Election 2020: On the road to imperium
Have we had enough of “100 days before election” prognostications?
We are on the road to imperium.
Perhaps we have been here for a while, sitting squarely where Malcolm X once said, “the chickens come home to roost.” Malcolm X was speaking to our foreign entanglements (1) echoing a President’s warning about the influence of a “military industrial complex.” (2)
That an African-American leader was expanding on the warning of a Republican President speaks to ‘where we are’ today, not 100 days from now.
Here are the “road signs”:
A DOJ relentlessly pushing to marginalize dissent;
A complicit party-in-power who abets the next constitutional affront and relegates accountability to “partisan politics”;
A chief executive obsessed with keeping power at any cost;
A blinded economy determined to lurch from financial crisis to financial crisis further maximizing financial inequality.
“Imperium” means “absolute power.” The effort is not to just claim victory, not to just hold onto power. Rather the destination of the road to “imperium” is to build an infrastructure of lawlessness, where ALL that matters is the consolidation of power.
Once arrived at “imperium” all voices of resistance are suppressed. Elections are “stolen.” “Anarchists” are jailed. Tolerance of difference is abated. Progress towards equality in its myriad forms is halted.
Repression deserves the silence it begets. On the road to “imperium” is not some cockamamie conspiracy “theory.” The point is to acknowledge where we are on this road, how far we are from it’s destination.
Of course Trump was impeachable, potentially every President is. The crisis of the last three years is that as a country we have tossed out the Constitution. Not just Trump. Not only Trump.
We started by bastardizing the engagement process of transition by watching the Garland nomination fester and die. We accepted the conflation of private funding of elections with a self-serving and illogical defense of freedom of speech. We witnessed the decline of governance during a public health catastrophe. We watched as our mothers and sisters locked arms before tear gas bearers.
For what? For the consolidation of power. How could this be? How could a country founder and lose its moral compass?
Gone unheeded were the signs of complacency, best labeled “American exceptionalism.” Our country was the qualifier, the standard, the aspiration. The world looked to America as an exemplar. Perhaps this is unfair: we are just another empire builder, another rich country masquerading it’s largesse, another detour from the global quest for economic and political self-determination.
The question and the point of this rant is that we ARE somewhere, we are on the road to imperium. And the election of 2020 is not the ultimate antidote. Absolute power and the struggle for this exalted state is what we are resisting. Every day. Not just November 3. Not just after November 3.
Our “100 days til election” alert passed a long time ago.
July 28, 2020
(1) When asked his thoughts on the Kennedy assassination, Malcolm X used the opportunity to comment on America’s ‘history of violence.’ Ref. Jon Connor, quora.com
(2) President Dwight David Eisenhower, Farewell address, January 17, 1961