Updated: 6 days ago
The difference between an intelligent person and a stupid person is simply this: an intelligent person acknowledges what he doesn’t know while a stupid person is convinced that he knows everything.
I’m a great fan of Umair Haque. Who’s that, you ask? Well, if you don’t know Umair then you’re not as media savvy as you should be; you’re not a MEDIUM reader. Umair is an immigrant of Pakistani origin, a graduate of McGill University and London Business School who blogs in the Harvard Business Review and has published a book called ‘The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business.’
It was Umair who coined the term ‘The American Idiot’ and I will use it here to define the American voter. Thanks, Umair.
Umair has been pleading with all Americans, both red and blue, to wake up to the fact that their democracy was being hijacked under their very noses and that we’d all soon come to fear and loath the Fascist dictatorship that replaced it. The November 3, 2020 election has finally confirmed what Umair and other political savants have been warning all along: that fully half the American electorate are idiots.
Let’s make one thing clear, something we can all agree on. Then you can decide whether to either read on or hit the delete button.
America is, and has always been, a society predicated on racism, bigotry and greed. Sure, there were some shining moments, but it’s always been a case of the exception that proved the rule. Now, if we can accept this premise, then what follows - which is only what Umair and others have been insisting was inevitable - makes perfect sense.
The Biden-Harris win is no cause for celebration. That's it. That's the premise and here's why.
The Democratic campaign was driven by personalities, not policies. Everyone knew it, but that’s always the American Way, isn’t it? The next four years will, therefore, be a repeat of the previous four, minus the clownish fuckery of Donald J. Trump and his miscreant offspring, but without any significant change whatsoever. Why? Because America’s problems are structural (a single-party system with antiquated Constitution) and systemic in nature. The fundamentals are all wrong. Those problems are exacerbated by White privilege and a culture of hatred. We can claim victory and high-five until hell freezes over, but it won’t change the facts:
1. More Americans (70 million) voted for a repeat of the previous Trump shit show than voted for Obama in 2008, or even Trump himself in 2016. The number of Black voters for Trump actually increased. Donald J. Trump IS America.
2. 55% percent of White mothers thought that a misogynist sexual predator, vicious racist, liar, cheater, and failed businessman who calls veterans 'suckers and losers' makes a great role model for their sons, and his porn star third wife a lovely role model for their daughters.
3. 70 million Americans think the stock market is an indicator of the economic health of the nation, in spite of record numbers of unemployed.
4. 70 million Americans believe that the Corona Virus is no more dangerous than the common cold, despite mass graves containing over 240,000 of their fellow citizens in a matter of months with an ever-escalating infection and death rate. It's a Democratic Party hoax and more evidence that the 2020 election was stolen. Like 70 million, 240,000 is still a really big number.
5. The other 70 million voters think that Kamala Harris, with some African blood on her father’s side, shares the same roots as those whose great-grandparents were born in Deep-South slavery and who themselves struggle with the Jim Crow legacy, targeted police harassment and race-inspired violence on a daily basis. Technically, this is true according to America's so-called 'One Drop Law,' but it takes the American Idiot to believe that race is anything but a mental construct. There's hardly a person anywhere who hasn't suffered the racism and bigotry that characterizes the American Way, that is, unless you're White, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant and your antecedents came over on the Mayflower. Despite being a so-called 'person of colour,' Harris's stance on many social issues don't align with her campaign rhetoric which is largely comprised of praise for Joe Biden.
During Harris’s stint as California’s attorney general, she took a tough-on-crime stance when what America needed, and still needs more than ever, are more social services, better education, decent housing, universal free healthcare, and fewer incarcerations. Tough-on-crime means that a disproportionate number of Black people go to America's prisons-for-profit, especially for drug offenses at the same rate that police budgets grow and, as California's top cop, Harris was largely responsible for putting them there.
The following from Wikipedia:
Sentencing and prison inmate retention
After the 2011 United States Supreme Court in Brown v. Plata declared California's prisons so overcrowded they inflicted cruel and unusual punishment, Harris fought federal court supervision, explaining "I have a client, and I don't get to choose my client." Harris's record on wrongful conviction cases as attorney general has engendered some criticism from academics and activists. Law professor Lara Bazelon contends Harris "weaponized technicalities to keep wrongfully convicted people behind bars rather than allow them new trials". Harris declined to take any position on criminal sentencing-reform initiatives Prop 36 (2012) and Prop 47 (2014), arguing it would be improper because her office prepares the ballot booklets. John Van de Kamp, a predecessor as attorney general, publicly disagreed with the rationale.
In 2014, Judge Cormac J. Carney vacated the death sentence of convicted rapist and murderer Ernest Dewayne Jones, declaring capital punishment in California unconstitutional based on the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment because "systemic delay and dysfunction" rendered the process arbitrary. Harris appealed, contending Carney failed to abide by the highly circumscribed habeas corpus procedure set forth in the binding Supreme Court precedent of Teague v. Lane prohibiting federal courts from announcing a new rule of constitutional law in habeas cases. In an op-ed for The San Francisco Chronicle, legal and political scholar Mugambi Jouet criticized the appeal as a defense of the death penalty.
What Kamala has always done best is to look after Kamala, knowing quite well that in America the color of one’s skin is less important than the color of one’s money. Notwithstanding her record on sentencing and the death penalty, her stance on gender equality amounts to nothing more than what is likely to garner the most votes, a troubling preview of what is to come for right-thinking people of all gender identities. In 2017, the newly-minted Senator Kamala Harris came out strongly on the side of #MeToo and against Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.). Wrongly accused of sexual misconduct, dismissed from Democratic Party circles, and forced to resign in disgrace from the Senate, Franken’s name was later cleared and his innocence vindicated by a crusading woman reporter from the New York Times, although his life and career lay in ruins. Is this the kind of mindless witch hunting American women want? Is it what ANYONE wants?
6. Joe Biden is a career politician (1972-2020) who hasn't held a real job in 40 years. Like Kamala, what Joe does best is to look after Joe and, again like Kamala, he's a tough-on-crime White guy. That isn’t to say that Joe Biden is dishonest, but one needs to be deaf, dumb and blind not to find anything sinister in his having propelled his son Hunter toward unearned wealth in Ukraine and China (and who knows where else) via his influence as Obama’s VP. Trump had that right; but what he had wrong was to blackmail the Ukrainians into attacking his political rival. The difference between Joe and Donald is that Joe doesn’t outright lie, cheat and steal, and he’s not a narcissistic psychopath. Biden is a good person, and like all good persons, he’s made a few mistakes and come out the better for them. As a politician, his personality and skill sets have allowed him to make common cause with other politicians, like the late Senator Strom Thurmond who, when he was a judge back in South Carolina, condemned a woman to death then raped her in the back seat of his limousine on the trip back to prison. This is, in fact, the kind of company American politicians keep. There are even worse characters sitting in the House and Senate today, some of whom could end up in the dock at The Hague if some of their pronouncements ever become reality.
We were so sure that Joe Biden, who could still raise a glass of water to his lips using a single hand, would magically make everything rose colored once again, as if the past were ever rosy, a kind of misanthropic hindsight that only certified White people could buy into. The American Idiot doesn’t understand that laws, and their impact on his/her future, are crafted in the House and Senate, not by dictators in the White House, at least according to the ailing Constitution which is rapidly becoming a dusty relic. The saddest and most worrisome outcome of November 2020 is that the House of Representatives remains in Democratic hands while Republicans continue to control the Senate. The legislative gridlock that characterized the Trump Era will therefore continue unabated throughout the Biden Era. None of America’s many actual problems will be rectified. At the time of publishing, this is not written in stone. A couple of Senate seats are still up for grabs in Georgia that could possibly tip the balance but it's certainly no slam dunk. Looking into my own crystal ball, I see a Republican victory in the Senate followed by four years of gridlock and a Biden-Harris batting average of beyond zero.
7. President Donald J. Trump is still President of the United States and leader of the Republican Party, not to mention the most powerful man on earth. As such, he has enormous potential to create turmoil both at home and in the world during what is the most sensitive and vulnerable time for any democracy: the transition period between administrations. He very successfully jeopardized world peace by engineering an ugly and ultimately lethal spat with Iran in order to divert public attention away from his own impeachment. Does anyone actually believe that Trump and his entourage of sycophants and toadies won't repeat the same stunt to hold onto power? Nothing would serve him better now than a neatly crafted, or recklessly perpetrated, National Emergency. A nice global nuclear standoff would nullify any transition and put the stamp on the soft coup that's been a GOP wet-dream since long before November 3.
I kid you not. This is the Trump Campaign Team, leaders in the Republican Party declaring a Trump victory predicated on allegations of election fraud. No, it's not Melania's renovated Rose Garden (the new Gorky Park) this time. It's an improvised stage in a decrepit Philadelphia industrial park sandwiched between a crematorium and a sex shop. Apparently, Kayleigh McEneny, the White House Press Secretary, got a suburban landscaping outfit called the Four Seasons confused with the Four Seasons Hotel and sent everyone there for the press conference. Take this seriously, folks. Please take this seriously! Like I said, Trump is still President and the most powerful man in the world. He's got the nuclear launch codes.
8. Trump will never concede to defeat in the 2020 election and, like a third column, his allies and operatives infuse the entire federal government service and many state governments. Eight days after the polls closing and every media outlet having declared a Biden-Harris victory, Federal Election Commission Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub (U.S. government official) was compelled to issue a strongly worded, 2-page letter to Emily W. Murphy, Admininstrator of the General Services Administration, citing the unacceptable delay in declaring a Biden-Harris win. The letter concluded:
In her letter, Commissioner Weintraub cited the rampaging Covid-19 pandemic as an urgent reason to declare a Biden-Harris victory. Until that happens, no official response to the pandemic or any solid remedial action can be forthcoming. Pandemic or no pandemic, the naked racism, bigotry and greed displayed by both Republicans and Democrats, and confirmed by the popular vote, are a potent cocktail even more deadly than Covid-19. The country is rotting from within and has been for a very long time. America is gravely ill. Like I said, America IS Donald Trump. And like Umair suggests, America is comprised largely of idiots.
Meanwhile, under a Biden-Harris Administration, the elitist 1% who control over 40% of the nation’s wealth will have little to fear. The rich will stay rich and continue to control all the power bases while the poor stay poor. Joe Biden pledges to unify the country, not divide it. But that’s just campaign rhetoric. By not dividing, he means allowing an unrepentant Trump to decamp to his Mar-a-lago fortress and regroup, refinance, call his 'base' to arms, then mount another assault on democracy. He will not reimpose any further constraints or order any convicted Trumpers back to prison. He is very likely to pardon the ex-President should any of the states manage to convict Trump for financial irregularities or any misstep whatsoever, exactly as Gerald Ford did for Richard Nixon, always citing reconciliation and national unity as a cheap excuse to perpetuate one justice system for the rich and powerful and another for the rest of us.
Joe Biden can’t change the political make-up of the Congress, thanks to half the populace that voted for Trump. There are already some 400 pieces of legislation sitting on Turtle King Mitch McConnell’s desk that will never again see the light of day, a huge waste of time and taxpayers’ money over the last two administrations, and the pile will continue to grow over the coming four years. Key legislation relating to electoral reform, education, healthcare, housing, the environment, and national security, never mind policing or even gun control, will never get past this bottleneck. The very fact that the corrupt and racist McConnell got re-elected at all says volumes about the American Idiot, because White supremacy is coded into his DNA, as well as the DNA of over 70 million others.
In a sneak preview of the obstructionism to come if Democrats don't somehow succeed in winning a majority in the Senate, McConnell reiterated his call for lawsuit protections for 'everyone related to the coronavirus,' whether it's politicians, doctors, nurses, businesses, K-12 schools and colleges, covering the period from December 2019 to December 2024. This global immunity includes the Administration’s clownish pandemic task force (please see www.francescorizzuto.com/post/an-animal-that-sucks-its-own-dick).
At the same time, Trump's Attorney General, the despicable William Barr - perhaps soon to be 'dis-Barred' - has called on the Justice Department and states attorneys general to open investigations into voter fraud as a sulking Donald Trump ramps up his challenge to the 2020 results and 70 million well-armed supporters cheer from the sidelines, Their Neo-Nazi factions are already descending on Washington DC for a November 14 MAGAt rally that promises bloodshed. Let's not kid ourselves here. Four hundred million guns is a lot of firepower, and that figure doesn't include the military. On November 10, a smirking Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, declared to a combative news conference at the State Department that: "There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration." Analysts are challenged to determine whether Pompeo's declaration was meant as a joke or a threat, while the Secretary of State, like Trump's AG, isn't known for his sense of humour (https://twitter.com/thehill/status/1326236534614396928. An ex-miliary officer (like Vlad Putin) and intensely religious on what can only be described as a self-serving, Fascist model, Pompeo has his own eye on winning the Presidency, sooner rather than later.
In terms of transition, the Biden-Harris ship-of-state is already becalmed with a rotting albatross around its neck.
A Biden-Harris Administration will not defund the police or institute any more appropriate or more equitable means of regulation in society. They will not put the kibosh on out-of-control-lobbying and influence peddling or impose limits on campaign funding, because both Republican and Democratic politicians depend on infusions of donor capital and favours from lobbyists for their lifeblood. Blacks will continue to be victimized. The cages at America’s borders won’t disappear. ICE won't be disbanded. Fracking will continue unabated. Federal funds (your tax dollars) will continue to infuse the stock market to maintain the illusion of progress and economic growth. Large corporations will not be taxed (remember the lobbyists?). The national deficit - that crushing mortgage on your children's future - will continue to soar. Like the illusion of freedom and equality in America, this game of smoke and mirrors will continue, but without the Trump-brand name-calling, lies and innuendo. Instead of Republicans and MAGATs shouting "Lock her up," we'll be hearing their counterparts demanding "Lock him up," as the shit show rolls on and on toward the next election year.
With a Democrat-controlled House AND Senate, it could have been a different ballgame. The incumbent Trump-Pence team could have held the White House, but they would have been on their way to impeachment or even prison faster than if they’d lost the election itself. But the American Idiot wanted a personality contest, cheap entertainment, bread and circuses, not real change in society. They wanted conflict, a no-win situation wherein everyone loses. Why? Because Americans themselves cannot change; racism, bigotry and greed is what this country is all about.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, PornHub, Chaturbate and a host of other shabby entertainments will continue to define American values and culture. Relationships between the sexes, like everything else, will remain transactional. Money will continue to buy everything. A sub-standard education system will doctor history according to the new politically correct normal, teaching our children the price of everything but the value of nothing. Despite an upbeat mood and all the Biden-Harris campaign rhetoric and jingoism, post-November 3 America will remain a society where wages are so low that they are no longer worth striving for, where ambitious young people cannot advance their educations without crippling debt, where the misfortune of illness results in financial catastrophe, and where the American Idiot exercises his Second Amendment rights by venting his rage on innocent schoolchildren with an AR-15. All because not a single piece of revolutionary legislation will make it through the Senate.
Gun sales statistics will continue through the roof. Parent’s won’t know if their children will come home from school in a bus or a box. You’ll need a bullet-proof vest just to shop at Walmart. Domestic terrorism, with a new bone to pick now that alternate-president Trump languishes in Florida exile, like gun sales and prisons for profit, will be a growth industry in America. Ad hoc militias continue popping up everywhere faster than a crop of bad weeds. This is the future, not just the past, because no legislation to control the epidemic of firearms will ever get through an NRA-funded, Republican-controlled Senate.
But none of that will really matter because Covid-19 is a silent and indiscriminate killer. A Biden-Harris Administration may endeavor to put science ahead of politics, but it will be only window dressing because nobody can force the American Idiot to wash his or her hands or wear a mask or not congregate in large numbers, or not listen to the insane ranting of cash-crazed evangelists. Get real, folks. A vaccine is NOT forthcoming. It wasn't until 1940 that an effective vaccine was announced for the Spanish Flu of 1918-19. We already know how to defeat the spread of the virus but 70 million American Idiots are unwilling to do it.
In this charged-up political environment, a Biden-Harris win and Trump-Pence loss is exactly what Charles Koch and his Ayn Rand Institute, the philosophical basis and driving force behind today’s GOP, have been hoping and praying for.
Koch's organization knew they’d need to kick Donald J. Trump to the curb, and what better way to do it than via the polling station, so long as they retain control of the Senate and unflinching support of half the American electorate. Long before November 3, they began grooming Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner - whom the media are already calling 'Jarvanka' - for the 2024 presidential ticket. Without Donald, but with 70 million MAGATs supporting his platform-in-exile, and after a disappointing four years under Biden-Harris, the Trump Gang will make its triumphal comeback.
In 2016, 47% of American women voted Trump, and 55% reconfirmed him as their choice in 2020. Do we really think that Ivanka Trump won’t become the first elected woman President in American history? If not, then let’s see how we faire after a good dose of Kamala Harris. Joe is the oldest sitting American president in history and he’s already suffered an aneurism and subsequent brush with death. The Presidency is a punishing experience, even for the young and healthy. In fact, this is the outcome that a significant bloc of Democratic Party women are hoping for. If they get their wish, then it's likely that the 55% who voted Trump in 2020 will get theirs in 2024: Ivanka as the first elected woman President.
Meanwhile, Donald J. Trump will never concede defeat. Like he invented 'alternate facts,' he will reinvent himself as the country's first 'alternate President.' He will withdraw his entourage to Mar-a-Lago and regroup, stage a never-ending series of rallies-for-profit, reiterating the same tired chant that characterizes his entire life: that he was cheated out of the election. He will consolidate his 'base', especially in Florida and Texas and throughout the South, and exercise more overt influence and control over White Supremacist groups, Neo-Nazis, and the growing ad hoc militia movement. He will continue to build support within police unions and a rapidly politicizing military. His time in retreat will be more valuable and productive than if he'd won a second term. Rather than just a former President, he will be a president-in-exile. He will become a living saint to 70 million Americans who will again rally to his cause in 2024, this time realizing an even bigger dream: his daughter Ivanka in the White House.
So, tell me. Who’s your Mama? And do you still feel like celebrating?