I’m going to say this bluntly. The only person standing between a confirmed socialist who is calling for political revolution in this country winning the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party, which has always been more moderate than that, is you.
– Chris Matthews interviewing (or mediaspaining to?) Hillary Clinton
There is so much to unpack in this sentence alone, not to mention the entire interview.
Let’s talk about 3 words that Chris uses to instill the view with fear.
a) Socialism: When Bernie talks about socialism he is talking about a political system such as Denmark which insures workers are not exploited. For example, in Denmark, McDonald’s employees that get $20/hr. Bernie is decidedly not speaking about Communism where adjectives such as “confirmed” might be necessary. It’s simple and Democrat FDR would have understood this.
b) Revolution: When Bernie talks about revolution, he isn’t speaking about journalists getting murdered in the streets, he is talking about a political revolution, one where money is not speech, corporations are not people, and the news is not infotainment. It’s simple and Democrat FDR would have understood this. Political revolutions are common in Democratic governing history and they include the SSA, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act and the Civil Rights Act. Bernie’s revolution is to continue to walk back the destructive Reagan Revolution – something we are only beginning to do.
c) Moderation: There was nothing moderate about the reforms Democrat FDR passed that continue to help us avoid the natural down cycles of a free market system.
We still depend on the modern-state and worker-protection reforms such as Social Security, FDIC, et. that he and the Democrats were able to pass while the “economic royalists” did (and are still doing) everything they could to prevent and then repeal these. Btw, the first Republican president after these reforms, President Eisenhower, also understood the importance of a modern state and invested in infrastructure like our highway system while maintaining a 90% top marginal tax rate. Today, arguing for returning to these top marginal tax rates or protecting SSA programs or even Medicare is seen as immoderate or even unconstitutional. This doesn’t mean it is, it just means the conversation has moved so far to the right that protecting and expanding common goals such as universal health care or paying for the maintenance of our common infrastructure now seems extreme.
So if you can make it through that first sentence of mediasplaining in the Matthews/Clinton interview you should. You’ll learn a lot about the common-sense of the media middle right now and what is at stake. (Don’t forget this is the media that gets slammed as being too liberal.)
Thankfully Hillary didn’t take the bait as much as she could. I think she comports herself well and I understand sentiments of hers like (paraphrasing) “rolling up one’s sleeves and compromising”. Here is one example of Hillary pushing back. Chris Matthews said this.
Can the Bernie people be taught—not him, he can’t be taught—can the kids behind him be told that this is how it works in our system?
Darn kids, we in the media gotta learn ’em good. Secretary Clinton replied, in part, with this important concept.
People have to believe they have a stake in it, that their voices count, but then they gotta see results from their investment in our democracy. Our democracy has to work better. Our politics have to work better.
Yes, Secretary Clinton thank you, and I would add this. Even more than just believe, our politics have to work better in having people actually have a stake in the results.
My question to both Secretary Clinton and for Mr. Matthews who mentioned a NDC mentality (November Doesn’t Count) from the sixties, what becomes of the middle when the right is made of up exaggeration, false narratives with the left as the “enemy”, and outright lies and deception. Isn’t the moving of the center rightward through obstruction and fabrication part of the game they play?
What can we on the left then do to prevent that strategy alone from moving the governing center when in the end the right does not even care if there is governing?
I would like to hear some mediaspaining on that topic please. Thank you.