Bernie Sanders is a hot potato the media can’t handle. After a prolonged media blackout failed to stop the Bern, conglomerated media set it’s sights on taking him down. With breathtaking shamelessness corporate media has thrown all scruples overboard to become a one-sided propaganda machine against Sanders.
Media corporations are doling out donations much like the now famous donations of Wall Street, and lets not forget that both media and financial deregulation occurred in tandem from the same president Clinton.
The cast of characters paying for politicians forms the monolith of corporate power in America. Taken as a whole, they are indeed big and powerful; Big Media, Big Pharma, Big Insurance, Big Oil, Big Finance, and so on, all have interests in direct opposition to the public interest. The Sanders campaign is based on breaking up the power and influence of these forces, the 21st century puppet-masters of American politics.
In the war against Bernie Sanders, media created a series of false narratives along the way, continuously repeated to give living breathing reality to outright lies. Listed below are a few noticed examples.
“There’s nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it.” – William James
The Bernie-bro narrative:
The Bernie-bro suggests that Sanders support comes from sexist men who will not vote for Hillary because she’s a woman. Specifically, the Bernie-bro is an angry male Sanders supporter who goes online to write vile, sexist comments about Hillary Clinton.
The Bernie-bro narrative is used to drive a wedge and deepen the chasm of gender divisions for political purposes.
Sanders supporters are equally male and female, with more younger women supporting Sanders than Clinton. This narrative has no basis in fact. The biggest sexist attacks in the Democratic campaign come from the endless repetition of the Bernie-bro narrative. Bill Clinton even went on a public tirade to battle the elusive Bernie-bro.
The pragmatist narrative:
The pragmatist narrative, with it’s flip-side “pie-in-the-sky,” is an attempt to portray Sanders as impossibly unrealistic, with Clinton portrayed as a pragmatic realist willing and capable of passing policy proposals.
This narrative assumes total belief in Clinton’s progressive credentials, while overlooking Sanders presidential run as being entirely based on pulling the curtain from the Clinton charade.
Also sold is the assumption that Republicans would be more willing to work with Clinton than Sanders. This requires total amnesia of how Obama was obstructed at every turn by a radical party calling him a communist. Those whacky Republicans even obstructed Obama on Social Security cuts when Obama tried to sneak the chained-CPI in as merely an “adjustment.” It’s unlikely they will suddenly warm up to Hillary over Obama.
To pop the “vision” balloon, calling Sanders policy proposals “promises” limits the imagination of discourse. It’s unlikely Sanders believes that every piece of legislation he pushes will be passed within 4 years if elected. The truth is, those issues would never have seen the light of day if not for Sanders campaign.
Sanders signifies a shift in direction and priority for the country, and a call for a new Progressive Era. A newly energized Democratic party could realistically take back the Senate, and what’s impossible today becomes possible tomorrow.
A Hillary administration being obstructed the same as Obama doesn’t equate to pragmatism, and a centrist farther to the right than Reagan isn’t really a centrist.
The single-issue narrative:
Sanders has come to end the Gilded Age; He’s been screaming it from the rooftops: the big banks, campaign finance – our entirely corrupted political system. This problem is the 800lb gorilla of modern politics, requiring a necessarily political solution. Bernie’s big issue is an umbrella under which sit many other issues.
The single-issue narrative is used to characterize Bernie’s passionate attack on a corrupted system as being to the exclusion of all else. Sanders has well thought out positions on all major issues. His perceived weakness on foreign policy is debatable considering America’s self-inflicted mid-eastern quagmire following Iraq.
The single-issue narrative is based on things like debate performances, and is an effort to minimize the 800lb gorilla for those with a limited ability to register complicated, unsensational problems. To many, “wedge” issues are just as (or more) important than the 800lb gorilla. The gorilla requires some political education to be seen and understood. Without that, Bernie must seem an eccentric odd-ball indeed. Instead of media informing the public, we’ve seen them fan the notion that Sanders is some know-it-all kook focused on one bizarre issue that isn’t even important.
The electability narrative:
Bernie is unelectable, he would never stand a chance against the Republicans. Once they call him a socialist it’s all over.
The Republican contribution to this long-standing narrative was sounded by John Kasich during a televised debate:
“We’re going to win every state if Bernie Sanders is the nominee, that’s not even an issue. And I know Bernie. And I can promise you he won’t be president of the United States.”
Assuming that both the Democrat and Republican establishment are sympatico in their fear of Sanders, this can be seen as an attempt to perpetuate the unelectable narrative from both sides. The real view of Sanders from the right, however, comes from Anne Coulter in this revealing comment:
“If you ran Bernie Sanders, it would be much tougher to beat him than Hillary. He cares about the American working class. Hillary doesn’t, she’s like the elected Republican. She cares about the Chamber of Commerce.”
The polls back this up, reversing the unelectable narrative and putting Clinton in the crosshairs. In the polls Clinton is fairing badly against nearly every Republican in contrast to Sanders landslide victories.
The socialist narrative:
The socialist narrative from the Republican side claims that Bernie is of the same ideology as Hitler and Stalin. He’s a communist who will lead us to the gulag and gas chamber.
The socialist narrative from the Democrat side stokes fear of what people might think. The media has pushed a steady drum-beat against the term “socialism” since the rise of the Tea-Party agenda, and with the Clintonian Democratic establishment equating appeasement of the Tea-Party to pragmatism, it’s important to remember that those who disagree with socialism also disagree with Social Security and public education.
The success of the socialist narrative relies on a lack of political education. Thankfully ignorance seems to be losing this battle, as the public has generally understood that Sanders American style democratic socialism stands for New Deal style programs and regulations in the public interest.
Although difficult to quantify, it’s probable that the Bernie-blackout slowed the growth of the Sanders campaign enough to impact this election. With false media narratives, ignorance is fanned rather than informed, and a broken political system is reflected in broken information as the news becomes a mouth-piece for established corruption.