When the Democratic Party ends its charade of a primary process and spits out the person most closely aligned with neo-liberal policies, the gas lighting begins.
“The farce always intensifies with a black person on the ticket.”
Democrats love to pretend. They pretend their party advocates on their behalf, even though the leadership makes clear they’ll do no such thing. They have no intention of doing what their voters want; the people subconsciously know and engage in wishful thinking, and every four years we witness a pathetic collusion.
“We will hold their feet to the fire,” is one of the saddest or perhaps funniest of all quadrennial proclamations. When the Democratic Party ends its charade of a primary process and spits out the person most closely aligned with neo-liberal policies, the gas lighting begins. The victims go along with their abusers and announce they will accept what they said they didn’t want. They continue the kabuki theater with self-delusion and an odd promise to hold the intentionally corrupt candidates accountable.
Joe Biden profits from this bizarre dynamic just as much as his predecessor presidential candidates. He is the lowest light of all, a mediocre careerist with a penchant for inappropriate and racist remarks, a record as democratic segregationist in chief, and proud mass incarcerator. His home state of Delaware is well known as the capital of capital and excels at doing the business of the banksters. Biden was always one of the most conservative senate democrats and that is why he was chosen as Barack Obama’s running mate.
“Joe Biden is the lowest light of all.”
Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris as his running mate has accelerated this troublesome dynamic. The farce always intensifies with a black person on the ticket. Angela Davis proclaimed herself, “Excited,” to see Ms. Harris grace the front page of the New York Times. Shaun King went from declaring himself “99% certain,” not to support either Biden or Harris because “They both helped build & advance mass incarceration,” to now saying, “Kamala Harris is the most progressive VP nominee in American history.”
It only gets worse. Film director Ava DuVernay scolded anyone who questioned anything about Kamala Harris. Not being Trump is good enough for DuVernay who completed that lowest common denominator low hanging fruit comparison with an admonition that critics were “disrespecting our elders.” The shameless black political class excels in shaming others with idiotic appeals to phony racial solidarity.
Anyone who actually votes for a Democrat yet ends up pushing back against them is in a very distinct minority. Most Americans have been so bullied by the system that their political activity is already limited to voting. They have no experience whatsoever with political organizing and literally have no idea where to begin. Black people are particularly vulnerable. Black politics now amounts to little more than keeping Republicans out of office. Whether they think they mean their words or not, there is rarely so much as a question asked, much less the holding of a foot to a flame.
“The shameless black political class excels in shaming others with idiotic appeals to phony racial solidarity.”
Even if the people were sufficiently well organized to call anyone to account, they would be begging Biden and Harris to act in direct opposition to the interests of the donor class who put them in their positions. The day after the Harris announcement media headlines proclaimed that Wall Street was breathing a sigh of relief and Silicon Valley couldn’t be happier. Kamala Harris was chosen precisely because she complements Biden’s determination to do nothing on behalf of the people. He famously told a group of funders, “Nothing will fundamentally change,” if he were elected president. Even if the previously unseen feet and fire trick was attempted, it would face interests determined to fight against it.
The trickery encourages the bullied and propagandized voters into silencing themselves completely. They won’t admit, even to themselves, that their situation is untenable or that they resent being painted into a corner. They are supposed to not only take abuse but learn to love it so much that they don’t even think of themselves as having been assaulted.
“Kamala Harris was chosen precisely because she complements Biden’s determination to do nothing on behalf of the people.”
Of course there are sincere folks who swear they will speak up when the horrible Democrat foisted upon them gets into office and promptly carries out orders from the rulers. But like clockwork, they are told that the congressional majority isn’t big enough to give the president any leeway, or that the right wing are already attacking and they must protect the person doing them wrong, or look at that one good thing he did, or they point out the meaningless words of a conservative pundit as proof that the gangster in chief ought to be loved and appreciated. Of course, the off-year election rolls around and the cycle of protecting the abuser starts all over again with pleas to provide whichever liar in chief is in the White House with more cover.
Liberation can’t come from electoral politics. The mass movement comes first and electoral successes may follow. But there is a larger problem at work today. The recognition of the U.S. as an imploding failed state is rarely acknowledged. The days of getting a victory or even a partial win are long gone. The loss of democracy is complete and we are left with a system that must be torn up root and branch.
But that realization is lost on most people who can’t or won’t admit that the COVID-19 dystopian world is the only America they will get from here on out. There is no lesser evil, no Democrat who can save the country. There is only evil afoot and we must dispense with the idea that Biden or Harris can save us. They couldn’t even if they were interested in doing so.
Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well at patreon.com/margaretkimberley and she regularly posts on Twitter @freedomrideblog. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.