In this week's edition of Banter M, the team focuses almost entirely on Bernie Sanders. Should he stay in the race and keep attacking Hillary Clinton? Is it fair to ask him to step aside, and what about Sanders supporters threatening to boycott the election should he lose?
In this issue:
The Rise of the Progressive Propaganda Machine - Bob Cesca takes a hard look at the progressive movement that appears to be mimicking the GOP's propaganda strategy and applying it to furthering their own agenda.
Run, Bernie, Run! - Tommy Christopher argues that Hillary Clinton supporters need to stop asking Bernie Sanders why he is still running, regardless of whether he is likely to win. The question, argues Tommy "offends everything that is American about me."
Bern Out - Our chief antagonist Chez Pazienza has had enough of Millennial Berners threatening to sabotage the Democratic Party should Clinton win the nomination, and takes it to them firing on all cylinders.
Read an excerpt from Bob Cesca's piece below:
The Rise of the Progressive Propaganda Machine
by Bob Cesca
Beginning in the wake of the politically devastating 1964 presidential election in which Barry Goldwater lost in a landslide to the collective momentum of both Lydon Johnson and his slain predecessor, John F. Kennedy, the conservative movement began a decades-long effort to orchestrate some of the most fact-free propaganda efforts in the history of the United States.
It launched with the backing of the John Birch Society and wealthy financiers like Richard Mellon Scaife and Phyllis Schlafly, who began to pump money into right-wing media, such as the bulk purchasing of conservative nonfiction, while also dumping large amounts of cash into turning millions of white, middle class Americans against the Democratic Party. The exploitation of the Southern Strategy effectively frightened white Southern voters who had traditionally identified as conservative Democrats, sending them running into the embrace of the GOP -- fearing the advancement of civil rights.
With the concurrent rise of AM talk radio following Ronald Reagan's shattering of the Fairness Doctrine, a serious cult-like effort was engaged to deliberately misinform the American people using media-blanketed, well-tested and cleverly marketed slogans that sounded great when spoken, but which also carried little or no weight in terms of substance.
Fox News Channel came along during the final years of the Clinton administration and, due to the underworld wizardry of Roger Ailes, the brainwashing of millions of Americans grew exponentially. Simultaneously, sloganeers like Frank Luntz invented Orwellian neologisms for heretofore accepted policies -- inheritance taxes became "death taxes," the Democratic Party was referred to pejoratively as theDemocrat Party to strip it of any relationship to democracy, "suicide bombers" became "homicide bombers" (suicide was seen as endowing terrorists with martyrdom and self-sacrifice), and so forth.
In fact, during the 1996 presidential election season, Newt Gingrich circulated a memo to Republican leadership, titled "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control," outlining a series of proven-effective words to use against the Democrats. Gingrich noted, "Language is ... a key mechanism of control used by a majority party." See if you recognize any.
decay… failure (fail)… collapse(ing)… deeper… crisis… urgent(cy)… destructive… destroy… sick… pathetic… lie… liberal… they/them… unionized bureaucracy… “compassion” is not enough… betray… consequences… limit(s)… shallow… traitors… sensationalists…
endanger… coercion… hypocrisy… radical… threaten… devour… waste… corruption… incompetent… permissive attitudes… destructive… impose… self-serving… greed… ideological… insecure… anti-(issue): flag, family, child, jobs… pessimistic… excuses… intolerant…
stagnation… welfare… corrupt… selfish… insensitive… status quo… mandate(s)… taxes… spend(ing)… shame… disgrace… punish (poor…)… bizarre… cynicism… cheat… steal… abuse of power… machine… bosses… obsolete… criminal rights… red tape… patronage
This is weaponized propaganda at its finest. Where the GOP often failed on substance, it succeeded on marketing.
The entire idea was to tenaciously market fiction to American voters under the thin veil of being "fair and balanced" or, in the language of the post-9/11 world, "exceptional." This is how George W. Bush ultimately got elected: by pushing falsehoods about his folksiness and cowboy swagger, even though he was the wealthy son of a patrician and career D.C. insider. After 9/11, the Republicans successfully co-opted and branded Christianity, "patriotism" and the American flag as its own symbolism, further embellishing the lies by tugging at the heart-strings and xenophobic fears of the people.
What we know is that GOP economic policies don't work. We know that the GOP's adverturism and liberal interventionism doesn't work. We know that the GOP's social platform is regressive and unconstitutional. We know that the GOP's bench of A-listers is as rubbery and weak as Sarah Palin's skull. In 2016, the GOP is being propped up by its marketing ability, most notably among the conservative entertainment complex, as well as the passive gladhanding of the traditional news media. There's really nothing else.
Too bad the progressive movement appears to be headed in the same direction -- specifically, it's too bad because progressive policies actually work and there's no need to play the GOP's game. And yet, over the last 16 years, more notably in the last eight, there's an effort brewing among certain circles on the left to adapt the GOP's propaganda strategy and apply it to furthering the progressive agenda....
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