The Other Side is Always Worse

It’s going to be a dramatic general election this November:

In one corner we have the Republican incumbent, Donald Trump, who is going to save the country from dreaded socialism, unthinkable pedophilia, and will bring much needed law and order;

In the other corner we have the Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, who has finally come to restore normalcy, bring light to all the darkness, and literally save American democracy as we know it.

This is how it’s presented, anyway. One side believes in patriotism, the other believes in anarchy. One side backs the police, the other wants the criminals to win. If you are conservative then liberals are the enemy, and if you are liberal then conservatives are the enemy. This is how it works, and this is how it always works. And like 2016, and 2012, and 2008, and 2004, and 2000, this election is the most important of our lifetime.

I wish there was a button I could push that would make both parties lose, but sadly I’m stuck here. We’re all stuck here. The great con-job of living in the United States — a country I love, by the way — is the idea that Republicans and Democrats are diametrically opposed organizations. After all, that’s what Fox News tells their viewers, and that’s what MSNBC and CNN tell theirs.

The reality is they are significantly more alike than they are different, and it’s for one very specific yet completely obvious reason: they are both run by capital. They both believe in American Capitalism as a virtue. Long gone are the days where workers had any power, and the Democratic Party (still ironically called the “People’s Party”) catered to working class interests. Those days are dead. As power structures, the Republican and Democratic establishments are on the take not for votes from regular people, but for buckets of sweaty cash from the country’s richest individuals.

On the news, in your workplace, and even in your home, the red team vs. blue team narrative has gone on so long and has been taken so far that now there is no reversing course. 90-plus percent of Republicans aren’t going to be convinced that Donald Trump isn’t the best President of their lifetime, and 90-plus percent of Democrats aren’t going to be convinced that he isn’t the worst of their lifetime. My side is right and your side is wrong, and on and on we go.

I have been consistent in saying I think both sides are wrong, but that isn’t to say I’m coming from somewhere in the middle. There is no morality or righteousness in not picking a side. My only side, and my only loyalty, is with workers and working class interests. To that end I say both sides are wrong not because one side is so far to the left and the other is so far to the right, but because both sides have abandoned ordinary workers. Nobody represents the 99%. Most are either on the side of Republicans, who look after the top 1%, or on the side of Democrats, who look after the top 10% — the professional class.

But tell me the team who looks after workers making thirty or forty thousand dollars a year. Tell me the side that wants to improve the lives of all the seniors living off their Social Security benefits. Name me anyone in power who is banging on the table for single moms, or who wants to increase unemployment benefits. It ain’t Donald Trump, it isn’t Mitch McConnell, and it certainly isn’t the Speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosi) or the Senate Minority Leader (Chuck Schumer). 

It isn’t any of them, because it can’t be any of them. They are all filthy rich, bought and paid for by the richest individuals and most profitable special interest groups in the country. It’s the same reason they are all against raising the minimum wage, expanding Social Security benefits, endorsing Medicare For All, providing free public college, or a Green New Deal. The mainstream media — again, whether it’s Fox or CNN/MSNBC — lie and obfuscate, and try to sell a bill of goods about how these items are “too expensive.” The reality is America is the richest country in the history of the world. Nothing is too expensive. 

The reason both parties are against so many of these policies that benefit the 99% is specifically due to the fact that they run counter to the interests of the top 1% — otherwise known as the people who fund both parties. To accomplish any social program that benefits ordinary Americans would require taxes to be raised on the billionaire class. And what is it, above all else, that billionaires want? They want lower taxes, of course. 

Ordinary people get all nervous and stupid whenever the idea of taxes going up is mentioned, and this is entirely the game plan of the mainstream media and the top 1%. They know that John Doe making $40,000 a year doesn’t want to pay more in taxes, because they are counting on John Doe to be too dumb to realize that the extra four dollars and twenty-two cents they are taking out of his paycheck doesn’t mean a goddamn thing. Because what is more important to that guy (and tens of millions of others like): is it the negligible increase in his taxes, or the Medicare that he will be able to enjoy?

The real money is coming from the multimillionaires and billionaires. That’s how we fund the things that benefit all of us. Because if taxes go up they are going up on everyone, and the more you make the more you owe it to society to contribute. I find it amazing how many poor people defend these billionaires, and their right to making as much money as possible, when those same billionaires don’t give a fuck about anyone other than themselves and wouldn’t even feel it in their pocketbooks if they were paying an extra ten or fifteen million in taxes. 

I’m obviously in the minority when it comes to my politics and worldview, and the truth is most people who make what I make (which is nothing to write home about in the grand scheme of things) are Republicans all the way. They feel like they actually have something to lose if taxes go up. For me, it’s hard to deny or reject my San Bernardino born-and-raised working-class roots: I will always identify with those making minimum wage significantly more than those making seven or eight or nine figures a year. Life is a struggle for most people, especially those making thirty or forty thousand a year. Life is not a struggle for those at the top; it never was and it never will be. So why should I give a shit about their wellbeing?

That’s kind of where things get screwy, because right this second Donald Trump and the Republican Party are trying to convince people that Joe Biden is actually a socialist. They want you to think that because Bernie Sanders ran in the Democratic Primary, that that is truly what the Democratic Party feels ideologically. As someone who has followed the Democratic Party as closely as any normal person over the last five years, I can tell you that’s complete bullshit. Joe Biden is, at best, a centrist who would do the absolute bare minimum (like rejoin the Paris Climate Accord), and at worst just a guy with “D” next to his name who would continue just about all of Trump’s policies. 

It’s about impossible to convince me of anything otherwise, given Biden’s enthusiasm in the past for NAFTA, for the Crime Bill, and for cutting Social Security. I mean, part of the reason he was put on the Democratic ticket beside Barack Obama was due to the fact that Obama was perceived to be on the far-left, and Biden was considered one of the most conservative Democratic Senators. As it turned out, Obama was extremely conservative. He didn’t prosecute any of the bankers who wrecked the economy in 2007-’08. He made it harder for workers to join unions. He deported more immigrants than any President in history. And he bombed a bunch of poor countries in the Middle East.

That’s the guy you should expect Joe Biden to be, not the Bernie Sanders-type worker’s paradise candidate America needs and deserves. I spend a lot less time criticizing Trump and the Republicans because I expect so much less from them. They make clear their desires to help the top 1%, to continue dividing people up by race and sexual orientation, et. al. They thrive off of the idea of divide and conquer. They figure if they can get enough of America to hate each other, and focus on bullshit culture wars, that it will suppress voter turnout and deliver another win for the GOP. 

Liberals have accused me before of being part of this, of being part of the division in the Democratic Party that leads us to people like Trump (or George W. Bush before him), but I don’t really care. I am one voter in the bluest of blue states. I have like 500 Facebook friends and have absolutely no influence on Snapchat or Twitter or Instagram. People don’t give a fuck about what I have to say, because people shouldn’t give a fuck about what I have to say. I could vote for Donald Trump or Joe Biden or the Green Party or the Libertarian Party, and guess what? California is going to go blue. 

That gives me the freedom to use the little voice I have to say what I really mean. I’m not going to bullshit anyone into thinking I love Joe Biden and what he stands for, just like I’m not going to do the bidding of the billionaire class and tell you that Donald Trump is my guy. I think both candidates are awful; I think both parties are awful; and for that reason I say if you want my vote you have to earn it. Neither side has earned my vote because neither side gives a damn about me or people like me. 

So whether you think Trump is the best or Trump is the worst, you’re wrong. He’s neither. He just wants what both parties want, what the donors of both parties want: to squash poor people, to make it harder for workers to organize, to lower taxes. That’s all this is. The good thing about having Trump in office is that finally the mask has been taken off of these horrible politicians who represent the most horrible rich families and people in our country. That’s a win. 

Yet it doesn’t really matter what happens this November, because you lose. 

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