In politics and the media, there are no prophets
As the Iowa Caucus is set to begin tomorrow, we should keep in mind that in politics, there are no prophets. The same holds true of media punditry in this age of corporate media interests and the way they conflict with public interest.
Much has been written about the anger in certain parts of the voting public, but my observation is that this anger is generalized to all parts of the voting public. While not all express it in similar ways, people are angry at the losses they’ve suffered to greed, mismanagement, almost daily police killings by a police and prison industrial system that has been growing in size and power since the 1990’s.
This past year’s worth of coverage on campaign issues has been dismal, with no lines drawn between journalism and opinion. At first, the media ignored Sanders when it wasn’t poking fun at him. Then, just a couple of weeks ago, after months of silence, Paul Krugman began a series of attacks on Bernie Sanders in blog posts and op-eds. Since then, the major so-called progressive outlets have joined in with pieces that are designed to push the readers toward the Clinton campaign, using various tactics.
Consumer of news caught on to this early on and have been flocking to alternative news sites and the personal pages of progressive activists to stay abreast of what is happening. Little that the Liberal media has done to sway progressive opinion has worked. In fact, The New York Times’ own editorial endorsing Hillary Clinton elicited mostly negative comments from its readership. The Washington Post’s editorial was poorly received due to its tone and content.
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders raised $20 million in January 2016 alone. Sanders seems to have the popular vote.
While no candidate is without flaws or deficits, we have learned that Sanders is willing to listen to his voters, and even be confronted, as he was by Black Lives Matter. That is a good thing. 2016 signals the end of establishment politics. Maybe it signals the end of American innocence and blind trust and faith in people who do not deserve it.
Our nation has much work to accomplish in the year to come, including electing a new president, Congress, state legislatures and governors. We must break free of our past voting habits. We’ve allowed special interests to overtake our government. Undoing the harm they’ve done will take our constant focus for years to come. Undoing Citizens United may take decades from the time legislation is passed in both houses of Congress and signed by a new president, to the day all states ratify it. Laws and regulations that permitted the outsourcing of America’s economy will also take time and a concerted effort to repeal. It will take time and the years-long effort of many groups of people to undo centuries of institutional racism and fashion America’s government into an image that is morally acceptable to all Americans.
We are all humans, with qualities and faults. Our leaders are no different. Which is more desirable? A leader who can be pushed in the direction desired by the public, or one who just won’t allow themselves to be? Any candidate who claims that pragmatism and incrementalism are the American way is promising only one thing: a continuation of a status quo that no longer serves America.
Americans long for sweeping changes and a return to the productivity and comfort it enjoyed until two decades ago. That entails reversing course on policies that have failed the American people, all the while excising a malignancy our nation has had since its inception: the racist state. Which of the candidates truly and sincerely is committed to seeing those changes through?
I’ve written much about these very issues over the past year and plan to keep writing.
Please click here to help me take Blog#42 to the next level!