Sweet win, Alabama! A U.S. Senate seat that was downright owned by Republicans, win victory margins over 90 percent, was captured by a moderate Democrat in a special election Tuesday, closing the gap in the Senate between Republicans and Democrats to a razor-thin 51-49.
Everything, everything, is changed in American politics by that surprise electoral result.
The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake did a good job summarizing the winners and losers resulting from the election in an article entitled, “Blue Gains and Red Pains in Alabama Race.”
The winners, he enumerated, have been the Democratic Senate majority hopes, the #MeToo movement, Democrats’ pulse in the Deep South, The gender gap, and the African-American turnout. The losers have been President Trump, Senate Republicans, Mitch McConnell and Roy Moore’s surrogates. “It was painful,” he concluded, “and now, thankfully, it’s over.” But, of course, none of these trends resulting from the election are over, not by a long shot.
As if the swift kick that Virginians gave to the Trump-led GOP last month wasn’t enough, now this electoral latest outcome carries far greater consequences for the future of American politics that will not only spill over into next year’s midterm elections, but will resonate far beyond. It represented a lethal blow to the hyper-ugly culture that the Republican Party has cultivated in the last 50 years, and provided an unprecedented opening for Democrats to step up with something new and much better. In terms of economic class warfare, the super-rich benefactors of the GOP are looking at a new, rising, angry coalition of the “other 99 percent” that is beginning to overthrow all the false divisions that have been set up between them to taste the effectiveness of working together.
There are a lot of factors contributing to this new day, but at their core is the incredible stupidity of the leadership of the GOP and its elite class masters. The stopgap measures they’ve used all along since the rise of industrial capitalism haven’t advanced in sophistication one iota. On the contrary, in the false and ridiculously stupid belief that FDR’s New Deal and similar social entitlement efforts represented a fast path to their obliteration, rather than to their preservation, they’ve contracted with the Devil himself to advance a simplistic policy of nothing other than slamming and disenfranchising their perceived enemies, which for them, is just about everybody but their own fraction of one percent.
Zealots like Rep. Paul Ryan, as evidenced in his wish list for the current tax reform effort, want to repeal the entirety of the New Deal and social safety net programs that have been advanced in the last 80 years, including of course, Obamacare. Their Mad Hatter extremism, reflected in the bogus election of Donald Trump, is what has sparked the just-started broad-based American public resistance.
This political posture represents a pure oligarchy, which is why it is so compatible with the objectives of Russian President Putin, himself now likely the richest man in the world and an archetypical oligarch. Putin hates with a fiery passion the notion of a publicly-elected, democratic government apparatus interfering with his designs, and he’s found a witting fool to join his effort in Trump, as well as anti-democratic zealots like Mike Pence and Ryan.
And this American culture they have crafted, with the full-blown support of covert operations, has put the nation on a spiral to self-destruction, a Maelstrom sweeping everything along with it to disable the civil rights movement with drugs and police state tactics, the feminist movement with “sexual freedom” and pornography excesses, and everyone else with a combination of deadly opioids, violent, militant games of death with perpetual wars and brain-mashing professional sports on the one hand, and brainwashing religious cults, the hyper-hypocritical and wantonly judgmental so-called “evangelical movement,” that exploited residual pre-Civil War racism, on the other.
Postmodernist nihilism is a unifying theme of this cascade to hell.
A simple universal humanism is the antidote the rest of us can set in motion to rescue the nation from all this, as embodied in, say, the Golden Rule, the Sermon on the Mount, or the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, hardly “socialist” alternatives.
Nicholas Benton may be emailed at [email protected].