Between Lying Democrats and Crazy Republicans

America’s elected officials are directly and personally responsible for nearly 600,000 deaths since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Most, at least half a million, were preventable.

Thousands of healthcare workers have died trying to fight a virus the federal government pretends to be at war with, but in fact long ago surrendered to.

They were betrayed, just like the thousands of soldiers who died in the insane “War on Terror” were betrayed in their own turn by a generation of political leaders who have turned America into a laughingstock with their pointless partisan civil war.

At every turn, Democratic and Republican politicians and their allied partisan media outlets have actively politicized a simple scientific phenomenon to further their own petty interests.

Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden made the deliberate choice to downplay the dangers of the pandemic and the effectiveness of their response. One is obviously a self-obsessed fool and would-be fascist, but Joe Biden’s tragic failure to make good on repeated promises he and surrogates made to the American people about tying reopening to quality science throughout the absolute disaster that was the 2020 Presidential Election puts him on almost the same level as his predecessor.

Scientists have pointed out for a year now that Covid-19 was especially hitting Black, Latin, and Indigenous communities for an array of reasons, most of them boiling down to the toxic combination of pernicious racial bias in American society and the adoption of neoliberal economic dogma by the wealthy caste that dominate American politics.

Put simply, white Americans tend to be wealthier, so in our broken money-dominated political system some still dare to pretend is a “democracy” they tend to have an easier time influencing politicians. Because they will never — can never — fully appreciate what it is like being not a white American, they don’t advocate as strongly for equal rights as they do things that impact their own personal well-being.

This effect is ultimately the reason for it being so damn hard for serious problems like the epidemic of police killings of Black men to get the focused political attention it deserves. It ought to be a basic principle of a free democratic society that no one has to walk around afraid a police officer might wind up killing them after mistaking their gun for their Taser. (if we can’t defund the police, how about just disarming them for pete’s sake!) That this doesn’t automatically outrage white people as much as everyone else is evidence of a deep sickness in society.

Ultimately this is why both Republican and Democratic leaders chose to prioritize the interests of the business lobby and the sensitivities of the kinds of people who can’t understand that being required to wear a mask is the exact same thing as having to wear clothes. They know where their $ comes from. And it isn’t the communities where huge numbers of people can’t afford clean water or live in the shadow of a carcinogen-emitting oil refinery.

If you look at the pattern of the actions taken by leaders in both parties across the United States, the single clearest signal is that once they realized who was most likely to contract and die from Covid-19, they immediately gave up trying to eradicate the disease. In March, when hospitals in Northern Italy, Spain, Britain, and New York City began to fill up, no one knew for certain (though they should, based on reports already flowing out of Asia, which was hit first and later contained it) how bad things would get. Even politicians were contracting the virus — they and their wealthy patrons were scared.

But after the first wave peaked, the science was in: frequency of contacts was the key driver of infection rates. If you could isolate yourself from others well enough, you would be shielded until a vaccine arrived.

And so the national narrative — on the federal and state levels — turned towards “re-opening.”

Because the stock market was going nuts. Fear of an imminent economic collapse worldwide was rising. And because they feared the consequences of an extended lockdown, politicians in America did what they always do: cherry-pick the science they listened to in order to justify actions taken to assuage the concerns of the business lobby.

They knew the consequences: people in essential jobs, which to keep a country running is everything from factory workers to hospital staff, would be at substantially higher risk of exposure than white collar workers who could work remotely. And because people constantly go from work to home, they would inevitably bring the virus back with them, infecting others.

Do you really think that if it was their family members working those jobs the politicians would have acted with such callous disregard? Even those who downplayed the severity of Covid-19 eventually masked up and were first in line for vaccines when they came out. They knew, despite what they told their supporters, exactly what was up.

They aren’t (completely) stupid — the truth is much much worse.

They’re simply callous.

Governors of Blue States like Andrew Cuomo, Gretchen Whitmer, Gavin Newsom, and Kate Brown have all proclaimed on a daily basis that they were “following the science” in their reopening schedules.

But the only science they ever cared about was a kind of political science — how the pandemic could be spun to their political gain.

Conservatives, at least, have the decency to tell you to your face that they don’t care. Liberals prefer to make excuses for their incompetence that somehow make it your fault.

“We’re all in this together,” they’ll say — baldly ignoring the fact that in a deeply unequal society like America’s this can never be true.

You’ve got to fix the inequities before you can pretend everyone is remotely the same.

America’s political leaders, Democrat and Republican each to their own degree, abandoned hundreds of thousands of Americans to their fate. Sure they’ve passed huge government spending programs — that disproportionately benefit the wealthy and will eventually drive up inflation rates whose impact will be felt most by the less wealthy. But this wasn’t done out of particular concern for regular Americans, but to prop up businesses and keep the stock market from tanking.

The simple tragic truth is that a two-party system is never truly democratic. It always functions as the equivalent of a one-party system, just like China’s.

Sure, “debates” happen out in the open, but real decisions — like Joe Biden being the torchbearer for the Democrats instead of Kamala Harris — are controlled by power-players within the parties who game it out to guarantee their interests are covered no matter who wins.

A state-by state primary process where only registered partisans get to vote and candidates are winnowed by a media-driven process with commentators and editors are able to substantially bias everything is fundamentally undemocratic. Iran and China both have similar rigged systems that function as a “selectorate” guaranteeing those outside the ruling clique are kept out of contention, and most observers rightly call them authoritarian regimes.

If you take a close look at both parties, the most vicious conflicts tend to be between insiders and outsiders. In 2016 Trump, an outsider, beat the odds thanks to Republican party’s decay and the Democrats’ incompetence. The media and many old hands in both parties never forgave him — and hijacked the fake “resistance” to make the 2020 Election a simple re-run of the last, fixing the only real problem senior Democrats decided cost them 2016: the gender of their candidate.

But the entire time the majority of senior Democrats have fought desperately against a rising group of young, brash women of color now known as The Squad. AoC, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley represent the soul of Progressive politics in the contemporary United States — and witness the scorn heaped on them by failed leaders like Nancy Pelosi, aided by friendly editors in the fawning pro-Democrat media.

The racist and sexist treatment of these four has been utterly disgusting. Even worse is how the Democratic leadership — Bernie Sanders included — uses them as part of the grand game now underway to pretend the Democrats are more Progressive than they truly are.

Since Biden’s inauguration, there has been a devoted media blitz dedicated to selling the idea that his actions and proposals are deeply progressive, in the vein of FDR. This is happening because the Democrats are in deep trouble, and the leadership knows it.

But the Party elders, old hands from the Clinton days, are dedicated to making the Democratic Party be seen as the only legitimate political party in the United States. In 2020, the Biden campaign made the fateful choice to portray his bid as a referendum on Trump, and explicitly framed the election as about saving Democracy.

This destroyed any chance of making the election about ideas or recovering from Covid, and backfired catastrophically: the Democratic House majority declined and the Senate wound up split 50–50. Biden’s ability to pass legislation depends on either unity with Progressives or winning over the small number of centrist Republicans who remain.

Following the old, tragic logic of triangulation (simply: in two party system you must always be in the middle), the Democrats are actively working to keep Progressives on-side through a marketing blitz while simultaneously trying to convince a few Republicans to break ranks with their now-extremist, Trump worshiping cult. But this is almost guaranteed to fail, because too many people no longer trust the messenger.

Hypocrisy is deadly in an age of cheap communication, so it is no longer as easy to promise everything to everyone like old-school politicos like Biden instinctively do. Unity was hard enough to achieve simply to knock Trump out of office — it can’t be relied on in the future.

Thanks to new voting restrictions and the natural tendency for midterms to swing against the new President, in 2023 the Republicans will most likely control the House and maybe the Senate too. At that point the revenge game begins, and America is utterly paralyzed for two years.

Then, with progressives in dismay and feeling betrayed, it won’t matter how hard the Dems market or stoke fears of Trump. He’ll be back, and this time, his people will know exactly what levers to pull to transform America into a formally apartheid state.

The American political system has failed. It is fundamentally broken, the Constitution stolen from the people by craven hacks who don’t care about anything but their own power.

America’s leaders have killed hundreds of thousands of their own people. This is America’s Chernobyl, and Biden is the new Gorbachev.

The future is now wide open — everything from the final dissolution of the Union to a true democracy is possible in the next decade. The pent-up rage of millions of Americans who have lost loved ones or spent months battling Long Covid will out — and it won’t be pretty when it happens.

The truth is, America is due for a total reboot. Powerful people are working right now to make sure that what rises from the ashes serves their interests — as the nation always has.

They have allies across the media, shills writing for the New York Times, Washington Post, New Yorker, Atlantic, and other “thought leader” style publications.

They are dedicated to selling you a new edition of the American Myth: that everything is ok, a new Progressive Age is dawning.

It is a lie, just like it was a lie that America’s elected leaders were going to “follow the science” — meaning the science they preferred. Scientists too are vulnerable to letting their work be pulled into the maw of partisan politics, and it is notable that authorities like Dr. Fauci speak quite differently abroad than they do at home.

America’s futures, ranked best to worst, look something like the following, based on my own systems-informed (but still sadly heuristic since I don’t exactly have the funds to build the necessary models to make this quant) forecasting method:

  1. A reform movement emerges that coalesces into a viable Third Party. Beginning with a Progressive defection en masse, it unites with Black and Latino voters disenchanted with the Democratic Party’s fake concern for their well-being to dominate the West Coast and parts of the Sun Belt. The Democrats become centrist party focused on wealthy white suburbanites. They cooperate to prevent Republicans from taking power but encourage up to half to defect by either the Democrats or Progressives embracing localism and seizing the anti-DC outsider mantle. The new tri-party system stabilizes the system and allows for a slow shift to a true multi-party system. The Red states begin to split into regional chunks without a coherent nationalist message, the Republicans slowly becoming the main Third Party.
  2. Joe Biden resigns in early 2023, allowing Kamala Harris to run as an incumbent in 2024. This changing of the old guard brings notable Progressives directly into the administration, giving her the credibility to run in 2024 on a future-focused platform emphasizing both economic growth and social justice. The party embraces cuts to bloated federal spending areas like the Pentagon and establishes national investment zones which are given direct input into the budget process as opposed to leaving spending in the hands of elected representatives. Non-partisan media investments build out a political social media platform designed to be both engaging and avoid political thought bubbles. Narrowly winning the 2024 election thanks to widespread anger at Republican-backed voting restrictions, the country gains another 4 years of respite and time for demographic change to take the wind from the sails of the increasingly virulent Republican Party.
  3. Donald Trump dies, leaving the Republican Party in disarray for 2024. A vicious inter-party fight results in a fragment joining with Libertarians and Independents to run a spoiler campaign in several Western Red States. Despite Democratic Party incompetence and its own miniature collapse, a candidate emerges capable of keeping enough Progressives and Democrats on board in enough states that no candidate wins the Electoral College. Congress is forced to decide the result of the Contingent Election, a brutal and unprecedented process that nevertheless ends with a solid majority of state delegations choosing either the Democrat or rebel Centrist. Many Republicans riot and allege a stolen election, but most accept the Constitutional result and the country moves on, deeply divided and possibly forced to divide in the future but still alive.
  4. Donald Trump wins the 2024 Election thanks to a campaign of aggressive voter suppression in a few key states widely decried by the international community. It soon emerges that Russia and even China have covertly supported his campaign, angered by Biden’s attempts to act tough during his difficult four years in office. Many Democrats call for the election results in Georgia, Arizona, and Wisconsin to be rejected, relying on the fact they have retaken the House to try and control the election certification process and trigger a Contingent Election. Violence breaks out between pro and anti-Trump demonstrators, and right wing militias begin attacking demonstrators in Atlanta. State governors, driven by popular sentiment in their mostly Red or Blue electorates, begin to take sides — some choosing Biden, others Trump. It is as if the escalation that began in 2020 simply picks back up where it left off, only with both sides feeling desperate and ready to escalate.

Personally, I see #4 as the most likely at this point.

If the United States cannot fundamentally reform, and quickly, it is very likely to go the way of the U.S.S.R. before the end of the 2020s.

Thresholds have been breached, lines crossed that never should have been.

America’s political class has failed. And one way or another, they will suffer the consequences. Because another truth is this: America’s internal and external borders are arbitrary, as are those of all settler-colonies.

The feds have failed, and the states have failed too. And if nothing breaks the two-party doom loop, something like this may well be the map of America in 2030:

Balkanized USA 2030

Author, rogue systems analyst. True Neutral autistic pro-science anti-authoritarian rural cat fanatic, he/him/they, married. West Coast = Only Coast :)