"Your (sic) not gonna hate your way to Medicare For All," hatefully sneered a recent anonymous commenter on one of my numerous posts on the subject.
Once I'd relegated the comment to the spam bucket to join thousands of its brethren from both the Right and the United Center, I marveled at how low the "discourse" has descended, when the expressed desire that one's fellow human beings enjoy the same guaranteed health care that every other advanced civilization on earth considers to be a basic human right can possibly be construed as "hate."
Hate for whom, exactly?
Well, given that President Joe Biden and his corporate Democratic Party are adamantly opposed to this basic human right, and given that Biden and the corporate Democratic Party are nonetheless being almost universally praised as human rights champions despite perpetuating violent militarism, anti-immigrant xenophobia and fealty to the uber-wealthy entities that finance their campaigns, I concede that it is accurate to say that I hate them with a pure, unyielding passion. And since that, in turn, also makes me a dreaded "purist," then I might as well just heartily welcome the hatred of the haters of hate.
Media critic Alan MacLeod has written a very enlightening article for FAIR on the cult of "divisiveness" which is being wholly manufactured and disseminated by the scribes of the elite for the sole and ultimate benefit of the elites who pay their salaries.
Such broadly popular programs as the minimum wage increase, single payer health care, and reversal of capitalism-engendered climate change are often characterized by establishment media organs as "stoking divisions," "polarizing," "controversial," "risky," "contentious," "looks good on paper," "the math doesn't add up," and the like.
Any word or phrase will do, just so long as the pathological hatred that the ruling elite harbors for the masses of people is carefully disguised by gaslighting and concern-trolling. Otherwise, the estimated 70 to 80 percent of the citizenry in favor of a single payer public insurance program will never be convinced that they're completely nuts for daring to demand universal, guaranteed, government-sponsored health care. We have to be made to feel guilty about punishing people in love with their precarious, pricey employment-based coverage and condemning the insurance adjustors who work so responsibly hard to deny our claims into lives of penury and maybe even homelessness.
As if on cue, therefore, the New York Times has published a front page screed placing the blame for "divisiveness" not so much on the corporate media working overtime to manufacture the discontent, but upon the media consumers themselves, whose pre-existing feeble hate-brains are only being finessed by actors employed by corporate, consolidated media. It's a remarkable sleight of pen (or keyboard) by scribe Nate Cohn, given how cleverly and stealthily he transmutes this manufactured discontent from top-down propaganda into a powerful, dangerous, bottom-up, grassroots "sectarianism" reminiscent of religious wars both past and present.
The gist of it is that the people themselves, the great unwashed ignorant rabble, are the real threat to democracy. Elites, unite!
In Cohn's telling, you see, there is no such thing as the class war. There is no rich vs poor, or poor vs rich. It is solely about Democrats vs. Republicans. Whether you know it or not, your prime identity as a human being in America is your fealty to a political party. You are either a Trump supporter or a Biden supporter. There will be no coloring outside of these lines, for fear that the elite media's narrative center will not hold. Cohn writes:
Whether religious or political, sectarianism is about two hostile identity groups who not only clash over policy and ideology, but see the other side as alien and immoral. It’s the antagonistic feelings between the groups, more than differences over ideas, that drives sectarian conflict....
And as mass sectarianism has grown in America, some of the loudest partisan voices in Congress or on Fox News, Twitter, MSNBC and other platforms have determined that it’s in their interest to lean into cultural warfare and inflammatory rhetoric to energize their side against the other.
Cohn puts the chicken before the egg in that last paragraph. It wasn't the corporate propagandists who stoked the "sectarians" with their own inflammatory rhetoric, making enormous profits for their sponsors in the process. Cohn implicitly blames the audience itself. Were it not for the pre-existing hateful rabble, those noble propagandists would never have left the safety of their desks and studios to venture forth into the vast American wasteland to soak up and report on all that grassroots hatred and angst, which has nothing whatever to do with their own outlets broadcasting hours upon hours of Donald Trump (not to mention breathlessly broadcasting hours upon hours of his empty podium with themselves as the celebrity warm-up acts) to foment more discord for more profit and sky-high ratings.
To hear Cohn and his cohort tell it, I have nothing better to do than to castigate my neighbors over their support of, or opposition to, the "cancelling" of Dr. Seuss. Americans are divided into only two camps: the Trump lovers and the Biden lovers. And they hate each other's guts. That they have been encouraged to scapegoat one another through such top-down neoliberal job-destroying policies as NAFTA and the corporate destruction of organized labor and the deregulation of finance is, strangely enough, never even mentioned in Cohn's "political memo."
He breathlessly continues:
One-third of Americans believe that violence could be justified to achieve political objectives. In a survey conducted in January, a majority of Republican voters agreed with the statement that the “traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it.” The violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6 suggests that the risks of sustained political violence or even insurgency can’t be discounted.
Left unmentioned is the US ruling elites' own sustained agenda of state-sanctioned violence, from this country's estimated one thousand military bases throughout the world, its status as the world's biggest arms dealer, its legalization of assault weapons for private ownership, and its primo status as Incarceration Nation, housing more Black prisoners today than there were enslaved people immediately prior to the Civil War.
There has always been class sectarianism you can believe in, here in these United States, and it was spawned and constantly nurtured by capitalism and the unfettered wealth of the greedy few.
Of course, since the media is still so enveloped in its Biden honeymoon swoon, Cohn also has no choice but to delve shallowly into his self-censoring hive-brain and to cast Joe Biden as the anti-sectarian hero who wants nothing more than to bring Democrats and Republicans together for the kind of incestuous orgy that has always worked out so well for the elites who bankroll the much more desirable state-sanctioned brand of social, economic and physical violence.
After spending whole paragraphs bemoaning how a nation full of sectarian folks like you and me are turning on one other, Cohn abruptly and without warning completely contradicts himself:
The median voter prefers bipartisanship and a de-escalation of political conflict, creating an incentive to run nonsectarian campaigns.
I feel so divided right now after reading that journalistic feat of bipolar disorder that I don't know whether to flee North in a contentious search for Santa Claus, or to completely blow my quickly dwindling $1400 stimulus check on a controversial trip to the South Pole to commune with the Antarctic penguins while there's still an ice shelf and no Green New Deal in sight.
There are, after all, only ever two Manichean choices in this life. Corporate media tells me so. And so did unindicted war criminal George W. Bush, who upon the illegal invasion of Iraq so famously and originally proclaimed to the whole world: "You are either with us or against us."
Fast forward to a Sunday morning CBS gabfest, and this same George Bush now bemoans that people are so "polarized" that they can't even imagine him being friends with Michelle Obama, who once called him "a very funny man" and almost single-handedly paved the way for his reputation rehab in liberal circles.
Though she didn't specify whether he is funny ha-ha or funny-scary, Bush explained in that endearingly narcissistic folksy fashion of his that "anybody who likes my sense of humor, I immediately like."
|Duopoly, Inc. You're Either For It Or Against It|