The Progressive Left Is Neither

It’s an election year, as you know, and the demos, stupefied in aspic from too many years baking in front of a warm television screen, have awakened to the reality they have nothing, own nothing, save debt and perhaps a paltry 401k, the innards and working mechanics of which they haven’t the foggiest understanding of.  Bereft of a truly social inclination or civic revelation once in their entire lives, now, now, after 50 years of showing up every four years to vote for shit after shit after shit after parading, mass murdering made for TV. shit, now, NOW they’re looking for a vessel intoning, emoting their deepest angst and fears.  Fears of the nigger, fears of the rag-head, fears of the fag and trans who might — could — be allowed to pee next to ’em in the same rest room, fear of the Russian, fear of the Mexican, fear of the people who write their paychecks, fear of losing their guns.

They’ve come pouring like zombies out of exurban cul de sacs in SUV’s with ear buds plugged into electronic reflections of themselves. They’ve come crashing through screen doors of their double wides, tumbling down the steps, upsetting garden gnomes in the angry, desperate quadrennial lust for reification. Distopic hordes in headlong pursuit of leaders to whom they lend unquestioning, spasmodic support as their political shape shifters give form and substance to their inchoate rage – the toxic plasma of a herd’s fear and indignation.  Cauterized of their own critical faculties, euthanized of any capacity whatsoever to discern the real – they kneel.

Bernie Sanders was a train wreck foreseen by Chris Hedges and his great friend Ralph Nader from day one.  A long day’s night from socialism, Sanders – a moderate centrist at best and deeply committed to the Democratic Party establishment, and thus the Anglo-Zionist Project for a New American Century – brought a handful of oft repeated observations regarding the plunder of finance capital together with a quiver of equally obvious and tepid nostrums to provide palliative and incremental change – like band-aids, aspirin and Fabreze – for a system needing to be poisoned, beaten, gutted, strangled and drowned like Rasputin. In the end, he squandered everything but an assured future of political careering within the junta. The transnational corporate state has served up another cancerous stew of quadrennial lesser evilism – the shameful vomit of what Julian Assange accurately describes as a choice between syphilis or gonorrhea.

Like a wooly headed Pied Piper, Bernie herded Millennials into the public baths of political process for their first fisting.  He deposited them in a pool of salty tears with all aggrandized and horse voiced dispatch from the floor of the DNC into a sweaty heap at the maw of a duck press straddled by the galactic calves of Hillary Clinton. Squish, squish, squirt, squish.  Welcome to the sausage factory of realpolitik.

And with the perfumed beatification of the selected now complete with barely a whiff of on camera bloodshed, the public shunning and shaming of any alternative to Hillary could begin in earnest. Over a period of ensuing days – one more nauseating than the one before – so called “progressives” with their extensive liberal bone fides in order came to the studios of Democracy Now to state their case for lesser evilism.

The ever pragmatic apologist for Obama, Michael Eric Dyson, came in with salvos of elliptic verbiage, an Oscar worthy aerosol rodomontade of intellectual bombast deployed to evince and convey to all at broadcast depth the only flavor worth voting for in November – Hillary with sprinkles.  Everything in counterpoint to Dyson’s thesis is an intellectual abstraction that falls before his pragmatic sledgehammer.  His polemical counterpart, Princeton Professor Eddie Glaude, was having none of it and held up quite well when he could get a word in edgewise.  With the clarity and passion of a heart unfamiliar with equivocation, Prof. Glaude pierced through the vexing mirage of false choice and its distinctions drawn by elites of the progressive intelligentsia like Prof. Dyson between Trump and Clinton and chose rather to join Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener in simply saying, “No, I prefer not”.

Another day another debate moderated by Amy Goodman pitting a scribe at large, Rebecca Traister, at the New York Magazine and Kshama Sawant, socialist and Seattle City Council Member.  On the heals of publishing a herniated croissant improbably entitled “Hillary is Poised to Make the ‘Impossible Possible’ – for Herself and for Women in America”, – a piece of such enfeebled reverie and glaring omission I was reminded in the end of nothing less than my father turning 90 in a few days who contentedly sits on the couch watching reruns of Judge Judy through eyes blinded from birth.   Ms. Traister sat inches away from one of the most powerful, fluent change agents in modern American political history and could only vacillate between confusion and petulance as she made her earnest case for Hillary or else.  Kshama Sawant’s extemporaneous deconstruction of power politics and how real movements form to compel real change from systems of death that do all in their power to resist empowerment of the working class was simply lost on her counterpart in the debate. Ms. Sawant might as well have been addressing a cocker spaniel.

Much the same can be said of Robert Reich in counterpoint to Chris Hedges on Amy’s air July 26th.  Articulating the rationale of a child, former Labor Secretary Reich executed the artless dance of lesser evilism that always begins with a distractive flailing port de bras, facing left, while below the waist in isolation a pirouette to the right into a grand jete.  Frappe frappe frappe entrechat to a quick reverence and a throaty “I’m With Her”!  Oh, the hand wringing!  I’ve known her for 50 years and, of course, she’s not perfect, Lord knows, but this is not the time for third party alternatives. A vote for the Green Party is a vote for Trump and if Trump gets in  all your children will be Zika babies with club feet and then where will we be? Huh?

Like Dyson said to Glaude and Traister to Sawant, Reich implored Hedges with the same exact argument all self identified liberals are using in their transition from Bernie to Hillary.  Yes, I agree with almost everything you’re saying, but in the here and now Jill Stein can’t win and won’t win. So we have to plug our noses and with great reservations vote for Hillary and go to work fixing our Democracy later. That’s the argument.  Like a broken fucking record with no B side.

The saddest cut of all doubtlessly belonging to Ben Jealous in a shameless pivot from staunch Bernie Sanders surrogate to Clinton water bearer.  In his appearance before Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez on Democracy Now the morning after his keynote address at the DNC, the former head of the NAACP squared off against Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein.  Frappe frappe frappe, entrechat!!

He began, as the dance always begins, with a thick broad spectrum crop dusting of invective aimed at Trump.  Trump was described in turns as a neo-fascist, a madman, a racist, George Bush on steroids – and my personal favorite – as one who has a love affair with Putin – pronounced “Pew-tin”. That was the easy part.

The heavy lifting, where he had to get his hands dirty, was when he waded into the dark waters of a pugnacious infantilism, blaming in the oblique Ralph Nader and all those that voted for him for the ascendance of George W. Bush in 2000, and all that followed.  Setting aside a judicial coup d’etat by the Supreme Court, Jealous, by reference, demurred in his support of Jill Stein and the Green Party as a fantasy he had no time to engage in, attempting to actually school her in how to build a political party he could take seriously by first getting a Green Party candidate elected mayor somewhere, anywhere, instead of running for President.

What Ben Jealous did, and the way he did it, turned my stomach.  I was as ashamed for him as he was unashamed of himself.  And that goes for Reich, Traister, Dyson and the millions of self identified liberal baby boomers who went to Woodstock and then turned into commission driven assholes with nice cars, identity politics and the feel your pain rhetorical patois of their hero Bill Clinton who – like him – ruined this world in ways both great and small right alongside the right wing militant shits they decried.  The progressive left, which are neither, have created a world of environmental implosion, dislocation, tractless favelas and scorched earth.  They are more evil than the evil being done by the 1% to the rest of us because they see it and do nothing.  They enable it.  I give them no quarter and I wish them ill.

How they can sit there, on camera, with their constipated faces twisted in puzzlement and faux exasperation extolling the virtues of a death dealing, neolithic, war mongering gravedigger like Hillary Clinton who has the official unction of a trifecta of mass murderers in the persons of Madeline Albright, Henry Kissinger and John Negroponte without catching hot vomit in the back of their throats is, thankfully, beyond me.

I stopped writing for a year because of death and cancer.  But that’s all sorted out now and I’m back.  And it’s you, you materialistic, indifferent self dealing pretenders to the left – you fools, charlatans and treasonous whores of the liberal state, you are the reason I will never stop writing again.  Go fuck yourselves.

I’m voting for Dr. Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka.

Anthony Tarrant no longer toils for healthcare in retail fashion's corporate mills. He lives and writes in Costa Rica, a poor country filled with incredibly happy people with no standing army since 1948. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Anthony.