CHRIS HEDGES—The belief that the Democratic Party offers an alternative to militarism is, as Samuel Johnson said, the triumph of hope over experience. The disputes with Republicans are largely political theater, often centered around the absurd or the trivial. On the substantive issues there is no difference within the ruling class. The Democrats, like the Republicans, embrace the fantasy that, even as the country stands on the brink of insolvency, a war industry that has orchestrated debacle after debacle, from Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq, is going to restore lost American global hegemony. Empires, as Reinhold Niebuhr observed, eventually “destroy themselves in the effort to prove that they are indestructible.” The self-delusion of military invincibility is the scourge that brought down the American empire, as it brought down past empires.
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BRUCE DIXON—Like Congressional Democrats who tell us they’re really The Resistance, not the Assistance somebody lied to us here. The election just passed was serious business for sure, the people’s business mishandled, misrepresented, bought and stolen. Some who insisted it was The Most Important Mid-Term Election of The Era were innocently mistaken, frightened by Trump and the genuinely scary rise of white nationalism. In every election some are focused on their own careers which can be made broken with the outcome. And in some cases for whatever reason some people simply lied to us.
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Being anti-Trump is not good enough for defeating Trump. The Democratic Party needs a clearer and more progressive platform if it hopes to halt the country’s rightward movement, says Empire Files’ Abby Martin on the TRNN midterm election panel
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ERIC ZUESSE—Ever since 2003, there has been an enduring decline in Americans’ trust in the US Government itself. In 2004, which was just before the reality started to sink in, among Americans, that America had committed a war-crime by invading Iraq — that no weapons of mass destruction had actually existed there as the US President had promised; that there was no way in which this invasion was ‘defensive’ — 52% of Americans in Gallup’s ongoing polls of confidence in US institutions still had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the US Presidency. In 2005, that became 44%. In 2006, it was 33%. In 2007, it was 25%. In 2018, it is back up to 37% (but still well below the 52% in 2004).
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ROWAN WOLF—Here we sit with three back to back hate crimes, and I for one am waiting for the next and the next. Has the match been lit that the neo-nazi right has so long waited for? Has the day to the lone wolves finally arrived? Certainly a President who now proudly claims he is a “nationalist”, backed by a party in power who is cowed to his side, and a questionable judge implanted who believes firmly in the “unitary executive” theory of the presidency. Is now the time to “make America great again” by putting everyone back in their “place”?