The question that should be on all our minds now is this: will American politics, discourse and economics finally make a significant move to the left, after decades of sliding steadily to the right? The title of this post should already tell you what my answer is to this crucial question...
source: Wikimedia Commons
That line, "to the right y'all" is from a 1986 rap song called "Raising Hell" by Run DMC. It just popped in my mind when I saw yet another news article or YouTube video with a title in which Biden's wish for unity and reconciliation featured prominently. "O oh, there we go again, to the right y'all" was my literal thought. Looking at American politics is entertaining and frightening all at once; I don't know if my American brothers and sisters are aware that their political spectrum is, by now, so far to the right that it's completely of the scale, but it is. I've often written about the fact that the Overton window has been moving to the right, and only to the right since the Reagan years at least. I was 18 years old in 1986, and just becoming aware of how politics and economics basically rules our lifes and behavior. I was heavily into rap and reggae music in a time when all rap songs weren't yet infected with lyrics dominated with cash, cars and "bitches"; yes, the move to the right and nihilism has been apparent everywhere, not just in politics but in music and films too. Here's a snippet from that Run DMC song:
Lord of lyrics, duke of discussion
Ruler of rock, your king at cold-crushin'
Puller of people, controller of crowds
Lingering lyrics all lasting and loud
Left y'all, ah to the left y'all
Because I rock upon the mike real def y'all
And to the right y'all, ah to the right y'all
Because I rock upon the mike all night y'all
Isn't that refreshing? Not one cuss-word! Anyhow, what would be really refreshing, would be to see the Democrats use the power they have for once. This has been the problem with American politics during my lifetime: the Democrats never use power when they have it, while Republicans use (and abuse) power, even when they don't have it. For decades I've seen nothing but Democrats capitulate to and compromise with the Republicans. And all signs are that they'll do it again. You see, there's no need for unity; unity is not possible in a democracy in the first place, as there will always be people who don't agree with the majority, and even within the majority no one will ever have 100% of their wishes granted. But what's more: America is in a huge crisis right now, a crisis that's been building for decades and is very much a result of the constant move to the right. What America needs is a radical move in the opposite direction; its citizens need a federal minimum wage, affordable healthcare for all, free education, a green new deal. It needs a bold leftist agenda to start repairing the huge income-gap and disenfranchisement of the working- and middle class that's been ramping up for more than a half century.
You don't need unity when you control the Senate, House and the presidency! This call for unity is not genuine, but part of the charade that's been played before America's eyes for so long that most of its citizens have lost all faith in politics; they'll never again believe that their troubled democracy is capable of doing anything at all for their benefit. They realize that both parties actually work for the donor-class, not for the people. What makes the call for unity especially egregious in this particular moment in time is that it shows a willingness to compromise with fascists and authoritarians. It wasn't just Trump, may I remind you, but the entire Republican party that incited the violent uprising against the legislative branch of what's left of the American democracy. Right wing politics has been raising hell for much too long by now; it's time to go to the "left y'all, ah to the left y'all, because I rock upon the mike real def y'all"...
Raising Hell- Run-DMC
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