Apocalypse Now… and Then

I must admit to being a little down in the dumps in the wake of the South Carolina Democratic primary. I expected Bernie to lose, but the margin was much larger than I had feared. The problem seems to be one of not gaining the trust of minorities. I still feel confident that his message would resonate with anyone on the Left who had ears to hear. But people must be willing to at least investigate his ideas.

And so now, if the pundits and prognosticators are right, and things proceed according to the prescribed path of the ancien regime, we are likely to see Hillary as the Democratic nominee. The anti-democratic institution of super-delegates already made the math almost impossible, and unless Sanders gains some significant ground on Super Tuesday, the probability is that the forces that are implicitly and explicitly warping the primary process in Clinton’s favor (read: Debbie Wassername) will prevail, and the Democrats will simply hold on to the old guard. There will be no sea change on the Left. And we will likely lose forever the one true chance to effect a real change in the way politics is done in this country. That is the quiet version of Apocalypse Now.

Which then leads to the much more dramatic Apocalypse Then, in November. With Hillary as the Democratic candidate, and Donald Drumpf the presumptive GOP candidate, we will experience one of two possible soul-wrenching outcomes. Either Clinton prevails, and the moneyed interests continue their stranglehold on American politics, not only unabated, but likely strengthened, embolded by the utter failure to eradicate their influence. Or, and this is not unlikely with a Clinton-Drumpf matchup, Donald Drumpf actually becomes the next President of the United States. The horror of such an spectacle freezes the marrow of any circumspectful citizen. And yet, the electorate in many ways has morphed into an unrecognizable mob, intent on some sort of drastic change, and the old school sameness that Hillary represents could be in real jeopardy in the general election.

And so I feel less than optimistic at the moment, as if a chill gale were bearing down on the country, fully capable of dismantling reason and further deteriorating an already embattled ethics. It is an ill wind that blows against the empire. But it blows nevertheless.

© 2016 Chuck Puckett