If perchance you were wondering why Ted Wheeler rolled out the standard 2016 litany of Trump’s sins in talking about violence in PDX in 2020, I think it served two purposes.
The first was to exonerate Wheeler himself by reminding people that Trump’s failings of character are the ultimate source of all evil in America. Hence the recapitulation of Trump’s agreed upon moments of depravity, which have collectively served over these past four years to render him as the Devil Incarnate. Big Baby Hitler. In mechanically running through this familiar incantation, Wheeler was attempting to void his own culpability as Mayor and Police Chief. Nothing Wheeler could have done to prevent the streets of his city from becoming a battleground for armed militias. That’s Just Trump’s America. The buck stops there.
The other was to create unity in a sense of shared hatred of Trump between the radical left and the normies who either don’t yet know or are afraid to admit what’s been unleashed.
To my mind it had a desperate air to it, like Wheeler was passing a coupon he knew was expired to cover a bill he couldn’t afford, hoping against hope he could keep the mob from burning his place to the ground by saying he ‘looked forward to doing the hard work together’ with them. They love hearing about “the hard work”.
It might be amusing were the situation not so grave. What’s going to happen when hatred of Trump can no longer unify the fragments of the American Left in something that at least imagines itself a defense of humane norms?
What will become of the country if the current dabbling by liberal elites in violent revolutionary cosplay becomes the norm? How woke are these privileged actors willing to pretend to be? Will radical chic become so fashionable that it becomes more than fashion?
I’ve been thinking that the institutional Left has long controlled it’s radical edge by betrayal, as when the Democrats controlled the Presidency and both houses of Congress between 2008 and 2010 and yet only managed to pass Mitt Romney’s health care plan. Frankly, i think they’d much rather focus everyone’s attention on race than class, forging a de facto alliance between radical ideologues and the Wall Street and Silicon Valley donors whose lives really matter.
What’s more, i think this is long term standard operating procedure, from the counter culture of the 60’s till the current day.
In a nutshell: UBI funded by recovery of wealth from billionaires would be fantastically popular and unifying. Reparations, on the other hand, as an attempt to redistribute generational wealth, is going to be the wedge issue of all wedge issues. And it is exactly by keeping people at war with one another that the real political and economic elite keep their position secure.
That’s how i see it anyway, from my park bench. I think we’re run by a ruling class entirely willing to secure itself on its country’s ashes, and that we may be in the end game of a long term plan to do just that.
In fact, it doesn’t matter if there’s a conspiracy our not. The machinery is in place. The nation destroying system is built.
Arthur C Clarke wrote a story about scientists who build the ultimate super computer just to ask it the question: Is there a God? To which it replies: There is now.
By which I mean to say: it doesn’t matter if the system was built to destroy the country intentionally or not. The system is built, with cell phones and social media running a revolutionary OS that looks dead certain to crash.