Responding to a comment at CommonDreams.org, I may have finally articulated something intelligible, as follows (earlier in the thread I may have face-planted a bit, rhetorically, but here’s where I redeemed myself):
You’re entirely correct about the proclivity of the right-wing, not the left, toward violence. And yes, indeed, I saw the ugly messaging from Tea Party types following President Obama’s election. Some of the more fringe messages were blatantly racist, while others went so far as to threaten violence. It was disgusting. That’s why I responded to those protests with the following original political cartoon: https://invitation2artivism.org/?attachment_id=731
However, the American right was just experiencing its political awakening at that time, utterly disillusioned after eight neo-fascist, morally grotesque, and calamitous years of George W. Bush, who’d been aided and abetted by virtually every American institution going. (All of our institutions finished the Bush years sullied and changed – dramatically, for the worse.)
But the Tea Party’s two primary messages at that time, before they were co-opted by FoxNews and the corporatists, were: 1) Don’t destroy Medicare (a traditionally liberal position); and 2) Don’t bail out Wall Street on Main Street’s back (also a liberal, perfectly defensible position).
I’m not saying we had to “bake pies,” but if we’d subverted efforts to divide us by making common cause with the right around those two issues (and ending the wars, where there was also much agreement), the establishment would’ve had a much harder time completing their coup against the middle class and rule of law.
If we’d worked together, perhaps the post-Civil Rights Era economic gains of African-American households would not have been erased by robo-signing, institutionally racist Wall Street criminals (who Obama saved, needlessly, with $16 trillion of taxpayer money, per Forbes, reporting on the GAO’s audit of the Fed, while creating millions of homeless Americans).
And the ACA might even have had a public option, or better, if we had treated these (very flawed) conservative political neophytes with civility and patience. Like human beings. Like our brothers and sisters.
Maybe we could have even prevented Obama from slashing Medicare – if we were adult enough to work together.
But that’s not what modern Americans do. We swallow propaganda tailored for our group and hate, hate, hate… those who vote for the other, virtually identical, political party… and foreigners galore: Russians, Venezuelans, Syrians, Iranians, Palestinians…
We hate whomever our corporate-owned media and corrupt politicians tell us to hate.
If we remotely understood what Abraham Lincoln meant about appealing to “the better angels” of each other’s nature, rather than declaring all who disagree with us “deplorable” and treating them like devils, we might still have some remnants of a democratic, open society. We might not be tearing ourselves to pieces over partisan propaganda in the info-tainment era.
Instead, we allowed ourselves to be divided and conquered, as Obama became torture-legalizing, citizen-assassinating, Mujaheddin 2.0-creating, society-surveilling Bush on Steroids: https://invitation2artivism.org/?p=1491
And FYI, President Obama also ceased the DOJ’s monitoring of dangerous, violent, right-wing groups in America, which has had disastrous effects on our society.
Obama never acted as if he had a left flank to protect, only a right flank. His Chief of Staff notoriously called progressives “retards” and his administration treated the left worse than it treated KKK types. That kind of appeasement is dangerous, and in many ways, all of these capitulations led us to Trump.
And while spending his presidency delivering for neo-fascists and sparing the extreme-right wingers, Obama worked assiduously to brutally, violently, illegally crush left-wing policies and activism. It wasn’t Bush or Trump who obliterated Occupy Wall Street with an illegal, brutal, 18-city crackdown. And it wasn’t the GOP that rigged their 2016 primary, denying the majority of lefties – and the country – President Sanders, instead of the current trainwreck president.
And it was Obama, too, who pulled off the improbable miracle of rescuing the genocidal neocon agenda and the unsustainable, financialized economy of fraudsters, just when both were in tatters. The next crash will be larger and more permanent, thanks to Obama.
The mainstream “left” come across as total hypocrites, excoriating Trump (the scumbag) while mythologizing Democrats who’ve done virtually all the heavy lifting in normalizing neo-fascism.
Until we start acting like grown-ups and working together, the 1% will keep shredding our futures and burning our planet.
We need to stop pretending that mass-incarcerating, serial racist, genocidal Democrats are so different from their Republican counterparts. Until we stop talking about personalities and start talking about policies, politicians like Trump will become the norm.
And that’s our fault as much as it is the establishment’s.
Worst citizens ever.