I have decided to resuscitate Biped Twilight, my blog that began in 2007 and that I suspended eight years later due to declining readership. I have three reasons for giving it another shot:
(1) The dual shocks of Brexit and Trump have caused many people, who previously had not given much thought to my topics of interest, to take another look at them. For example, I have argued that the Trans Pacific Partnership, a “free-trade” debacle pushed by Obama and other corporate Democrats, was key to the loss of the four Rust Belt states to Trump, and I have been very surprised to discover that a lot of otherwise knowledgeable and informed people have no idea what I am talking about. Given the repudiation of the Clinton-Obama-Clinton strategy of the last eight or indeed 20 years, they may be interested in learning more and coming to their own conclusions.
(2) We hear a lot of talk about fighting back against the seamier aspects of Trumpism and the coming assault on what’s left of the New Deal safety net by rabid oligarchs. People are already demonstrating in the streets and vowing non-cooperation, all of which is laudable and reflects both generosity of spirit and a commitment to democratic and humane principles. However, clarity and a strategic vision are as important as good intentions. A lot of what I see and hear so far is leading us straight toward the re-election of Trump in 2020, and I would like to contribute something toward avoiding that unfavorable outcome.
(3) One possible aspect of the new authoritarian mood now let loose on the land is a crackdown on criticism and on critics. While I disagree with the facile leap toward parallels with Weimar or Pinochet, it seems to me that we easily could witness a sort of creeping authoritarianism along the lines of the Erdogan model in Turkey, combining legal harassment, demagogic attacks, and massive propaganda. This makes all forms of sustained public dissent more important.
My audience for these comments is limited: I have no interest in polemics with unrepentant neoliberals and/or Democrats incapable of facing the obvious catastrophic failure of their party as it steadily abandoned working people and crawled under the luxurious bedcovers of the 0.1%. Needless to say, I have never had much to say to or with corporate Republicans whose fetid odors I avoided as a Washington correspondent in the 1980s and see no reason to start now. That said, we are in the midst of a shake-up of political categories, so I anticipate finding common ground with people in unexpected areas. I invite thoughtful commentary and will cut off unpleasantness, for which I have less patience than ever.
As before, the aim of Biped Twilight is to chronicle the glorious and now accelerating decline of our blissfully self-annihilating species in the spirit of both compassion and marvel.