Friday, November 11, 2016

Watchdogs needed!: Falls Church (VA) News-Press

This Election’s Insurgency
By Nicholas F. Benton
nfbenton-mugHillary Clinton won the popular vote in Tuesday’s national presidential election, the second time since 2000 the Democrat did this but lost the election because of the archaic particularities of the Electoral College system.

But instead of sinking into despair, those who supported Clinton for all the right reasons need to see what happened as an opportunity, not merely a defeat.

The message the vote has sent is this: The kind of corporate and establishment chiseling and greed that has crippled the economic well being of the nation’s middle and lower classes will not be tolerated by way of a slow and methodical demise.

Many who voted for Trump did not do so for racist or sexist reasons, although those were certainly factors, but because, according to one recent statistic, only half of the adults in America right now can get their hands on $400 were an emergency to arise.

This is the kind of reality that sparked the Bernie Sanders insurgency on the Democratic side. While a well-meaning Hillary Clinton sought belatedly to address this in her campaign, she was no match for Trump’s ability to catalyze this into an angry insurgency.

Democrats who backed Clinton in this election now have the opportunity to capitalize on the election result to take the nation’s afflicted to the streets, to mobilize for the kind of real change that can bring relief to families under crushing debt, including student debt, lack of a pathway to a future and the burden of chronic numbing poverty.

The insurgency reflected in this election was not about Trump, but about these kind of things. When I was asked after the election what to do about efforts at bringing together Hispanic, Muslim, African-American and other marginalized groups to craft a common agenda for positive change, I recommended they go ahead and do it, even with more passion and zeal than before the election.

Make the greedy, corrupt corporate establishment pay! Now is the time! This election is a wake up clarion call for a new politics to be more engaged, more insurgent and more adamant about demanding opportunity and attacking inequality. In all the states where a mandated increase in the minimum wage was on the ballot, such measures passed overwhelmingly. In right-to-work Virginia, a statewide referendum that called for outlawing mandatory union membership was crushed.

The lessons of the Great Recession are still very much on the mind of an electorate that is not about to forget how global financial elites became so obsessed with usurious accumulation of wealth at the expense of average people that they did not flinch as their financial unraveling wiped out jobs and the security of virtually the entire middle class.

Washington was found to be “broken” because, while the Republicans in Congress determined to block every initiative coming from President Obama, the Democrats were seen as going soft against Wall Street and looking the other way as their organic constituencies, the middle class, minorities and other marginalized people, continued to struggle.

Trump will be facing a cornucopia of woes associated with his shady personal investments and allegations of child sexual abuse. Last weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” skit featuring Alec Baldwin as Trump summed up the massive irregularities in the Trump campaign, showing him kissing, in successive order, an FBI agent, Russia’s Putin and a sheeted member of the KKK. The CNN news character dismissed them all as unimportant in favor of further grilling the Clinton character about emails.

While the role of the FBI Director James Comey, Putin and the KKK and other “alternative right” racist cults in the Trump campaign will not be forgotten, it was the media’s biased role, as depicted in the skit, that was the most outrageous.

As the Nation’s Katrina Vanden Heuvel wrote yesterday in the Washington Post in “A Media Malpractice Post-Mortem,” “Despite Trump’s pathological dishonesty, racial demagoguery and brazen disdain for the First Amendment, much of the media has portrayed him as a ‘normal candidate’ for the presidency.”

“We need more watchdogs rather than lapdogs to challenge powerful interests across the political spectrum,” she wrote.

That’s a fix that should also be an immediate priority.


Warren Celli said...

We need growling dogs that bite!

Anonymous said...

No, no no....and people still do not see it. Its not corp greed per se ( is sorta but thats not the huge issue). The huge issue is we have changed and advanced so quickly that many can't adapt. Went from an idsutrial power house to a service economy almost overnight and that ain't going to change.

Why? Because in the 40s we fought a war, 50s our industry rebuilt Europe (made a ton of $ doing so), 60s and 70s had the Cold War. Now what? For the most part the World has caught up...someone has to buy the crap we make right? But hey..the rest of the World now can make their own crap AND they have to keep their workers working making the crap.

We don't have the only game in town anymore and can we beat a country where the average wage is $16 a day?

Nope.can't...our new world power comes not from making crap but from buying crap. China needs our markets our population in order to buy the crap they make. See...shoe is on the oher foot now. They make we buy.

And it can't switch back..well can't unless we want to have to pay $50 for a made in USA t-shirt vs $10 made in China shirt.

As we are seeing we need living wages and without them many are now suffering. The problem is you can't start paying Walmart workers $20 an hour...retail doesn't work that way.

Not everyone can be expected to go to a accountant, lawyer, markerting guru...yet if we no longer make crap whats left? Walmart..Mcdonalds or scrubbing my bathroom floor and mowing my yard for me.

The only way forward is doing what we do best...innovate. We will need to push tommorrows the country that invents and makes state of the art power power cells...wind turbines...bullet trains and then sell that to the rest of the world which hasn't caught up.

Aah...but the current blue collar guy looks at such stuff as liberal crap..wants to defund science..says screw solar or clean energy for god's sake don't put money in education. They imagine that by some fancy trick we snap our fingers and old indusry comes back...the kind that dad worked for. Steel..textile mills.

Bernie Sanders did some damage to...his lies were oh school, healthcare and anything else you want and nooo it won't damage our budget. Big lie...unfortunately Hillary had to adopt some of those lies to get his base support and it scared the crap out of middle of the road GOP.

That is why Demos lost...forgot the middle class Walmart guy with 2 kids..she ignored her husband's advice to focus on white disenchanted workers in the rust belt.

Media also helped her lose..oh she was goig to cream Trump..up 8 points in PA..6 points in Wisconsin..people stayed home disgusted with the negative cycle and figured it was ok because she had it in the bag.

Damn shame...really is

silly patty said...

people are idiots, soon they'll learn what it means to lose the social programs.

don't come whining about it, you know better, remember?