February 2020

| April 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

Bill Kristol has a good piece today in The Bulwark, a website for Never Trump conservatives. I agree with it in many ways, but I think it frames a very cosmic issue in ways that are, frankly, self protective of Kristol himself.

He identifies February 2020 as one of those epochal moments in world history that changes everything. He describes it as the end of an era of peace and prosperity that began with the fall of the Soviet Union.

The era that ended in February 2020 marked a 30-year stretch of mostly peace and prosperity, not just for the United States, but for the world. Even if one is now struck, looking back, by this period’s markers of decadence and decline, three decades of peace and prosperity shouldn’t be underrated.

I agree with him that February was a turning point, but I see it as 40 years in the making, not 30. And I see those 40 years as a long detour or decline that Kristol had a role in creating.

I would start the clock in 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan, someone I suspect Kristol continues to hold in very high regard. That was the start of the trend that led to Donald Trump. It launched a 40 year project dedicated to undermining respect for government. While Democrats had a majority in the country, Republicans won enough to maintain veto power over almost every Democratic initiative to leverage public policy to improve the lives of average people. Sadly, many of those average people were racists and Republicans used that racism to keep enough power to prevent any action,

The exceptions, of course, were the first two years of the Obama Administration. We passed the ACA, the stimulus bill and financial service reform. But by ginning up the racists, the Republicans reclaimed power and set about to undermine everything Obama had done or would do.

Then came Trump. The reducio ad absurdum of the Republican project. And here we are. Because many voters didn’t think it mattered who was president, they elected a corrupt, ignorant, racist fool. We surged three years without and external crisis, but our luck has run out. We’re faced with the worst possible crisis with the worst possible president.

So, thank you, Bill Kristol for recognizing what you and your ideological soulmates have given us.

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