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The Wild 2020/2024 Elections

2017 March 3

So, Facebook CEO Zuckerberg and Oprah are both reputedly interested in being President. Zuckerberg is supposedly lining up for 2024, and has certainly been acting like it.

George Clooney’s name has been bandied about.

So has a more normal candidate, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a neoliberal’s neoliberal and near-complete asshole.

2016 didn’t just teach aspirants that right-wing authoritarian populism could work, it told celebrities, who know Trump mostly as a celebrity (which is reasonable; he’s not a big time billionaire, nothing compared to Zuckerberg or Bezos and Thiel and so on), that if a second rate celebrity with serious personality issues can make it to the President’s chair, so can they.

I’ve seen some political operatives bemoaning this, but I’ll be frank: I’d take Oprah or Clooney in a heartbeat over Cuomo. I know he’s a right-wing tard who does the very minimal good stuff he has to to stay elected.

(Zuckerberg, on the other hand, I’ll pass on–as he himself said: Anyone who trusts him is an idiot.)

Unlike many, I don’t see this is bad, per se. It is bad that the political class has failed so badly that they are no longer trusted and people are looking outside the political class. It is bad that the US and the world has created so many vastly rich people that they can do this, not needing to have a political party firmly behind them.

But given that we live in an oligarchy and a celebrity state, and given that the politicians have failed and failed and failed, it’s quite reasonable for Americans to try to pull from different pools.

And, as I say, I’d take Oprah or Clooney over any neoliberal in a heartbeat.

This is where we are, it is where the decision of the political class to sell out to money has led us, and there’s little point in bemoaning it, though one should certainly note it.

It is as it is.


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46 Responses leave one →
  1. March 3, 2017

    THE OPRAHSIDENT: “Now Charlene, reach under your seat and pull out what you find there.”

    CHARLENE:
    *reaches under seat*
    *pulls out government health ID card*
    *squeals with happiness*

    THE OPRAHSIDENT: Guess what! I didn’t just get that for Charlene! America, reach under your seats…

  2. March 3, 2017

    But srsly, the problem with celebrity parachute politicians is having the skill to operate the political levers of state, which is quite different from becoming and being a second-rate billionaire. Trump is being conformed as we speak.

  3. Pelham permalink
    March 3, 2017

    I thought about this celebrity-as-pol thing seriously some time back and concluded that Conan O’Brien would be a prime choice. He’s very sharp and gives off vibes of a good conscience.

    Oprah and Clooney each seem a bit too squishy-minded for my taste, although I don’t know that much about O’Brien, who might equal them in that department.

    I hope others chime in with at least semi-serious ideas along these lines. There’s a lot of room for creative thinking here.

  4. MojaveWolf permalink
    March 3, 2017

    Why assume that Clooney isn’t a neoliberal? I don’t recall much about Oprah’s politics offhand, but I know Clooney backed Obama strongly in 2008 and Hillary in 2016 (including during the primary while Bernie was on the rise). I’m pretty certain he doesn’t warrant leftist backing. I’d be surprised if Oprah did, either, tho Mandos’ joke actually could be the key to a winning strategy for her if she actually ran with that and the rest of her platform was good (going way out on a limb and predicting neither of these things will happen). Trump won because of his appeal to people hurting, offering to fix things that had gone wrong, and because enough people hated the status quo that they were willing to give even someone potentially awful a chance. Celebrities offering more of the same will go nowhere.

    Not really going to handicap things this far out (did ANY of us think Bernie had a chance to do as well as he did? Even when I got behind his campaign initially I was thinking 10% was an impossible dream and it was support born of despair at the other options, and he probably would have won but for blatant DNC cheating way worse than anything I’ve seen in my lifetime in this country) but having an active Sandernista/demexit timeline on twitter, I can speak for HORDES when I say that none of us are going to back Cuomo/Zuckerberg/(any celebs in what I think is the Clooney mold)/Booker/Gillibrand etc, regardless of the alternative. By “not back” I will go so far as to say “actively oppose”.

    Hopefully at least some leftist populist types run, ideally someone who has shown a spine. Tulsi/Nina/Canova would all be great, and Teachout and Flores and some others would be worth a look. I think Feingold is committed to not running, and Grayson may have too much baggage, such that he could be sabotaged the same way he was in Florida on a larger scale (or maybe not, I’d still happily back him to whatever end over any of the preferred neolib types.

    Warren–who knows? None of the Sandernistas like or trust her anymore, but she’s still better than any of the neolibs. If the DNC establishment had any sense they’d back her and hope for the best, as she seems somewhat amenable to working with them and has shown enough good qualities that the non-corporatist wing of the party might still go with her, but I don’t expect them to have any sense so she’ll be just one of many if she runs.

    Just in case any DNC types are reading this: I at least(and I think many fit this mold) am quite willing to play chicken if you insist on this, and you should not play chicken with us unless you are all set for the head on collision because there will be no swerving. If you think the neolib types are going to kill the world, just at a slower rate than the neocons, which I do, then there is NO incentive to swerve. Either your side swerves or we crash and see who/what survives the collision. If you REALLY think the Republicans are that much worse, then show what mature adults you are, run with that unity schtick and back progressive candidates.

  5. Hugh permalink
    March 3, 2017

    I knew someone whose brother was an officer in the LAPD who got called out to stars’ houses on a regular basis. His assessment was that if these people hadn’t made it big in Hollywood, they would have had trouble holding a job flipping burgers.

    Celebrity does not equate to competence. Competence in one field does not necessarily equate to competence in another. Kleptocrats like Buffett and Soros are great at investing/looting, but their knowledge of economics, other than being self-serving, is zero.

    I also must disagree with your characterization of Andrew Cuomo as a “near-complete asshole.” Where does the “near” come into it?

    Heroes and stars are not going to save us. Nor the guy riding in on a white horse. Nor egotistical billionaires. Having a coherent vision of the society we want, building a consensus around it, is much more important. Because it isn’t about replacing a single leader or finding the right one. It is about replacing the whole corrupt power structure that is oppressing us.

  6. Duder permalink
    March 3, 2017

    If we are seriously considering Clooney, remember that he is an avid supporter of the “Responsibility to Protect” thesis of militarized foreign policy that got us into Libya. He really believes that US troops can boot stomp all over the world and save poor brown people from genocide at the hands of evil tyrants. He would be Hillary with a charismatic face.

  7. March 3, 2017

    The problem here is that in representative democracy, being a politician is a *career* and a *skill*. This is quite apart from having any good policies, which is at best a tertiary question. Because holding office doesn’t (for good reason) have a formal qualification, sometimes the hiring committee aka the electorate can “hire” a person without the usual qualifications, as an experiment. That’s how you can get second-rate billionaires parachuting themselves down on top of the entire system.

    But that *doesnt* mean that they have the “career smarts” to succeed.

  8. Ian Welsh permalink*
    March 3, 2017

    Certainly many celebrities are incompetent asses.

    *shrug*

    But some of them aren’t, and I see no reason to believe the ratio is worse than in politicians.

    As for the levers of government argument, Obama used them to make the rich, richer.

    Trump’s issues were on display during the campaign.

    More the to the point, again, the political class has failed at doing anything but make the rich, richer, for 40 years. They need to be replaced. That’s a problem, but ignoring it is stupid.

  9. Duder permalink
    March 3, 2017

    The interesting aspect here is that the current populist backlash against the ruling political class in the US has driven us towards celebrity. Usually, historically, and in other contemporary countries, populists gain steam by not only opposing status quo politicians but also appearing as representative of the “everyman”, with humble origins and downtrodden social position. I think this US celebrity driven populism is a sign of a country with more broken than just its governing class. The social bedrock of the US is seriously unhinged.

  10. RJMeyers permalink
    March 3, 2017

    Fitting that our Caesars will come from the entertainment industrial complex.

  11. Peter permalink
    March 3, 2017

    This seems to be an attempt to sell the dull idea that Trump was a celebrity who was elected because of celebrity not policy or acumen.

  12. EverythingsJake permalink
    March 3, 2017

    Clooney’s political pedigree isn’t terrible. His father was a muckity-muck journalist as I recall. You might get an FDR type response out of him. Not what’s needed to save us given ecological concerns, but might relieve a lot of suffering along the way.

  13. March 3, 2017

    Oooh! I like it!

    If we have two or more celebrities going against each other with a ‘brand’ for being nice like Oprah and Clooney, how do they compete? They have to do it on policy and demonstrating competence. Mudslinging etc. would have to be done subtly (if at all) unless they were willing to destroy the very brand that made them celebrities in the first place.

    That would be a step up from the campaign we just had.

  14. Kim Kaufman permalink
    March 3, 2017

    Who said Oprah wasn’t a neoliberal? She was a big supporter of Obama, supporter of charter schools, I believe. I believe Clooney is making a movie about The White Helmets, the documentary of which won the Academy Award a week ago. My understanding is that the White Helmets are actually some combination of the US State Dept. and other NGO funding and ISIS or Al Nusra, or whatever they’re calling themselves these days. In other words, a psy-ops. Clooney may have an eye on something for his wife, who does have some credentials. But, yes, the political class has failed the people.

  15. Tom permalink
    March 4, 2017

    @ Kim

    WTF

    The White Helmets are non-political civil rescue teams who fight fires, warn of incoming airstrikes, pull people out of the rubble, provide emergency medical services, and donate blood.

    Whoever says they’re terrorists is an asshole of no redeeming value.

  16. V. Arnold permalink
    March 4, 2017

    Whoever says they’re NOT terrorists is an asshole of no redeeming value.

    Do your home work asshole.

  17. someofparts permalink
    March 4, 2017

    “I think this US celebrity driven populism is a sign of a country with more broken than just its governing class. The social bedrock of the US is seriously unhinged.”

    That’s what I’m seeing too.

    Earlier this week I was remembering Nathanael West, especially Day of the Locust, because at this point that novel turns out to have been very prescient.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Day_of_the_Locust

  18. markfromireland permalink
    March 4, 2017

    Is there any group in MENA so despicable that Tom won’t shill for them?

    Don’t bother, it’s a rhetorical question to which we all know the answer.

  19. Salamander permalink
    March 4, 2017

    This is just risible. Celebrities, movie stars as president? Come on… that’s bananas!

  20. John permalink
    March 4, 2017

    How about PeeWeeHerman for president? He’ll appeal to everyone who loved him on children’s teevee just like cowboy Reagan did. He’s more of a klown than Orange Cheato. PeeWee should have Mildly Cyrus Hannah Montana to round out the ticket. Perfect combo. Forget Ophra and Clooney…not enough fun.you

  21. realitychecker permalink
    March 4, 2017

    A Pat Paulsen/Dr. Irwin Corey ticket would be unbeatable.

  22. Steeleweed permalink
    March 4, 2017

    “…when we are looking at the political elite, we are looking at the dancing monkey, not the organ grinder who calls the tune.” – Joe Bageant

       If we give up on the Political Class, as many/most people seem to have done, I don’t see that the skills (& luck) leading to celebrity status really apply to governance any more than do the skills of the man-in-the-street. Oprah may well be better than Trump. So what? It’s highly likely that you or I would be better than Trump. Indeed, I’ve known people pretty far down the totem pole whom I respect and trust more than I respect/trust DJT. And in positions of power, at least their fuckups would be accidental and potentially remediable rather than deliberate acts of evil.

  23. Will permalink
    March 4, 2017

    As a rule I would have to disagree.

    Not only would these celebrity jerkoffs continue the working class genocide (via their globalist policies on trade and immigration) they would also put the program of coastal condescension and hatred toward “flyover country” front and center. This is a fight to the death between globalism and nationalism. Both sides feel the survival of them and their’s depends on winning.

    The celebrity posse has chosen their side. They aren’t the answer to our ills they are merely an arms escalation bringing entertainment and media out of the role of support staff and into the role of front line warriors.

    This is not a positive in my view. But it may be a more honest and open one.

    Will

  24. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    March 4, 2017

    The most appropriate celebrity for POTUS in 2020 is Charlie Manson.

    I’d vote for him, and I haven’t voted in ages.

    He wrote the following song about & for Hillary Clinton. It’s true. And it’s tragic.

    Donald Trump never wrote such a beautiful song. He’s not capable, and even if he was, he wouldn’t devote it to Hillary. Not even Melania, because he’s incapable of seeing that she’s got Game too and he’s being played. I suspect most everyone if not everyone is playing DJT precisely because most people, especially inside the Beltway and all the various State Houses from sea to shining sea, are incapable of genuine authenticity and instead play games and the Game.

    Wisdom can, and often is, be found or evinced or conjured in/from the most curious places and sources if you broaden your perspective and set convention aside.

    Look at Your Game Girl

  25. Tom permalink
    March 4, 2017

    @MarkfromIreland

    Is there any Dictator you won’t shill for.

    Same for you V Arnold.

    White Helmets have not killed anyone and don’t carry weapons. Its illegal to target them as they are emergency fire and rescue services who save lives everyday.

    Anyone accusing them of terrorism is an asshole of no redeeming value. Rescuing civilians trapped in rubble and warning them of impending air strikes is not terrorism.

    Deliberately targeting Hospitals, Markets, and schools where FSA is not present which the Regime and Allies do is terrorism.

    The Assad Regime is responsible for the massive destruction of Syria and 91% of the civilian deaths, ISIS accounts for less than one percent.

    These are verifiable facts and not disputable.

  26. marku52 permalink
    March 4, 2017

    Tom: You need to get out more. Everyone over there wears a grey hat……

  27. wendy davis permalink
    March 4, 2017

    Silly thread, but in answer to Tom, for now, a couple links: ‘EXPOSED: Syria’s White Helmets are Al Qaeda’s ‘Civil Defence’, vanessa beeley, who reports from syria.

    http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/01/23/exposed-syrias-white-helmets-are-al-qaedas-civil-defence/

    ‘EXCLUSIVE: The REAL Syria Civil Defence Exposes Fake ‘White Helmets’ as Terrorist-Linked Imposters’, v. beeley

    http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/09/23/exclusive-the-real-syria-civil-defence-expose-natos-white-helmets-as-terrorist-linked-imposters/

    click her byline; she has pages of reporting exposés.

  28. Peter permalink
    March 4, 2017

    I don’t know who is driving us down the evolutionary tree furthest or fastest. It could be either people who look up to celebrities as models or those who look down and condemn common people who risk life and limb to help others.

    I can understand the twits at HP stimulating their rubes with glamour to replace substance and I understand the liberal angst as the sacred cows of the regulatory state are led to the trimming pens but this new regime is just getting started and it will be interesting, eventful and historic. The old order is shriveling and with any luck will be swept away especially the Clintonites and their celebrities.

    The poor local Syrian people in the white helmets made the mistake of seeking assistance from western NGO’s, their only option, which opened them up to vile geopolitical Axis propaganda. They were rescuing and treating people who were resisting Assad so they are all terrorists because under Axis doctrine any resisting of autocratic rulers is terrorism. You could say that crude attempts have been made by their PR people to picture Assad and other players in Syria as celebrities, a certain Iranian general comes to mind.

    Those who kneel to the Axis propaganda should be celebrating for the resistance and freedom in Aleppo was crushed with the rebels, the resistant population and the white helmets dispersed.

  29. sid_finster permalink
    March 4, 2017

    I’d take Peewee Herman over any of the current crop.

    Clooney’s wife was gunning hard for a role in an HRC administration.

    And yes, the “White Helmets” are and were an al Nusra propaganda tool.

  30. Brian permalink
    March 4, 2017

    Clooney would at least give good speeches and not tweet nonsense at 3 am every night.

  31. wendy davis permalink
    March 4, 2017

    a little more ballast for clooney detractors here. i’ve done a couple satiric pieces on him and his friends’ star power, even down to being on the pbs snooze hour w/ judy woodruff with his Explosive!!! 2-yr investigation under a partnership w/ john prendergast (wiki: ‘At the end of 1996, he joined the National Security Council as Director for African Affairs[12] and thereafter served as a special adviser to Susan Rice at the United States Department of State) on The Truth of south sudan. south sudan just happens to have 75% of the oil in what used to be ‘sudan’; sound familiar?

    but the most hilarious thing i found after a commenter had told me that st. clooney got a lifetime appointment w./ CFR is this salivating glurge from rebecca dana at the daily beast:

    “George Clooney, Oscar winner and star of such films as Syriana and Three Kings, is bringing his sly charm and rugged good looks to an expanded arena this summer: U.S. foreign policy.

    The heartthrob has been accepted for life membership in the Council on Foreign Relations, the independent nonpartisan think tank whose ranks include Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice and Zbigniew Brzezinski. Clooney was nominated to the Council by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and TV host Charlie Rose. He joins fellow Hollywood heavies Michael Douglas and Warren Beatty as a member of the vaunted organization.

    “I’m honored to have been nominated,” Clooney said. “I look forward to participating in the work and programs of the Council on Foreign Relations. And I hear the initiation ritual is wild.”

    he and prendergast are their own little compromised human rights organization, imo, and command: attention! their ‘exposes’ on eritrea and DCR congo may just lead to some r2p ‘liberation’, since both are stuffed w/ rare minerals, etc.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/06/15/george-clooney-at-the-council-on-foreign-relations.html

  32. Willy permalink
    March 4, 2017

    Why would Deepak, Gayle, Tyra and the gang be any worse advisers than anybody recent? And referring to cabinet members by their first name would be refreshing. You know damn well Secretary of State Dr. Phil would set Putin straight.

  33. Hugh permalink
    March 4, 2017

    I agree with Steeleweed. We should be looking to ourselves and not rich, clueless celebrities or sold out politicians. Most of Hollywood was so out of touch that they were big Hillary supporters. They thought Obama was great. Ultimately, they are just another group of rich people whose class interests do not align with ours, indeed are deeply and profoundly opposed to them.

    As for the politicians, when they come to a hard choice between us and the Establishment, they go with the Establishment, every time. This is why I never could understand the Bernie Sanders phenomenon. He was always going to fold. He even announced it at the start of his campaign, but he didn’t need to because the man had made a career out of folding. And he did. And he still has supporters who make excuses for him and tout all the great things he’s doing. Even though when push came to shove, he ended up endorsing Hillary just like all the other corrupt politicos they hate. The sad thing is it goes downhill from him. In the DNC leadership contest, Ellison had the same kind of choice: kick up a ruckus or bow to the Establishment. He bowed. Warren is totally Establishment, except on banking, and even there she isn’t about stopping the looting, just curbing some of its more outrageous and illegal excesses. I have no respect for Feingold. He is so limp that he makes Sanders look like a fighter. As for the Greens, they are not a serious party. They show up every four years like some weird form of cicada, make a lot less noise, then disappear for another 4 years.

    Meanwhile we have until 2030 to get our house in order to deal with climate change, an overpopulated world with 9 billion of us on it, and the ensuing population and environmental collapse which will result from these. And what are we doing in the face of these? Comparing the relative merits of various worthless clowns who not only don’t know what the problems are, have no solutions for them, and on top of everything else most have contributed significantly to them.

  34. jcapan permalink
    March 4, 2017

    It’s hard to imagine Dem partisans being more contemptible but they always surprise me. When they’re not fantasizing about subservient fealty to this or that political dynasty–when will Michelle or Chelsea run–they’re looking around for celebrities to unconditionally suckle, or a good billionaire to deliver them from evil. Fuckerberg ruling us all from his Ex-Machina estate in Hawaii seems the most fitting end to life as we know it. Good liberal proles begging for online pix of his kids and another chicken soup for the soul missive.

  35. highrpm permalink
    March 4, 2017

    celebrity confers authority. money confers authority. while the utterly outdated nation-state by-laws sit like any sacred religious document encased in the holy-of-holies somewhere, it for symbolic purposes only and functioning as myth to fuel the ideology. total nonsense. 3 cheers for the public school system. fits hand in glove with the phantasy products of hollyworld. and the value out of thin air products of the fractional reserve banking system.

    for some strange reason, the opening verse of the duet by emmy lou harris and george jones seems fitting,

    castles tall
    houses small
    left alone
    all fall down

  36. Benedict@Large permalink
    March 4, 2017

    Rich people buying our politicians versus rich people being our politicians is simply a matter of removing the middle man. From the perspective of capitalist efficiency, it is the next logical step. Of course eventually it becomes generational, and that would leave nothing to the 4th of July except the fireworks.

  37. March 5, 2017

    Clooney’s not a neoliberal?

  38. Some Guy permalink
    March 5, 2017

    Hugh is correct to say that:

    “we have until 2030 to get our house in order to deal with climate change, an overpopulated world with 9 billion of us on it, and the ensuing population and environmental collapse which will result from these. And what are we doing in the face of these? Comparing the relative merits of various worthless clowns who not only don’t know what the problems are, have no solutions for them, and on top of everything else most have contributed significantly to them.”

    But since we are doing the comparing, I think Duder’s point is also relevant:

    “The interesting aspect here is that the current populist backlash against the ruling political class in the US has driven us towards celebrity. Usually, historically, and in other contemporary countries, populists gain steam by not only opposing status quo politicians but also appearing as representative of the “everyman”, with humble origins and downtrodden social position.”

    It is simplistic to think, “Trump is a celebrity, Trump won, therefore nominate a celebrity”

    It is true that Trump is a celebrity, but he is not your average celebrity. Joe Heath had some comments on the death of Rob Ford, the Trump-like former Mayor of Toronto, that I think are relevant,

    Final Ford

    “I think this is one of the reasons that Ford is often described by his supporters as “honest” and “authentic” – despite the fact that he was an inveterate liar. Most politicians belong to a social class that is above that of the median voter. They have university degrees (often in law), they’ve had capital-C careers, and perhaps most importantly, they have bourgeois taste. As a result, most of them have to be very careful to avoid the impression of talking down to their constituents. So they often find themselves scaling back their vocabularies, pretending to have an interest in sports, acquiring a taste for Tim Horton’s coffee, etc.

    Some are better than others at this. I am reminded of John Kerry, stopping for a cheese-steak sandwich while campaigning in Philadelphia, and trying to order it with Swiss cheese. Catastrophic error! There is only one correct type of cheese to eat on the cheese-steak sandwich, and that is Cheese Whiz. His opponent, George W. Bush, ordered it “wiz wit” – the correct local idiom. But this just meant that Bush was better briefed by his campaign staff. One does not get the sense that Bush, Yale graduate and scion of privilege, spent much time hanging around cheese-steak joints.

    And yet there was Rob Ford, hanging out at Steak Queen. What a lot of low-SES people saw, in this video, was a guy who was not just pretending to like the sort of things that you like, but one who actually likes them. Far from looking down on you, he actually wants to be like you. Here was a man with genuine affection for the lower classes. Lots of fancy downtown Marxists profess to care about the poor, but would recoil with horror at the thought of eating at Steak Queen. (Observe what happened when, in the wake of the video, the Toronto Star sent its restaurant critic to write a review.)

    Class solidarity, as well as class antagonism, usually finds its most powerful expression in aesthetic judgement. This is one of the reasons that all the criticisms people made of Ford as mayor had so little impact on his supporters. They read it in class terms, and interpreted it as just another version of “looking down” on them.

  39. Sheff permalink
    March 5, 2017

    Hugh is right, it’s not about electing one person or even a bunch of people, it’s about the entire power structure. If Bernie Sanders had been elected, the same thing that’s happening to Trump would be happening to Bernie, possibly in a more subtle way, but possibly not. I suspect that Trump will end up being impeached, while I think Bernie would have been neutered in other ways. I actually hope that Trump stays in power long enough to get a real, grassroots protest movement going, because I’m worried that people’s activism will only carry them far enough to get rid of Trump unless they do it long enough that it becomes a habit. I actually hope that Trump lasts long enough for that to happen, because it won’t be any better under Pence or frankly under anyone else that I can see.

  40. Willy permalink
    March 5, 2017

    Intentional or not, Bush, Obama and the Clintons encouraged many working people to come to understand the rigged system. And then Bernie and Trump encouraged them to have a more focused voice. That there are so many Trump voters preferring to remain anonymous demonstrates that an anti-establishment movement may still have ways to go. It may be a little while before this becomes so accepted that mobs demanding change aren’t automatically tarred as anti-American ‘from-the-other-side’ kooks.

    I had dinner with a bunch of mostly wingnuts last night and they were clueless to the negative trickle-down cultural impacts Trump could have in areas such as other-discrimination. But this time they appeared more-open minded to reason. Something’s different now. The trick with the common rube lies in getting the facts past all their tribally-sanctioned identity politics obfuscation, before they themselves, finally and personally hit bottom in the ways we know will happen. But it may be easier now.

    Will they respect a celebrity? Only if those people follow through on their promises. Would they be able to clearly present the inevitable establishment pushback for what it is, and be believed? I’d think it depends on how much fight they clearly display when trying to follow through on their promises. And how many people have come to see their identity politics for what it really is, and abandoned it.

  41. Mary permalink
    March 5, 2017

    How easily you seem to have forgotten about Reagan. We’ve been living in a celebrity state long before the 2016 election. Celebrities and actors have been turning their fame into political candidacy for decades upon decades. What you are bemoaning is in fact nothing new. And to think Oprah and George Clooney wouldn’t fall in line with your definition of neoliberalism makes me think you have no idea who they actually are. You obviously missed Clooney’s Oscar speech. Might try doing a little more googling before your next celebrity-inspired post.

  42. Willy permalink
    March 6, 2017

    Yet somehow Reagan inspired a revolution. Maybe it’s all about the timing, hopefully not the celebrities height.

  43. Hugh permalink
    March 6, 2017

    Did I miss something? What revolution did Reagan inspire? The wage share of the bottom 80% peaked in 1968. Carter appointed Volcker in 1979 to head the Fed, and it was Volcker who began the long war of the Fed against wage gains in the name of controlling inflation. Carter also was behind the anti-union, anti-worker deregulation of the airlines in 1978 and trucking in 1980, legislation to force government unions into collective bargaining which Reagan used to decertify the air controllers union, and the repeal of usury limits. The Reagan Revolution was never a revolution, if anything it was part of a counter-movement against the New Deal and part of the establishment of the kleptocracy we currently see. But revolution? No, in no sense. We always should be skeptical of the terms and “history” that our ruling classes and their PR departments “gift” us with.

  44. Willy permalink
    March 6, 2017

    Okay, not “inspired” but enhanced? He was influenced by certain ‘experts’, but wasn’t it his celebrity that reached moderate voters when those experts could not?

  45. March 6, 2017

    Clooney 202o?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syriana

  46. markfromireland permalink
    March 11, 2017

    @Tom

    Are you actually capable of anything other than bombast and lies?

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