American intellectual, Henry Giroux, doesn't know who will win the White House in November. He knows who is going to lose - America.
...we are living through an ongoing crisis of democracy in which both the agents and institutions necessary for such social order are being dismantled at an accelerating rate in the face of a massive assault by predatory capitalism, even while there is growing resistance to the impending authoritarianism. It gets worse.
We live in a moment of political change in which democratic public spheres are disappearing before our eyes, language is turned into a weapon and ideology is transformed into an act of hate, fear, racism and destruction -- all of which is informed by a dark history of political intolerance and ethnic cleansing. The war on democracy has produced both widespread misery and suffering and finds its ideological counterpart in a culture of cruelty that has become normalized.
The bankers, hedge fund managers, financial elite and CEOs who rule the United States' commanding institutions have become the modern version of Mr. Kurtz in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. As Hannah Arendt describes them in The Origins of Totalitarianism, citing Conrad: "'these men were hollow to the core, reckless without hardihood, greedy without audacity and cruel without courage ...' the only talent that could possibly burgeon in their hollow souls was the gift of fascination which makes a splendid leader of an extreme party."
In the age of Trump, anticipation no longer imagines a better world but seems mired in a dystopian dread, mimicking the restlessness, chaos and uncertainty that precedes a historical moment no longer able to deal with its horrors and on the verge of a terrible catastrophe. We now live in a time in which mainstream politics sheds its ideals and falls prey to choices that resemble a stacked deck of cards and mimic the values of an authoritarian society. All the while politics is being hollowed out as lawlessness and misdirected rage, while a loss of faith in electoral politics has given rise to a right-wing populism that is more than willing to dispense with democracy itself.
Demands to support Hillary Clinton as a lesser evil compared to Trump refuse to acknowledge that such mandates keep existing relations of power intact. Such actions represent more than a hollowing out of politics -- they represent a refusal of the affirmative nature of political struggle. They also represent the surrender of any hope of moving beyond the enveloping fog of authoritarianism and a broken political system. Put bluntly, such choices sabotage any real hope for developing a new politics and a radical democracy. These limited choices also undermine the need to develop a broader vision of struggle, a comprehensive politics and the need to engage multiple publics in the quest to rethink the political terrain outside of a neoliberal notion of the future. At issue here is the moral blight that permeates the United States: a politics of the lowest expectations, one saturated in lies, deceptions and acts of bad faith.