To look at the current American landscape is to see a country on the verge of breaking. We have an abject failure of a “businessman” as president, a few supercapitalists who contribute little to society other than endangering it, and everyone else who does without.
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) April 5, 2019
It’s no secret that the country is more polarized politically than in recent generations. We have become so segregated by our political views that significant percentages of both Republicans and Democrats are against the idea of marrying “the other.” Moreover, President Trump—the embattled “businessman” that Sexton is referring to—is the most polarizing president in recent memory. His opponents revile him while his supporters depend on him as their sole source of truth among “fake news” and alleged liberal conspiracies.
Despite the political situation, most news reports are positive about the economy, and no one in the mainstream would agree with Sexton that we are on the “verge of breaking” due to the weighty influence of “supercapitalists.” Yet, self-described socialist Bernie Sanders has gone from pariah to front-runner in less than two election cycles, and regardless of who prevails in 2020, the Democratic party has shifted to the Left on a number of issues post-2016. Socialism is now only a bad word among conservatives; many younger, more progressive Americans welcome it—at least in its democratic manifestation—and await the passage of Medicare-for-all, free college tuition, and a universal basic income.
How have economic and political realities affected what it means to be a man—or an American of any gender? How important are identity politics in light of the structural issues that Sexton highlights in his tweet? Should we attempt to elect a woman in 2020, prioritize defeating Trump at all costs, push for systemic change in the form of democratic socialism—do all three? Or none of the above?
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