Disaffected Groups: "We need to unite!"
Sympathizer: “What shall we unite around?”
Democratic Party organizer: “Our differences!”
“I kind of wanted everyone to lose.”
-------Krystal Ball “Rising,” on the 2020 elections
The electoral verdict is in and the American people have rejected media drama in favor of thinking for themselves. They dislike Donald Trump’s governance, but are far from pronouncing him an Adolf Hitler clone, having awarded him some nine million more votes than last time around, to the horror of “woke” partisans, who are far more disliked than he is.
Supposedly a vicious misogynist, Trump’s share of the white woman vote, already a majority, went up. Widely referred to as the most racist president ever, his vote among blacks and Latinos also increased. Allegedly popular only with “white nationalist” voters eager to usher in fascism, his share of white, male, non-college educated voters went down. Either he or they are not as fascist as we’ve been led to believe.
To repeat: after four years of saturation media coverage denouncing Trump as racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, neo-Nazi scum, more Hispanics, Blacks, and white women voted for him than did four years ago, while his support among the “fascist” demographic declined.
Meanwhile, the hoped for blue wave that would soundly repudiate President Satan once and for all was nowhere to be seen. The Democrats lost House seats, failed to capture the Senate, and flipped not a single state legislature.
Predictably, the corporate Democrats blame the “radical” New Deal base of their party for this dismal performance, ignoring mounting evidence that the programmatic preferences of that base are, in fact, quite popular with the American people, sometimes even with Trump supporters. For example, every swing state House Democrat that supported Medicare For All won while stand-for-nothing “moderates” lost. More striking, “conservative” Florida passed a $15 an hour minimum wage by 60%, and also voted for Trump. Similarly, recreational marijuana won in Montana and South Dakota, and medical marijuana in Mississippi, all states that went for Trump by double digits. Other “radical” proposals, like student debt forgiveness, paid family leave, a Green New Deal (with federal jobs guarantee), and the breaking up of “too big to fail” banks, continue to win strong public support. Perhaps most surprising is a Business News report from this past January headlined “Majority of Americans favor wealth tax on very rich,” a position that “free trade” enthusiasts regard as the very gateway to Bolshevik slavery.
In short, the American people are not ideological fanatics of either the left or the right, but practical-minded folks seeking a better life by embracing social and democratic norms widely accepted throughout the developed world. But how can corporate America enhance its power and profit out of a “narrative” like that? It can’t, so we hear instead that a deeply-divided country is headed for civil war over cultural issues. If that turns out to be the case, both sides will have succumbed to vulgar sectarian propaganda.
Chief among the ideological arsonists pushing us in that direction, of course, are Democratic Party elites, currently celebrating Joe Biden’s victory at the polls. But exactly what does this “triumph” prove? No more than that Democrats can win by a narrow margin against a reality T.V. buffoon who won the presidency with a 31 percent approval rating in 2016, and then convinced enough people that they were “better off” during a raging pandemic and economic collapse than they were under Biden-Obama to nearly do it again. Just 150,000 votes in four states would have delivered re-election to Trump. Is this really something to celebrate?
Recall that this is Biden's fourth time running for the presidency, and each previous attempt showed his public support dropping commensurate with the amount of media exposure he got. In other words, the more people got to know him, the less they wanted anything to do with him. The only reason it turned out differently this time was coronavirus and Trump, a deadly combination that made the doddering imperialist Biden appear marginally less disastrous than reactionary nationalist Trump.
But nobody really wants Biden, since he had no detectable campaign in the primaries, and barely any in the general election. In lieu of issues, he piously opposed an imaginary American Nazism while making vague references to restoring the nation’s “soul.” But he militantly opposed material aid to Americans trying to survive medical and economic catastrophe, especially single-payer medical care and universal basic income, both achieved elsewhere but not in the “greatest, powerful, decent nation in the world,” as Biden refers to the United States. If it hadn’t been for the black vote in South Carolina and Barack Obama’s successful effort to organize a united front of neo-liberal suck-ups behind him, Biden would have remained mired in the obscurity that characterized his other three campaigns for the presidency.
So just exactly who is this masked man? To put it simply, he’s a career Reagan Democrat with pugnacious contempt for virtually every key Democratic constituency. Blacks are either “superpredators” (HRC coined the term, but Biden concurs) or spongers on the look-out for “free stuff.” Hispanics are unworthy of attention, unless they express impatience with mass deportation (far higher under Obama-Biden than under Trump) in which case they are contemptuously urged to “vote for Trump.” Young people, their lives torpedoed by Biden and the “free traders” years ago, are crybabies who shirk the responsibility to miraculously rise from the economic rubble. College males are instinctive rapists deservingly subjected to Star Chamber proceedings that destroy their lives and careers before they start. Women exist to be sniffed and fondled, except for gender ideologues, whose “diversity” dogmas are to be exploited for political gain. Seniors struggling on fixed incomes with all the afflictions of advanced age are balanced-budget obstructionists whom Biden must keep in line by slashing their Social Security and Medicare.
While thus releasing his bowels on the groups that make up the Democratic base, Biden avidly courts the loyalty of a handful of Republicans in the suburbs that have no ideological affinity with any of them. Look no further for reasons why he nearly lost the election: the grim march of the coronavirus death toll was the only thing he had going for him.
In the face of all this, we are told, quite absurdly, that Joe Biden “underperformed,” which is certainly one way to describe a campaign where the candidate hibernates in his basement to hide an increasingly obvious inability to utter a comprehensible sentence. But we could say with equal validity that Biden and his addled brain over-performed, thanks to an undisclosed pharmaceutical regimen and the weakness of his political opponent, a loud-mouthed imbecile with a lousy record. Obviously, the bar couldn’t have been lower for Biden. All he had to do to achieve the much-desired repudiation of Trump was offer something useful to the American people: Medicare For All, debt relief, a housing guarantee - anything. But he couldn’t, not because he’s under-performing, but because he’s overly-prostituted – to capital and the national security state.
And who knows how long he can sustain the farce that he has what it takes to be an effective president? Given his frequent lapses into gibberish and embarrassing inability to identify his own whereabouts or what day of the week it might be, it’s very likely he’ll fail to complete his term in office.
Which brings us to Prom Queen Kamala Harris, a self-declared “top tier” candidate who soared to 2% in the polls before dropping out of the race long in advance of the primaries. Popular with the media, if not with anyone else, she brought melanin and female genitalia to the Biden ticket, neither known to be an effective cure for infectious disease or economic collapse, but nevertheless Biden prerequisites for the vice-presidency.
Such priorities are reflective of an already failed identity politics that seeks to sever class loyalties with discrete market demographics around gender, race, and ethnicity. The technique is to convert blacks, women, Latinos and other constituency clienteles into professional grievance-mongers entitled to symbolic redress, so as to avoid having to offer anything of political substance to the oppressed majority of the population – subordinated order-takers forced to labor for those who own.
Diverted by this zero-sum competition of marginalized minorities seeking top victim status, Democrats have come to be known (and increasingly despised) for their wafer-thin multiculturalism and deep identity chauvinism, both oblivious to contradiction.
Inordinate attention is given to fighting “hate,” which is denounced and penalized with ever greater zeal, making it increasingly difficult to separate the haters from those who would see them properly punished. [New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg, reporting on the ground from Charlottesville: “The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding ‘Antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park.”] In short, the more “hate” is condemned, the more it flourishes, and the more that legal penalties are applied to it, the less that real tolerance for others can actually exist. Straight into the trash go mutual concern, shared purpose, compassion, and understanding – the essence of a politics of justice – each deliberately amputated from the body politic by ideological knife blades carving out turf for official minorities.
New gender identities are continually advanced, whose “cause” pushes into the shadows the increasingly dire problems of an economic majority producing more and more for less and less with no hope of relief. Economic exploitation is forgotten as the aggrieved guardians of identity boundaries mobilize to police attitudes rather than economic priorities. By now it is a familiar sight to see billionaires awash in gluttonous excess compete to become the world’s first trillionaire while far below them on the wealth pyramid ant-size “victims” argue about pronoun use, safe spaces, and toilet access.
Somehow such discussions have gotten the label “Marxist,” though there is nothing at all Marxist about them. Marxism is a commentary about hierarchically ordered classes in conflict over the production of goods and services necessary to general survival, not a perpetual status squabble about whose intrinsic qualities are most important. The central idea in Marxism was never that workers should “hate” owners (or even that owners necessarily hate them), but that they should organize and overcome the hierarchical structure of classes, so that wealth can be produced and distributed rationally and democratically. The point was not to denounce individual capitalists for embodying evil, but to note that their struggle to avoid bankruptcy required that they embrace cutthroat competition to push down wages to starvation levels. Whatever its flaws, Marxism was at least focused on the contradiction between hierarchical economics and democratic politics, which continues to cause serious and perhaps terminal problems to human society down to the present day.
But for Democratic Party elites and other adherents of identarian politics this is all quite irrelevant. For them, political conflict involves a moral crusade, not a test of reasoning power and social organization. Thus, the reactionary right must not be opposed by argument and evidence - a pointless strategy against the evil partisans of hate - but by violence and censorship. The enemy must not merely be defeated, but annihilated.
Obviously, mutual respect based on common appreciation of the unique miracle each of us actually is can have no place in our public discourse if these assumptions are correct. Division of the spoils mediated by selfish competition between “winners” and “losers” is all that there is. Little wonder that many Americans have become so distrustful that they venture out in public only when fully armed. Others consider it proof of great moral courage to break up a “hate” speaking event or physically attack “the enemy” in the streets. It’s true that the United States is flirting with fascism, but it’s anybody’s guess as to which groups are the most “fascistic.” The totalitarian impulse runs along the entire political spectrum.
For what it’s worth, fascism historically involved a strong charismatic leader of a disciplined, armed party, imposing unity and conformity on the basis of a clear program commanding mass support. It is difficult to see how this applies to Donald Trump, who has no discipline, is too lazy to adhere to doctrine (or even understand it), and who sows chaos and division rather than unity and order. At least as authoritarian as he is are his dogged opponents, who tried to interfere with the electoral college to change the outcome of the 2016 elections, and later staged media show trials (Russiagate) and imposed censorship in order to delegitimize his victory, which to this day they do not accept. Ever since then free discussion has been increasingly hamstrung by tech giant censorship and slimy red-baiting charges against all who criticize, plus the traditional informal imposition of doctrinal unity on all key issues – the Middle East, Russia, “dictators,” free trade, NATO, immigration, climate change, and “diversity.”
All of which points up the fact that our real dictator is the entertainment and information industry, which holds nearly unlimited power without ever having to endure the indignity of a democratic election.
 Matt Taibbi, “Which is the Real Working-Class Party Now?” November 6, 2020, www.substack.com. On Latino support for Trump see Suzanne Gamboa and Carmen Sesin, “Trump’s gains among Latino voters shouldn’t be a surprise. Here’s why.” NBC News Online, November 5, 2020
 Ralph Nader, Why Was It So Effing Close? Ralph Nader Radio Hour, November 7, 2020.
 Paul Blest, Discourse Blog, quoted by David Doel on the Rational National, November 8, 2020
 Krystal Ball
and Saagar Enjeti, “Rising,” November 9, 2020. According to Ralph Nader, a shift of a mere 43,000 votes in Arizona, George, and Wisconsin would have produced an electoral college tie, throwing the outcome into Congress, where Trump would have son. Nader interviewed by Brianna Joy, Bad Faith Podcast, February 2, 2021
 Cas Mudde, “Trump is pushing nationalist myths. But Democrats indulge lavish patriotism, too,” The Guardian, September 20, 2020
 Stolberg later amended her tweet, replacing “hate-filled” with “violent,” to accommodate the Trump = Nazi party line. The original and modified tweets can be seen in Blake Montgomery, “Here’s What Really Happened In Charlottesville,” Buzz Feed News, August 14, 2017.
 This analysis of identity politics closely parallels that found in Diana Johnstone, Circle In The Darkness – Memoir of a World Watcher, Clarity Press, 2020, pps. 421-423