Tag Archives: Donald Trump

The Fascists’ Rear Guard

Fascism is an expression of a larger social tendency that, in English language translations of Marx is called “the slaveholders’ revolt.”

It is a process by which every couple generations the revolutionary potential of the angry mob is turned in on itself in the hope that the destruction of society is the only hope to save the rich and their vacation homes from the consequences of their actions.

Every time this happens, there is a faction that arises as the rear guard for the fascists.

This rear guard is usually seen by their contemporaries as being part of the center-left. They will pay lip service to left social causes. They will probably even consider themselves as being politically to the left.

This faction thinks that they can save society and the rich and their vacation homes through small, largely symbolic distributions of pats on the back and cookies. They become covert extremists. Their extremism usually goes unrecognized because it arises in the paradoxical form of their doing nothing or as close to nothing as they can get away with.

As the metaphorical house we all live in burns around us, they insist vehemently that the smoke you feel in your lungs, the char that you see, the heat that you feel in anxious tingles just under the surface of your skin is in fact a problem of interior decoration. Or a misunderstanding.

They will get angry to defend this interpretation. They will gaslight. They will kneecap those with the audacity to acknowledge the house is on fire.

They will finally acknowledge after it’s too late that the house is in fact on fire, but claim that to say the house is on fire is impolite or uncivil.

And finally, when the crisis can no longer be denied, they will market themselves as “the only people who can save us.”

They believe half-heartedly their arrogance will magically make good faith negotiators out of Nazis.

They believe this because to believe otherwise would contradict their savior complex.

They believe this because it’s easier than doing something.

Having gone through bad faith motions of “negotiating” on our behalf, these cowards will offer up the populations they claim to represent as human sacrifices when the wolves show their teeth, craving blood.

The wolves dream of reinventing society to match their internalized self-image of endless opulence and grandeur.

They leave behind mass graves and Trümmerfilm.

The moderates dream of history stopping because they feel entitled to it because…they feel entitled to it.

Cruelty shields the wolves from the heat of the burning house. Denial shields their rear guard.

They are a cargo cult. They think if they say “the house isn’t on fire” enough times, the house will cease to be on fire.

The moderates “mean well.” This “meaning well” means nothing.

It means nothing because whether we kill each other or support each other we are ultimately in this together. The world I live in is the same one you have to live in.

The moderates’ denial will not stop the wolves from eating them, it will only clear the space for wolves to eat the rest of us first.

All their “good intentions” just help pave a wider road to hell.

They leave behind mass graves and Trümmerfilm.

We Are A Lost Generation

For almost 10 years now, I have been asked by people “Why are you so angry?”

I am part of a generation that has seen, time and time again, that the ground under our feet is not solid.

I was 8 years old when the Columbine High School shooting happened. I was aware of it, but it seemed like an isolated incident that occurred far away. Nonetheless, in school we started running different types of active shooter drills. In order to avoid panic, they never told us why we were turning off the lights and hiding behind our desks. Being very young, we were mostly just happy something broke up the monotony of the classes we attended.

Even as other school shootings started to occur across the country, the threat still seemed far away.

I was 11 years old when 9-11 happened. I remember the teachers at the middle school running off to the teachers lounge to watch the shaky footage of the towers collapsing on loop. I remember them looking nervous, but we weren’t told anything until the end of the day when we were about to get on the bus to go home. The band teacher mentioned briefly in 9th period (the last class of the day) that something big had happened, but that we were going to be fine. He didn’t say what it was.

On the bus, I sat with my best friend. Neither of us really knew what the World Trade Center was or why it was important. I figured that it was where everyone traded everything. We talked about building a tunnel between our houses and pooling Capri Sun juice packs.

In the months immediately following I saw the first germs of what would eventually make the fascist uprising currently destroying the United States and killing its citizens en masse. The conservative adults started making racist claims about “towelheads”, buying Hummers, and plastering every surface they could with “I SUPPORT THE TROOPS” magnets. Business owners started building strange folk art-like shrines on their personal property deifying the dead, as we later discovered, at the expense of the living.

100,000 people protested the beginning of Afghanistan War, but it did nothing and I didn’t even hear about it until years later.

The first year I was in college, the real estate market collapsed. My parents and most of my friends’ parents lost enormous chunks of their savings, yet the federal government gifted 100s of trillions of dollars to Wall Street banks.

When I first heard about Occupy Wall Street, I went there as soon as I could. Thousands of people gathered in public spaces and stayed there in order to educate a public that didn’t understand how they’d been screwed over, just that they were hurting. Those who were in a position to deny that anything was wrong, that things weren’t going to return to normal, responded to the Occupy camps with anger and hostility. They thought that by pointing out the emperor had no clothes, we would also make them naked. Those who remembered the 60s treated Occupy with patronizing disdain-they’d abandoned their principles and “gotten that stuff out of their system” and soon would we they supposed.

My peers and I entered a perilous job market filled with “internship” scams-it was taken as a given in the journalism program where I studied that we were going to have to work multiple full time “internships” for free to fight over maybe getting a position that paid $15 dollars an hour. Most people I remember discussing it with at the time defended this practice. It taught you “hard work” or something. A bunch of people who went to college in a time when, adjusted for inflation, you could make $21/hr working at McDonalds decided their kids had it far too easy.

Slowly but surely, we, the kids, decided we didn’t care much if the real estate market crashed again as we also slowly, but surely, realized we would never be in the financial position to own a house. We carved out what space we could. We faced relentless criticism from old people, the same old people who stood by like cowards while the safety net they enjoyed was eviscerated, saying we ruined US culture because we weren’t buying enough things with the money we didn’t have.

With none of the conditions that led to the crash addressed or resolved, the economy bounced back into a hollow zombie boom for a couple years.

With the reality of climate change and the possible extinction of the human race becoming more and more a tangible reality, most people still denied it was happening with their actions, even if they paid the concept lip service. Declaring himself the messenger, Al Gore trained a generation that the proper response to climate change was to be mildly annoyed it was happening but to defend to the death the guy with 5 houses and a private jet who was its PR agent.

And now, after some of us sort of dug ourselves out of the hole, we’re facing a global pandemic set to kill millions and a second Great Depression. Hundreds of thousands will be homeless.

Those who scoffed at the people who fought to defend them now realize they’ve been sitting in boiling water when its probably too late. Those who made great sacrifices to fight back politically face a  population that by and large betrayed them in order to enjoy things “being normal” for a couple more years.

If they didn’t know it was all a ghost dance, why label their children “Generation Z”?

And it took a pandemic to underline once and for all that it was this “normal” that destroyed the hopes and futures of millennials.

Our suffering en masse was apparently the only thing that would even temporarily halt the destruction of the environment we live in and the decade long pandemic of mass shootings.

The last Great Depression lasted 12 years even with a president who (mostly) did the right things and had the realistic option of ramping up industrial production.

We are a lost generation.

That’s why I’m angry.

You Call Yourself a Moderate Because You’re Too Much of A Pussy To Call Yourself An Asshole

It was unbelievably obvious months away from the primaries what the Russian/GOP plan to take down Biden was. They’re gonna hammer him with ads about his son, Burisma, and the probably legitimate #metoo accusations he carries around like some token validating he’s actually a boomer. These things provide enough cover for center-right cowards to vote for Trump out of moral equivocation and cowardice.

And that’s Joe Biden’s fault. And the fault of all those people who insisted he was the safe choice despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary that was directly in front of their faces.

If Joe Biden actually gave a shit about anything besides himself, he would’ve dropped out long ago. He has no leadership to provide in this crisis, and the simulacra of leadership he’s attempted to provide has just been a pale shadow composed of ambition, poorly mimicking what Bernie Sanders has done out of conviction.

When Weimar Germany collapsed, the accepted leaders of Jewish community made the decision to pursue a program that could theoretically preserve the possibility their children might lead the same mediocre middle class existences they’d been privileged to experience.

This despite the overt overtures of the ascendant Nazi regime to have them and their children exterminated in gas chambers so they could profit on their tooth fillings.

Joe Biden, not being Jewish, does not recognize the existential threat in the offing. He thinks by virtue of his having been there when things were boring, he can make things boring again. Bernie Sanders understands that the rich will not stop at genocide if there’s money to be made. History has shown us this too many times for your “centrism” or “moderate” stance to play as anything besides ignorance or cowardice, an attempt to feel vindicated at the expense of your childrens’ future.

If the actual lesson you took away from the Holocaust was that we could bargain with these people, you’re a fucking idiot.

Did that make you feel bad?

Good. This isn’t about your feelings. This is life and death.

Think about the consequences of your decisions and the people around you next time, if you’re awarded such privilege.

The Revolution is Now

People know the government is lying to them now.
 
That’s progress.
 
People know the system is rigged against them for the benefit of the 1%.
 
That’s progress.

People know the rich don’t care whether they live or die.

That’s progress.

 
People don’t yet think they have recourse or the wherewithal to fight back.

That’s our job for the next 18 months.

It Can And Is Happening Here

I gave a quick talk about Occupy Wall Street to the Malta NY Rotary Club once. A man came up to me afterward. He looked like the aged Buster Keaton of The Railrodder and had made his living before he retired fixing CRT televisions. In the abstract I should have loved this guy.

He came up to me after my talk, clearly seeing I was Jewish and knowing my politics because I’d just given a talk about them and said “What we need to fix this problem is…a Holocaust but for the Muslims this time.”

I was horrified. I saw in his eyes that he didn’t want Muslims put in concentration camps, tortured and killed because he hated Muslims, but that he wanted to hate Muslims because deep down he wanted to see people put into concentration camps, tortured and killed. And he looked like Buster Keaton.

I went around to practically everyone I knew and described the incident. I said that without some unforeseen major event, this country would either go hard left or hard right within 5 years.

Some of them responded with sensitivity to my evident distress. Some of them shrugged it off and said something to the effect “That could never happen in the US.” (Poor Sinclair Lewis.) Almost no one seemed to take me seriously. Even if they did, I’m not sure I knew anyone who had the power to right this. I just hoped and prayed that I did and didn’t know it.

Now the president* is openly endorsing a woman who is saying, basically “We need a Holocaust, but with the Muslims this time.”

Anyone who thinks that they’re safe because they’re not latino/a so they’ll never be put in a camp, please read your history. That’s not how it works.

The racist mob wants to feel better about themselves by killing men women and children. But they never actually will feel better, so they will not stop torturing and killing men, women, and children until they are obliterated and marginalized. We need to stand together against this. We can’t be afraid to be arrested, assaulted, or worse. Never again means no more concentration camps.

The mob wants blood. They don’t care whose blood it is. In Nazi Germany, children sent their own parents to concentration camps, and officials within the Nazi party would even kill each other and lie about it in order to feel like big shots.

Leaders of the Jewish community, early on, would say “We need to work with them and then they’ll be appeased”, much like the establishment Democrats are saying now. These former leaders were, in all likelihood, gassed or shot and dumped in anonymous mass graves along with the communities that mistook their cowardice for leadership.

If you’re Jewish and think that Trump’s base won’t come after you and doesn’t hate Jews, you are delusional. Your being delusional is probably endangering the lives and safety of your friends and loved ones, and definitely endangering the lives and safety of the groups the Nazi GOP have decided to use as trial balloons to see if the US, “land of the brave, home of the free” will be fine with them throwing whoever they want into concentration camps.

Please share this with anyone you think should read it.

*I had a link in this article sourcing the president* endorsing someone who’s openly advocating for genocide against Muslims, but it was messing up the article formatting, so I’ve provided it in the comments section below.
 

Radio Without Money Episode 8: Everybody Hates Donald and Why Roy Moore Will Win (Oops! and Hooray!)

everybody hates trump

In a break from the radio silence from Writers Without Money, we return with our first content in over a month, and that’s the first new episode of Radio Without Money, the official WritersWithoutMoney.com podcast, in nearly nine months, fittingly recorded eight weeks ago (ugh). And, if we’re lucky, perhaps even the missing seventh episode will turn up one of these days! In a meeting more rare than a believable Donald Trump lie, Ross Snider, Daniel Levine, and Aloysius VI assemble once again, as Voltron or the Avengers might, to discuss Trump, the Russia investigation, incompetence and the DNC, the Franken resignation, NIMBYism, privacy, rifle madness, Nazis, the Forever War, public impact on policy, and the then-forthcoming Roy Moore/Doug Jones election.

Podcast recorded Sunday, December 10th through Monday, December 11th, 2017.


<-Check out the last episode!

Mass Shootings As Republican Anti-Politics

The several hundred mass shootings that have happened since Columbine have produced some literature from the shooters detailing their political ideologies or lack thereof. Given that a common complaint from the right leading up to their current moment of hysterical mass psychosis was “why does everything have to be political?” despite their clearly saying so for political reasons about everything from Colin Kaepernik to an imagined war on Christmas leaves me wondering whether these acts can and should be taken as acts of political terrorism and warning signs of our current situation in retrospect.

Columbine as Political Terrorism, Anti-Politics as Politics

The Oklahoma City Bombing, ostensibly a white supremacist response to FBI overreach in the handling of the Branch Davidians in Waco Texas, was framed by the Columbine shooters in the numerous written and taped materials later confiscated by the FBI as the opening shot of a “political revolution” of…well…there wasn’t an ideology, simply resentment and bloodlust. No one at the time looked at Columbine as a political act because it was politically incoherent. Yet over time, future shooters ranging from the V-Tech shooter to Vester Flanagan would cite the Columbine shooters as “inspirations” while carrying out similarly cold-blooded and politically incoherent shootings. These spiked in frequency in the years leading up to the current crisis to where there was nearly one per day, and met their official counterpart in a rash of racially motivated killings of unarmed black people, many of them disabled or children.

We are now stuck with a president who lacks any ideology beyond the glorification of resentment and violent displays of power. We are now stuck with a Congress and Senate that state their supposed remorse for the children killed in Newtown, the thousands of others in Las Vegas and elsewhere, then refuse to do anything to stop or even slow down their occurrence. They are essentially tossing Puerto Rico out the airlock as I type this. Our Republican representatives are sadistic voyeurs, mesmerized by the spectacle of their own deepest violent fantasies being offered as tributes from a distributed gestapo the way people burn goats as offerings to the devil.

If I might be allowed to play a game of id, ego, super-ego:

-The Congress and Senate Republicans are the super-ego who pose as the moral authority but are in fact just getting off on both the authoritarian thrill of screaming at the spectacle and the cozy, insular benefits it disproportionately accrues to them.

-The base is the id. The Republican base, perhaps best exemplified by Sandy Hook trutherism and Pizzagate, has grown increasingly schizophrenic and detached from reality. They aren’t guided by conscious concerns or their surroundings; they reimagine their surroundings in order to justify wanton indulgence of base impulses. It’s not a coincidence the people claiming they need guns “for their safety” are the ones assaulting people with them, that they believe they’re the chosen agents of Jesus Christ when they worship wealth.

-The ego is…irrelevant at this point? John McCain?

While much of the rise of the right could be seen as simply a perfect storm merger of the collective interests of white supremacists, Christian fascists, internet trolls, individual billionaires and large corporations, what ultimately brought them together were sustained outbursts of mass psychosis defined by mob violence and outright denial of reality-Gamergate, the police shootings of blacks*, the genocide by neglect going on in Puerto Rico, the denial that any children were shot in Sandy Hook.

The NRA, the 2nd largest right wing organization in the US behind the Republican Party, has a financial incentive to want mass shootings, because every time one happens, gun and gun accessory sales spike. Yet I think their hearty embrace of Trump and the violence of the current moment isn’t exclusively financial, though they have every financial interest in guerilla civil war breaking out and have even basically threatened it in recent advertising. This is after all an organization that exists as much as a culture of violent paranoid fantasy as a gun rights advocacy organization. They have been incredibly racist for most of their existence. They use “thugs” and “home intruders” as dog whistles to mean “black people” in tons of their literature. Their most famous spokesperson got the job because he was famous for screaming “Those damn dirty apes!” for fucks sake.

Violence as anti-politics is hardly a new phenomena, but has been accelerated through the return to tribal politics facilitated by the internet hive-mind and the slight decline in the financial fortunes of the privileged non-oligarch class.

Two years ago I wrote about the exceptionally banal manifesto that accompanied Elliott Rodger’s drive-by shooting in Santa Barbara, CA:

Rodger’s “manifesto” tells us a bit more. The MRAs, like Roof’s Stormfront folks, are the product of white men revolting over the fact they might not be as privileged as they once were. But Rodger more clearly outlines the surreal banality of the spiritually dead culture of privilege he was an extension of.

Rodger spends portions of his manifesto nostalgically lamenting how everything was fair and right with the world when he was a young man playing Pokemon, and how happy he was there was brand synergy between the cans of Mountain Dew he was drinking and the World of Warcraft MMOs he was playing. I’m not making this shit up, it’s all there. Rodger may have been the most boring person who ever lived.

By being more boring, Rodger takes on a weird interest. His privilege, and he had tons, is not enough. He fears the universe is manifestly unjust; that maybe women can’t actually be bought. In more optimistic moments he clings to the hope that maybe they can be bought but he just can’t afford them yet.

The surreal climax to his autobiography/manifesto describes his staking whether he’s going to kill himself and go on a shooting spree or not on whether he wins the Powerball lottery. He spends his time driving 8 hours across state lines because the Powerball tickets weren’t available in California. He can’t buy other lottery tickets because he doesn’t consider anything less than a couple hundred million dollars capable of making his life anything other than a story of someone tragically wronged by fate.

Part of how he’s wronged is by being a white man who can’t get literally everything he wants right this second. This being wronged doubles over on itself because his mother committed the cardinal sin of not being “white” so he can’t feel as fully wronged about his not getting everything he wants as he could if he were unambiguously “white”. Rodger spreads white supremacist diatribes all over his manifesto despite his being mixed race because white supremacy is an aspirational ideology.

Remember when Charles Koch, a man whose net worth equals a couple dozen Powerball jackpots and whose whiteness probably attracts moths, said when he was caught stealing oil from an Indian reservation: “I want what’s coming to me, and that’s all of it”?

Maybe Rodger was right about himself. He wasn’t crazy. He was just a loser.

Of course the opening shots of a revolution of anti-politics would be incoherent. That was the point. The longer we keep pretending the right is acting on rationales of anything besides the naked display of power through spectacles of opulence and terror, the more shit we’re gonna have to deal with later.

*It seems worth noting that Trump thinks the Central Park five did it but OJ Simpson is innocent. Perhaps by killing and sexually abusing Nicole Brown as violent tributes to the patriarchy, Simpson became honorarily “white” in Trump’s eyes. Trump clearly sees some of himself in Simpson and therefore could never believe Simpson was guilty.

Donald Trump is the Thing After Post-Modernism

What is to be made of the current collection of vernacular/folk “types” of people that frame the writing of the US cultural narrative? The “hipster”, the “troll”, the “social justice warrior”, the “alt-righter”, the “young professional”? Where do the archetypes come from? How do they drive the country’s current momentum toward postmodern authoritarianism?

Nearly all coverage of the hipster, despite never being able to confidently pin down just what the hipster is, has concurred that there is something sinister about the trend. What is the cultural undercurrent, the geist these critics were chasing?

A theory: What has made society so uncomfortable with the emergence of the so-called “hipster” is the predominant tone of irony; of insincerity; of a put on that is frequently described as “having nothing behind it”-but if the insincerity has nothing behind it, doesn’t it become its own truth? Isn’t a copy with no original simply a mislabeled original? And so shouldn’t the ironic eventually loop around into its own unironic self-appreciation? Or at least attempt to?

The “hipster” and the radicalization of conservatives developed along parallel tracks in response to the post-modern restructuring of society that followed the end of the post-war economic boom in the early-mid 1970s. When Robert Ashley dramatized the arrival of post-modernism in Perfect Lives as a story of people who rob a bank then bring the money back before anyone notices as various townies state their unease at a sinking feeling the money wasn’t there for some short time, was he consciously trying to invoke the collapse of the Bretton-Woods system? Was there a more post-modern event in the 20th century than the collapse of the Bretton-Woods system? Think about it-the signifier and signified, gold and cash, both functionally symbols despite the perceived “tangibility” of gold, legally divorced in a giant ceremony.

Despite the fact that gold is a placeholder for commodities and doesn’t offer much practical value besides as a conductor or tooth filling, the divorce troubled many. The money was there, but it wasn’t. Sort of. The success of Bitcoin among gold bugs despite its being even less traditionally tangible than cash speaks to the extent the appeal of gold was rooted in its being a symbol of limit and exclusivity. The symbol trauma of the end of the gold standard (one of many such traumas) has been one of the far right’s obsessions for decades now. Ayn Rand’s “A=A” satisfies both the conservative’s desire for a perception of solid reality and Baudrillard’s definition of hyperreality-the symbol (the written letter “A”) correlates to the symbol (the written letter “A”)-a closed loop of symbols.

If modernism was about insisting there’s an underlying particular meaning that can be codified, and post-modernism was about the dissolution/impossibility of meaning and the arbitrary quality of codes, then the thing after post-modernism is perhaps best dubbed Frankenstein Modernism-the attempt to reconstruct the comfort of fixed meaning from an environment that can’t allow for the comfort of a fixed meaning.

In an always-already doomed effort, the conservative ironically attempts to preserve the sanctity of “the real” by clutching desperately to the crudely symbolic-the flag, race, etc. Any conservative ideology must construct a sanctified past because its attempts to “conserve” the current status quo will always be undermined by the fact time goes forward and things change, up to and including the interpretation of the past-this dissonance has to be accounted for. Explanations and scapegoats are needed to maintain the conservative’s superficial sense of control over their surroundings.

In the conservative imagination this looks like the return to “sanity”, to the more comfortable prior status quo.  To the non-conservative, it looks like a strange and garish pastiche; the Hollywood reboot except real-even the players themselves seem to be operating, consciously or otherwise, on this logic-what else is to be made of the endless attempts by Trump and May to portray themselves as the return of Reagan and Thatcher?

What does this mean? The age of the remake is total; the age of high fidelity recorded media which has barely gone on for more than 150 years has swallowed society whole-there is no hope for a new thing or else why would there be such bitter and violent squabbles over the aesthetics of remakes, all the way from the Twitter harassment of Leslie Jones up through the selling of Donald Trump as fat Reagan.

 

 

When Does Late Capitalism End and Whatever the Other Thing is Start?

When does late capitalism end and whatever the other thing is start?

Now more than 100 days into the national embarrassment of the Donald Trump administration, the entire tide of everything seems to have changed. All these disparate problems we’ve been complaining about on this blog have recombined themselves into a seeming perfect storm. Nothing is quite like it was. If someone had sent me the phrase “Rape is a pre-existing condition” a year ago, I would have presumed it was a line from Andrea Dworkin, or an album by a hardcore band. But then…well…here we are.

Postmodernism, a body of theory dealing with the cultural logic of late capitalism, doesn’t quite cover it anymore. Trump is definitely postmodern in the extreme-here’s a guy whose public image is that of a womanizing playboy despite his, as his ex-wife put it, “difficulty maintaining and achieving an erection,” the ultimate businessman despite his having declared bankruptcy and generally having failed in any of his actual business endeavors, a Republican who was until a couple years ago a Democrat, the harbinger of “change” promoting ideas that seemed old in 1950. Equal parts Billy Mays, George Wallace, Zapp Brannigan and Jay Gatsby-a phantom whose teflon qualities seem to stem less from nothing sticking to him so much as there not being enough of a him for anything to stick to.

And across the globe we’re seeing candidates with a similar lack of substance beyond right wing anti-immigrant rhetoric and a day-time TV temperament.

Endless theories have been proposed to explain Trump’s base because none of them seem big enough to actually feel satisfying in the face of how stupid and pointless and tragic this all is. He’s clickbait in human form. A limp and dinky ground ball that slowly puttered between America’s legs. Maybe the thing after late capitalism should be called Bucknerism.

America, We Hardly Knew Ye

I’ve had this article in the pipeline for the last couple of weeks now. I’m not sure what it is about it, exactly, that I remain unhappy with; perhaps I’m just unhappy to have been reduced to this sort of tone. At any rate, I have many more thoughts on the election and what’s come of it, particularly on Hillary Clinton, that hopefully I’ll be able to articulate to you at some later date. For now, though, Inauguration Day is tomorrow, and it’s time for this article to go up, ready or not.

“Truly, they were as gods who built this place!”
– Bender, examining the ruins of a 20th Century New York Pizzeria, “Futurama”

Negative 17 days into the Trump presidency, the brain drain had already begun. American students are applying to Canadian universities in record numbers, which, while predictable, demonstrates that American students are poorly educated on the topics of nuclear strike targets and of westerlies and trade winds. In the now-inevitable event of a nuclear exchange, pretty much anywhere in the northern hemisphere is the last place you’d want to be. Regardless of who were to launch first (assuming the hostile actor is America or Russia, but let’s be honest: we all know who we’re worried about here), all nuclear-capable nations will likely have fired off most of their arsenals before a single bomb landed. The targets of American bombs would be cities in Russia and, in all probability, China, while the targets of Russian (and possibly Chinese) bombs would be cities in America and in nuclear-capable countries allied with America, mainly those in Western Europe. From America, winds would carry the radioactive nuclear fallout into Canada, and the surfeit of fallout in North America and Eurasia would result in nuclear winter across the northern hemisphere, subjecting the survivors there to widespread crop failure. In unrelated news, Australia has greatly expanded their Working Holiday Visa program.

It took but mere moments for the post-election narrative of exactly what the hell had just happened to emerge. The right wing, tired of years of contempt and ostracization from the left–which they were definitely, never, ever, EVER, even maybe just once, guilty of themselves–came out in force to elect the most contemptible supervillain reality saw fit to cast upon us. Of course, there’s an obvious reason that this is immediately bullshit: Trump, taking advantage of a system which was designed to give states that permitted slavery extra representation beyond that of their voting citizens, managed to win an election despite losing the popular vote by nearly three million ballots. And how fitting is it, really, that the would-be American Mussolini should rise to power on the shoulders of a bizarre, antebellum voting mechanism with a uniquely racist history?

Those opposed to Trump are now routinely chastised in the media–often by others also opposed to Trump–for having a “smug superiority” to rural voters. The rise of Trump, we’re told, is because rural voters resent the left calling them racist when they do racist things, or sexist when they do sexist things. More laughably, it’s because of the attention cities receive, as if putting a majority of your attention on the places where a majority of your citizens and infrastructure are is just bananas (never mind that this isn’t actually where the U.S. budget is going). But of course, to get them to understand what bigoted things are when they say or do them is apparently folly. On the topic of People Who Hate Trump giving shit to Other People Who Hate Trump, this month’s most unbearable episode brings us the usually-astute Anthony Bourdain waxing idiotic about why the election was lost.

“The utter contempt with which privileged Eastern liberals such as myself discuss red-state, gun-country, working-class America as ridiculous and morons and rubes is largely responsible for the upswell of rage and contempt and desire to pull down the temple that we’re seeing now.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in gun-country, God-fearing America. There are a hell of a lot of nice people out there, who are doing what everyone else in this world is trying to do: the best they can to get by, and take care of themselves and the people they love. When we deny them their basic humanity and legitimacy of their views, however different they may be than ours, when we mock them at every turn, and treat them with contempt, we do no one any good.”

Ah, so now we understand. We were the dicks this whole time for rejecting the notions of prejudice and hatred. The people who lament safe spaces in colleges and political correctness in society had their feelings hurt because people told them their racist jokes were racist. We have denied them their basic humanity! They’re nice people out there, in “gun-country,” in “God-fearing America.” Nice people advocate for sexual assault and xenophobia. It’s what all the nice people are doing! And to hell with you if you think you’re better than them because of it. A disposition which, again, they would never have. Right?

In short, the society rejected their bigoted bullying and intimidation, and so they elected a literal bully. The closest we came to racial understanding this year was Glenn Beck ranting about pie. Now, enough about the people who reject U. S. intelligence on the election but got tricked by Colin Powell and a vial of baking soda. Now I am going to talk shit about Hillary Clinton, and the real reason why the Democrats lost the election.

Hillary Clinton is nothing. Do you understand that? Hillary Clinton did not understand this. Hillary Clinton thought that having the most milquetoast, status quo policy positions would place her as a safe alternative against lunacy. Hillary Clinton was wrong, and–and this part is key, now–Bernie Sanders supporters were right. An election is not something that is won by popular opinion, as mandatory voting is not something that exists in America. An election is won with mobilization. And yes, Donald Trump mobilized many supporters on racism. But he gained even more when he hit Hillary on the banks, and her having been in the Obama Administration–yes, Democrats, you’re the establishment when you’re in charge–and her being investigated by the FBI, and her husband meeting with the U. S. Attorney General while she was being investigated, and all of this stupid, typical, smarmy politician bullshit that raises all kinds of red flags for corruption and inauthenticity. And to combat this barrage of credibility-damaging evidence, Hillary Clinton offered nothing. No particular plan, like Build A Wall, or Universal College Tuition, or Medicaid For All, that she was pushing, no grand vision that people could rally around. And, to put a fine point upon her carefully-cultivated image of Generic Politician Robot, she used electioneering software that told her not to even visit Wisconsin or Michigan, the latter of which she lost to Sanders in the primaries despite the same software telling her she had a comfortable lead then, as well. Instead of canvassing anywhere and everywhere there could be a potential Hillary voter, she went to high-stakes fundraising dinner after high-stakes fundraising dinner, determined to instill in the voters the knowledge that she would be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the gremlins pumping money into her coffers.

Unlike Bernie Sanders, however, a comfortable lead over Donald Trump is not something Hillary Clinton ever possessed, and for that Hillary Clinton is my biggest loser of 2016. Hillary Clinton gambled this country away trying to calculate her way toward being a more efficient politician. If elections were poker hands, Hillary Clinton put America on the table while holding a hand full of those cards that explain the rules for other card games. I started this article with a description of what happens when people fire lots of nuclear weapons at one another. You probably already understand this already as Mutually Assured Destruction. You understand this. I understand this. Vladimir Putin understands this. I voted for Hillary Clinton because she understands this. Donald Trump does not understand this. Donald Trump has the temperament of a small child. This is a problem. And Hillary Clinton’s incompetence gave you this problem.

Responsibility for this problem does not lie solely with Hillary Clinton, however, but also with the Democratic National Committee. They just couldn’t stand it, could they? With the barbarians at the gates, a true, progressive nominee for President, one who was mobilizing the democratically-advantageous younger generations to campaign and rally for him. They couldn’t handle it. Every fiber in their being yearns to be the establishment. Barney Frank was questioned during the primaries on Bernie Sanders’s small-donor fundraising and whether or not the Democratic Party should do that. He cautioned against “unilateral disarmament” and countered with a question of his own: “Do you think it would really be better for liberals, regulators, if all the money from the banks went to Republicans, as opposed to just 80 percent?”

Well, Barney, if I was told I was going to fight a guy, and that he’d be paid four times what I’d be paid, I’d have a pretty good idea that I was being paid to lose. Barney Frank, plainly, does not understand this. Hillary Clinton did not understand this. Debbie Wasserman Schultz wouldn’t understand this if it fell out of the sky, hit her on her head, and told her it was from Cuba and wanted asylum. The Democrats as a whole do not understand this.

That is why they fail.