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That Is the Q (3)

June 27, 2016

Author: What if I’m paralyzed below the waist and I go swimming, in my wheels? Lot’s o’ Luck. The paralysis is the rigged economic and political system. My wheels are the memories and fantasies that the owners of the system allow me. If I put on those wheels, I can get around on the dock, but I still can’t swim. I’m the American middle class. Or what if I can walk, but I can’t run fast enough? The Mob catches me, fits me with cement boots, and throws me off the dock into the bay. Can I keep my head above water? The bay is the corporate monopoly austerity capitalism that we’re all floundering around in. The mob is the multibillionaires who own the bay, and our insurance policies.

All bets are off. For them it isn’t even gambling anymore. They can’t lose.  And that’s just the shriveling middle class. There aren’t many people in what used to be called the working class. That work no longer exists and it won’t exist again. They’re not even insured.

Then there are the floating corpses. Then there are the standing corpses, swaying in the muck.

That was just a nightmare, a poetic attempt to accurately describe the magnitude and urgency of the crisis.

Or maybe I’m wrong about it.

But I think things really have gone that bad, and too few people get that.

Me: Yes and as our friend B has pointed out, a lot will happen between now and the election, which might change some minds. (And btw that’s good for the novel, because if everything is set in stone, the only way to have drama will be if the characters start shooting at each other, and we’ve had enough of that. This narrative isn’t meant to be a western, although it is very much a Western.)

Most people are wise enough to stay healthy by not really attending to the election until August. Popular opinion might become more interesting then.

Author: Well then maybe they’ll see the Dem party platform. The drafting panel, with a majority of Clinton people, has rejected progressive planks against TPP, a carbon tax, a national moratorium on fracking and on drilling leases on federal lands, and planks for single-payer health insurance, and an end to Israeli occupation and illegal settlements.

Me: They did back expansion of social security, and a $15 minimum wage, although they rejected indexing the national minimum wage to inflation. They unanimously recommended abolition of the death penalty (although Clinton does not favor total abolition).

They call for breaking up too-big-to-fail banks and enacting a modern Glass-Steagall Act.

On Israel/Palestine the majority recommended working for a two-state solution, with Palestinian “independence, sovereignty, and dignity.”

Author: Or to paraphrase the Bard: “Polonius: Good sir, what are you writing? Hamlet: Why, words, words, words.”

It’s “incrementalism.” A holding action. Those are all good people on that committee. Leading liberals, all. But for me that doesn’t cut it, at this moment in this place.

I want to know why a Democratic candidate, who claims to be a progressive, and the panel that drafts the position of the party of FDR, JFK, LBJ, Hubert Humphrey, Robert and Edward Kennedy, and Jimmy Carter cannot provide, not even in it’s frigging party platform, some visionary leadership. Some moral leadership.

Today the practical and the moral are muscle and bone. Why not ask the country to do some stretching? Why not ask it to prepare for the serious work that life is going to require of it? Why not ask it to get out and vote in its own best interest? Make the case.

Those are rhetorical questions. But is a Clintonite Dem party one that I belong in? That’s still up for grabs.

I mean, gazooks! Eisenhower would defeat today’s Dem party, by running to its left. At least before he appointed his cabinet.

[When he gets on a roll it’s hard to get a word in.]

Me: Well it’s a first draft. You know how that is. They can revise it before the convention, and then they can fight it out on the floor.

[Pages one and two of this episode. 2 b cont, maybe right to the moment when the author puts his ballot in the mail. What could make him change his mind? Or me? Opinions welcomed.]

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