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Dear MAGA, Dear Bibi: Even If You Win, You Still Lose

There’s a thought that I’ve struggled to put into words ever since this new era of hatred arose and threatened to overturn all the liberal democracies in the name of the nasty old demons of Völkisch nationalism, racism, aggressive patriarchy, politicized fanatical religion, and plutocracy to pay for it all: Even if they defeat us, they’ll still lose. There is no way they can “win.”

Their demands are impossible, so they cannot be satisfied. They want all the benefits of the Enlightenment and the scientific age of discovery that sprang from it, but with ignorance re-enthroned. This cannot be. They want all the technology and all the medicine and all the art and entertainment that flow from letting people of every race, creed, and color contribute what they have to offer on equal terms, while denying equal rights to all but a chosen few. That will never work. In Israel, they want the “secular” Jewish majority to work and pay taxes and fight and die in the military so that a chosen few can steep themselves in distorted religious studies, in fanaticism and messianic fervor and obscurantism, while grinding women and Palestinians under their heel. The ongoing revolt of that majority shows how well that demand is going down.

Mutatis mutandis, the story is similar everywhere in the democratic world, from the further West to the uttermost East, both the Northern and the Southern Hemispheres. The demand to turn back the clock while seizing the future is fundamentally the same in Texas, Brazil, Shropshire, Uttar Pradesh, Mindanao, or anywhere else you care to name, and nowhere realizable. Most of us refuse to be shoved back behind their ghetto walls and their WHITES ONLY signs, and we will not be deceived or tricked or forced into complying. So they can and already have and will destroy much, maybe nearly everything we care about. And then they’ll be remembered by history, all right: as the loser barbarians who brought down a great global civilization that, for all its faults, was lifting the majority of humanity out of hand-to-mouth poverty for the first time ever. But they cannot prevail, and deep down they know it, and that maddens them and feeds their unappeasable rage.


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