Independence, Part Two

On Tuesday, the U.S. will mark its birthday amid pomp, circumstance and — potentially — the total fragmentation of its democratic institutions. The current president and his party might very well be focused on infrastructure: what they are not letting on is that they’re looking to change the infrastructure of the nation itself.


One good thing about these times is the reaction that has been inspired — mainly expressing itself through protest. This is from the Science March in San Francisco, CA. Photo by Mark Gould / Flickr

The astrology of July 4 is suggestive of this being a watershed moment — and indeed, Eric has already written about the significance of these times for the U.S.; the forthcoming Aug. 21 eclipse, alongside the country’s natal Pluto return, being at the center.

Pluto is currently getting a lot of attention via planets in Cancer and Libra, as if experiencing one long T-square, and there is tension building. Meanwhile, Neptune (also involved in this pattern) is precisely square the Great Attractor, which speaks of confusion over our choices; and perhaps also our spiritual and ethical priorities. It’s certainly clear that the U.S. as a nation is facing some tough decisions.

As historian Nancy MacLean pointed out on the June 29 edition of Democracy Now!, the radical right appears to have a coherent plan to deconstruct the U.S. from the ground up. She refers to ‘clustered big bangs’:

“You push things through very, very radically, a whole series of things. It’s like the shock-and-awe doctrine of warfare — right? — that you push out so much so quickly that people are utterly shocked. You know, they just don’t even know where to start to resist. And they can’t — they can’t respond to the whole panoply of measures. And while they’re shocked and dazed, you’ve effectively changed the terrain.”

Some very recent instances of Congressional Republican behavior offer a key to just how willing the GOP is to play dirty. Notwithstanding the maelstrom of shadiness that is the Russian hacking scandal — behind which many equally nefarious problems have conveniently hidden themselves — indicators such as the refusal to confirm Obama SC nominee Merrick Garland, or to hear the thoughtful, poignant words of Coretta Scott King at Jeff Sessions’ hearing, betray the determination of McConnell, Ryan and others to force through their partisan agenda. (Perhaps even more astonishing is the proposed Republican replacement for ‘Obamacare’ that would leave an estimated 22 million Americans without insurance coverage.)

The determined weakness of the Democrats is not helping. Stubbornly clinging to all the worst facets of its character, the DNC has proved itself to be utterly aloof from real people, and unwilling to change that impression, no matter the consequences.

This is deeply troubling, as what the U.S. so badly needs is a credible left alternative. Over in the U.K., Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is demonstrating, with considerable success, how that could look. Corbyn’s following is quite as passionate as Trump’s; yet his politics are almost precisely opposite. The Democratic establishment could learn a good deal from his performance. As things stand, however, this would require very little short of a party-wide revolution.

The context of American politics is a troubled history indeed: a land mass taken from its Native population through war and genocide; an economy built on slavery; and a group mind clinging to the tenets of laissez-faire capitalism, and outdated prejudices. What we are faced with now is the logical conclusion of that ideology, which is fascism. What seems to be required to avert such a visitation is a wholesale uprooting, and rebirth on the foundations of truth and compassion. Now that would be a day worth celebrating.


4 thoughts on “Independence, Part Two

  1. Amy Elliott Post author

    Thought I’d drop in here with another masterpiece from George Lakoff:

    “Private enterprise and private life utterly depend on public resources. These public resources provide freedom: freedom to start and run a business, and freedom in private life.

    You’re not free if you are not educated, because your possibilities in life are limited.

    You’re not free if you have cancer and no health insurance.

    You’re not free if you have no income — or not enough for basic needs.

    And if you work for a large company, you may not be free without a union. Unions free you from corporate servitude. They free you to have a living wage, safety on the job, regular working hours, a pension, health benefits, dignity.”

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