Will all your money
Buy you forgiveness
Keep you from sickness
Or keep you from cold?
Will all your money
Keep you from sadness
Or keep you from madness
When you’re down in the hole?
—Mick Jagger, “Down in the hole”
The entire corporate media is in cardiac arrest over “socialists” it sees running for president as Democrats. None of them are actually socialists—not one has called for the control of the means of production to be put into the hands of the people, but facts never matter much in corporate media propaganda. Their job is to keep the masses as ignorant as possible on behalf of the ruling Forces of Greed (FOG)—the plutocrats and their subordinate oligarchic corporations.
The last time anything like this happened to this extent was the 1950s red baiting, when people lost their jobs simply because someone had called them a communist, whether true or not. A number of people then committed suicide, unable to understand why they couldn’t get a job. Capitalist owners do not hire socialists.
Pastor Niemoller famously told us that “First they came for the communists.” Hitler knew who it was that would be a problem for him, so, before he went after Jews and Gypsies, he put communists, followed by socialists, followed by labor union leaders into his concentration camps. It was the communists who rebelled against the fascists in Spain.
The ruling FOG have long been paranoid that so much of a penny of the nation’s wealth might go to the working class, who, ironically, produce nearly all of the wealth (the traditional middle class produce the rest of it, for the most part).
The FOG are not concerned when there is socialism for the rich, nor socialism for their corporations, such as President Obama’s bailout of Wall Street. When that happened, not a word was said in the mainstream press about Wall Street’s victims in the scams-gone-awry—the millions who lost their jobs and the millions who lost their homes. Nothing was ever done to make the victims whole again, as the only “socialism” which matters in the Land of the Free, is corporate socialism (Hitler called it “national socialism”).
It is only when the working class and poor are brought into the conversation about having medical care, like the people of other industrialized nations, that the entire corporate media go on red-light-flashing hysteria about evil socialism that must be stopped. Every dime must go to the wealthy and corporations, or the Congress will not get its campaign bribe money.
On 30 June, Anna Cabrera of CNN had a guest who pointed out that Taiwan covered all of its people with health care. Cabrera almost crapped her pants in a hurry to explain that “Taiwan has a much smaller population than we do” as the reason they could provide health care, and the reason we cannot. I wanted to break my TV. Is Cabrera aware that a big country like ours has lots more taxpayers than Taiwan? Many more hospitals? Lots more doctors? Why is the size of the country involved in whether health care may be provided or not? Cabrera’s job is to push laissez faire capitalism that allows thousands to die each year for a lack of health care. Anything else, the system calls socialism, even if all the other capitalist countries have their people covered.
What’s driving the mainstream press mad is that Bernie Sanders has confused them with the term “Democratic Socialist,” which is another name for “soft capitalist.” Elizabeth Warren, who also frightens them because she would make the rich participate in taxation (recall billionaire Leona Helmsley’s “Only the little people pay taxes”), admits she’s a capitalist. This doesn’t stop corporate media talking heads from red baiting one they perceive to be a socialist.
It’s not just President Trump attacking the Dems for being socialists, the Dem candidates are doing it themselves. Former Colorado Governor Hickenlooper went so far as to say if the Dems are perceived as being socialist, Trump will be reelected. Hickenlooper and other conservative Dems are doing all they can to paint any candidate wanting to improve conditions for the poor and working class as “socialist.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, arguably the most powerful female ever in the American government, said in an interview with 60 Minutes that Democratic lawmakers “know that we have to hold the center.” She added that if people in her party support socialism, “that’s their view. That is not the view of the Democratic Party.”
Pelosi has a feud going with “the Squad,” as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts are known. The squad are seen by the mainstream press and Pelosi as being “far left,” a term used today to describe what would have been mainstream liberals in the 1960s. “Far left” is a nebulous mainstream media term that can mean anything from a Democrat to a communist.
If we were truly a land of the free, one would think, it would be okay to be a socialist and such a person would not be attacked as though they were some kind of a threat to a system that locks up more of its people than any other nation. A nation that allows thousands to die each year for a lack of medical care. That allows a fifth of its children to go hungry at least part of every year.
Corporate media’s job is clearly to protect such a failed system as this. To make sure the socialists don’t achieve power and make our food safer at a cost to plutocrat profits (people in other advanced countries refuse to eat American food because it doesn’t pass their safety laws).
Corporate media talking heads fear that the socialists might come to power and make it easy for new media to compete so that there is more than one viewpoint, that of corporate greed at any cost to the public interest. Perhaps a TV channel that allows a public interest viewpoint?—which would cause the entire system to implode as citizens were exposed to a now-censored viewpoint.
Every time I turn on cable news to watch any candidate for president being interviewed, I hear the corporate media “journalists” taking a hard capitalist viewpoint. They say only Biden can win (because the American people want a butt-kissing capitalist who is bribed to the gills with millions of dollars from polluters, banksters and defense cheats to keep the government as corrupt as possible?).
Corporate media really say that if you are corrupt you are a good capitalist and you will win. The reason is simple, the capitalist choice will get a billion dollars or more in donations for the deceptive TV ads, and thousands of hours of free TV time.
But that free TV time will go to Trump if his opponent can be remotely labeled “socialist.”
The Democratic hierarchy will fall on their swords and allow Trump to be reelected rather than to allow a perceived socialist to win running as a Democrat. Look at the cheating that went on against Bernie in the 2016 election, from the chair of the DNC, and again by her replacement. Europeans would laugh if you told them Bernie is a socialist, but that is how he is seen in our mainstream press and by Democratic Party leadership.
If a candidate is perceived to have even a smidgeon of decency, they will be labeled a socialist and attacked 24/7, allowing Trump’s reelection. That is the Sword of Damocles the establishment claims now hangs over our heads. Either we nominate a fascist or we will get a fascist by default, these are our “choices.”
We will be allowed to watch a tyrannical Trump praise his Nazi followers, or a Bankster-backed Biden regard his racist Senate colleagues from days of yore. Expect anything more and the red baiting hammer comes down, hard.
Jack Balkwill has been published from the little read Rectangle, magazine of the English Honor Society, to the (then) millions of readers USA Today and many progressive publications/web sites such as Z Magazine, In These Times, Counterpunch, This Can’t Be Happening, Intrepid Report, and Dissident Voice. He is author of “An Attack on the National Security State,” about peace activists in prison.