After WWII, moms and dads said, “you can’t keep ’em down on the farm once they seen Paris” [pronounced “Pair-ee”], referring to soldiers returning to but rejecting farm life.
It’s basically the same with most Americans. Their parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents made more, had more security, and led more financially stress-free lives. Just as their European counterparts now do.
Why? Because FDR brought the US to the land of democratic socialism.
In the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, FDR’s reforms transformed society (for the majority color group, at least). There was affordable healthcare, education, and housing. There were livable wages. A secure and well-educated public then launched the civil rights and cultural revolutions of the 60s and 70s that began to bring more value to more types of people.
Meanwhile, however, the predatory rich created a new business model: suck dry the middle class and the working class. Take them for all they’ve got. This has manifested in thousands of ways but all have this in common: reverse FDR’s democratic socialism.
In other words, force them back to the farm after they’ve seen Paree.
This is the origin of “The Big Lie”, that there’s election fraud (in the last election or in any election).
Reversing democratic socialism has meant the loss of homes, work, savings, and dignity; this loss of dignity above all is the fuel powering Tea Party Trumpism. Trumpists and the Tea Party assert, accurately, that the goal of the post-FDR elite is to take as much wealth from middle and working-class Americans as possible. What they don’t realize is that the same people responsible for this massive transfer of wealth are the people they vote for.
Reagan, both Bushes, and Trump (who are all criminals) share this basic policy goal: steal from the poor, give to the rich. This is the true Reagan Revolution and this is why it’s essential to frame Trump as the continuation and logical extension of Reagan.
Of course, the Democratic presidents have partaken and been corrupted–Clinton presided over NAFTA. But not to the same degree. And, more importantly, not with the goal of undermining democratic socialism and democracy itself.
The irony of The Big Lie is that it’s the GOP that has consistently undermined Democratic elections in the Reagan era. Bush got elected because 60,000 black people were illegally deprived of their right to vote in Florida. Trump got elected for similar reasons.
I wrote about the celebrity pageant of Biden’s inauguration. To be fair, it was very well done. The poem by Amanda Gorman was wonderful. And it was such a relief that it happened at all. And smoothly. I’m grateful.
So it’s hard to critique the inauguration as a failed opportunity, at worst, or a bad omen for the future, at best. But that’s what it was.
Biden’s administration should have used the inauguration to confront:
- The Big Lie that there was election fraud, which fueled the failed coup attempt
- the historical fact of voter suppression making post-Reagan presidential races much closer than they should be
- the origin of Trumpist discontent — the reversal of democratic socialism
Throwing a celebrity party, however well executed, didn’t make any of that go away.