We, together with upwards of seventy-five million voters, are profoundly relieved that the aberrant, unprecedented term of office of Trump-Pence, was ended by the results of the recent Presidential election. Nevertheless, it is disappointing and truly disheartening to be reminded by the observed composition of the result, that slightly less than one-half of our population, loyally and tribally, voted for the losing administration, despite its demonstrated four- year record of undisputed incompetent, shameful and immoral performance. We had attempted until now, to resist the realization, that in this Nation, created as a “representative democracy,” structured and intended to be guided by the will of its people, slightly less than of one- half is found seriously wanting in the Jeffersonian mandate, for the success of a Democracy viz., an educated and informed citizenry.
Simultaneously with our feelings of immeasurable relief and joy that the ticket of Biden-Harris has successfully supplanted the disgraceful and unprecedented rule by Trump-Pence, we retain a bit of regret, supplemental to that profound relief and celebratory inclination.
Those who worked for the re-election of Trump ( separate and apart from its natural appeal to the anti-health regulation, air polluting industrialists) focused the old demagogic snake oil Trump promises on his “base,” generally containing the Nation’s insufficiently educated, flat earth cohort. The Republican Party campaigners seemed to speak, exclusively, to that portion of the population. Our observation is that the Democratic campaigners spoke, likewise, almost exclusively, to their generally more literate, Democrats and the result was merely a matter of simple arithmetic. There was absolutely no prevailing doctrinaire principle involved; either a voter was for Trump or against him. By good fortune, pursuant to that observation, the votes against Trump, simply, were arithmetically more numerous.
In the interest of clarity, we would emphatically and sincerely reiterate that we are overjoyed that Biden won and that the Nation will now awaken to normalcy, from the nightmare of Trump and repair, as possible, the damage caused by that epitome of incompetent immorality, The situation, historically, closely replicates the context and setting of the Jimmy Carter election. At the time, America desperately desired to return to normalcy following the aberrational Presidency of Richard Nixon. Like Jimmy Carter, Joe Biden represents a safe assurance of normalcy and desired restoration of the traditional American moral compass, as well as required judgmental competence. Yet, as the title to this writing expressly indicates, we do have some principled regrets.
Since the time of the Democratic Nominations, we have enjoyed a preference for a Bernie Sanders Presidency, as predictably the most pro-active in moving our Nation towards the ideal of equality, intended and expected by our founding fathers. His failure to be nominated, in our considered opinion was a combination of two factors. Senator Sanders, a brilliant man and apt politician might have realized that, in this Nation of so many inadequately educated and reductionist voters, his choice to label himself as “Socialist”, would be, to their nuanced perception and reductive understanding, a profession of not championing the American way and desiring to install a foreign-based ideology.
The word, ”Socialism,” perceived by the inadequately educated voter, apparently, has negative and unpatriotic associations and Senator Sanders should have been cognizant that the use of words such as “compassionate” or “empathic “ capitalism would have been tactically preferable. Neither Bernie Sanders, who chose to employ the misunderstood label, nor the Democratic Party itself, (as the second factor) dedicated sufficient (or, any) time to clarify the term, in its American (Sander’s) context.
History clearly demonstrates that the practice of completely unregulated laissez- faire, as proclaimed by the 19th Century English philosopher, Adam Smith, ineluctably led to lives of suffering and extreme privation on the part of the classes of working people in newly industrialized England. Empirically, the practice of relegating the survival of lower economic families to the cruel and inhuman vagaries of his “Natural Law,” was a predictable assurance of hunger, sickness, privation and a short, miserable life.
Following the Great Depression of the1930’s, the Administration of President Franklyn D. Roosevelt, entered into a “contract” with America, by which the Federal Government assumed the empathic responsibility, to render needed assistance to its citizens through programs, such as social security, survivor’s benefits, disability insurance, workmen’s compensation, health regulations for the general public and safety regulations for labor plus a plethora of other compassionate governmental undertakings, still needed and fortunately existing today. No known, recipient citizen has ever, to our knowledge, publicly labeled the wide array of government life- assisting programs as “Socialism.”
It takes no great leap of faith to assume that all such ill -advised voters who misunderstand and feared Sanders’ use of his description, “Democrat-Socialist” have been lifelong, grateful beneficiaries of a great many such programs of American compassionate capitalism. Programs of needed governmental assistance, in the context of our capitalistic infrastructure do not merit the designation of, nor are related in any way to “Socialism.” In effect, such programs, by their principled empathy and morality conceivably, prevent foreign theories of government rule from establishing a foothold in our Nation.
In a past essay, “American Socialism,” we commented on this identical, ignorant and reductionist misuse, of the word, socialism, and asserted that it is essentially, an academic term principally used in the study of political science and economics. Socialism correctly understood, means the complete ownership and control of business and industry by a central Government. Observably, there is, and has never been, an American Presidential candidate who has espoused that theory.
But, observably, the “S” word was tactically and cynically re-engineered as an epithet for the reductionist, under-educated voter, causing Sanders to be rejected by such misled voters due to his employment of that label. He is a brilliant man and should have known better. While we certainly look forward to the expected return of American normalcy, a President with the platform of Bernie Sanders could have, in addition, promoted reasonable policies of sorely needed economic equity and social justice, morally called for by the American tradition of equality, in our lop-sided, astronomically divergent economic nation, and to do so, utilizing means, properly within the American tradition.