INTEL REPORT--I chuckle every time I hear it — which is every day, lately. “Denmark isn’t socialism! France isn’t socialist!! There’s no socialism in Europe!” So say American elites — pundits, columnists, usually men with earnest glasses. Have they been smoking too much capitalism?
They’re reacting to the dire prospect of socialism like priests who just met the devil — only the devil was busy saving souls from hell. They don’t quite know what to do with that. How to process it. They don’t even understand, funnily enough, just like those priests, whether or not to even call it “the devil” anymore. Hence: “Nothing’s socialism!! Nope!!” — how else to square the prospect of socialism rising amongst young Americans, except by denying it exists? “That’s not the devil!! — that’s just another cowboy!!”
The devil, my friends, is the devil. Only maybe he was never the monster you thought. Let’s dispel a few myths. (Read the rest.)
American Democracy Is in Crisis
INTEL REPORT--It’s been nearly two years since Donald Trump won enough Electoral College votes to become president of the United States. On the day after, in my concession speech, I said, “We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.” I hoped that my fears for our future were overblown.
They were not.
In the roughly 21 months since he took the oath of office, Trump has sunk far below the already-low bar he set for himself in his ugly campaign. Exhibit A is the unspeakable cruelty that his administration has inflicted on undocumented families arriving at the border, including separating children, some as young as eight months, from their parents. According to The New York Times, the administration continues to detain 12,800 children right now, despite all the outcry and court orders. Then there’s the president’s monstrous neglect of Puerto Rico: After Hurricane Maria ravaged the island, his administration barely responded. Some 3,000 Americans died. Now Trump flatly denies those deaths were caused by the storm. And, of course, despite the recent indictments of several Russian military intelligence officers for hacking the Democratic National Committee in 2016, he continues to dismiss a serious attack on our country by a foreign power as a “hoax.”
Trump and his cronies do so many despicable things that it can be hard to keep track. I think that may be the point — to confound us, so it’s harder to keep our eye on the ball. The ball, of course, is protecting American democracy. As citizens, that’s our most important charge. And right now, our democracy is in crisis. (Read the rest.)