The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance. John Philpot Curran
Monday, March 7, 2016
Going Full Whig
By James Howard Kunstler and originally published at kunstler.com
Hillary’s dumb riposte to Trump’s dumb slogan — make America great again! — was “…America never stopped being great.” I guess she’s been traveling around the strip-mall wastelands of Carolina failing to notice the carnage that lays upon this land like a mortal scrofula. America has been committing suicide by bad choices for decades.
We took the collateral winnings of World War II and poured it into a suburban sprawl alt-universe so depressing that our citizens are the most over-medicated people in the world. That alone might help to explain how Hillary and Trump lumber inevitably toward their respective nominations. The cheering “folks” marshaled out in the Piggly Wiggly parking lots are so buzzed on Klonopin and Zoloft that they can’t tell how these two odious celebrities epitomize the very forces behind their pharmaceutically-masked despair.
A nation sunk in such falsity is sure to suffer life-threatening blowback and it looks like the first thing to go will be the life of the political parties. Both Democrats and Republicans have gone full Whig, riding into the 2016 election on the garbage barge of history. Hillary went on hyper-gloat after last week’s South Carolina primary, where she stuffed her pander-bag with black votes reaped on empty promises to re-boot the Civil Rights era. It was painful to watch that get-me-outa-here smile stretched across her face as she hugged the last selfie-snapper and slouched toward the ordeal of Super-Tuesday.
I don’t care how many primary victories Trump racks up, the GOP poobahs will not support him going into the convention. They will crack the party up into warring factions before they let him hoist the gonfalon of Lincoln and the Gipper. Be warned: plans are already afoot to shove Trump aside, to derail him with some scandal easily excavated from a life spent greasing other pols and playing ball with the mob-riddled construction industry in New York, Jersey, and Nevada. Failing that, they’ll leave him with a gutted shell of the party apparatus and by-hook-or-crook get some other figure to make a well-funded run under a slightly altered banner: Paul Ryan, Bloomberg, Romney, just maybe Kasich. The Koch brothers will organize the money mojo. Failing that, there is always the mysterious magic of the Deep State for winning friends and influencing history.
This is not to endorse the old Republican establishment, just saying that they are increasingly desperate to derail this monster of their own creation, and will go to institutionally suicidal lengths to get it done. It will be more than another election cycle, if ever, before the right-of-center portion of the US political spectrum can realign itself into something resembling a party.
Or perhaps this is America’s true imperial moment, when all party politics surrenders to the pre-tsunami undertow of events. None of the idiot network commentators or Wash-Po or NY Times columnists seem to notice that the global economy is sinking into a coma, and in so doing is igniting cluster-bombs of default through the financial system. That so far insidious destruction should effloresce exactly around the time of the nominating conventions. The tide will have visibly gone miles out just as Hillary mounts the podium like some bad joke of a national mommy and Trump sits fretting in his Cleveland hotel room wondering how his rococo dreams of glory turned into a shit sandwich from room service. Yeats’s widening gyre is upon us. The biggest surprise of all yet-to-come is that television will fail to explain it. The second coming will not be the reappearance of the celebrity known as Jesus Christ, but rather of the event called the American Civil War.