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Revolution or Rhetoric?


Revolution or Rhetoric?

Peter Bloom

The battle for the Democratic presidential nomination between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton is intensifying as the Iowa caucus approaches. Clinton’s once thought inevitable victory is threatened by Sander’s progressive populist message.


You should state a peaceful peoples political revolution is what Bernie Sanders is calling for. He goes way beyond Obama calling for we the people to help him. We the people need to out there in the millions demand a change to the status quo and we have to vote in record numbers that this country has not seen for decades. We the people can change congress, look what the tea party did when they voted in a bunch of crazies and republicans took over both houses. We the people need to decide and change the senate and house to statesmen who are more than just educated at Harvard but have a working relationships with people of the global world and the demands brought on with all this globalization.


Bloom's comparing Sanders' supporters with the GOP's extreme right wing is misleading when you consider that Sanders' track record is about as left wing as Nixon's was, Clinton's track record is to the right of Nixon, while the GOP's right wing would warm the hearts of Hitler and other 20th century fascists and tyrants.


I think Martin O'Malley's characterization of Hillary Clinton as a weathervane without saying her name is on target. The one thing you might have to give her is that after finishing law school she did seem to set out on a career based on progressive values. But that was a long time ago and she does seem to shift with the prevailing view of what is popular. I would say that with regard to winning elections she is better at branding than Sanders. It is hard to see how anyone would want to go into a US general election for president with the words "socialism" and "revolution" associated with them. For Bernie to pull that off would be something beyond anything seen in American politics that I can think of.


The problem with the Tea Party analogy is that the Tea Party had the support of corporate America from the beginning. The whole purpose of supporting the Tea Party was to weaken governments ability to rein in corporate fraud. Corporate America couldn't care less if Americans have guns, pray to God, have abortions or advocate same sex marriage as long as their political aspirations didn't interfere with the corporate agenda to undermine the public interest. Progressives by contrast have no voice. Corporate media will never support anyone who attempts to strengthen democracy, eliminate or weaken special interest groups, interfere with corporate foreign policy or roll back military spending.
It is hard enough to get people to vote in the presidential election much less getting people to participate in primaries by registering as a Democrat or Republican. That means that the decision process of who will represent either Party in any election is left to die hard Party faithful who generally will vote for the candidate that the Party urges them to support. This is a safety valve that works against the public interest by vetting anyone who doesn't embrace the status quo.
A good example of this is when the very popular Henry Wallace, who was FDR's choice to succeed him, entered the Democratic primaries with the overwhelming support of the general population. Corporate America quickly went into overdrive fearful that Wallace would continue FDR's vision of lifting all Americans out of poverty and undermined his nomination at the primaries by throwing a relatively unknown and inexperienced Truman into the mix with a series of back room deals, fear mongering and threats. The end result was the nomination of a pliable, corporate shill that bought into the mainstream corporate narrative that exists till today.
It will be interesting to see how the Democratic Party will undermine any attempt by Bernie Sander's to win the nomination, but you can guarantee that every dirty trick in the corporate playbook will be used to ensure that Sander's is stopped dead in his tracks next February. That will end up leaving Americans once again with the choice of establishment candidate A and establishment candidate B with little or no difference between the two. In other words, it is the primaries where the real battle for "We the People" will be fought even though most Americans will be absent during this crucial stage in our fledgling democracy.


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In America, substance takes a back seat to image. Bernie could hire HIllary's makeover artists and poise coaches, become nauseatingly plastic, and probably win.


Its important that we don't conflate liberals with neo-liberals, like conservatives have long been doing so that when they cause their ongoing disasters, liberals are blamed.


I love how Common Dreams continues to reinforce a series of bogus assumptions:

  1. Hillary vs. Bernie is a meaningful distinction.
  2. A Democratic President laying waste to the Middle East and Africa and cutting Social Security is obviously better than a Republican President.
  3. The 2016 US Presidential Election is a meaningful plebiscite and not merely a technique of military-corporate social control.


I often think the same thing, but ever since Obama's first term, most of my old-time liberal friends have kind of passively absorbed the neo-liberal values. If you ask them, they say they are anti-war, but they defend Obama bombing Libya. They say they want economic fairness, but they support Obama's big wealth transfer schemes (such as Obamacare guarantying permanent profits for the insurance industry and big pharma). Etc.

I myself am nostalgic for the old-time liberals, but I think in reality they are like Drive-In Movies and rotary telephones...so rare they are functionally non-existent.


That's what the oligarchy wants us to think. They so demonized the words "communist" and "liberal" that most people have a gut reaction when they hear the first and call themselves "progressives" instead of "liberals".

“If those in charge of our society - politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.”
― Howard Zinn