Monday, July 6, 2015

Trump and Bernie – The Elites Worry About Losing Control of the Narrative

The United States is an oligarchy.  No two ways about it, a handful of incredibly rich people run things.  An excellent example is Congress’ recent voting for corporate-centric trade agreements that they hadn’t read.  (The TPP could be read by individual members in a secret vault, but most didn’t bother.  The other two pending trade agreements are apparently so toxic that nobody other than the corporate lobbyists who wrote them were allowed to see them under any conditions).

The only reason for an elected representative to vote to enable legislation that they have not read, is that they have been paid to do so – and thus, what’s in the legislation is irrelevant.

Now the United States still has the pretense of a democratic process, but the elites keep it under tight control.  They use their power and influence to make certain that all candidates for major political offices are vetted by them.  Obama vs. Romney, Clinton vs. Jeb, it’s heads they win, tails we lose.

Candidates are free so say anything they want – they just have to meet privately with their wealthy patrons and make assurances that they don’t mean any of it.  A classic example is Obama, campaigning for the presidency, publicly attacking corporate trade agreements like NAFTA, while pledging in private that he was cool with it and if elected would continue to toe the oligarchy line.  After the election, we can see which promises Obama broke and which he kept. 

A current example is of course Hilary Clinton – a bloodthirsty whore to big money, who views elected office as simply a means of selling out the national interest for money.  Her tenure as secretary of state is almost unparalleled in its vileness, making deals with all manner of foreign interests in exchange for various cash payments to her hubby.  Meanwhile back at the state department, her signature achievement was attacking Libya, arming Islamic nutjobs, and turning what was the most prosperous nation in Africa and an ally against Islamic terrorism into a failed state that is likely soon to be a major hotbed of terrorism.  Way to go Hilary!

But not to worry, the rich have Hilary’s back.  She is widely lauded in the corporate press as ‘supremely qualified’, and her absolutely worthless Potemkin-liberal media campaign is covered as if it were reality and not the empty propaganda that it so obviously is. 

But now along comes Bernie Sanders, and he threatens to upend this.  It’s not that he is a ‘socialist’, or that his rhetoric is unashamedly populist – so is Obama’s and Hilary’s.  It’s that his voting record suggests that he means it!  And that cannot be allowed to stand.

In places this is becoming hysterical.  Grass-roots union types are getting tired of carrying water for people like Clinton and Obama, who talk pretty and then stab them in the back.  So here comes the president of the AFL-CIO (who makes about $300,000 per year, probably not including benefits, for going along to get along and supporting the corporate line) saying that only he can endorse a candidate - no fair you little grass-roots people not falling into line for Hilary like you have been told!

Could it be possible – could the American public actually rebel and refuse to vote for someone who talks like Eleanor Roosevelt but governs like Marie Antoinette?  Could the American people care more about a politician's record than their empty campaign promises? That can’t stand!  So what to do?

Well obviously, the first thing is to keep hammering home that Hilary Clinton’s nomination is ‘inevitable’, and trash Sanders as ‘quixotic’.  Keep pushing the meme that a vote for Bernie is a vote for someone like Jeb or Rubio – though in reality these latter are no more anti-worker than saint Hilary.

But the rich must be worried.  Even a strong showing against a corporate whore could break the narrative, could possibly lead to a real defeat of wealthy interests later on.  And that will never do.  The opposition to the oligarchy must be discredited, or at least deflected into harmless outlets (see: gay marriage, or the Confederate flag). 

The oligarchy might try out some safe Clinton alternatives, like maybe O’Malley, to act as a corporate-approved understudy in case the good ship Clinton capsizes. [Breaking update!  O'Malley released his first campaign ads: attacking Bernie Sanders!   Perhaps if he helps take Sanders down he will be rewarded with the vice presidential slot). But mostly they will want to destroy Sanders.  Of course, they are not going to shoot him – that only happens in the movies.  No, they will try to destroy him politically. 

The first move is the one that worked so well against Ralph Nader – marginalize him, claim that he’s only running to feed his own ego, that voting for Bernie is ‘throwing your vote away.’  Make people feel embarrassed to publicly support him, make it all a ‘lesser of two evils’ ploy – a vote for Bernie is a vote for Jeb!  (Although in reality a vote for Bernie is a vote for Bernie.  A vote for Hilary is a vote for Jeb – because on issues of substance, Hilary is Jeb).

Normally this technique can’t fail.  Countless random internet blogs do not have five percent of the power of the coordinated tightly-scripted mass media.  The independent bloggers blog their tiny blogs in bits and pieces, and spend more time attacking each other than the real enemy.  They cancel each other out (I know, I’m guilty of this as well.  But one does what one can).  Meanwhile the corporate press screams the same message over and over, hammered into your brain from a thousand media outlets, and it becomes the standard view by default.

But perhaps people are so pissed off that even this tried-and-true technique won’t work.  Well, time to take Bernie down more directly.

One old favorite is the technique of selective enforcement.  Comb through their records, follow them 24/7, tap their phones, anything to find some dirt.  An illicit affair, a few hundred bucks of campaign funds accidently spent on personal use.   Make a big deal of it, hammer home the idea that these people are disgraced, and in the public eye, eventually they are.  Eliot Spitzer and John Edwards didn’t do anything that more corporate-friendly politicians did, but these latter don’t get investigated, or pilloried in public for their sins. 

Oh sure, Bill Clinton hit a speed bump with Monica Lewinski (that was a rare failure: he’s likely guilty of much worse, like rape, but the elites would never investigate one of their most faithful servants) – but not to worry, having powerful friends means never having to say you’re sorry.  Bill was quickly rehabilitated and continues to be portrayed as a serious senior statesman even as his speaking engagements act as a cash conduit for the bribes his wife collects.

You would have to be a secular saint to emerge from such tight scrutiny of your private life.  But perhaps Bernie has no skeletons in his closet?  It’s possible.  But then there is the Howard Dean approach.  You take one mis-step, one minor gaffe, and you blow it up all out of proportion.  Hammer, hammer, hammer, emphasize that everyone now thinks that your victim is ridiculous – or really, only make up the report that everyone thinks that your victim is ridiculous – and with time and repetition the pretense becomes the reality.

Howard Dean was mostly establishment, but he had a bit too much of an independent streak (he used to joke about being from the Democratic wing of the Democratic party), so the decision was made to take him down.  There was an incident in a gym where he was trying to fire up his supporters.  From all accounts the people attending thought it was all perfectly reasonable.  But the press showed it out of context and made him into a nutjob screamer – and repeated this over and over, until his political career was destroyed

Meanwhile the gaffes of the corporate toadies are mostly unreported, and even if they do get covered in the mainstream press, it’s limited, and not allowed to affect the narrative that corporate toady X is a serious person.  For example, Hilary Clinton’s campaign recently physically lassoed members of the press with ropes to herd them where they wanted them to be.  Sure, it gets a little coverage in the DrudgeReport, and some minor right-wing publications will harp on it for a bit, but overall the message is big deal, so what, it happens, move on.

Can you imagine what would happen if Bernie Sanders ordered something like that?  There would be no end to it.  It would be headline news for weeks.  It’s all that would ever be reported about Bernie ever again.   Bernie would be prosecuted for kidnapping, or violating someone’s rights, or he’d be sued by people with anonymous wealthy backers who let them hire the best lawyers.  Everyone would just know that Bernie was clearly unbalanced and not fit for office.

If you have powerful friends, there is almost no limit to the mis-steps that you can get away with.  If you have powerful enemies, they will sling mud at you time and again, and it only needs to stick once….

And now there is Donald Trump!  Saying that Obamatrade is treason!  Saying that uncontrolled immigration is driving American wages down!  That a lot of illegal immigrants are rapists and drug dealers!  That if elected he will build a wall and enforce the law!
Wow.  Now that REALLY can’t be allowed to stand.  At least Bernie is on the corporate-friendly side as regards cheap-labor immigration policy (useful idiots may be idiots, but they are nonetheless useful), and in the past Bernie has folded when the corporate pressure got too high.  But Trump!  He speaks truth without shame!  No ‘we are all a nation of immigrants’ nonsense, he says that a nation without a border is not a nation! 

It’s not just that Trump might win the election – it’s that he might change the terms of the debate!  People might stop apologizing for wanting to limit immigration!  The elites could lose control of the narrative!  People might start blaming California’s water shortage on post-1970 immigration instead of ‘climate change’!  They might start connecting the dots between falling wages and massive forced population increases!  We might go back to the restrictionist times of the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, when wages boomed and profits shrank!  The horror!  The horror!

Expect an establishment firestorm aimed squarely at The Donald.  He will be vilified, sued, investigated, his businesses attacked, anything to break him.

Sometimes it takes an ego.  Only a maniac like Teddy Roosevelt could have taken on and broken up the trusts.  One must forgive Trump if he does not come across as cool and sophisticated.  Such a person could never stand up to what’s headed Trumps’ way.  The odds are against even someone as psychologically strong as The Donald, but if Trump manages to weather this onslaught and not fold, I will move that the United Nations declare his ego to be a world cultural treasure.

So what can you do?  Show some courage!  Vote for Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump.  Do so proudly and publicly and without apology.  Don’t care what you read about them in the corporate press.  Don't care if Bernie once wrote something tacky 50 years ago in an obscure school newspaper.  Don't care if Trump is sued by the Hispanic racists of "La Raza".  If enough of us do this, why, we might even have a real democracy someday.  Wouldn’t that be a thing?

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