Pluralistic: Incomplete vs. overshoot (26 Feb 2024)

One bit of nuance that seems to be missing from the comments section is the difference between left and right as Cory was using them, e.g. FDR New Deal vs. Reaganomics, as opposed to say Neolib Democrat vs. GOP Republican.

Some people seem to think the groups at either end (respectively) of those spectrums (assuming for the sake of argument they are both indeed spectrums) are the same, but the realities of what has happened to money in politics, corporate personhood, and hyper-monopolization in the intervening 40+ years would like a word.

I’m 100% in agreement with Cory’s argument as he applied it. If you want to start applying it to the current moment and our current political reality in the U.S. though… we need to talk. Biden is obviously and objectively not Trump, but when you want to argue against Horseshoe Theory and say there aren’t disturbing similarities between our political parties and many of our elected officials, regardless of the D or R next to their name, we need to dig deeper.

I find it instructive to understand the degree to which the sides of government that oligarchy bought are “not the same” by looking at the (very few these days) “bipartisan” bills they pass, which if you’ve been paying attention are often hopelessly out of touch and self-serving, or gigantic “must pass” omnibus bills full of horrifying riders which is where the real sausage gets made (and they make good on their true employers’ investments). These are the kinds of bills that have AOC tweeting out what a disgrace it is that she had to vote for it, or Bernie sitting on the steps outside looking utterly defeated. This is directly to Cory’s point, what are they trying to accomplish. Through that lens the message is loud, clear, and unified. They are bought and paid for.

“Ah, but when the queen proclaims one king and the Hand another, whose peace do they protect?” Lord Petyr flicked at the dagger with his finger, setting it spinning in place. When at last it slowed to a stop, the blade pointed at Littlefinger. “Why, there’s your answer. They follow the man who pays them.”

George R. R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire, chapter XII

They can loudly blast on social media all their ideological differences and cosplay as New Deal Democrats or Reagan Republicans all they want. They can make very long, impressive, and almost convincing state of the union addresses where they keep promising a slightly worse version of what they promised four years ago and still didn’t deliver (while almost managing to convince us they aren’t octagenarions), but words are wind. What I really care about is what they actually do. They can point fingers at one another about why we can’t have nice things, but you would be a fool to believe it. We can’t have nice things because the people funding the super PACs don’t want us to have nice things.

The culture wars are a distraction (don’t misunderstand me, a distraction with very real victims) and while some of these perps no doubt have true ideological goals (the scariest ones, our future -Adolf Hitlers- EDIT: IG Farbens, the OG PE firm), there is one ideology they can all get behind: SHOW ME THE MONEY.

Until you fix that, nothing will mend.

This isn’t Nihilism, it’s a call for demanding more and better. It’s not enough that Biden isn’t Trump, not by a light year. Of course we’re going to vote blue no matter who, but if this is actually a democracy then please, let’s discuss the blue who and make sure Horton isn’t out of his gorram’d mind. The American people are being conned one election after another in the greatest demonstration of anchoring the world has ever seen. We’re so afriad of the alternative that the rest doesn’t even matter anymore.

I’m not a smug centrist because the center of greed cosplaying as a good guy and greed cosplaying as a bad guy is still just greed and I don’t believe those are my only two choices. If we do, then we’ve lost before we’ve begun because we’re playing a rigged game. Stop playing the game. It starts with being able to talk about literally anything besides the game and not just trying to silence or dismiss anyone like me is a good first step.

EDIT: go read which I hadn’t before I wrote this but it makes the point better than I ever could’ve.