Background Briefing: July 4, 2018
The Unravelling of the American Left and the Revival of Social Democracy
On this July 4th, we begin with how we are heading for autocratic rule in America with a Republican Party who place power over principle and a president infatuated with dictators and disdainful of democratic values. We will discuss the unraveling of the left from the 1980s to the Trump nightmare of today with Thomas Frank, the founding editor of the Baffler, contributor to the Guardian, and author of Rendevous with Oblivion. He joins us to trace the history of Democratic Socialism in the United States from 1944 to 1977 and we explore the schism between the blue-collar workers on the left and the right from a nearly eye-to-eye viewpoint to a perspective a world apart. And, on a more hopeful note, we assess the groundswell of support garnered by Senator Bernie Sanders during the 2016 primary and the promising new generation of voters: millennials, many of whom are Social Democrats.
The Phony “Civility” Crisis While American Democracy Itself Hangs in the Balance
Then finally we discuss the latest in the ongoing ”civility war” in the United States with Christine Fair, a professor in the Security Studies program within Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a former political officer with the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan in Kabul. She joins us to discuss her confrontation with the white supremacist and leader of the American Nazi Party Richard Spencer at her hometown gym and the booting of Sarah Sanders from the Red Hen restaurant. We examine the death of democracy and Fair’s contention that there isn’t and never has been full democracy in the United States due to the Senate being rigged by the Electoral College and the gerrymandering of the House of Representatives by the GOP. She asserts that it may not be too far fetched to see a civil war in the future, with individual American cities revolting against rural Red State domination. The only solution to realize American democracy, as she sees it, is mass civil disobedience, lead by the cosmopolitan liberal base.