Hey there. Long time, no speak.
We’re halfway through the most catastrophic year in my memory and I’ve barely been posting at Washington Babylon. I hope to rectify that soon and feel terribly about being such an unreliable correspondent, but I’m dealing with various glamorous matters that have greatly distracted me. (Cashflow, for example.) For the time being, starting today, we’re moving to a biweekly schedule that will be more in the style of a magazine rather than a website.
This is our latest podcast we hope you will enjoy!
As long as I’m here, I may as well briefly discuss the great issues of the day, namely the November election. As a lefty journalist it’s rather easy to stay on the sidelines and pretend not to have an opinion about the subject and say it doesn’t matter who wins, but it does. Donald Trump needs to lose — and I’m pretty sure he’s going to.
Does that make me a lackey of Joe Biden? Nope, though I’m sure that’s how this will be interpreted. Meanwhile, I await the judgement of those smarter than me and hope they can explain how Trump staying in office is not the bigger threat.
Look, Biden blows. So does the Democratic Party. In a perfect world, the DNC and RNC would both be dynamited. But that’s (probably) not going to happen and unless Trump or Biden (or both) drop dead between now and November, those are the two choices.
Do I believe Biden can be pushed to the left? Nope. He’s pathetic. He’s running against Medicare for All during a pandemic, which is about as low as you can sink. But his domestic policies probably won’t be quite as retrograde as Trump’s.
I see various writers arguing that Biden’s foreign policy will be worse than Trump’s, but I’m not sure that’s possible. Trump hasn’t started a war — and the high point of his presidency in my view was calling off the scheduled bombing runs on Iran — but if you think he’s incapable of it, you’re delusional. Also, his sanctions on Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Venezuela and other countries have killed huge numbers of people.
I don’t think Biden is going to loosen those sanctions, unfortunately, and he could well start a war of his own. There are countless horrible foreign policy mandarins lined up behind him (the rest are lined up behind Trump) so anything’s possible.
However, in 2016 we didn’t know what a Trump presidency would look like. (I freely admit to having underestimated the consequences.) Now we do, and it isn’t pretty. He’s overseen a massive transfer of wealth upwards, completely bungled the response to COVID-19, and has implemented revolting policies on immigration, to name only a few issues. Obviously Hillary Clinton would have been a catastrophe — but perhaps fortunately we’ll never know how big of one.
We do now know what a Trump presidency looks like. Meanwhile, and critically, there’s only one candidate running on a platform of Race and Culture War, and that’s Donald Trump. Symbolically, and in real terms, his reelection would be a disaster.
So it’s going to be a shitty four years either way, but I’d rather be opposing Biden from Day 1 than run the risk of four more years of Trump.