Corruption, Media, politics

The media war against Bernie Sanders

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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.

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Language, Literature, Media, politics

Language as a weapon

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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.

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history, politics

To fear Bernie Sanders socialism is to fear 20th century America

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America in the 20th century was a proud social democracy. It can be hard to put history in perspective when politics in America have been pushed – inch by inch – toward extremism by a two-party system running in the same direction.

That direction is the Gilded Age, the America of the late 1800s. The Gilded Age is a term Mark Twain coined meaning a glittering surface with a rotting core – sound familiar? It was America’s closest brush with fascism. An authoritarian age of mass injustice and political corruption, robber barons bought off politicians ensuring a miserable existence and short life-span for the average worker.

This led to bloody strikes and the labor movement. America overcame this period of unregulated greed with common-sense regulation and the New Deal, leading to a social democratic America caring about the quality of life of citizens. Things like Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps, and the GI Bill all poured from that same fountain. America changed and the world changed with it.

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Where are we now? What has America become? We now have a mass media misinforming the public, labeling the ideas of 20th century America: radical, extremist, socialist, communist, nazi. Like a soviet propaganda machine, this media charade is puppeteered by robber barons, just like during our more primitive gilded age.

The truth is, a complex organized society needs elements of socialism. Without this the law of the jungle prevails, and socialism comes anyway in other forms. Corporate socialism has become increasingly prevalent and authoritarian as the 21st century advances, and may even be called a defining feature.

The excuses given for 20th century America being ripped away – under the feet of the working class and poor – is presented as economic efficiency; They say it costs too much money.

What, then, is the gain? In this age of under-regulated greed, most Americans seem to be poorer in both wallet and spirit. There’s no real economic reason to repeal the New Deal. Its just a hit-job, perpetrated by ever more radical politics forced on us by merciless 21st century robber barons: American fascism.

The story of the 20th century was the story of the triumph of American social democracy.

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politics

A vote for Hillary is a vote for George W. Bush

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The Democratic party is about fighting for workers and the middle class, right? They are the defenders of the vulnerable in our society, and they stand against corporate extremism, right?

Wrong, not this Democratic establishment.

It was Bill Clinton, perhaps more than any recent president, who helped make oligarchy a reality. Clinton deregulated the financial industry, and deregulated media to allow consolidated ownership in the hands of a few big players. We all know how that turned out for the American people.

After the disastrous results of these policies – policies farther to the right than Reagan – the Democrats learned from their mistakes and went back to their social democratic roots, right?

Not at all, just look at Obama’s record.

Obama extended the same policies pursued by the Bush administration. Stagnant wages continue, and destructive trade deals which decimate the middle class continued as Obama signed each and ever one put before him. Obamacare empowers big insurance over patients. Too-big-to-fail is bigger and more powerful than ever. No word about concentrated media from Obama, but apparently he supports illegal spying on every single American. Is this the leadership of a liberal democrat?

The same advisors under Bush kept the same policies running under Obama; We can expect the same from Hillary. The current democratic establishment are neoliberals, not social democrats. Neoliberalism is a far right wing ideology, unspoken and hidden from the official platform of any campaign, yet the guiding ethic of both political parties. They lie to the faces of their constituency, promising progress they never intend to deliver. Big money controls both parties. They win, we lose, every time.

Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, the entire current democratic establishment seem to agree with the views of George W. Bush. Its a case of listen to what they do, not what they say.

So what does the average American do, seeing their lives trickle-down while the gains of our society trickle-up? If one’s stuck choosing between Clinton and Bush, there just isn’t enough difference between them.

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