Although preoccupied with personal problems that necessitated my premature return from Paris, I have been following the lengthy discussion in the comments section concerning commodities, metaphysical entities, and opportunity costs. Inasmuch as I have written two books, half a dozen lengthy journal articles, and tens of thousands of blog words about these topics, I shall refrain from repeating myself [even more than I am wont to do.] So let me return to blogging with some observations on the political scene as it has unfolded since I went to Paris two weeks ago.
As we have just experienced the two-day long first debate among the two dozen or so folks competing for the Democratic nomination, I shall start there. I did not watch the debates [past my bedtime], but I watched the morning after sound bites. The conventional wisdom is that Warren shone on the first night and Harris scored big against Biden on the second night. Whether this will hurt Biden remains to be seen. It must be hard for him to repeat his customary claim as a lifelong champion for Civil Rights when an actual Black person is on the stage. Not really fair, I imagine ole’ Joe is thinking. He does seem to be as weak a campaigner as everyone says, but I do not know whether that will hurt him.
I remain convinced that it is existentially important to defeat Trump so that we can go back to fighting the endless battle for the marginal improvements that we are forced to substitute for our true goals. We are currently experiencing an exhilarating moment of radical political energy at ground level, energy that has already elected some first-rate men and women to the House and may carry a number more to victory in 2020. These victories, should they materialize, will fall far short of the fulfilment of our dreams, so I shall repeat the caution that I have voiced before. It was said best by Paul Newman playing the legendary grifter Henry Gondorff in The Sting. [Long time readers will know that I have invoked this reference at least twice here in the past ten years – I really only have about four strings in my bow.] Newman is holed up in a whore house when he is sought out by the young and inexperienced Robert Redford. Newman warns Redford of the difficulties and dangers of playing the Big Con against the gangster Robert Shaw, and then he says:
“I don't want a hothead looking to get even, coming back saying......"It ain't enough." 'Cause it's all we're gonna get.”
If you want to be active in the radical political lane for life, you must take this advice to heart, because it is the truth, bitter as the taste may be that it leaves in your mouth. If we beat Trump, there will still be more than sixty million Americans who have voted for him and perhaps one hundred million who support him. That is a terrifying fact, one that we must reckon with as we fight to accomplish some of the things we believe in.
Meanwhile, it looks as though Sanders, Warren, and Harris have a shot at the nomination. Things could be worse.