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.
Also, given Bernie’s momentum, is anyone else experiencing déjà vu? Here is 10 minute loving history of the 2004’s Iowa to New Hampshire Democratic campaign which became famous for the Dean Scream. Today we have another progressive Vermonter who voted against the Iraq war, one who espouses the 50 state strategy, has strong grassroots support and who is killing it with online contributions.
If you watch the entire high budget short video produced by ESPN, toward the end Howard jokes with a small crowd presumably in Iowa “it’s not too late”. With Bernie out there and looking strong for New Hampshire, it really isn’t – at least not for the values Howard Dean was fighting for.
It never will be actually. There will always be Iowa caucus or an equivalent. In a democracy there will always be a moment when the people finally get a chance to vote, and for a moment the media has to pay attention to what the voters want, not their viewers or advertisers. Mid-winter 2016 is that time again.
This Is Not the Way the Democratic Campaign Should Be Conducted (Via Common Dreams)
A Rendezvous With Destiny: FDR speech before the 1936 Democratic National Convention June 7, 1936.
“For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital – all undreamed of by the Fathers – the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.
These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power. In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for. Now, as always, they stand for democracy, not tyranny; for freedom, not subjection; and against a dictatorship by mob rule and the over-privileged alike.”
– President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Past is prologue. In the end, the systems don’t change a whole bunch. Labor v. capital of economics and how do we do the best we can to insure that the influence of one with a bunch of capital doesn’t unfairly influence the political rights of those without.
From the comments…