One of the main reasons we are here, today, where we are, is that people confused their fears, their loyalties, their greed, and their partisan tribal identifications, for truth.

The world does not care if you didn’t (or don’t) believe in climate change. Carbon and methane have specific effects on the atmosphere, and your opinion that they don’t is as relevant as that of a flat earther’s about the rotation of the sun around the Earth–it has real world consequences, to be sure, but is simply wrong.


It is nice that you don’t think that racism and racists get stronger when times are bad, and that people who don’t see a pay raise in 40 years are likely to turn to nasty politics, and it is even important that you think so, since your sheer stupidity and blindness makes it harder to stop, but you are wrong. You are, in fact, part of the problem, because problems happen and we need to be able to fix them, and you and your type are making it harder to do anything by muddying the water.

The inability to separate partisanship from a clear understanding of the world is at the heart of why we are where we are today. Clear consequences of action and non-action are dismissed wholesale until it is too late to do anything about it.

Yeah, we’ve got sort of a consensus on climate change, but, it’s basically too late, and hey, even with a consensus we aren’t doing even close to enough. It is laughable to me that people are running around saying, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” because Trump was elected and he says he doesn’t believe in global warming. Obama “believes” in it and made it worse.

“Ooooh, he might pull out of the Paris accords.” You mean the accords that virtually no one is fulfilling their pledges to already?

Then there is this: “Trump promises to deport between two and three million immigrants!”

You mean, about the same amount as Obama did (2.4 million)?

Meanwhile, we have people screaming about Russia backing an international neo-fascist movement.

Oh? Well, they’ve supported some, yes. But who supported the neo-Nazis in the Ukraine until they got into power? Yes, that would be the US.

The fact is that elites are quite happy to do business with neo-Nazis. It is people like Corbyn they are scared of. Fascists get along great with corporations: The Nazis slashed wages, locked up union organizers, and gutted workers rights–even before they went to slavery (which the US already has, in its prisons).

The warnings on climate change and about the rise of the racist right go as far back as the 80s, in my memory. Why? Because the evidence was already there for people to see. By the late 80s, we could see that the inequality data was going in a radically bad direction, for example, and people were already saying, “This will lead to the rise of bad people, like fascists.”

This was not hard to predict. It was obvious. You did not need to be some sort of special genius, you just had to ask yourself “What happened last time?”

What you had to be “special” to do was to ignore it, to hand wave it away, to spend your life (and many, many lives were dedicated to the project) saying, “Oh, no, inequality is no big deal. They aren’t really poor, they have TVs!”

Every person who did that is culpable in what is coming down the line, just as everyone who cut a check for climate denials (usually to protect their own business, a.k.a. oil) is complicit in mass murder.

Social science is inexact, but there are some parts of social science that are pretty close to physics.

Let me give you two.

People who are treated badly become bad people. (As a group. Yes, you are a special flower and it didn’t happen to you, OR if you were one of them, you would be the exception. You’re special. I know.)

People are unhappy or happy with leadership based on whether they perceive things as getting better or getting worse. It is not based on absolute standards, it is based on what they expect the future to be like.

Right after the Versailles treaty, Keynes was able to predict the gross outlines of history right through to World War II. He said, “Well if you do this to the Germans, they aren’t going to put up with it forever, and it will enable the rise of really nasty people.”

You had to be a special sort of idiot, or a partisan fool, not to see it coming once someone like Keynes had explained it to you (and many others knew it as well).

If you will not live in something fairly close to reality, reality will clock you upside the head for it eventually. As individuals, we may dodge this, we often do, which is why individuals often live in denial.

As societies, no. The bill is always paid, and it is always paid in full. It’s just usually not paid by the people who wrote the checks based on other people’s bodies. Which is why, if you aren’t powerful (and you probably aren’t), you can’t afford to live in fantasy-land.

It is now too late to stop the rise of the nasty right. It was, in fact, too late in 2009 when Obama completely decided to continue the bail out of the rich. That was the last exit-ramp. But oh, people love Obama. He was the last person with the ability to stop this, and he made an affirmative choice to make sure it would happen.

And for many people, he’s a great man, a hero. Especially to people on the left, who, if the nasty right gets out of control, are the ones who are going to die and be tortured and raped and imprisoned.

This is what Americans have been voting for, and that includes Democrats, for over 40 years. This wasn’t just a few elites. No, as a group, Americans kept taking actions to make it happen. (Yes, you may be an exception, but among voters, you are an exception.)

And so what has happened, has happened. Americans let those in the rustbelt rot. They have rebelled, and you now have Trump. Democrats voted for Clinton (yes, the DNC had its thumbs on the scale, but all evidence I’ve seen is that registered Dems really did prefer Clinton to the man who was against Iraq).

Clinton lost (she would have been terrible too).

And here you are. And meanwhile, climate change is roaring down the pike, and while Trump may be worse, no, Clinton wouldn’t have done enough to stop it. No reason to bother, her donors don’t want real regulation, and heck, she’ll be dead, and her daughter can live somewhere it won’t effect her much.

Consequences are paid. Your opinion that they aren’t paid is irrelevant, and if you don’t have power, the check is being written on your body and those of the people you claim to care about.

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