With Joe Biden as the current front runner in a crowded Democratic Primary field, America is in danger of having to face unprecedented challenges with regressive thinking.
By David Todd McCarty | Friday, August 9, 2019
America has seen its share of ups and downs through the years, crises and triumphs, challenges and difficulties. But we’ve never been tested quite like this before. The list of critical challenges facing us in the coming years is literally unprecedented, beginning with the looming global crisis of climate change, which we are woefully ill-prepared to handle at this time.
We have a current administration that is dismantling consumer protections at every turn, selling the country to the highest bidder, selling weapons to anyone willing to pay for them, and degrading the very idea of America through a President who was elected to burn it all down; and burn it down he seems intent on doing. Donald Trump is followed by a strange mix of rural rednecks, angry, afraid and violent, combined with white evangelical Christians who believe God will take them all to a mansion in the sky before they have to worry about the planet catching fire. Add in some garden variety racists and the 1% who don’t care what he does as long as he cuts taxes and regulation, and you have a gleeful bunch of assholes, paddling as fast as they can towards the inevitable waterfall.
It’s bad. We all agree it’s bad. We knew it when he was elected. We might have hoped it wouldn’t be as bad as we feared, but it is actually worse. The longer the economy holds, the more damage the Republicans do. It might take decades to recover, assuming we can.
Meanwhile, the ruling class of the Democratic Party would have us believe that we simply need to be patient and elect responsible, veteran politicians that know how the game is played, and who can return us to the way things were before Trump started pouring gasoline all over the country. Careening towards the cliff versus sober status quo.
Small “c” conservative thinking lacks imagination at the best of times, but in a crisis it can be lethal. We need radical thinking, from fearless individuals, who are smart enough to look outside their experiences and imagine what could be and then to inspire people to find a way to get there. It’s a rare find in a politician, as they are programmed to avoid mistakes rather than risk failure in order to achieve greatness. Success in politics comes from longevity and you stay in elected office for a career, not by accomplishing great things, but by not fucking up. Timidity is the hallmark of career politicians. Bold thinking is what you expect from young entrepreneurs, not from old Senators.
The Republican Party has become so undermined by Trump and his acolytes that I’m not sure it even exists in any recognizable form. They had atrophied so significantly over the last few decades since Reagan, with failed economic policies, disastrous wars and a regressive policy on social issues, that they reflect less and less of a growingly diverse American culture. Trump was simply the nail in the coffin. They’re not dead yet and the death rattle can be very dangerous. They aren’t going to go quietly in to the good night. They will try to take the country down with them as they go. If they can’t have it, no one can.
The Democratic Party is our only hope at this point, but if it takes decades for the Republican Party to rebuild itself into a healthy, rational political party, we will be in danger of the Democrats running amok which will absolutely happen if gone unchecked. I still believe in the two-party system and government that contains checks and balances. It’s become clear through our democratic experiment that social norms are not enough to combat fascist tendencies and we will need to reform government with stronger laws that will ensure that we never again see a Donald Trump rise to his level of incompetence.
We are at a crucial time in our country’s history; a time when we will have to decide if we have a future or not. The leaders we elect in the next few years will determine if we can weather the storm or not. We are facing challenges we have not yet seen, and will need leaders with qualifications we have not yet discovered.
We can not afford to take a slow and steady approach to governance. We need radical changes and we need leaders willing to make unpopular decisions for the common good.
I urge you to imagine a brighter future and leave the past behind.