advancing community
advancing community Area page
democratic America
 
  from triumphing over pathology
to scaling Bidenism globally


gary e. davis
November 22, 2020
 
  This is a long page, relative to what I usually do. I expect that all of the sections below, which mark topics for development, will become separate pages—but not
the first three, which mark passing events—as days go by.
  a triumph of democracy in America
We survived the lack of a president.
promise in genuine leadership

American political pragmatism
Biden and political leadership
fair markets for progressive economics
collaborative Congressional relations
Biden’s challenge: Republican need for Trumpist fealty
America’s example in the world
collaborative global advancement of global public goods
 
triumphing over pathology through the promise of genuine leadership
  a triumph of democracy in America
  Actually, election of Biden is a triumph of our electoral system, a triumph of most voting Americans’ sense of engagement in the face of a pandemic and plutocratic audacity, and a triumph of cybersecurity specialists.

What is “democracy” in America—or anywhere, actually—is an occasioned salience of demophilic aspects of good government and democratic aspir-ations of civil society.

Democracy is always a work in progress (ostensible locally, model-theoretic or/and lawfully systemic regionally). Parts of a progressive compact between good government and good society show relative to generally emergent want (which is a mix of need and desire).

I’m optimistic about the near-term future, contrary to unsurprising journal-istic jadedness. I see a “great feat of democratic citizenship that the 2020 election actually was,” commenting this week at the NYTimes, contrary to finding “lies have a long half-life”: “Democracy is in no danger, especially because intelligent voices like the Times won’t let that happen. Nor did voters intimate that democracy is in danger. We showed what we’re made of. That will be remembered.”
[full comment]

Time will tell, of course. But an especially remarkable feature of it all is that, even though there’s no Constitutional guidance on the matter of a president (so called, in the present case) refusing to concede, the improvisational flexibility of our society—media, fluid public opinion, the political system
(as living organon)—is making a mockery of Trump’s tantrum.

Even a jaded case for alarm about “Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election” avow that it’s not a danger. As I noted yesterday (pulling phrases from David Sanger’s article):
To those in the world who see “incredibly damaging messages… being sent…about how democracy functions,” nota bene: “…there are…safeguards in place…We are going to follow the law and follow the process.…In state after state, the president’s lawyers have been laughed out of court…the voters clearly rejected him for re-election…. Even some of Mr. Trump’s onetime enthusiasts and former top aides have abandoned him on his claims, often with sarcastic derision.”

My point here—David Sanger’s implicit point—is that the American example is working quite well, thank you.

Nowhere else in the world has authoritarian nonsense been so roundly rejected.
 
We survived the lack of a president. Now, let’s move on.
  Trump was a front man for the U.S. chapter of global plutocracy, which
I noted today at Maureen Dowd’s column:
Trump’s Big Money backers are quite pleased to see everyone displace blame for the destruction of U.S. government on Repub-lican intransigence and on their loyal agent, the orange-faced golf club king (who, by the way, is true to form during today’s G20 meeting). [Trump played golf.]

Trump became occupier of the Oval Office because it served the purposes of a trans-national plutocratic cabal (nothwithstanding Yuval Noah Harari’s proper caveats about “one big global” one) wanting unregulated capital to have free predatory reign in the U.S.

Trump’s true “base” has always been backroom capital. They laugh to see everyone so paniced about the sycophantic Repub-
lican opportunists, let alone the suckered commoners who adore a shameless bull in the china shop.

Marketing—especially bait-and-switch—dresses the emperors of
the plutocratic cabals, though they’re not the only group laughing. There are the other puppets in authoritarian regimes. [full comment]
But that’s over now. While “A vindictive Trump seeks to undermine Biden’s presidency” and use his “…Last Days to Lock in Policies and Make Biden’s Task More Difficult,” “Business and World Leaders Move On.” G-20 leaders are quick to praise the anticipated return of U.S. engagement in global affairs.

A short half-life of memory will easily move on from…
the ridiculousness of Trump’s political tantrums [which will] become radioactive as soon as he’s again a loser TV huckster
hyping recycled vaporware from a Mar-a-lago back room….
Come February we’ll be so focused on getting beyond the pandemic, then implementing the Democratic agenda—Building Back Better—that there won’t be time to take seriously memories of an incompetent real estate salesman who accidentally became president and remained clueless about what leadership is.
“Biden success means the waning of Trumpist appeal for the 2022 election,”
I noted a couple of days ago, though I may have been in a bit of a bubble to avow that “Biden success means a definitely Democratic Senate in 2023.”
In any case, “the GOP has hitched its wagon to a sick animal. The appeal of authoritarianism is dying in the light of enlightened political character and virtue. We are seeing the GOP approaching need for intubation. They are desperate.”

So, Frank Bruni asks today “Who Will We Be Without Donald Trump,”
to which I answered (and a good number of readers of my comment recom-mended). “I will be building back better my life, my trust in American humanity, and my engagement with urging others to pay forward for planet sustainability, being well, inquiring well, thinking well, and advancing community.”

 
The daze of pandemic humanity finds promise in genuine leadership
  Last summer, a desperate ER physician in Australia asked NYTimes readers “Is Covid Scaring Us Away From Our Humanity?” The answer in the U.S. has never been “No.” Yet, addressed to humanity, the question remains open,
but resolving itself: “WHO establishes Council on the Economics of Health for All.”

G-20 “leaders call for global coronavirus vaccine access as U.S. labs near approval” and “discuss help for poorest nations in post-Covid world, [while] Trump golfs.”

 
from BidenCare to collaborative global leadership
  The following section heads are intended to be separate discussions. For now, I’m only including further comments by me at recent news articles (with some added context). At each news article posting, my comments aren’t sectioned, so the sectioned sequence below uses parts of comments, causing multiple citation
of some comment episodes.

 
American political pragmatism
  When the presidential election was “called” for Biden, his remarks to America included the following:
…It’s time…to see each other again—to listen to each other again.
To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy. We are not enemies. We are Americans…. Democrats and Republicans and Independents. Progressives, moderates and conservatives…. we can decide to cooperate. And I believe that is part of the mandate from the American people. They want us to cooperate.

That’s the choice I’ll make. And I call on the Congress—Democrats and Republicans alike—to make that choice with me.

Biden wants a healthy two-party system. Joining both parties, in principle,
is an American pragmatism which is integrally progressive, in a prudent sense. Commenting Nov. 17:

America created progressive pragmatism, that is: balancing idealism with realism, aspiration and feasibility, high hopes and gracious patience. We are a democratic republic that is con-
servatively progressive. Biden is as America as it comes.
[full comment]
comment Nov. 8:
American political pragmatism can be progressively Conservative and at the same time conservatively Progressive. And this is something that McConnell can appreciate—and should appreciate, if he really wants to see economic recovery be channeled by him into Kentucky. [full comment]
 
Biden and political leadership
  Though character was central to Biden’s appeal, I wanted to see his program-matic proposals receive more deserved attention. Two weeks before the election, I commented:
We owe Biden respect for the proposals he advocates more than
the clear warrant for his empathy, with all due respect, of course. We owe Americans who support Biden the intelligence to be attracted to Biden’s proposals, not primarily his empathy.

The large share of Americans want decency, integrity, and authenticity in leadership because they value that in their lives. And they want secure access to health care and educational excellence because those are prevailing values that Biden represents. [full comment]
More from the Nov. 17 comment:
I believe that Biden is going to surprise us, and shape the most important presidency since FDR:

Not since LBJ have we had a president with the track record of Congressional relationships that Biden has. Never has a first term president had the Executive Branch experience that Biden has, including the collaborative foreign relations experience that Biden promotes.

Clearly, his transition process is aiming to bring on board the best-and-brightest, with Progressives near to mind, but with wisdom about feasibility.

President Biden will quickly establish a norm of political leadership that the Republican future will have to measure up to. Biden will annul the hucksterist appeal of marketing vaporware. [full comment]
Nov. 19:
Biden is assembling the best and brightest for an administration that can be the most constructive for American prosperity since—since the last two Democratic administrations which each survived for eight years—echoing the progressivism of LBJ and FDR.

Biden success means that predatory capital will be fairly taxed for the sake of educational excellence and infrastructure improvement that will amplify prosperity well into 2024.

The middle of this decade will be amazing. [full comment]
 
fair markets for progressive economics
  I’m delighted to see Nobel economist Paul Krugman anticipate a “Biden boom”:
…progressive politics [do not] somehow prevent prosperity… a fair market can promote innovation and long-term investment that can reap greater benefits than a series of short-term returns that are constantly worrying about today’s financial market volatility.

We never claim that regulation of traffic inhibits the efficiency
of transportation.

A progressive fair market enables stable prosperity. This is what,
I imagine, Paul Krugman is intimating by noting (needless to say) that “the political benefits of the [Biden] boom…should be harnessed in the service of fixing America for the long term.”

A great dimension of prosperity is the awesome sacrifices earlier generations have made to give us the comfort so many of us have. Thankfulness is reason to “pay it forward” with support of long-sighted fiscal policy that is adequately funded by fair taxation for the sake of our grandchildren (for everybody’s grandchildren!)
with reliable health care, higher education for everyone who wants it, climate leadership (healthy climate as sacred global public good), healthy markets, thriving communities, and so on.

A progressive fair market—a fairly progressive market—is what
the Biden boom will be about, I hope. [full comment]
 
collaborative Congressional relations
  Earlier this month, I fantasized that “American humanity prevails”:
Biden’s bipartisanship and legacy of relations with Republican Senators will bode well (in my view,…), given the fully-recovered economy that will preface the 2022 elections, thereby pressuring moderate Republicans to cooperate during 2021.
More from my Nov. 8 comment:
Authoritarianism is dead in America. Those Trumpist voters who were non-voters before Trump will go back into the woodwork,
if they don’t see hope for the Republican Party, based in the Lincoln Republican values that Biden embodies. The Republican Party has a lot of work to do, if it’s going to remain viable.” [full comment]
“And of course, renewing the Party will take years,” I noted to the Lincoln Project, after the election (website message), “years which Biden has bought the party by truly exhibiting the values that, for example, Yuval Levin’s wonderful NYTimes article expressed on election day, re: “…Our Deepest Problems Will Remain.”

Nov. 8:
The Fourth Estate should insist that McConnell be accountable to the shared values that Biden conveyed in his Saturday evening remarks [after he was declared the winner]. We can be a nation with high degree of shared values about what We are about.

Our shared sense of American humanity—which is the spirit of Biden’s appeal to renew the soul of America—can be the basis for justifying bipartisanship, without reverting to demonizing the distorted ideology of one’s adversary (who is not The Enemy, as Biden has repeatedly emphasized—and which apparently alludes the apex predator McConnell).

Also, Congressinal paralysis is likely to bolster the Democratic case against Republicans in 2022 more than it leads to a new Trumpism. Authoritarianism is dead in America.
 
Biden’s challenge: Republican need for Trumpist fealty
  Biden must keep in mind that his pledge to be the president for all Americans serves Republican dependence on their constituency’s acquiescence. To the Washington Post, “Clearly, Republican acquiescence to Trump’s tantrum is about keeping Trumpist voter fealty for the sake of 2022. ‘We “fought” the “good” fight, Trumpists. So, please support our re-election.’” [full comment]

So, Biden’s success with Congress depends on gaining acquiescence from Republican voters. Nov. 19, I wrote to the Editors of the Times about
“The great challenge for Biden—and opportunity”:
Succeeding with the apparently impossible task of building trust by citizens who don’t trust Biden (and Democrats) will be necessary for Republican Senate cooperation on Biden’s ambitious agenda, because those Senators can’t afford to appear to ignore their Trumpist constituencies.

So, Biden must become the Educator-in-Chief about how he is in fact—and in detail—the president for those who didn’t vote for him. He must be the Educator-in-Chief about how his agenda really serves American values that are also rural values and family values, etc. that Republicans can endorse. But building trust will be a continuing challenge.

Most of all, though, Biden has to stay true to his character to pro-vide the stable, appealing leadership that will cause citizens to trust him on crisis management.

That’s all of a kind: Leadership that builds trust through truthful-ness, character, transparency, and educational example can build support from Republicans that Trumpist voters can live with, for the sake of working with Biden in Congress.

But building trust in the American presidency will be an endless challenge—no thanks to Trump’s present attempt to destroy Biden’s chances to succeed sooner than later, just when we most need success soon.
 
America’s example in the world
  Mid-summer, I declared at the Times: “The beacon of American humanity in the world is sorely needed in collaborative global leadership, if we are to not let the hot Earth destroy milllions of persons through poverty, famine, and disease.” [full comment]

Nov. 19: “We Americans set a great example to the world this past season. The light to the world (and against authoritarian appeal) that we have shown ourselves to be will make Trumpism easily forgettable.” [full comment]

Nov. 8: “…the example of America in the world is vital for developing nations to create the stability that results in stable markets which benefit American business. The world needs the valid ideology of American Exceptionalism. Biden’s theme of “the power of our example” is realpolitik.” [full comment]

Nov. 20: “…the American example is working quite well, thank you. Nowhere else in the world has authoritarian nonsense been so roundly rejected. People striving in developing nations to establish fair government should be heart-ened. America is showing how it’s done.” [full comment]

 
collaborative global advancement of global public goods
  I’m very drawn to isomorphic scaling of living exemplarity to systemic levels (inasmuch as that’s credible). So, models of organizational collaboration can be employed to model large-scale systems. That’s in mind with such com-ments as (Nov. 15, continued below) “Joining forces for actualizing shared values and solving problems collaboratively is, as they say, a no-brainer.
So, it’s deeply saddening that the obstructionist Republican leadership is
of a kind with obstructionist nations.”

An historical isomorphism is that between (1) the U.S. Constitutional situation of unionized confederation of states; and (2) the E.U. situation of a confeder-ation of states that some influential voices want to see unionized by constitu-tion (a United States of Europe), while many voices do not want that, thus, keeping the E.U. Parliament informal, with ambiguous power, growing and waning with election cycles.

So, that issue is implicit when I continue the above comment:
You don’t see states within the U.S. regarding each other as adversaries. And friendly competition between the U.S. and the E.U. never looks to undermine the other continent. Healthy competition doesn’t have to look like war by other means.

There comes a point—a Greta Thunberg point of candor—where one simply, starkly wonders why can’t China and Russia be collaborative states, like nations within the E.U. are with each other?

“Can’t we just get along?” Isn’t the point of humanity to advance prosperity everywhere? Isn’t that good for business: supporting healthy development assistance? Funding the U.N. well? Using all that idle capital to invest in future prosperity, in healthy regions. What’s wrong with valuing long-term investment for future generations, not just short-term satisfaction?

A thousand years from now, leading minds will lament how slowly we evolve—how primitive so much of humanity still was in this century. [full comment]
But I’m optimistic, because the shared value of global public goods appeals for constructive solidarity (Nov. 17): “Admirable leaders of other nations will quickly show collaborative solidarity with Biden in facing global problems in terms of great possibilities for advancing global public goods (like climate leadership) that will be associated with that solidarity.” [full comment]

Nov. 19:
No wonder Putism maneuvered so intently against the prospect of a Biden administration. No wonder kindred sycophants in the GOP— those once-upon-a-tme Never Trumpers—are playing along.

An array of kindred world leaders are ready to re-integrate trans-national engagement with the Paris Agreement, support for the WTO and WHO, IMF leadership, and NATO strength, altogether to make the appeal of global public goods prevail for international relations. [full comment]
 
  The above sections of comments support an evolving project on practically advancing deliberative democratic tendencies, though they’re occasioned by recent events, not developing the basic character of the project. The above shows how theory—or conceptual prospecting—can emerge from the shared life of our world, a shared world of manifold lives, which I discuss elsewhere today.


 

next—> Biden’s and my democratic society

 

 

 
  Be fair. © 2020, gary e. davis