Richardt Stormsgaard: Media manipulations
Almost two out of every three Americans generally believe in the positions of the Democratic Party. Yet we have seen a remarkable right-wing ascendancy during the last four decades.
This has been made possible by the ability of the right-wing to control the political narratives to their advantage in creating outright lies, myths and false equivalencies.
One such example is socialism. They have successfully described progressive legislation from the New Deal, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights, and later environmental legislation, as socialist and have won election after election in large part due to this untruth. The historical fact is that moderate Democrats and Republicans created this legislation, not socialists.
While progressives previously resisted this lie about our progressive legislation it now appears that even liberal media is gradually succumbing to this false narrative. The Democratic left has adopted this myth with enthusiasm because it suits their narrative as they lay claim to progressive U.S. legislation that they had no influence on and no part in. They are pointing to countries like Denmark as examples of how well socialism works. The problem with this is that it is another outright falsehood. Like other so-called welfare societies in Northern and Western Europe the Danish model was established by Social Democratic/Labor parties and liberal centrist parties with very minor to no socialist influence.
Bernie Sanders claims he wants the U.S. to become more like Denmark. But Denmark is not a socialistic country. It is a thriving free enterprise society that is rated a better country in which to do business than the U.S., according both Forbes and Business Insider. You will not find Danish Social Democrats railing against their millionaires and billionaires. Even political leaders of the two smaller socialist parties (totaling 12% of voters) do not vilify the creators of wealth and opportunity, leaving that to their extreme fringes.
Socialism may have been appropriate during the time of landless serfs and the early Industrial age. With the development of democracy socialism lost relevance, and every socialist regime since then has collapsed in dysfunction and eventual collapse, or is headed that way.
The success of U.S. right-wing misinformation campaigns led tens of millions of working class Americans to vote against their own interests decade after decade. This is the major reason why lower income Americans are the one advanced country in the world to have experienced economic stagnation during the last four decades while most of our allies have prospered greatly (2018 World Income Report). In the third world extreme poverty, child mortality, and hunger have plummeted during the last three decades.
Gleefully, right-wing media, along with much of mainstream media are targeting progressive Democrats by glorifying the efforts of Democratic left-wing extremists as the wave of the future.
The media, right and main stream, have proclaimed the 2018 mid-term elections a huge success for the left-wing of the Democratic Party. The seven leftist winners, like Cortez, Tlaib, and Omar, all winners of very liberal minority urban districts, not one remotely a swing district, along with Bernie Sanders, are celebrated almost daily as the face of a resurgent new Democratic Party.
The real lessons from the 2018 mid-term election are in fact the opposite. An increasingly extremist Republican Party has alienated large voter groups because of their commitment to dismantle our social safety net and roll back civil and voting rights, and are now losing moderate voters in large numbers. Suburban voters and particularly women are becoming seriously fed up, and as a result about 400 seats flipped in federal and state elections from red to blue all around this country. Moderate Democrats ran on issues like better health care and more investments in education and infrastructure, and in the vast number of cases wanted no Bernie Sanders presence of any kind because he would be the proverbial mill-stone around their necks.
Minority women like Sharice Davids of Kansas and Lauren Underwood of Illinois beat four-term conservative incumbents in deep red districts by appealing to moderate voters and have been largely ignored by media.
If right-wing media described in books like Dark Money by Jane Meyer can succeed in nudging progressives leftward as it did moving blue-collar voters rightward, assisted by a spineless and compliant mainstream media, it could well ensure its final domination of this country if a nationally unelectable extremist is chosen for 2020 to represent the Democratic Party.
Richardt Stormsgaard lives in Nevada City.
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