When the elections are over, the winner always makes sure to mention "unity" in his or her victory speech; this is true for so called democracies all over the world. That's because the winner almost never has a majority of over 51 percent of the votes, so to actually get things done deals will have to be made and coalitions have to be built.
Candidates who have been screaming at each other for weeks or months now suddenly have to shake hands and promise that, for the good of the people and the country, they will now work together, as if they've been best friends all along; this comes across as disingenuous at best and as a complete charade at worst. If you're at all interested in politics and have a functional brain, you know it's the latter; it's a charade meant to give us, the audience, a false sense of agency, make it look as if there's an actual choice to be made. Elections are reported in traditional media as if it were a sporting contest and we, the audience, act accordingly; we back our team passionately and have no good to say about the other team. So when the team-captains shake hands afterwards and promise to merge into one big super-team to move the country forward, it leaves us with this nagging feeling of being played; have they just now become friends, or were they never real adversaries to begin with? Again, you know it's the latter.
The 2020 Democratic primaries are an anomaly, because this time around there's a self described democratic socialist running amidst a field of traditional team players; this time the choice is real. This time your vote matters, my dear American friends. You thought it mattered last time around, when Trump promised to break the mold, drain the swamp, build a wall and bring back manufacturing jobs, all of which he has failed to deliver on. Trump has proven to be very much part of the traditional corporate team, cutting taxes for the rich, continuing the eternal wars and trying to undo the little progress made in the healthcare situation by fighting against "Obamacare." On top of that, he's a criminal, pure and simple; impeachment was a stupid move by the Democrats for strategic reasons and bound for failure, but in a perfect world the current POTUS would be wearing an orange prison suit. "Orange man bad" indeed...
But Trump is not the problem, he's just a symptom produced by decades of neoliberalism and neoliberal propaganda disseminated through the mainstream traditional media. We really have been an audience watching a planned and rehearsed match, not voters with actual power to change things. For decades voters have asked for real change, all winning candidates won on a ticket of real change, change that never came. Every president after George W. Bush promised to pull the military out of Iraq, none did. Your vote ultimately didn't matter except for fringe topics concerning identity politics, not on the really important topics of economics and foreign politics.
The Listening Post - John Stewart vs CNBC - 20 Mar 09
In my recent post, Manufacturing Pete, I briefly mentioned how I wish Jon Stewart returns to do the Daily Show, and today I'd like to show you why. Jon Stewart was an anomaly too, one that became a household name. For a half hour every day he exposed the rest of the mainstream media for not doing their jobs of informing the people, but instead putting up a charade, a spectacle to serve the interests of their corporate backers. A key element of this spectacle was the show "Crossfire" and it's a testament to Jon Stewart's legacy that his appearance on this show has it's own paragraph in the Wikipedia article:
On October 15, 2004, Jon Stewart, then host of The Daily Show, appeared on the program to promote his book America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction. He used his appearance on the show to raise criticisms of the format of Crossfire and the style of arguments presented on the show. He said the program failed its responsibility to the public discourse and indulged in partisan hackery, reducing news coverage of important issues to a series of talking points from both extremes of the political spectrum: "It's hurting America. Here is what I wanted to tell you guys: Stop. You have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably."
"Wow, if I'd only followed CNBC's advice, I'd have a million dollars today... Provided I had started with 100 million dollars." That was Stewart's commentary on CNBC's financial reporting in the run up to the 2008 financial crisis. The televised battle between CNBC's Jim Cramer and Jon Stewart lasted for weeks, and gave some valuable insight about the reality of the oligarchy; watch the first video for a summary on that. Below I've linked Stewart's notorious guest appearance on Crossfire for you to enjoy. I really would like to know Stewart's opinion on this year's election, now that for the first time in decades there's a candidate who represents a true break from the neoliberal mold...
Jon Stewart on Crossfire
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