Broken Clock

Broken Clocks are useful for lots of things. They’re right about the time twice a day. You can use one and a clock that works to tell how high up you are. Some are reasonable paperweights. You can throw them at things that piss you off.

I’m sure there are others but I’m not feeling especially creative.

I say this because 98% of this piece is nothing but Neo Liberal Sour Grapes and Centrist Crap, however I do feel it captures some of the sentiment of the political moment.

Brexit Mess Reflects Democracy’s New Era of Tear-It-All-Down
By Max Fisher, The New York Times
March 29, 2019

Voters are rejecting more than their opponents — economic, social and demographic change have sparked uprisings against any perceived fixture of the status quo.

The 2008 financial crisis, along with skyrocketing income inequality, have stalled wages and social mobility across the West.

When people hold “low trust in government and low or static expectations for their future lives,” according to research by The Gallup Organization, support for populist, anti-establishment politics surges.

Research by Roberto Stefan Foa and Yascha Mounk found that as inequality rises, citizens become less likely to believe that their government is truly democratic — undermining legitimacy of the system itself.

This anger, studies suggest, can be as much about dollars and cents as about fear of losing status relative to one’s neighbors and losing control of one’s future — a backlash layered with whites’ growing fears of demographic change.

Populist parties, rising steadily since the civil rights movements of the 1960s, have surged amid recent immigration booms by championing nativist fears of lost national identity, and railing against establishments as having sold the people out.

Brexit channeled these sentiments, framing the European Union as the ultimate establishment, and immigration as a perilous threat. So did European and American populists, running on hardening borders and retaking control from corrupt elites.

But no set of renegotiated trade and visa arrangements could deliver on Brexit’s underlying promise of restoring a sense of order that, for some supporters, came from long-gone social orders. So no plan can win the support to prevail.

Populist parties have suffered similarly Pyrrhic victories across the West, following their stunning successes in 2015 and 2016 with setbacks and stalls. Still, the underlying outrage and distrust remain, leaving mainstream politics unable to fill the vacuums opened by populists.

“From the birth of liberal democracy through the late twentieth century,” said Mr. Levitsky, political establishments “more or less” controlled access to elected office.

Change, much of it technological, has ended that era. Outsider candidates can raise money online, running without the consent of party chiefs or groups like organized labor. They can reach voters through social media, circumventing gatekeepers and mainstream media.

The rise of primaries in the United States since the 1970s, and outsider parties in Europe, further weakened mainstream parties’ control over ballots. Voters, not establishments, now control access to office.

“This, of course, is democratizing. But it is also destabilizing,” Mr. Levitsky said. Self-interested establishments often blocked popular ideas and minority groups. But they also formed what the French call a cordon sanitaire — quarantine — against nationalist or far-right politics.

This quarantine has begun to crack, with right-wing populists claiming to represent the true will of the people against mainstream parties that want to suppress that will. Their battle for control has deepened voters’ sense that democracy itself is at stake.

In Britain, supporters of Brexit often see delays and setbacks as proof that elites never really intended to allow popular will to prevail. Mainstream leaders, including Ms. May, have warned that revoking Brexit would shatter Britons’ already-tenuous faith in their democracy.

I see. “Shatter their faith.” More than 40 years of lies and disenfranchisement? More than arrogantly thwarting the will of the people based on an unjustified sneering belief in their own mental superiority?

It is a God that has failed. Their programs are anti-Democratic and ineffective by every objective measurement and the only thing that keeps them going is their sanctimonious snottiness.

There is Left Populism too, and the thing about that is it advocates policies that are truly “popular” like Healthcare for All, Soaking the Rich, Regulating the Financial Industry, Protecting the Environment, Raising the Minimum Wage, Free College, acting to stop Global Warming, making Cops Accountable, Legal Abortion, and Legal Marijuana.

Centrists never talk about any of those things, they are too “radical”. Instead they wail about injured fee-fees and tribalism and the fact that they aren’t viewed as venerated Alphas of the Brave New World anymore.

Well screw you, you elitist asshole.