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writing for godot

Two Key Vulnerabilities for American Democracy in Its Inevitable Showdown with Fascism

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Written by Carl Peterson   
Thursday, 08 November 2018 13:32

 

 

First, prior to the appearance of the 300 pound painted and balding infant now in the White House, at least 40% of American voters seriously misconceived--and continue to misconceive-- their true political situation.  Studied for decades by the Republican party, their keen susceptibility to fear of the-other-and-the-unknown uncovered and intimately understood but rudely exploited by their professional manipulators, they had been carefully ripened for the fascist harvest.

Decades ago, during the first Reagan administration, when Rush Limbaugh began his local radio broadcast in Sacramento, California, you could hear in the air the early piping of scorn, hatred, and demonization of the other that by now has become the too-familiar battle hymn of those who would bring fascism to a country near you.  American democracy's first vulnerability is that it must fight fascism with only one hand while parrying blows from the other hand: at best only slightly more than half of regular Americans understand the nature of the danger we are in.  The 40-or-so % regularly votes for self-harm.

Second--and unforgivably--our mainstream "free press," has failed and continues to fail to live up to its place of honor in the American constitution.  Inevitably, perhaps, what the Founders called the free press but what we now know as the "mainstream" or corporate, media has sided with the Establishment, and not with democracy, which possibly was not so acutely dangerous when the Establishment itself did not represent an imminent danger to the well-being of most Americans, but the last decades have brought one major calamity after the other: monstrous, gratuitous war; monumental, gratuitous economic melt-down.   The pain of both fell almost entirely upon regular Americans while the wealthy were lavishly rewarded for their failures.  The major corporate media never properly reported or warned Americans of the lies that supported the rationale for the second invasion of Iraq, but instead promoted the lies and facilitated the debacle.  The major corporate media never properly reported or forewarned Americans of the corrupt, criminal and money-drunken financial practices that would lead to the economic meltdown, and afterward did not loudly call for just punishment of the white collar criminal behavior that led to the meltdown .  If the Founders had known that this was what we were going to get from the "free" press, would they have  bothered to insert it into the first amendment?

Now, as a decades-long plutocratic conspiracy to euthanize democracy in America is underway, you would be unaware of that fact if your only sources of information were the two "newspapers of record," The Washngton Post, and The New York Times, or you only watched television news.  The best journalistic information on the on-going plutocratic/fascist take-over is mostly (with notable exceptions) from under-funded, off-the-mainstream sources.  Meanwhile, the Washington Post semi-regularly posts Charles Koch op-eds and upbeat, shallow, misleading, infomercial-like articles on Charles Koch's activities (sometimes even accompanied by video presentations), written by James Hohmann under the heading Analysis[!]: The Daily 202. Note that one of Koch's fellow-billionaires, Jeff Bezos, purchased the Washington Post in 2013.  In 2017 Bezos added a slogan to the Post--"Democracy Dies in Darkness."  Right now I read that as a subconsciously-issued threat to Americans who are fond of democracy.

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0 # AlexG 2018-11-11 14:34
The author of this piece {Carl Peterson] makes crucial and objectively provable points about the epistemological corruption of the USA's corporately-mon opolized mainstream news media, and about the fatal implications for democracy of exactly such corruption.
Yet amazingly, both on this website and in the general population, there seems to be only scant interest in, or understanding of, this ruinous phenomenon.
QED..??
FWIW: Locked-down ownership monopolization & centralization of the mainstream news media, in any high-tech polity, no matter How or By Whom, is obviously the functional END-point of anything resembling a system of governance by and of the governed.
It simply can not be allowed........ .
 

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