politics

Good Cop Bad Cop – American 21st century politics

Good cops = Democrats. Bad cops = Republicans.

The good-cop bad-cop game is a police interrogation technique, but can be used in other areas where deceptive coercion is desired, like politics.

The idea is that the “bad cop” is out-of-control and threatening, aggressive towards you in getting what they want. You’re supposed to be afraid of the bad cop and what they might do.

The bad cop sets the stage for the “good cop.”

The good cop steps in and holds them back, sympathetic to you and protecting you from that dangerous bad cop. In fear of the bad cop you cooperate with the good cop.

The thing is, both cops are doing the same thing, and the good cop protection is only an illusion. In the case of American politics, both cops are paid for to keep you (the public) fooled and compliant, and always in fear of the bad cop, who keeps getting their way.

This is how things went down during the Obama presidency and the Grand Bargain. The Republicans demand something outrageous, they want to cut Social Security and disability payments, they want to cut SNAP nutrition for the poor, they want to destroy the New Deal and all public service programs to end the menace of socialism.

Obama grudgingly compromises with them, giving them half of what they want. The Republicans come back.. that crazy Tea-Party wing isn’t satisfied, they want more; If Obama compromises, they might be willing to finally work with the president. Obama once again gives them more of what they want, and the game continues.

Thank goodness we had a Democrat as president to hold back those scary bad cops.

In good-cop bad-cop politics, those looking to escape the bad cop vote for the good cop out of fear, believing the illusion, but in the end it’s all a game and the good cop and the bad cop are exactly the same.

Standard
politics

The Bernie Sanders of 20th Century America

external

The 1930s were momentous years for America. During this period a series of reforms were put in place under the leadership of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, transforming life in America and radically changing the basic power imbalance between average citizens and big business interests. It took serious bravery to introduce socialism on this scale, and the world would never be the same.

Roosevelt had the crazy idea of doing something bold in the public interest, and he didn’t care if the wealthy business interests of the time liked it or not.

It was a great period of government working in the best interest of the public. It was the same kind of socialism Bernie Sanders is campaigning on.

1024px-signing_of_the_social_s

It was called the New Deal and it brought stability not only to the lives of ordinary people, but also to capitalism itself. No longer was our financial system hostage to greed and excess, or the catastrophic boom and bust cycles of the reckless past. The New Deal and other bold reforms saved capitalism from itself.

The New Deal brought humanity to an inhuman system of numbers and gross inequality, ushering change not only for America, but for the entire democratic world, which consequently moved into a hybrid system of capitalism and socialism. The 20th century was the American century.

Standard
Media, politics

Turning up the Bern

bernie

The media is against Bernie Sanders and supports Hillary Clinton. Isn’t the media supposed to be impartial? Of course, but it isn’t, and that’s a reality we’re living with.

Hillary is a damaged candidate of declining popularity, regardless of her excellent acting performance in the first DNC debate. There’s still no place to go but down, and with so many democrats soured by Clinton and her obvious corruption, its possible the republicans may win against a Hillary ticket. Big corruption is what Americans detest, even if they can’t agree on the actual problems or how to fix them. Hillary is a face of corruption to both republicans and about 1/3 of democrats according to polls.

Bernie rallied to his base during the debate, probably too much. There are things he could have done differently, and still can, to woo voters from outside his white college-educated northeastern base.

Foreign policy and war: It was frustrating to see Bernie not give an authoritative answer on whether he would go to war if necessary. A large number of Americans are hawks on foreign policy, and I suspect a lot of voters soured with Bernie’s answer. Bernie should have come straight out and said “I will do anything to protect this nation and absolutely yes I will go to war to protect America.” After this he could have added his comments on coalitions and war being the last option, people would have understood.. I mean, if the US was invaded tomorrow, would Bernie go to war? I have no doubt the answer is yes, but he didn’t say that. He lost an opportunity and turned off some voters.

Denmark and other Scandinavian countries. Bernie is right, these countries have smarter social policy, the people live longer and are happier, living with more stability than robber-baron casino capitalism provides, yet capitalism still thrives in these countries. Bernie could have been more sensitive to the landscape of American views on this subject and put things a little differently. He should have presented himself as the next FDR, not the next president of Denmark. Bernie’s message was hurt by not communicating this in the best possible way.

Capitalism: Bernie waffled when he was confronted for not being a capitalist, he ranted about not being for casino capitalism and then left it alone. He never clearly stated that capitalism, as its called and implemented in modern America, isn’t really capitalism. There are no free markets when a few big players control too much, we’re living with corporate socialism, our system is rigged and doesn’t support true free markets and competition. Our government has been a corruptive benefactor to these groups and has stifled free enterprise through cronyism.

Bernie should have come right out and said “Yes I’m a capitalist, I believe strongly in the great things capitalism has done for America and the world.” Americans are distrustful of any candidate that isn’t a capitalist, and in truth, Bernie really is a capitalist. After this declarative statement, Bernie could have continued to talk about how unregulated capitalism needs to be saved from itself, and how a hybrid system of capitalism and socialism was the direction of the 20th century – it worked, and its why we have social security and medicare in the first place. Unfortunately Bernie allowed himself to be painted as a non-capitalist, and this likely hurt. A lot of people just don’t get the whole “big banks” thing or Citizens United, they don’t have the political education and can’t understand why these are important issues, it sounds like a bunch of hippie college stuff to them.

Which leads to talking about tuition free college education, one of the first things mentioned and repeated. This is a great thing and would result in a smarter public, and graduates less saddled with debt would be more able to put that education to good use. There are a lot of people listening to this and thinking their tax money will pay for rich kids to laze around in colleges – its something they can’t relate to. It would have been better if Bernie put more time into talking about universal healthcare, which more people would rally behind than free tuition.

Did Bernie “win” the debate? Yes, because he’s clearly on the side of the people against corporate power. He mopped the floor with Hillary over Wall Street and the decline of America’s middle class, the most pressing issue to many Americans. Thankfully O’Malley attacked Hillary for the same thing.

Hillary made it clear in the debate to those who listened, she will not help the middle class or do anything truly effective against corporate domination of government, and will stand against the fundamental changes needed to bring representation back to the public interest. Hillary stands for corruption and she should lose for this reason alone, because its the most important issue of our time. There are several more debates, and time is on the side of Bernie, but he needs to connect more effectively to the unconverted and focus less on his base.

Standard
politics

Hillary hijacks the Bern

3000

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em… or in the case of Hillary Clinton, hijack ’em till you get the vote.

With the polls heading in one direction, and the debates around the corner, Hillary finally seems to be taking Bernie Sanders seriously and her strategy reflects this – she suddenly agrees with the Bern, and she’s taking charge.

The strategy of portraying Sanders as a radical seems to have been abandoned, as Hillary recently came out against Obama’s anti-worker trade deals. Deals she was previously for… until the polls didn’t look so good.

Is Hillary genuine in her opposition? This is a bill she previously said “sets the gold standard in trade agreements.” After years of supporting her husband Bill Clinton and Obama in everything they stood for in trade policy, as of yesterday Hillary is flip-flopping. We’ve seen politicians con the public before, its as simple as the Obama campaign; Just play up to what people want now, then re-interpret in favor of corporate authority later.

Hillary’s put on a new face, who is the real Hillary?

Standard
politics

Presidential Poll

An unofficial poll for the fun and interest of those who happen across this blog.

Standard
Media, politics

Joe Biden not a populist. Then what’s he for?

Bidens-2012-gay-marriage-gaffe-now-looks-like-an-asset-1024x683

In response to the Bernie Sanders campaign, Joe Biden recently came out saying “I am not a populist” to distance himself from it.

Oh no say it isn’t so Joe, because if you’re not a populist, then what do you stand for? If Biden disagrees with populism, then who is he working for exactly as vice president?

Economic populism is what the American people voted for when they put Obama and Biden in the White House. Economic populism is what shaped America in the 20th century. Economic populism prompted “we the people” to declare independence from British Monarchy. The French Revolution… that was serious economic populism.

Our vice president Joe Biden stands against all that.

It would seem his ‘i’m not that guy’ statement is part of the effort to portray Sanders as unrealistic and extremist. I guess for those who’s good fortune depends on plutocracy over the public interest, then economic populism is a very scary thing indeed.

Biden has a history of being seen by critics as too cozy with credit card companies during his 36 year tenure in the senate, credit being a powerful force in his home state of Delaware. Biden has backed bills designed to make it harder for Americans to reduce the burden of student debt.

Biden was put in charge of a special Middle Class Task Force by president Obama as soon as they took office. Since Biden isn’t a populist, there would appear to be a conflict of interest.

Haven’t heard much about Biden’s Middle Class Task Force since he was put in charge of it 7 years ago, in fact the Obama administration has seen further erosion of the middle class by the same policies pursued by their predecessors the Bush administration.

We can expect to see Bernie Sanders ganged-up on and portrayed as an unelectable extremist. Out-of-touch and unrealistic for even wanting to push in the direction of populism. A direction the democrats, republicans and big media are all dead set against, including Joe Biden.

Standard
Language, Literature, Media, politics

Language as a weapon

war-is-peace-freedom-is-slavery-ignorance-is-strength

Lets look at language in politics and media. Language that filters into everyday conversation and thought – thought influenced by the thinking behind the language.

Language can become a powerful tool when you’re trying to brainwash the citizenry. We’ve seen this laid out systematically in Orwell’s 1984. When you’re doing something sinister, use opposite meanings. The Ministries of Truth, Peace, Love and Plenty were actually ministries of lies, war, torture and austerity. Orwell called this doublethink.

In the real world, we’ve seen words attacked over time in coordinated effort and great effect. The word “liberal” has become a dirty word. So successfully, that it nearly has the venom of a racial slur. The embarassment of being called a liberal developed over a 30+ year period of sustained attack.

Perhaps the most sinister language assasination is the demonization of “socialism.” This distortion becomes subtle due to different kinds of socialism, which become important when you see the foodstamp program equated to Communism.  Socialism is an essential part of any organized society. We all depend on one another, and nobody more so than the very wealthy. Corporations don’t exist on desert islands (unless a tax haven.) The wealth of the .01% is entirely dependant on large numbers of people – that is, dependant on socialism. Without all of us, they are left as Thurston Howell III. The demonization of socialism is being directly used to push an extremist agenda, by those who have another form of socialism in mind.

Another twisted word is “reform.” The very people who want to destroy public programs talk about wanting to reform them. A reformer has the best interest of a program at heart, these “reformers” are looking to bring a wrecking ball. The contrast is everything.

Now, how about if we re-reversed doublethink, and somehow the truth crept out from the shadows. What if the media and politicians just spoke the straight-forward honest truth? What would that look like?

How about, instead of the term “liberal” being used to describe Obama, Hillary and the democratic establishment, they used the term “neoliberal.” This would be truthful instead of dead wrong. Neoliberalism being a far right-wing ideology.

How about instead of calling republicans “conservatives” they were called “corporatists.” Its what they really are, and there’s nothing conservative about the republican corporatist agenda.

So we have the neoliberals versus the corporatists (no tangible difference really) battling-it-out over who’s donors get the bigger piece of our pie. Sounds pretty grim, but at least it more accurately describes our current political reality.

Its time we demand our media speak the truth, and reflect that in actual language. If they don’t they need to be replaced with media and politicians that do. Language and media are effectively used to mask the truth of our time, and this is a crime.

Standard