. It just bounces off his thick skull, and he moves on.
I call Mr. Trump the Golden Golem of Greatness for a reason (several really) but mainly for his seemingly implacable demeanor. He’s exactly like that folkloric figure from the mists beyond the Pale of Settlement, an animate hunk of impassive clay communing with spirits of the dead, blundering blindly about the land, scaring little children and turning the peasants’ blood to ice-water. You might even say he was conjured up by the very deacons of Wokesterism who now tremble at his every thundering footstep.
Uncle Joe Biden is surely the antidote to all that. He served eight years under the Wokester Deacon-in-Chief, Mr. Obama, and cheerfully endured his ritual castration, rendering him harmless to all who must-be-believed, and other sub-categories of the aggrieved and oppressed. At 76, he is way older than anyone (anyone serious, that is) who ever ran for President before, perhaps bordering even on feeble, and that’s another plus: he couldn’t hurt a fly. At least not here in the States. He has no plans, apparently, to try to make America great again – but he still has a hearty appetite for international adventuring that might redound to the benefit of the US War industry and its handmaidens on K Street and Capitol Hill.
And, of course, Uncle Joe goes through these palliative motions of bringing tranquility to the Democratic scramble, his smile fixed, teeth gleaming, hair perfect, hand a’pumping, as ever more information emerges about the spectacular effrontery of his international money-grubbing while vice-president. He did what in Ukraine in 2014?
And Uncle Joe’s son, Hunter, walked away with how many millions of dollars after being appointed to the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings? Uncle Joe even bragged to the Council on Foreign Relations about how he browbeat Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko into firing their equivalent of Attorney General, who was about to look into this fishy Burisma deal.
Editor’s note – See Politifact’s gentle Biden-friendly analysis. The Nation gives a more balanced assessment. Here is the NYT’s report (I love this coy note about Joe’s son: “It is not known how Mr. Biden came to the attention of the company.” These things just happen.)
And then there was the even bigger windfall after Uncle Joe paid a call on China and Hunter’s shadowy company, Rosemont Seneca, landed a billion dollar private equity deal (whatever that means) from an equally shadowy company fronting for the Chinese government.
Ed’s note – These charges are from Peter Schweizer’s book Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends (2018). Here are articles in the WSJ and Weekly Standard about this.
All of which means that Uncle Joe Biden’s career as the Democratic tranquilizer may have about the half-life of that Xanax tablet. The four pillars of the legacy media – The New York Times, The WashPo, CNN, and NBC – don’t want to touch these stories, but they are already out there, and nobody can stuff them back under the carpet, not even the mighty censors of Twitter and Facebook.
“Hegel says somewhere that all great historic facts and personages occur twice, so to speak. He forgot to add: ‘Once as tragedy, and again as farce.’”
— The opening of Karl Marx’s The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1869).
The fall of the Weimar Republic was a tragedy. We are flouncing down the same path, making the West into Clownworld. There is no excuse for this.
About James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler (Wikipedia) worked as a reporter and feature writer for a number of newspapers, before working as a staff writer for Rolling Stone Magazine. In 1975, he began writing books on a full-time basis. Kunstler is the author of 12 novels and has been a regular contributor to many major media, writing about environmental and economic issues. He is a leading supporter of the movement known as “New Urbanism.”
He has lectured at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Dartmouth, Cornell, MIT, and many other colleges. He has written five non-fiction books. See more about the most recent one below.
- The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America’s Man-Made Landscape (1993),
- Home from Nowhere: Remaking Our Everyday World for the 21st Century (1996),
- The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition (2001),
- The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Cent (2005),
- Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation (2012).
See some of his recent posts about America. They’re all well worth reading!
- Oscar Bytes – About the Oscar ceremonies.
- Marching to Gilead – About our detente with North Korea.
- Sunset Boulevard with Chimp – About Michael Jackson.
- The Blind Leading the Deaf and Dumb – about the resistance.
For More Information
Ideas! For some shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.
Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information see all posts about the Democratic Party, about the left wing of US politics, about ways to reform America’s politics, and especially these …
- Visions of America if the Left wins.
- The Democrats will open the borders & make a New America.
- The Left goes full open borders, changing America forever.
- The Left pushes America down a slippery slope – about reckless social engineering.
- The Left can win in 2020 and dominate US politics.
- 2020 will continue the revolution that Trump began.
- The Democrats will own America. Their past will sink them.
- The Left hates America and will destroy it.
About Kunstler’s most recent book
Too Much Magic.
Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation.
From the publisher …
“Kunstler’s critically acclaimed and best-selling The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century (2005) quickly became a grassroots hit, going into nine printings in hardcover. Kunstler’s shocking vision of our post-oil future caught the attention of environmentalists and business leaders alike, and stimulated widespread discussion about our dependence on fossil fuels and our dysfunctional financial and government institutions. Kunstler has since become a key commentator on the future, profiled in The New Yorker and invited to speak at TED and other events.
In Too Much Magic, Kunstler evaluates what has changed in the last seven years and shows us that in a post-financial-crisis world, his ideas are more relevant than ever.
“‘Too Much Magic’ is what Kunstler sees in the bright visions of a future world dreamed up by overly optimistic souls who believe technology will solve all our problems. Their visions remind him of the flying cars and robot maids that were the dominant images of the future in the 1950s. Kunstler’s idea of the future is much more sober: he analyzes the various technologies (vertical farms, fracking, corn ethanol) suggested as overnight solutions to the energy crisis and finds none that he thinks will work long-term to cure a society dependent on gas-guzzling cars, in love with an inefficient ideal of suburbia, and unwilling to fundamentally change its high-energy lifestyle. Kunstler also offers concrete ideas as to how we can help ourselves adjust to a society where the oil tap is running dry.
“With vision, clarity of thought, and a pragmatic worldview, Kunstler argues that the time for magical thinking and hoping for miracles is over and that the time to begin preparing for the long emergency has begun.”