I never could figure out why my leftie friends were so anti-Hillary and so anti-Democratic until I started really listening with my mind, and not just my heart, to what they were saying. Then one day I figured it out! They think we are possessed by demons! They are as fictional, demagogic and delusional as the Right wing! They sound like the preacher in a tent revival! You can see the exaggerated and strident rhetoric on display right now as Bernie endorses Hillary and the "Busters"/far lefties, start bashing him just as they turned on Elizabeth Warren and most of the Democratic "establishment" during this election cycle.
Christopher Hedges is the ???Best??? example of this. He wrote in Truthdig back in February:
"The Democrats, like the Republicans, have no interest in genuine reform. They are wedded to corporate power." [Truthdig]
If he said "some Democrats" or "some of the Democratic leadership", or similar I probably would have agreed with him. I probably read this article around then and didn't take it too seriously because of my partial agreement. But this was around the time I was experiencing the "Bernie or Bust phenomena" and starting to realize I was dealing with something broader than simple "Hillary derangement Syndrome", which I'd often seen on the right but hadn't experienced much on the left. Naivety I suppose.
A Demonology about US Democracy
I would have missed this accusation as mere hyperbole:
"They are about appearance, not substance. They speak in the language of democracy, even liberal reform and populism, but doggedly block campaign finance reform and promote an array of policies, including new trade agreements, that disempower workers. They rig the elections, not only with money but also with so-called superdelegates." [Truthdig]
Indeed at the time I would have read this I'd sent a letter to D.W. Schultz warning her of the necessity to not run a rigged election. I didn't know that the weaknesses in our primary processes would be interpreted as "rigging" whether we were rigging them or not. So I missed the core of his message. His belief, shared by many of his fellow "busters", that the Democratic party was a demonic (or demon controlled) organization owned and controlled by corporate masters. He truly believes that:
"the Democratic Party establishment, along with their corporate puppet masters" would "use every dirty trick to ensure he loses..." [Truthdig]
And since the very idea of a "super delegate" or "closed party" voting was considered "rigging the election." When I started to study this rhetoric, I wasn't sure if we weren't going to see Bernie walk out on the party as if it were nothing but a bunch of demon controlled puppets. In his view we need an exorcism not an election. To Chris Hedges:
"The Democratic Party is a full partner in the corporate state." and the Clintons are "handmaidens of Wall Street." [Truthdig]
Helping the Right rewrite the 90s
To lefty "Busters", endorsing Hillary was tantamount to being possessed by the devil. I'm not kidding anymore. At one time I thought the folks saying this might be joking. But they really believe that it was the Democrats, not the Republicans! who are responsible for:
"the destruction of organized labor and anti-war, civil rights and progressive movements" [Truthdig]
Hedges quotes a fellow Leftie, who also rewrites the 90s (in tandem with some righties) to demonize Bill Clinton:
"The Clintons, and the Democratic establishment" [Corey Robin wrote, "repudiated the progressive agenda of the Jackson campaign and used coded language, especially regarding law and order, to appeal to the racism of white voters. The Clintons and the party mandarins ruthlessly disenfranchised those Jackson had mobilized."[Truthdig]
Except that narrative significantly distorts what Bill Clinton did in 1992. Though Bill did play fast and loose with black leaders like "Sista Soulja", he did not abandon them. And his "law and order" appeals and "reforms" appealed to black voters too, who were dealing with even more black on black violence and crime than white voters were. At the time criminal enforcement seemed the only way to deal with an epidemic of drugs and drug related crime. Of course he was wrong, and of course his reforms hurt minorities more than they did whites. But Hedges is ruthlessly distorting the narrative. It makes a great demonology for folks like Chris Hedges. And it plays into the "both parties are the same theme that I ran into so much with both Busters and folks supporting Trump.
Revolution Not Evolution
They want revolution, not evolution. Hedges says:
"This will be a long and desperate struggle. It will require open confrontation. The billionaire class and corporate oligarchs cannot be tamed. They must be overthrown."
But open confrontation with just the billionaire class? Via elections? No:
"They will be overthrown in the streets, not in a convention hall. Convention halls are where the left goes to die."[Truthdig]
Bring out the Guillotines!
To radical lefties, the goal is revolution, not evolution.
They want overthrow not progress. And their idea of justice would be to bring back the guillotine to guillotine their opponents, "the oligarchs." If Democrats like Bernie and Hillary, myself and others are demon possessed, it will be easier to justify guillotining us. He:
"demands the return of the rule of law" ... "not just for Wall Street, but" [also} "those who wage pre-emptive war" "assassinat[e] U.S. citizens," "allow the military to carry out domestic policing and" "hold citizens without due process" engage in "surveillance of the citizenry." And he wants to punish and bring "under strict civilian control the military, the security and surveillance apparatus including the CIA, the FBI, Homeland Security and police."
That is a program that seems to not really care about popular opinion.
Fortunately with the help of civil rights leaders like John Lewis, and the leadership of Elijah Cummings, we Democrats just put together a truly progressive platform. And hopefully we can support it by electing progressives. I don't think we can expect much help from the superstitious and paranoid far left. "them folks [like Chris Hedges] are crazy!"
The good news, is that if there is no hope for Chris Hedges, there might be hope for Corey Davis. He praised Hillary's Tuition proposal, kind of left handedly, before savaging it again. http://crookedtimber.org/author/coreyrobin/, but you can see the demonological filter in his article on the subject. These guys (and gals) live in an echo chamber.
- Corey Davis almost praising Clinton:
- Truthdig Article:
- How to actually do a movement:
Note, this post is only a little tongue in cheek.