“Our system is basically breaking apart right now in this election. And you can only say, ‘Yay! It’s great!'”—Seymour Hersh
One of the most penetrating insights of depth psychology is that when we repress very disturbing information or experiences in our lives, when we live in a state of chronic denial, we tend to “act out” our repressed feelings over these disturbances in dysfunctional ways, projecting our “shadow” out into the world in often dramatic ways. The greater the disturbance we are repressing, the more dramatic the projection.
What we are witnessing in the world at this particular time in human civilization is perhaps the most disturbing development we have ever faced, a rapidly accelerating baking of the planet often referred to as “the Great Unraveling.” Some have gone so far as to say that, collectively, we are exhibiting suicidal behaviors that add up over time to “ecocide” — mortally threatening our own life-support system.
Because humanity refuses to deal with the reality of this situation, especially at the highest levels of governing and planning, we are unconsciously “acting out” this Great Unraveling in just about every area of our lives right now. Nowhere is this being played out any more dramatically, unfortunately, then in the American presidential race. Casual observers on both sides have characterized the actions of both political parties as suicidal. We are witnessing the self-inflicted maiming and rapidly accelerating destruction of the two-party system. Given its continuing role in the climate crisis, that is a cause for celebration! And the only candidate who emphasizes our moral obligation as a people to future generations, who sees the obvious seriousness of the threat and promises to take appropriate action, is being marginalized and demonized by the corporate-controlled media whose golden-egg laying goose he regularly threatens to cook.
The monthly global average temperature went up in the last two months (Feb./March) approximately as much as it had in the prior 35 years. In fact, the February temperature was 1.35 degrees Celsius above baseline — by far the greatest jump in recorded history. Welcometo the world of abrupt climate change. It turns out we’ve passed the tipping points much quicker than scientists had warned, primarily because the feedback loop from the “albedo effect” — the loss of reflective capacity associated with melting glaciers and ice caps — is far greater than we had imagined.
This is very bad news. The human race is now whistling past a global graveyard. But fortunately, we have a political horse race todistract us! Perhaps the most distracting political horse race ever. The one thing we humans have become most proficient at in responseto this existential threat we face is distraction!
After years of Tea Party led efforts to kill the Republican Party from within its big, bloated gut, Ted Cruz was finally beaten to the punch by the reality television blowhard, Donald Trump. Naturally, these faux Republicans are the people most in denial about the climate crisis, so we would expect them to act out in the most extreme of ways — and they have obliged. In spades.
You see, the climate crisis is ultimately rooted in America’s own cultural trauma, and the most traumatized people in our culture are drawn to Trump and Palin like flies to a factory farm. He is their daddy, and he is going to build a wall to protect them from the dangers of a changing world. Get it?
Clinton represents endless war, which is not only the easiest way to distract people from the need to overhaul our rigged economy, but also happens to be extremely profitable — so it also distracts them from the continuing concentration of wealth into fewer and fewer hands. “Oh look — a terrorist!” It is so telling that Clinton’s first response to her cozy relationship with Wall Street was “9-11!”
Naomi Klein would call Clinton the “Shock Doctrine” candidate. Of course, she also happens to be the one candidate in the entire country who actually stands a good chance of losing to Donald Trump. In a year where voters are angrily demanding change across the political spectrum, no longer willing to tolerate the status quo, the Democrats have dressed the status quo up in an establishment pant suit. This wolf in sheep’s clothing just happens to be under investigation by the FBI for espionage (removing state secrets from a secure server — without telling anyone) and, quite possibly, raking in tens of millions of dollars in a “pay-for-play” access scheme where arms deals were traded for donations and exorbitant speaker fees (half-million per) for Bill.
But wait, it get’s much worse! It now appears that the Clinton campaign and their henchmen in the Democratic National Party — Debbie Wasserman, Barbara Boxer Harry Reid, Paul Krugman, Wolf Blitzer, Chris Matthews — have orchestrated a fine dirty tricks campaign at a key point in the primary season, a time when she is in danger of losing something like 18 of the last 23 primaries and caucuses. They used Nevada’s Democratic Gestapo (DNG) in Las Vegas to provoke Sander’s supporters into a near frenzy of righteous indignation, and in the next news cycle had all their spin doctors and corporate press toadies ready to spring into action, blaming the victims of their treachery in the ultimate victim card from the deck Clinton has been dealing from her whole career in office.
Regardless of what else you may think of these tactics, which hearken back to the days of Nixon, it is clearly suicidal behavior. The millennials that favor Sanders’ political revolution are now the largest voting block in the nation, and they cannot be “brought to heel,” as Clinton likes to say. The Clinton/Wasserman Campaign is ensuring that there will be no way Sanders will be able to call for unity with a straight face. They have effectively just ousted he and his followers from the Democratic party, apparently in favor of appealing toClinton’s true base: the neoliberal/neocon coalition of suits and uniforms.
One problem with this strategy, Clinton. That is not the Democratic Party’s base. It is the Republican’s old base. You’ve just sacrificed the future of your party for the chance to win a nomination before the FBI guillotine falls.
So here are the new political realities. Hillary Clinton is now running for president as a Republican, and indeed has the Koch Brother’s tacit endorsement. She’s been using Karl Rove’s playbook, and has now even gone after Jeb Bush’s donors. Donald Trump is apparently running as the Tea Party candidate, though nobody is really sure. There’s no other way to affiliate him, unless the “T” Party is now the Trump Party. While we can call Sanders the only true Democrat in the race now, he has always self-identified as an Independent.
And this is where the reality gets very interesting.
Independents now comprise 44 percent of registered voters. Democrats are 31 percent. Republicans 25 percent. These numbers mirror the latest favorability ratings of the three remaining candidates, according to a NYT/CBS News poll: Sanders, 41 percent; Clinton, 31 percent; Trump, 26 percent. And get this: 65 percent of the electorate would support a candidate other than Clinton or Trump. Sixty-five percent!
Now imagine for just the sake of this thought experiment that we nominally associate each candidate with their chosen labels, and consider each a political party for purposes of the general election. Sanders represents the largest segment of the voting population, andhe is the one being asked to politely step aside for fear that, should he actually run in the general election, he might somehow be responsible for one of the other party’s candidates winning or losing.
But he represents the largest political party! And as he has repeatedly said, he will do everything in his power to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president. Since Clinton is already sliding in the polls relative to Trump, who is just warming up, that presumably means Sanders will stand as an Independent and beat the pants off both of them.
Americans are quite fed up with both the establishment parties. I dare say that if we have this 3 way race, the results would mirror the breakout above: Sanders would take around 45 percent of the vote, Clinton would take about 30 percent, and the Donald would get his 25 percent. Maybe you could see Donald getting more and Clinton less, especially if the FBI investigation plays a part. But Sanders clearly would take a larger share of the pie than either of them, by far.
And that is the corner the Clinton campaign is backing him into. Political suicide.
If Sanders runs as an independent, especially if he hooks up with the kind of woman we’d actually like to see become president some day — Tulsi Gabbards, Nina Turner or Jill Stein — the two party system will come tumbling down like the house of cards it actually is. Those of us who have been urging Sanders to consider a run as an independent are quite encouraged by these developments. We thank Clinton for showing her hand in Nevada. There is no more reason for Sanders to play nice, and there is only one way for him to continue the political revolution and nascent movement that he has sparked.
Now, about that albedo effect. While the Arctic Ocean has lost 3 million square kilometers of ice cover, which scientists have been focused on, the Northern Hemisphere as a whole has lost more than twice that amount of snow cover. I lived in Montana until recently, and can tell you that Glacier National Park should be re-named Waterfall National Park. This 7M+ sq. km. loss in reflective capability of the landscape explains the abrupt rises in temperature we are now beginning to see.
And all those projections of climate change models that warned us about what we might expect by the end of the century if we don’t take drastic actions soon? Well, it is looking like we might expect those disruptions very soon if we don’t take some very drastic actions now.
An honest politician who promises to order all federal land agencies to cancel any plans for further extraction of fossil fuels from our public lands and oceans. Someone who will turn back the tides of world war so that we can focus our efforts and resources on the tidal changes of melting glaciers, dying oceans, disappearing species, and the poisonous tyranny of giant agribusiness and factory farming.
Raise a glass to the end of the two-party system in America. Good Riddance!