By Saswat Pattanayak
The Novel Coronavirus may eventually subside in a couple of months, and most Americans are hoping to get back on their familiar schedules as soon as the status quo is restored. Hopefully before fall. Then the new academic year shall commence. And the most important election season in this country will get people excited. To reelect yet another candidate who will vigorously maintain the status quo, and carry forward the environment for which we have all developed a herd immunity by now.
With Bernie Sanders out of the race, Americans can heave a sigh of relief that we can finally protect our political economy by all means. Bushes can come and go, Clintons and Obama too. Trump of course must leave. No matter who is in charge, what the long list of White House occupants have uniformly espoused must continue uninterrupted. Long live the Wall Street. Long live the 1%. Long live the corporate elites. And to allow them to put profit above people, long live the tradition of November elections every four years that chooses a duopoly which can then provide more of the same.
This has been the mainstay of American democracy — the facade.
Against this stream of comfortable consciousness, there have been many radicals and for a mighty long time. They have been imprisoned, tortured, sidelined and refused. They have been relegated to the dustbins of electoral histories where the so-called third parties and independents are clubbed together as irrelevant. Very occasionally when someone like Shirley Chisholm has tried to rise up and has expressed an ambition to enter the political battlefield shaped by Republicans/Democrats, she has been shown the door early on. There is no space for people with radical ideas in the mainstream electoral arena. It is one irrefutable truth of liberal democracies in modern times. Chisholm was an unlikely candidate therefore, back in 1972.
Fast forward, Bernie Sanders in 2016. Like Chisholm, he too realized the system was rigged. No one messes with DNC, the establishment, the status quo within the status quo — the powerful elites of the Democratic Party who shape the agendas, set up the debates, outline the talking points, and make the rules on super delegates and super PACs. As evidence upon evidence suggested DNC favored their candidate Hillary Clinton and did everything possible to keep Sanders away. As Chris Hedges once said, “Whereas the cost of running a Primary is paid for by the taxpayers, the rules for…