by Thomas Mallon published in The New Yorker
Read original on The New Yorker's website
The upcoming November elections have been framed a...Show description
Posted 920 days ago
I think that Biden's clinching of the Democratic Party's nomination show that...
Posted 923 days ago
The people were tired: tired from the war, tired from the suffering and bloodshed, tired from hysteria, tired from being geared to the breaking point, tired from the vast expenditures of money and morale and man power, tired from eight years of idealism, tired from personal government....For just a little while they wanted to be let alone, to sleep in the sun, to recoup their energies and their enthusiasm.
Minus the war and bloodshed (replaced possibly with gun violence), this paragraph feels awfully at home in 2020. Just looking on social media with all the "2020 memes" as what else could possibly happen this year makes this peice very relevant. We are exhaused, from a pandemic, from racism, from a President who stokes the fire for media awareness that we all gobble up like a TV drama.
But do we want a return to normalcy like Mallon shows the people of 2020 wanted? It's very different today; the "normalcy" that the center refers to is neo-liberalism at its core, which is something that the left and the right can agree that they don't want to return to. Maybe this is why, as Mallon indicates, Biden has moved slightly away from this rhetoric. The working class is upset with the false promise of globalization, just as they were against Wilson's League of Nations. They have lost power and pride and wealth at the hands of factories going internationally, selling proucts at prices that couldn't pay a portion of the salary needed to live in America.
But are there enough Americans who think that Trump is still the way to go? Are we not tired of all this? Don't we just want to "recoup [our] energies" as they did back in 2020, to then design a better government go forwards. Some people do, but I think that others think the government is too far gone and out of touch to be reformed; it's why they voted for a candidate that is anything but "normal." Even if he doesn't share their interests, at least his rhetoric indicates so and at least he is shaking up the government that was silent as our society changed at the hand of globalization.
I am not so confident that people want a return to normalcy. I think that the centrists do, but the right sure doesn't and the left will find a hard time to accept another wave of neo-liberalism. Regardless, Mallon's article is insightful and very relevant to the next couple months.