Freedom Rider: Democrats move right and towards defeat

Besides not being Trump, the Democrats offer nothing, but think they can win with a candidate who has no constituency, charisma or any platform positions that would attract more voters.

This presidential election season bears a striking resemblance to that of 2016. We were assured by pundits, pollsters, Democratic politicians, and million-dollar consultants that Donald Trump couldn’t possibly win. Except he did win and the aforementioned experts should have been discredited and forgotten.

Four years later the same people who should have been ignored forever are again claiming that Trump is on the ropes. The endless and useless anti-Trump talking points have done their damage. People who ought to know better glean dubious evidence and think that wishing for Trump’s exit will get him out of the White House. At the same time, Joe Biden’s campaign is fully within the sphere of right-wing neo-liberalism which lost in 2016.

The confused and misguided “resistance” focused on crowd size at Trump’s Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally and happily concluded from this paltry evidence that he will lose. The nonsense is peddled by Democratic Party propagandists to keep voters in line and to prevent them from expressing righteous indignation after their failures in 2016.

While millions of people whistle past the electoral graveyard, Joe Biden attacks Trump from the right. After Trump indicated a willingness to engage in talks with Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro, Biden tweeted his displeasure. “Trump talks tough on Venezuela, but admires thugs and dictators like Nicolas Maduro. As president, I will stand with the Venezuelan people and for democracy.” It is Barack Obama who began the assault on the Venezuelan people. It is fitting that his former vice president is happy to continue Trump’s sanctions, which are war by other means resulting in over 40,000 deaths.

The “Trump loves thugs” trope is just a continuation of the Russiagate hoax obsession, which was a substitute for meaningful opposition. Now Democrats behave as though Biden’s choice of a running mate has some significance and read tea leaves based on Trump rally attendance.

The impotence of progressive Democrats is on full display. Biden is happy that COVID-19 prevents him from having large scale rallies. He is without a constituency, charisma or any platform positions that would attract more voters. It is open to question if he could attract a crowd of any size at this moment.

Meanwhile, black voters are being misled once again and the running mate discussion is the tool of the moment. Amy Klobuchar’s consideration became a non-starter when her role in enabling cops like the ones who killed George Floyd became widely known. The former prosecutor never took any actions against police brutality in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and her status as a possible running mate was dead in the water. She was no longer in contention but claimed that she bowed out voluntarily. “I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket.”

It is this kind of chicanery that could lead to another Trump victory. There is no reason to assume that his personal incompetence during the COVID-19 crisis will impact Trump’s appeal to the 60 million people who voted for him the first time. His supporters are like him, questioning the pandemic’s severity and even bringing along their guns to make the case for reopening the economy and risking their own lives.

Sneering at his supporters is no substitute for getting out the vote. Hillary Clinton and the Democrats lost the electoral college in 2016 because they didn’t heed the most basic campaign advice. Once again, they hope to win by threading the needle and getting enough votes in swing states to drag Biden over the finish line. It must also be said that they are willing to live with Trump. The opposition to his administration is mostly phony with performances such as ripping up speeches, taking a knee, and wearing kente cloth. Democrats go along with defense spending, regime change and offering meager assistance for millions of people devastated by COVID-19.

Trump’s supporters have no reason to dislike him. He has done what they wanted him to do. The sight of children in cages and protesters under tear gas attack doesn’t diminish his appeal to them at all. Meanwhile the Democrats are not protecting black voters’ rights. The purges from the rolls, closed polling places and other methods of disenfranchisement are continuing without comment from the Democrats who ignore their most loyal and important cohort.

The sleight of hand shows the weakness of the left in general and of black people in particular. We are out of the loop in every sense possible. Millions of people took to the streets in response to police violence but their presence is sustained by the depth of suffering across the country. But the Democrats’ donor class demands that they do nothing except engage in pretense. Biden promised as much himself. “We can disagree in the margins but the truth of the matter is it’s all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change.” For good measure he added, “I need you very badly.” On election day we will end up with Trump 2.0, even if Biden manages to win.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well at patreon.com/margaretkimberley and she regularly posts on Twitter @freedomrideblog. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

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