Saturday, July 30, 2016

Democratic National Convention Forces Republicans to Release Hostage

I am hearing all over the news how surprised Republicans are to hear that Democrats appear to love their country after all! Imagine that.

They  had come to believe their own propaganda that Dems are anti-American haters, drilled incessantly for many years into the consciousness of ordinary Americans by a daily narrative of  Right Wing Media led by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, their content given credibility when bleeding over into mainstream media outlets.

 Karl Rove took this narrative to the next level and made it into an art form. Marketing the Republican brand as "Support our Troops" was brilliantly evil. As a result, opposing the Iraq war became not supporting our troops. The ubiquitous (made in China) magnetic yellow ribbon supporting an illegal and immoral war of choice became a symbol of Republican pride. Rove was a marketing genius.

How could Dems who opposed the war sport one of those on their car? It was a no win situation. American flags became the property of Republicans as well - "What are you doing with a flag flying off your porch, I thought you were a democrat?".

Wow... insidious and odious and very effective. A compliant corporate media went along for the ride.

Republicans have been wrongly asserting their ownership over America and its ideals for some time now but with the nomination of Donald Trump the ugly truths of conservatism are finally coming out of the shadows and being broadcast around the world, unfiltered for all to see. Good people are questioning their old belief systems and the conservative propaganda machine's hold is finally slipping away.

“This country isn’t yours,” Jon Stewart said. “You don’t own it, it never was. There is no real America . . . You don’t own patriotism, you don’t own Christianity. You sure as hell don’t own respect for the bravery and sacrifice of military, police, and firefighters.” Jon is so right and the media is finally catching up.

Now,  imagine the language of patriotism used to advance a different agenda. One of peace, prosperity for all, good government, and inclusion. Imagine that.  The speeches at the DNC were reported as overwhelmingly positive, "Reganesque" the media cooed with blank, stunned expressions on their faces.

Of course Democrats have never stopped loving their country and maybe have had to love their country a little bit more because the narrative has been so negatively slanted for so long:  "Dems don't love their country because they believe in civil rights, a living wage, gay marriage, banking regulation, inclusion, universal health care, solar power/clean energy, no unnecessary wars, separation of church and state..." and on and on. Republicans are always looking for an easy way to divide the American people into us and them. That is their way. The new "you don't support our troops" is not speaking the phrase "Militant Islam".

But this moment in time seems to have the potential to actually pull Americans together culturally and spiritually after years of intentional division and cultural wedges being driven between us for political gain. We can only hope that this opportunity is embraced and a "new" American paradigm of one nation, indivisible, for all can be re-established root and branch.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Sanders Supporters Try To Save Hillary From Herself

 Now that Hillary Clinton has wrapped up the nomination, smug Hillary supporters are all up in my grill with some variation of this: "What the Bernie-bots... - (or fill in your favorite Sanders supporter derogatory term here) - need to do now  is... - (fill in your favorite have-a-bake-sale-for-Hillary support message) - and stop making so much noise! 

This condescending attitude toward Sanders supporters is not surprising coming from establishment Democrats who have always looked down on the liberal DFH arm of the Democratic party but obliviously misplaced. They should understand that if Sanders had not persisted consistently to push Hillary to the left the DNC platform would not include a $15 min wage or any opposition to the TPP whatsoever along with many other anti-corporate, labor centered planks that Clintonian establishment politics appeared to not seem concerned with prior to the primaries but that Trump is making his bread and butter.

The economy is now a bi-partisan issue. It is not just educated liberals but the "rabid right" as well who are also fed up with establishment politics. The teabaggers have finally figured it out, not in small part to Trump pulling back the curtain on 35 years of conservative economic policy that has always favored the few at the cost of the rest. Now, working class republicans of all stripes have finally stopped waiting for "Trickle Down" economics to work and are willing to grasp at straws, including electing Trump, to get some economic relief because after all it is all about "The Economy Stupid" when you get right down to it.

The reality is that Middle America has not had a raise in 35 years as corporations have shown record profits and have kept all the money for themselves instead of raising wages to match gains in productivity assuming the immoral Randian philosophy endorsed by Ronald Reagan that "Greed is Good".

You can fool some of the people all of the time but not forever. Republicans can only "trickle down" on the
Watch out for that Union guy, he wants your cookie.
middle class for so long and call it rain before someone figures it out. And Trump for all his faults, and they are disqualifying for local dogcatcher much less leader of the free world, has grasped this working class angst and run with it to the nomination to the chagrin of the conservative 1% who like things just the way they are and want to keep all the cookies and have us fight over crumbs.

Sanders and his multitude of supporters, (Sanders got 46% of the real delegates not an insignificant number no matter how you crunch the numbers), have moved Clinton's Overton Window to the left and as much as the rabid right would hate it, toward representative economic relief for the middle class in liberal fashion.

Trump has dressed this liberal notion of fairness in the economy in racism, fascism and hate, traditional conservative values but there is also a facet of protectionism another liberal tenet. There seems to be enough bluster and bigotry to offset the fact that Trump embraces an economic platform that liberals have been talking about for years. It's strange.

Sanders and his supporters keep trying to move the DNC platform further and faster to the left than may be politically expedient for the establishment candidate's relationship with her corporate supporters but necessary to facilitate change and well within the realm of possibility given the current climate of anti-establishment fervor. Sanders supporters, and I mean the 90% that support Clinton , are trying to save her from herself because we want her to win.

That's why we push her to the left without hesitation. That's why we need to ignore the outliers, the Hold-outs and concentrate on how we can help Clinton out of her bubble and into the reality of today's political climate. Clinton supporters need to accept that help and stop being smug and dismissive. I can't stress this enough. She will lose if she does not embrace labor and turn her back on Wall Street. Tim Kaine is not going to help. This is another obstacle that Sander's supporters are going to have to overcome for her as we try yet again to help her. Her establishment friends told the media today that she will flip on the TPP. Trump will shove that right up her ..wherever.., as he would say. One disparages Sanders' supporters at their own peril because we speak for the majority of Americans right now. Even the ones on the "rabid right" when it comes to all things economic.

When people are making enough money to support their families and live comfortably, when their children can go to college and the ones that don't go can still get jobs that pay a living wage the social issues that are plaguing us now tend to lessen and diminish historically. Look at the record. This isn't about Benghazi, terrorism, racial/LGBT injustice, crime or whatever the corporate media blames the ills of our country on today although these are very important issues that need to be addressed this is about money and the average American who does not make enough to live comfortably because the gains in our economy have all gone to the top 1% thanks to deregulation, trickle down economics and the corporate influence of government. Nothing will change until that changes. Until government stops being "The Problem" and Americans can realize that good government is the only thing that stands between them and corporate greed, that government can be a force for good and historically has been the ONLY thing that has truly bettered the standard of living for all average Americans, things will not change. This is the message and lesson of Bernie Sanders. For what its worth. Keep up the good fight.