Against electoral fatalism

For those outside the US, our fate depends not on one superpower’s elections, but on our willingness to force our politicians to reject megalomaniacal commands from Washington.

What do you, me, and most citizens in the world share in common with any American ex-felon in the State of Florida, struggling to make amends with his criminal past while reentering society? None of us, of course, can vote in US elections, though these may impact our lives, molding our political systems and economies through foreign policy and trade.

The average inhabitant of any country — including Puerto Rico, a nation with ambiguous status forming part of the United States — has the power of a Floridian former prison-inmate witnessing the elections on TV or social media. Providence is to those born in what puritanical 18th century settlers christened a promised land, near the self-declared City on a Hill — invoked as a secular foreign policy term in the 20th century for American exceptionalism. Those born outside the Promised Land bear original sin.

Despite all that, one gets the impression that progressive intelligentsia in much of the world, and especially in Western Europe, are mesmerised, glued to screens of fleeting reports on the US presidential debates — not exactly Cicero — in a precipitous decision which locks out our participation. Those onstage seem oblivious to that misty, metaphysical realm beyond US borders.

Many progressives in Europe and elsewhere who followed the primaries passionately speculated whether one should feel under obligation to vote for Hillary in 2016 — despite having no rights to do so. They’re at it again, apparently having accepted that today’s outcome must determine the course of history in the direction of Empire’s undertow. To a large extent, unfortunately, it will. But that does not justify lack of suspicion towards a syndrome which reemerged in Europe during the Obama years: a liberal faith in acquiescence to the US foreign policy ideology called “American exceptionalism”.

Those who cheered Sanders up until and even after his capitulations before Democratic Party bosses in 2016, and through the second capitulation-campaign of 2020, buy the oversold optimism about “Joe Biden’s progressive turn” when he’s shown greater sympathy towards Republicans than popular progressives like congresswoman Ocasio-Cortéz, who admitted recently that Biden has never spoken to her. Inside the US, dissidents like Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi have taken flack for rejecting the illusion advocated by Sanders, who with a straight face said Biden might become the most progressive US president “since FDR”.

Optimistic onlookers nonetheless succumb to fatalism, believing our destiny depends on these November elections. Said fatalism hinges particularly on environmental policy, or lack thereof, among the contenders. Has the US conquered our brains again, more effective perhaps than those hyped Russia disinformation trolls? This autumn, let’s also look to ourselves, as well as Southwards and Eastwards.

Brazil’s key to planetary continuity.

The Amazon, spanning Brazil and neighbouring countries, represents the world’s major carbon sink, absorbing roughly 600 million tonnes of carbon annually. President Jair Bolsonaro has accelerated deforestation. Bolsonaro, along with richer men like Mike Pompeo conveniently converted to the Evangelical worldview, which proclaims that we inhabit the end-times. And since Judgment Day is inevitable, we might as well speed up the short-term financial exploitation of our last means of species-survival.

Luiz Inacio Lula, a recently liberated political prisoner, stands a chance with Brazil’s Workers Party of altering the course in a campaign, and as President would refuse submission to either Trump or Biden’s exploitative foreign agenda.

The Bolivian coup-regime of Jeanine Añez–recently defeated by MÁS–shared Pompeo’s gospel, and comparable plans for Bolivian nature and workforces. They are zealots–but progressives who hinge the world’s continuity on the Biden campaign for 2020 represent another, more educated side of the millenarian coin.

Apocalypse Now.

The Greek word apocalypse, also means “to reveal”. It is time to tear the curtains down, to reveal what really hid behind the burlesque of the 2020 US presidential elections, in which much of global progressive intelligentsia has vested its fate. Doubtlessly, we find ourselves at a precipitous moment, which invites a psychosis-like faith that every utterance or tweet can tip the scales influencing a fatal outcome of the US electoral mood and the Empire’s electoral carnival.

The strain of this moment coloured suicidal decisions by mainstream journalism to actively justify censorship of news that might prove harmful to the Biden campaign, such as the Biden family dynasty’s access to imperial corruption in Ukraine, a right held sacred by the US Democratic Party with the same protectiveness one would expect the GOP to have when covering up Bush family indiscretions. The willingness of The Intercept to hush up opinions on Biden’s exceptionalism in Ukraine, is behaviour related to the widespread media silence on Julian Assange’s illegal incarceration.

Survival relies neither on the US electoral college math, nor on the anointed winner of the 2020 electoral burlesque, or even on the Lula campaign to win back Brazil from slash-and-burn jungle colonists in the Amazon. Rather, the future needs dissident governments and movements of the earth to push policy away from submission to Great Power games – be they of the US or of lesser regional superpowers like Russia, Germany or France.

How might Obama’s former Vice President enforce foreign policy? To his credit, as VP, Biden asked Obama to cool the enthusiasm, cautioning against the brutal invasion of Pakistan for extrajudicial execution of Osama Bin Laden–a caution bemoaned by neo-conservatives like Cheney, as the conservative National Review reports.

On Israel, though Biden announced his intent to keep his embassy in Jerusalem, Netanyahu seemed to have postponed Summer annexation plans in anticipation to US elections: Biden disapproves of annexation while Trump supports it, and the nod of the master is required before proceeding. As Israel’s major trade partner, a serious EU threat of sanctions would effectively dissuade Israeli annexation plans, regardless who wins the US Presidency.

On Iran, Biden wants a return to the Iran nuclear-deal violated by Trump. These predictions distract, however, from European failure to have held ground and kept to European ratified JCPA agreements on Iran in defiance of Trump since 2017. Instead, EU leaders after undermining the agreement, applauded the gangsterism of Trump’s assassination of General Qassem Soleimani.

As a movement allied to radical social-democrat elements within the Democratic Party USA, we as DiEM25 along with the Progressive International (PI) must put international pressure on allies like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Bernie Sanders to stay true to their commitment to ending US imperial exceptionalism, for the sake of the world and of their own citizens. Remember that the livelihoods and rights of the average working French and English citizen improved after these countries renounced the Empire.

In this precipitous moment, our fate does not depend on one superpower’s electoral casino.

The question, rather, is: Will the dissident nations and federations of the earth now emerge and act? Or do we continue being cornerstones of US bipartisan megalomania?

Photo Source: Jonathan Meyer from Pexels.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect DiEM25’s official policies or positions.

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