What Now? by James Howard Kunstler

Donald Trump will face an economic and financial crisis, a theme SLL will pick up in an article in the next day or two. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

Not to put too fine a point on it, America coughed up Hillary Clinton like a hairball last week — the catch being it then had to swallow the Cheeto-colored bolus called Donald Trump. It was worth it to see the fog of Hillary-smuggery lift across the cable TV networks since the “I’m With Her / It’s Her Turn” fog was a cover for the looting operation that the permanent Washington DC establishment had turned into, including the Clinton Foundation.

Obviously, the nation is reeling from this emetic, struggling to process the meaning of it all. The big “tell” for me came at a moment in last week’s Slate Political Gabfest, a leftish-oriented podcast, when moderator David Plotz asked his sidekicks John Dickerson (of CBS News) and Emily Bazelon (of The NY Times) what the Democratic Party might do to regain legitimacy after this electoral disaster. Dead silence on the air. Nothing came to mind.

Something came to my mind as a long-time disaffected (registered) Democrat: jettison the stupid identity politics and get back to reality. Alas, that may be too much to ask. For now, the party lies in ruins without a single figure of stature to represent a coherent set of ideas other than boosting the self-esteem of its favor-seeking constituent groups. Here’s my idea: how about forming a credible opposition to the so-called Deep State, the matrix of racketeering and empire-building that has drained the life out of this polity. That was impossible with the racketeer-in-chief leading the blue electoral ticket, but now the dynamic stands naked and obvious, answering the question: what to do next?

Another catch, of course, is that opposing the Deep State of Rackets is pretty much what Mr. Trump has promised to do, if “draining the swamp” means anything. He never quite articulated it clearly beyond that metaphor, but you can bet that’s what the DC establishment is so alarmed about. Trump’s behavior on the campaign trail is now being hailed in the media as a kind of genius. To me, it still seems oafish to an extreme, and it remains to be seen how such a blunderer might finesse our escape from the empire of rackets and the racket of empire. He begins to look like a man in a tunnel staring down the harsh light of the onrushing gravy train.

Mr. Trump might not know it yet, but his chief task will be managing contraction. It would appear to be problematic, since his chief promise — “to make America great again” — is based on restarting the epic expansions of the 19th and 20th centuries. Well, things have changed. This is no longer a virgin continent filled with motherlodes, untapped oil bonanzas, and fabulous soils begging to be exploited. In fact, we’re close to being played out where those resources are concerned. And the techno-industrial economy engineered out of those assets is wobbling badly.

There is a Great Wish that this system might be replaced just-in-time with some as-yet-unrealized Green Alt Economy of solar-charged driverless electric cars — but, of course, the unchallenged pathetic idiocy of the assumed car dependence at the center of this fantasy ought to tell you how exactly unreal it is. The contraction we face has mandates of its own, and it doesn’t include the continuation of Happy Motoring on any terms. I’m quite certain that the Trump forces haven’t even imagined it.

To continue reading: What Now?

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.