The meaning of “heading in the wrong direction”
Yes. It’s true that the incumbent party candidate is in trouble when polls say that most people feel the “country is heading in the wrong direction.”
The reason workers are angry is that our government has been helping international capital rather than local labor. The solution to the current problem—lots of poor people who are being worked to death and being paid nothing—is to work them less and give them more money, or to give them more work or better work, or to pay for their doctor bills, or to give them a stipend. The solution, that is, is to move government policy to the left, which means increasing the amount of money flowing to workers.
Improving conditions for workers is the role of the Democratic Party. It hasn’t happened under Obama because Congress is full of Republicans and because Obama thought that being nice to them by compromising would pay off.
In this election, the Republican Party’s Donald Trump—a poster child for any parody of the “principles” of capitalism—is criticizing the Democratic Party for not being properly socialist. He, of course, would make things even worse for workers; but his criticism is correct—the last Democratic presidents haven’t improved conditions for American workers.
When the party of the Left has moved to the right, the solution is not to vote for the part of the Right. But this is the current insane situation. The Democratic Party is currently on the right; the Republican Party, on the far right. Wages have fallen and poor people are really pissed. Well, logic says that if A is not working, then we should vote for not-A—which is true! If A is increasing suffering and you want that to stop, then you vote for not-A. But what if the only available not-A is B, and B is even worse than A? Should you still vote for B?
Voting for B is exactly what poor white people—well, the uneducated ones at least—are doing. Are they crazy? No, the system is rigged. The only alternative to A—the only viable not-A—really is B. Because Trump is from B, and B is the only not-A, Trump is the only logical choice.
To repeat and clarify: A is poisonous, and we should stop drinking it. The only alternative to A is B. Incredibly, B is even more poisonous. No matter, it’s the only alternative. This shows that our democracy is only a pseudo-democracy. Democracy cannot help you if your choices are pre-chosen.
Left vs Marlboro Man
The Democratic Party is supposed to help people who own the labor power of their own bodies. The Republican Party is supposed to help people who own capital.
According to the Left, humans are basically good and should be supported. According to the Right, humans are basically evil and should be exploited and policed (though this does not extend to the exploiters and the police). The Left helps the workers and the right helps the rulers.
Our political system works exactly like the good cop/bad cop routine. The Democratic Party uses the language of the left, so they sound like human beings. The Republican Party assaults white workers but wears a cowboy hat of hate that makes it invisible. Vote for us and we promise to rough up the darkies, queers, wetbacks, and women who enjoy sex. It claims to hate democratic drugs—psychedelics, drugs that invoke mystery and soften healthy fanaticism. It claims to hate weird sex—that is, sex enjoyed by other people. In short, the Republican Party feeds the envy of poor whites instead of actually feeding them.
But that’s just to get votes. The ruling class and their Republican helpers actually don’t care about darkies, gays, and abortions. They definitely don’t want to stem the tide of immigrants. Cheap labor is as valuable as gold because it is gold. No, the real goal of capital and its human representatives is to move money from labor to capital by lowering taxes for the rich, increasing taxes for the poor, keeping wages low, and making unions illegal. Selling these things is simple—just wear a cowboy hat and say
Notice that the ultra-rich that we are helping are white. We’re on your side, we hate darkies too. And fags. While our economic policies do look tough on y’all, just tell yourselves that we’re promoting the glory of manly competition. If we’re easy on y’all, we gotta be easy on the darkies, and you don’t want that. Also, fucking y’all over will toughen you up and give you a hearty hatred that you can vent on the darkies. Only pussies are nice to poor folk. Also, darkies will be hurt more by these policies than y’all—that’s the most important thing. Also, as y’all already know, there’s more pleasure in watching other people suffer than being better off yourselves. The pleasure that you feel now from the suffering of poor blacks is the same pleasure we feel from your suffering. If you ever rise to the top you’d want to taste the delights of policy sadism just the same. The chief joy of being rich is seeing the misery of the poor.
The rednecks think the point of the Republican Party is the victory of flag, family, cowboy hat, gun, and Bible over black, gay, and Muslim. In fact, however, the goal of the Right is really the victory of capital over worker.
Occasionally, workers put on the They Live glasses and see things clearly. Then they will vote Democrat. But the Democrat that gets nominate will always be a closet Republican about the stuff that really matters (money). However, there are some good side-effects. Abortions will be safer. Education will be better. Air will be cleaner. Trannies can chose the proper bathroom. But that’s about it.
Very rarely, an actual Democrat will run for the Democratic nomination. Bernie would have been the best president in history and the only candidate who would have moved things to the left. But the DNC isn’t actually composed of workers, it’s just the Good Cop party knows how to talk to workers while still fucking them over and allowing the gay ones to get married. It is the party of rulers who strive to sound empathic.
Unlike Hillary, Bernie has Leftism built into his actual intellect, actual character, and actual proclivities. He was the anti-Hillary and would have saved us. Now we’re stuck with having to embrace Trump as the anti-Hillary.
The Bad Cop is denounced by the Good Cop, and the Good Cop is denounced by the Actually Decent Person. Now, it is well known that Hillary is a Good Cop. But who now is in the position of Actually Decent Person to criticize her? Trump—the Bad Cop! Hillary is to Trump as Bernie is to Hillary. But Bernie is gone, so the only person to criticize Hillary is … Trump.
Trump is the very essence of the shittiness of the anti-labor and pro-capital “government” that has created the current level of suffering. Trump is the very distilled essence of the shittiness of A that workers want to get away from. He he had the smarts to talk like a socialist in the debates, and Hillary didn’t.
For the first time in history, a Republican candidate actually took the side of labor on an issue in a Presidential Debate. Trump pretended to be a socialist (for a minute) and pointed out Hillary’s support of NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. These policies help capital (and Trump) and hurt workers. If you were writing sci-fi and included this bit, your editor would have crossed it out. But it actually happened in the real universe/matrix.
The good thing about Trump
The good thing about Trump is that he is the South Park of American politics. If you were ever unconvinced that the Republican Party tricked workers into voting against themselves with the racism trick, Trump brings clear conviction. The only thing that white people hate more than being poor is black people (and now Mexicans) being rich. If you promise to hurt blacks—or whatever the favorite non-white group is in your area—you can get uneducated whites to vote for you, even if you are ridiculous.
Being the most privileged presidential candidate in Earth history, Trump has never lived among blacks and so does not know this terror first-hand. But he does know of it. In his speeches, he can remind whites of how scared they are of black people. (For the utterly untrained, the dog whistles he uses sound like We need to support our police.)
Another trick the the Right likes to use is Let’s all get along and Let’s stop being divisive and We’re really all the same. The Right like to pretend that there is no polarity. Awareness of difference is the enemy of the privileged. And the best weapon against dangerous difference is the denial that difference even exists. Even the terms Left and Right are erased. The Right denies that the left–right spectrum is meaningful, they say, because it is “damaging to unity” (this being the unity of the baton as it indents a black man’s skull). The Left, however, seeking to decrease exploitation, murder, and suffering, promote the distinction.
As Émile-Auguste Chartier said, “When people ask me if the division between parties of the Right and parties of the Left, men of the Right and men of the Left, still makes sense, the first thing that comes to mind is that the person asking the question is certainly not a man of the Left.”
The Right is defends the interests of the upper or dominant classes, while the Left fights for the lower economic or social classes, and in the centre are the middle classes—workers who would be poor if they stopped, but who envy the rich and believe that agreement will elevate their class status. Historically this is correct: the conservative Right has defended entrenched prerogatives, privileges and powers; the Left has attacked them. The right has been more favorable to the aristocratic position, to the hierarchy of birth or of wealth; the left has fought for the equalization of advantage or of opportunity, for the claims of the less advantaged. Rhetoric from the Right pretend to fight for disembodied and classless principles.
The imaginary Bold Redneck Cowboy is an advertising gimmick. The ruling rich don’t look like the Marlboro Man, they don’t even smoke, they’re not down home, and they don’t care about working people. Those are advertising images.
Upshot: Images are more powerful than facts.
Side note: Perhaps the weirdest thing of all is that Trump himself is no more monstrous than the average liberal. I know Trump personally, he’s worked with my grandmother at charity events. He is no more racist than the average white liberal. He doesn’t hate blacks or Mexicans. He doesn’t want to stem immigration at all. He doesn’t hate Muslims. He doesn’t even intend to try to build that wall. He has no problems with gays or gay marriage, and is thoroughly pro-choice, although every father is pro-choice when it comes to his own daughters. He, like W. before him, had to run as a redneck to get votes from uneducated poor whites.
It still tickles me to see him acting like one. Only in America.