“Just remember this my girl
When you look up in the sky
You can see the stars
And still not see the light”
—The Eagles, “Already Gone”
Whether the Democrats or Republicans had the congressional majority, the conservatives have ruled for decades. The system is rigged by having conservative Democrats vote with Republicans for an enduring majority.
Corporate media welcome this with their every move, challenging any candidate left of center by asking the question “Don’t you think by running as a leftist, you are giving up votes to your conservative opponent?” The conservative opponent will get millions of dollars in financing from those who control corporate-viewpoint media (the investment portfolios of owners, board members and advertisers), together with massive free air time in the corporate viewpoint media, for a tremendous advantage anyhow, but the question falls under the mainstream media pretense of the existence of an iota or more of democracy.
There is always an assumption by mainstream media that voters will prefer the right most candidate, although the evidence shows the opposite is true. The younger you go, the more it is true, as 7 in 10 millennials say they would even vote for a socialist.
Citizens watching mainstream media are guided into voting for a conservative, often a “lesser evil” candidate, assured by corporate media that a more leftist candidate has no chance. Recent presidential primary examples are the campaigns of Hillary Clinton last time and Joe Biden this time, among the most conservative Democrats running.
I remember thinking in the 1960s that Richard Nixon was the most conservative one could be, but he was far left of Hillary and Joe. Nixon signed bills enacting the creation of OSHA and the EPA, and signed the SALT agreement—one cannot imagine Hillary or Joe pushing any of these, supporting as they do corporate greed at any cost and war (for example both enabled, by their Senate vote, the illegal invasion of Iraq).
By constantly pushing Democrats who are similar to Republican candidates in supporting a laissez faire capitalist system which rewards wealth and punishes poverty, corporate media and their bosses have managed to keep wages falling for almost 50 years. American wages peaked in 1973, when one wage earner could provide for a family.
The big donors this 2020 presidential campaign contribute to Biden, Harris and Buttigieg, in that order because they are trying to influence a conservative outcome. What many miss is that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are getting more donations, from small donors, so if it is democracy we seek, Sanders and Warren should be the leading candidates based on numbers of contributors.
Perusing the TV coverage (most Americans get their news from TV) one finds intense coverage of anything conservative said by a Democratic candidate.
Any candidate attacking medical care for all will receive massive coverage and, rest assured, nothing will be mentioned about the thousands who die each year in the current system for a lack of medical care, nor will it be said that we pay more than any nation for this complete crap “health care” system, which is really a profit system intended to make millionaires of insurance executives and provide billions in dividends for billionaires by denying actual health care.
Elizabeth Warren gets attacked for saying the rich will pay more for her medical care plan and the middle class will pay less (watch any network, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC). But the conservatives are never questioned about their public buy-in option.
The conservative “public buy-in option” is for citizens, ostensibly, with enough money to buy insurance. The problem we have is that millions cannot afford insurance, so whether you call it Medicare for All or a public buy-in, the financing requires an explanation.
Conservative candidates are not required to show how their programs will be financed, presumably they will employ magic. All of them (Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg) oppose, in some way, a single payer health care system but claim they will magically cover everyone, a thing corporate media conveniently sweep under the rug.
The medical plans by Warren and Sanders will be far cheaper than any of the others, and corporate media do not allow this to get to the public, ridiculing the candidates for increasing taxes. The question is asked repeatedly, often in a mocking way, “How will they pay for this?” Not mentioned is that most of the industrialized nations pay for this and have much better health care at far less expense, since they spend their money on actual health care rather than executive salaries and profits going to the wealthy.
Leading economists point out that Medicare for All would create a massive tax cut for most citizens, the opposite of the charge of corporate media that we should worry about massive tax hikes. Corporate viewpoint media cover this up as though it were a national secret.
Joe Biden, who is getting most of the media attention (this is how polling is rigged, many people get behind a candidate whose name they’ve heard repeatedly) can hardly speak in complete sentences these days. Corporate media and the election financiers must understand that President Trump would eat him alive in debates.
CNN recently did a piece on the “donor class” wanting another candidate. The current field of 20 or so does not have the right butt kisser for the needs of the donor class. Seemingly they are thinking they might scrap the field and introduce another conservative. Hillary Clinton, perhaps?
With polling showing the public want to get away from the wars, the Democratic leadership seems intent on getting a war monger, Biden (or Clinton) who make a habit of supporting every war. Trump recently said “I’m embarrassed to say how many countries the US military is in, it is so foolish,” thereby making a run for peace voters the Democrats ignore, just as Trump picked up working class voters the Democrats ignored last time.
With polling showing the public want a public health care system, the conservative Democratic candidates are going with a phantom “Public Option,” which in truth is the status quo unchanged since they have no way to explain how they would do this, leaving millions uninsured and thousands to die annually.
Conservative Democrats have even joined with corporate interests to attack the agenda of the Democratic Party in general. Their loyalty is obviously to conservative interests and corporate greed at any cost.
We had a conservative Democrat last time and she lost to Trump as many stayed home, uninspired (or in the case of Bernie voters, cheated and betrayed by the Democratic leadership). With the establishment backing Biden the Democrats are trying their best to do it again. It looks like the Democrats prefer to lose to Trump rather than listen to the public.
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.