Anyone who has read through the posts from the past six weeks or so or read the lively discussion in the comments knows that Ye Olde Blogge has been struggling with the best course for the United States to pursue:
- Should we make like the Beatles and split up?
- Should we be like the Rolling Stones and stay together?
Going The Way Of The Beatles
On the one hand, we could conclude that the best course of action is for the blue states and liberals and the red states and the conservatives to go their separate ways like the Beatles did. It won’t be necessary for Russia to play Yoko Ono or anything because she didn’t really break up the Beatles. They broke up because they couldn’t agree on the direction the band should be going in… kinda like we’re disagreeing now.
MAGA Nation wants to go all authoritarian fascist and put a boot on the necks of Blacks, Browns, Muslims, women, the LGBTQ+ community, and immigrants. They’ve concluded that democracy poses too much of a risk to the continuance of white supremacy, so they’d rather go for the sure thing of authoritarian single-party pseudo-democratic minority rule.
Liberals like our quasi-egalitarian quasi-democratic republic and like to think that we’re making it better by providing a stronger social safety net and asking for acceptance of people the way they are. Sure, there is corruption around the edges and politicians still serve the elite better than they serve the rest of us, but we are demonstrably better off with liberal social and economic policies than anything else. So, liberals want to ride the democracy rollercoaster and let it take us where it will. Eventually, democracy, they say will correct its excesses and wrongs.
In this scenario, I guess that would make liberal America Paul McCarthy and once MAGA Nation is peeled off, we have to settle for the musical companionship of Linda McCarthy and the hits of Wings, but it’s better than nothing… I guess? I don’t know. Maybe it isn’t such an appealing analogy. Wings? Band on the Run?
But, who would best represent the course that MAGA Nation would take if they were cut lose? George Harrison? Ringo Starr? Pete Best? Maybe Best is the best analogy. He’s usually described as mean, moody, and magnificent who couldn’t or wouldn’t get along with the others. He didn’t even get a Beatle haircut.
I’m not sure that making like the Beatles makes the most attractive analogy of breaking up the US a la the Soviet Union in 1991.
Going The Way Of The Rolling Stones
We could end up like the Rolling Stones, though. Aging rock and rollers who defy all odds and actuaries and turn out the occasional hit and manage to a tour every now and again and look slightly better than warmed over zombie. The momentum of having a combination of economy, nukes, and universities could keep us going for quite a while before anyone really noticed that we had died some years ago.
Who would you rather be Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger?
Unfortunately, breaking up a country isn’t as easily done as the Soviets made it look, especially when one party’s approach to governance is to privatize its services by wrecking the agencies that deliver them and prevent the government from doing anything, including paying its bills or debt, if the other party is in charge. It’s not like we can just pack a bag and go stay with our cousin and hope they don’t find us before we all move on, right? They’d actually have to want to break up too.
Let’s face it. They won’t want to. First of all because we want to. But, most importantly, because they need us much more than we need them. They need to scapegoat us. An authoritarian government that only serves the interests of the elite needs to have someone or something to blame for the miserable lives of their populace while they rape their breadwinners and milk their children of their last living breath. If there’s no one that they can convince them that they are better than, then they won’t be willing to hand over their wallets. Once we’re gone, they can’t blame us no more.
In fact, even if we leave, they will just keep coming for us, because who else are they going to blame? They’ll just launch terrorist attacks from whatever states they end up with against us and continue lying about all the dastardly deeds we do to stop them from succeeding.
What Should Our Goals Be?
Maybe breaking the band up isn’t the right question, but what is? We’ve tried to co-exist with them. We’ve tried to change our deep culture so that it no longer supports racism, but they manage to keep it all going. They manage to come out from the woodwork and from under the bridge even when the lights are on and it is broad daylight. Now they aren’t even trying to hide their racism, misogyny, fascism, or authoritarianism. They aren’t even pretending to govern.
They are openly smashing the windows of every middle class family that live in their jurisdiction, brazenly grabbing their wealth with both hands, and flaunting it in our faces as they hand it over to the elite. When we complain and pretend like we can legislate against that kind of behavior, the elite wantonly and openly hand cash to a select few senators — cough cough Kyrsten Sinema cough cough — and stymie the vote because filibuster or just nuh-uh.
My conclusion is that there is no clear path ahead. We have no good choices to make. The only thing that is for certain is that we are in the fight for our lives and that some of us won’t be living through it.
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Categories: Social Identity