I’m sure some people here have by now read the Cracked.com listicle by David Wong, How Half of America Lost Its Fucking Mind. I mean, at this point it’s been clicked on over 9 million times and climbing. If you haven’t, you really should check it out because it is a great piece and kudos to Wong for tossing it up. Another FB friend (like my page for psi intel) posted this other post election piece from the Guardian by the uber important Naomi Klein the other day. Again, good stuff about America’s increasing political divide between urbanites and our rural brethren. Both point out that our current political turmoil has more to do with the cities vs. the country than red states vs. blue states. It’s an important point and this seemingly insurmountable divide has been fairly glaring ever since I’ve been following politics. I’ll never forget looking at the voting break down of the 2000 election. It was like looking at a light map from space. Absolutely nothing has changed on this front since the last time we had a republican president get into the office while failing to win the popular vote (Go Electoral College!!!!!).
What neither of these articles even really bother to address however is this: How on God’s green fucking earth did a bunch of poor white people in rural America come to believe that a dude who inherited 100 million dollars from THE biggest city in the country was going to be their political savior? It get’s even more ridiculous if you take a half second to look at his proposed policies. If you haven’t, let me sum it up for you: he’s going to fuck up healthcare for poor people and give not only super rich people, but also super rich corporations massive tax breaks. Also, he quite literally wants even more of the exact corporate deregulation that derailed the economy in 2008. No, really. Another way to put that would be: he’s going to completely, 100%, fuck over the exact people who voted for him and he’s been fairly open about this from the jump. This New Yorker cartoon sums it up better than I ever could:
I love that cartoon because it actually hints at something that’s rarely talked about i.e. that humans are animals. Capitalism is an extension of the inherent brutality of the natural world where the rich are the predators and the poor are the prey. It’s a divide between the economists and the economized, and we’re going to have to start figuring out how to transcend this primal bullshit if we intend to survive for much longer. Our new pres is a climate change denier. Hooray!
With the healthcare thing, we sort of have to face the fact that Trump might likely completely bankrupt the country, because you know, that’s a big part of the reason we were reforming healthcare in the first place if you were paying attention. You know how the economic meltdown of 2008 made some people realize that George W. Bush wasn’t actually looking out for their best interests the whole time? I’m calling it in advance with Trump. I don’t really know shit about economics but I know enough to know that trickle down economics and increased corporate deregulation will create short term profits for the super rich and then blow up in our faces quite spectacularly later down the road. I guess I know this because: IT ALREADY FUCKING HAPPENED, just a mere 8 years ago. We’ve learned nothing. Oh wait, I suppose what I’ve actually learned is that when the economy tanks, rich predators make out like bandits. Resource values like real estate crash and they’re now the only ones with the money to buy them. Then they just sit back, wait for the value to rebound and voila. More money for doing exactly nothing. The question is, will things rebound again? I’m sort of thinking not. The predators might finally run out of prey. I can’t imagine another bailout is ever going to happen.
What I’m getting at is, let’s not just pretend that poor people in rural America just accidentally vote against their own self interests. Rich predators set up a calculated propaganda machine to ensure that they do exactly that. It’s a bit odd to be in the position of absolutely supporting free speech while simultaneously realizing there 100% HAS to be limitations set on paid propaganda.
Shut up you un-American communist hippie! Well, socialist hippie might actually apply a bit in my case, but un-American, ummm, no. I can’t believe that I’m seemingly the one who has to give people these little history lessons, but we have in fact had limits on paid propaganda in this country for longer than we haven’t, but we started lifting these regulations roughly 30 years ago. Am I honestly the only one who’s paid any attention to the work of Noam Chomsky? This is what he talks about ad nauseum. Back in the 80’s we got rid of what was referred to as the Fairness Doctrine. What was the Fairness Doctrine? Here’s a decent article on it where this quote comes from:
“The Fairness Doctrine, as initially laid out in the report, ”In the Matter of Editorializing by Broadcast Licensees,” required that TV and radio stations holding FCC-issued broadcast licenses to (a) devote some of their programming to controversial issues of public importance and (b) allow the airing of opposing views on those issues. This meant that programs on politics were required to include opposing opinions on the topic under discussion. Broadcasters had an active duty to determine the spectrum of views on a given issue and include those people best suited to representing those views in their programming.”
This doctrine was revoked in 1987 under Reagan and is largely credited with the rise of batshit crazy right wing radio. If that law wasn’t changed, we wouldn’t have former narcotic addict human pieces of garbage like Rush Limbaugh pumping hatred into the feeble minds of vulnerable people in rural America. So killing limitations on intentionally filling the minds of the weak with factually incorrect bullshit was a Republican thing? Nope, absolutely not. In fact, the biggest death knell to anyone in America having any sort of clue as to what’s actually going on in politics came under the Clinton administration with the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (20 years before it fucked over his own wife as it turns out, oh the irony). In short, this allowed media companies, which we already decided could basically shill people whatever sort of totally biased toxic nonsense they wanted into the minds of Joe Sixpack and Suzie Stripmall, to fucking monopolize. Oh yeah, that’s going to turn out well.
And before you get all, well it’s Clinton’s fault, thaaat’s not accurate either. Both parties have been bought and paid for to continue this trend ever since. It just kept happening under Bush Jr (W’s deregulation of the FCC in 2003 was yet another death strike to the concept of anyone who doesn’t have the time to do a bunch of research having any sort of a clue) and continued under Obama. Almost no one from either side in the House and Senate thought this might be a problem back in ’96, because they were all getting payouts. You know who one of the few people who actually opposed it was? You guessed it. Bernie Sanders. Gee, wonder why the entire media apparatus (even NPR for Christ sakes) was against the dude from the jump.
In 1983, major media corporations were owned by 50 companies. That number’s now down to 6. Oh wait, I was looking at an older article from 2011. Some people are saying it’s now 5. But won’t the internet save us? Nope, they own most of the major websites too. Couldn’t officially tell whether or not Cracked.com is owned by one of the big 6, but I did quite hilariously unearth the fact that their parent company’s ownership has changed like 5 times in as many years. How about the record labels and radio stations? Mostly owned by the big 6 (or was it 5?). Even most of the supposedly “cool” indie labels are now technically owned by these same companies if you look at the fine print. How about Hollywood? Ab-so-fucking-lutely. In general, at this point 6 media companies now control the informational intake of roughly 227 million Americans. Do you see the catch-22 black hole of hopelessness this creates? How would people know that this is a problem? Shit, they’re now relying on these exact 6 companies to call bullshit on themselves. Sure, that’s going to happen. Didn’t hear a single politician other than Bernie Sanders make any mention of media re-regulation at any point during the 2016 presidential campaign. Even Sanders didn’t mention it much. Gee, wonder why?
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