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Reaganism Has Been The Problem — Bernie Sanders Is The Solution


#1

Reaganism Has Been The Problem — Bernie Sanders Is The Solution

John Atcheson

One of the great mysteries in politics is how a country that polls well to the left of center, on an issue-by-issue basis keeps electing politicians from both parties who are to the right of center.

The Best Movement Money Can Buy


#2

Because they lie to their base voters....And a lot of them aint to brite...They believe all these lies....Thats the problem with all politicians the truth aint in em.


#3

Conservatives, with their loyalty oaths, cronyism and the like are easily placed within the government and have been for decades. Progressives, with their frontal lobes dominating their amygdalae, have challenges associated with independent thinking. This disparity is well known and needs to be addressed if the progressive course of the country is to properly revive itself.


#4

Sanders is the start of the solution. He's counteracting right wing economic messaging and showing the U.S. a better, more humane way.

But Sanders can't do it alone. He needs our donations of money and time. He needs our commitment.

Change is possible but only if we make it happen.


#5

Margins, margins, margins - marginalizations - Center against periphery. Substance against meaning. ALEC vs participatory legislative democracy. Koch addiction for paternalistic government vs the time and inclusive participation in governance. Oops - can't participate if the corporate model is impoverishing your nation, state and working situation, can you.
Margin calls - oooh- great for stock speculation on derivatives derived from derivatives of derivatives - the joy of blowing bubbles. But then its also sort of like the warning on the viagra package, no? What if it last too long ... ?


#6

Great article.

The problem,I think, is that liberals stopped being liberal after Reagan. Liberals never fought back. Liberals just lined up to drink the Reagan trickle down voodoo economics.

Reagan's economic ideas have been proven false. Economically most Americans are worse off today after 30-40 years of conservative lies and oligarchic collectivism against "employees" and "consumers."

Liberals need to support Bernie Sanders


#7

All other things being equal, the natural tendency for any class society is for power and wealth to accumulate at the top. Democracy and Republicanism are NOT institutional systems as such; they are political possibilities which may or may not realized to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the level of class struggle and civilization in a given society. Never do the rulers agree to share power with the ruled; it's always the case that the subordinates must take what they can from the dominants; and this only ever occurs in the bloody field of social policy and political formation.

The contemporary United States is anything but a democratic republic. The people get to decide who will rule them; the people have no real say in what that rule will look like and how far it will go. In other words, the people are restricted to choosing what kind of boot they want on their necks. Democrats wear a slightly lighter boot than Republicans, who favor hob nails and steel toe caps. That's about the extent of the difference between the so-called "two parties."

But it is an interesting question that while the populace leans left on most key issues, far too many citizens turn right when it comes to "casting their vote" (a generally meaningless act, but still weighted with great symbolic significance).

Since the days of the evil Ronald Reagan, the Republican Party has enjoyed electoral success for a host of reasons, chief among them (as Atcheson points out) is the brainwashing and lobotomizing of the public mind by right wing "think" (!!) tanks, bankrolled by sinister plutocrats, who dream of the old days of slavery and absolute despotism. It's astonishing how far things have come. Consider, for example, the issue of taxes: yesteryear it was accepted practice to tax the ultra-rich and the mega-corporations; now the thinking is you tax students and the working poor and you give tax breaks to those who have more money than they know what to do with. Corporations need "tax incentives" and other giveaways. The public subsidies the plutocracy. Warren Buffet's secretary ends up paying more in taxes than the great man of neo-liberal plunder.

Republicans have done a great job on the American working class by making use of the old American magic of white supremacy. As is well known, Reagan was a foul racist after the manner of Nixon and other proponents of the "southern strategy," which is really the US strategy: the logic is simple: just tell the benighted "mean whites" (as they were called in the 19th century) that the blacks are coming and these people, in their many millions, will do almost anything you ask of them in terms of supporting vicious social policies. It's essentially the "ordeal of colonial Virginia" writ large, as the historian Edmund Morgan describes it: the indentured "white" servants preferred to opt for their "whiteness" rather than class status and make common cause with enslaved Africans and African Americans. The result was that the white servants became the bulwark of the racist plantation system, whereby the planters gained almost total power over the whole of society. In other words, in order to stand upon blacks, and feel good about themselves, the white servants essentially agreed to cut their own throats. This sado-masochistic dynamic in the American race theater continues to play out as "real" "white" Americans look for salvation from the brown hordes who are taking over "our country." As a plutocrat, Donald Trump ought to be running in fear from the millions of disaffected serfs who people today's United States; instead, the fascistic Trump is leading the Republican race and many of his supporters, who pride themselves on being "white," don't have two sticks to rub together. Go figure!

The times are bad, but, fortunately, one senses that the Republican nightmare is coming to an end. The party is running out of nonsense to offer the people, as it gets on with the real business of American government which is to advance the Empire and the totalitarian rule of the corporations. The "culture war" circus just isn't working anymore--people no longer care about the supposed evil of gay marriage; they don't want the government throwing you into jail for smoking weed; and they don't much care about prayer in schools or sex and violence on television. It's true that the GOP still has the abortion issue, but it should be clear that Republican strategists never want this issue resolved in a final fashion: they know full well that the repeal of Roe vs Wade would be an absolute electoral disaster; they cynically understand that it is better to dangle the carrot of Roe vs Wade in front of the Christian right horse than to have that horse eat the carrot and take the whole game away.

Bernie Sanders does speak the truth. It's interesting to note that speaking truth is so unusual in American politics that the pundit class is at a total loss for words. They ignore what Sanders says and instead focus on his "electability," his "credibility" as a candidate. This is standard propagandistic stuff, directed to the goal of policing the boundaries of what is ideologically acceptable in our plutocratic system and totalitarian state. Reagan was lying liar of the worst kind and the corporate media hacks called him "the great communicator." What would they have to call Sanders if they were honest in their reportage?


#9

I think that many liberals thought that Ronald Reagan was a one time anomaly, they didn't think of it as an illegal insurgency. Reagan was bad to the core but even worse was what I like to call "his basement"; that is, George HW Bush and his Iran/Contra henchmen, including many top level security types convicted, and later pardoned by HW himself, many of them now Serving again. But then I'm still stuck on November 22, 1963...


#10

A fine analysis,jrp1900. Thanks.


#11

Also there was an illegal succession of presidencies, following the death of JFK.


#13

"In fact, if you want to know the real answer to Thomas Frank’s question, "What’s the Matter with Kansas?" it lies in the conservative’s mastery of messaging, and the progressive’s complete and utter failure to communicate effectively."

That's like saying Occupy Wall Street "failed" without discussing the police violence let loose in city after city like some simultaneous call to WAR on citizens!

You begin, the piece by accurately explaining how the right wing finagled itself into a position where it controls 90% of content. Then you revert back to a narrative that is to the conveyance of message what right wing Calvinism is to explanations about our asymmetric economy.

You, Mr. Atcheson, have taken on the language of the right wing: political enemies by embracing a frame that allots failure to those who hardly lack message; what they lack is that same access to mainstream media.

If anyone who challenges Official Narratives is branded as a heretic, i.e. "Conspiracy Theorist," then ONLY the establishment viewpoint is authorized to stand in as Truth... in reality, it's often anything but Truth.

George Lakoff explains how all this works, and I would imagine that you're well-aware of his foremost insights.

Thank you for giving mention to the huge fundamentalist Christian voting bloc.

It's important to remember that people DO poll Progressive on most key issues. If only 65% of eligible voters vote, and from that pool candidates eke out a small majority, then approximately thirty-two percent of eligible voters vote in whatever Conservative lies his or her way into office. THAT is hardly representative of any full mandate from the full population pool.

Control of media.
Lies in high places.
Campaigns that push false promises.
No accountability resulting from Official malfeasance
Electronic voting machines controlled by private proprietary interests

The entire picture is blurred by all of this graft and corruption. That's why extrapolating from its results a portrait that blames voters is shortsighted.

The system is corrupt and the corruptions ARE systemic.

I hope Sanders can get in... since given The logistical controls of The Control Group, it's a miracle he's getting to say what he is saying to more and more crowds. One can't discount the fact that these Progressive-Socialist trends are catching on from Spain to Greece to U.K. to U.S. to the Vatican!

Shift could well be underway. And it's global.


#14

"And a lot of them aint to brite...They believe all these lies....Thats the problem with all politicians the truth aint in em"

Could be that your writing is satire. If not, your own comment stands as "exhibit A" in the "not too bright department."

Can you spell?


#15

Do you ever tire of taking people to task? Why are you not writing these articles and opinions?


#16

You just can't help yourself? You have to find fault in everything and everybody. I for one am sick of it and maybe I will quit giving money to this site.


#17

Presuming your post is trying to say something other than push a basic contradiction, again, if it isn't intended as satire you're saying that conservatives, since they are natural-born authoritarians who easily line up and take orders have something--in the way of said conduct--to teach to Progressives.

A truly free society cannot be a patriarchal top-down hierarchy. Always, in such instances, the guy (9 times out of 10 it IS a guy) at the top calls the shots. Everyone else follows orders. That's why the increasing militarization of our nation accords with totalitarianism, whether inverted or otherwise.

Persons who have actually inwardly experienced "the enlightenment" and take seriously this idea that Creator allotted certain basic liberties (along with the freedom to pursue happiness) to all persons, do not by nature fall into uniform "just following orders" formations.

In other words, if you're suggesting that Progressive-minded persons should ACT like robotic-cloned authoritarians to "get the job done," then the recipe inverts "the cure." By that I mean, you cannot HAVE a free and open society when all persons are commanded to stay inside their ranks, follow orders, repeat official narratives, and punish any "heretics" who see and say things that go outside of these enforced boundaries.

Your post reminds me of the arrogant Professor Higgins who sings in the film, "My Fair Lady"... "Why Can't a Woman be more like a Man"? Associating the male with intelligence, logic, and forethought... he sees the female as a "lesser species" to groom, command, and tame. Isn't that your not exactly subliminal message relating to Progressives? Why can't they be more like Conservatives?


#18

"now the thinking is you tax students and the working poor and you give tax breaks to those who have more money than they know what to do with. Corporations need "tax incentives" and other giveaways."

Whose thinking?

As usual, you get SOME of it right, but you always focus on a narrow frame. Your frames are racism and capitalism. You leave out the role of Fundamentalist Christianity in support of both as if ALL Americans are on the same white supremacist bandwagon.

You also play down women's rights and bounce the abortion matter around like a piñata. The fact is, VERY real attacks on family planning, Planned Parenthood, Birth Control, AND abortion are ongoing and the fundamentalist Christian groups behind all of these developments are working by stealth to gradually erode ALL services aimed at women's reproductive sovereignty. You must have missed the Texas Precedent in affiliating abortion clinics WITH hospitals.

Those who think along your lines (persons who also downplay women's rights and ONLY focus on capitalism and/or racism) typically say this same thing about abortion. And it's not accurate!

"It's true that the GOP still has the abortion issue, but it should be clear that Republican strategists never want this issue resolved in a final fashion: they know full well that the repeal of Roe vs Wade would be an absolute electoral disaster; they cynically understand that it is better to dangle the carrot of Roe vs Wade in front of the Christian right horse than to have that horse eat the carrot and take the whole game away."

This is a fair portrait:

"Bernie Sanders does speak the truth. It's interesting to note that speaking truth is so unusual in American politics that the pundit class is at a total loss for words. They ignore what Sanders says and instead focus on his "electability," his "credibility" as a candidate."


#19

Most of your posts just recapitulate MSM "wisdom." If Conservatives are at a disadvantage, why do so many obtain governor seats? You also leave out the almost 100% analogy between Big Money and Conservative ideology. Sure, a few deep pockets are open-minded about gays and perhaps even women's rights, but try to separate a rich man (or woman) from his money, and watch the inner conservative emerge reflexively.

Since the entire election charade depends upon mass media exposure and advertising costs a bundle, those with $ (i.e. conservative corporate moguls along with all those aristocratic families that make the Forbes Billionaire list) have a DECIDED advantage! THEY control media. THEY control "the narrative."


#20

If someone's comment is based on the alleged stupidity--lack of brightness (i.e. intelligence) of voters, and they can't spell (nor can you)... I think it's 100% fair game.

For instance, in a court of a law, if an attorney inadvertently opens up a line of questioning that disadvantages their client, it's their tactical mistake.

People here attack citizens so THEY become fair game in turning their attacks back on them.

It's comical that this forum has right wing kids insisting that it's wrong to correct spelling errors or expose the flaws in superficial arguments.

The whole purpose of the teaching profession is to advance thinking. That means people should grow from their errors. YOU want to pretend that those errors are irrelevant. Just toss it all under the carpet.

The defense of ignorance is an odd passion.


#21

Nice little use of blackmail. First of all, I hardly "attack everything and everybody." Usually, I defend those who are not here to defend themselves while being attacked by petty fools who inhabit these threads.

Second, like your little tag team pals who insist they are going to leave this site! Here you're essentially demanding that unless I give up MY RIGHT to express opinions in this arena... one of the last bastions where it's still possible to do so... that you will refrain from sending your $25. to this site.

That is how authoritarians work. And you certainly are one. What was it, Juju baby last time? How many screen names have you made use of lately?


#22

" Reagan was bad to the core".

True, because my deceased uncle knew Ronnie personally and told me that several times before he died. And the fact that Reagan is held up by the Repuglican party as their paradigm of political virtue and the darling of their political party, should tell you that the Republican party needs to go away...far away.