19 June 2010

Obama and the Middle of the Road

When I was back in seminary school…OK so it wasn’t seminary school, just a Catholic High School in the hood. Anyway, back then there was a simple diagram of a political compass. Something like this one…
Political Compass
The diagram isn’t really a bell-curve, nor is it meant to be. In fact, in the 70s might have looked like the outfield in old Yankee Stadium, with a huge left and center field, and a much smaller right field. Then along came the 80s manipulation of media rules and the influx of 24 by 7 right wing radio. Media was always portrayed to be centrist or a little center left (somewhere around the D in MODERATE). When the likes of the Drugster, Rush Limbaugh came along, they would be inserted somewhere around the last E in CONSERVATIVE. The reactionary right had its mouthpiece. And this mouthpiece droned on and on first about how smart he was, and thus if you believed the things he said, you then, by process, were smart too. Imagine that you had been called a dumbass your whole life, couldn’t spell “CAT” if you were given the C and the A, but finally someone realized you were smart. It was those damn Libs that called you dumb all along. Idiot teachers doing nothing but collecting Union pensions and poisoning your minds with their liberal propaganda. Ha! They were exposed. Lush Rambo was on the case! Let me listen to him again tomorrow and fight the battle against the Libs.

Then somewhere in the 90s, along came Fox News. In the compass, FN would fall dead in between “CONSERVATIVE” and “REACTIONARY. They were a 24/7 assault on Bill Clinton. In stronger countries with a stronger set of values, the foreign owner of FNC would have probably been hanged for sedition. But I digress. FNC’s claim of Fair and Balanced is laughable, but to their credit, what they have accomplish is to tilt the scale. If you create an arc by marking a spot between “CONSERVATIVE” and “REACTIONARY,” and then one above the D in “MODERATE,” then split the created arc in half, this is where the right wing calls the new “CENTER” of debate. When Clinton ran, he was a Conservative Democrat, your typical Southern Dixiecrat as it were. If someone with his views was from the West or Northeast, they would have been a mainstream republican (although in his defense, he preferred women). But the right wing media labeled him as a Liberal. And as we came to learn, the word “Liberal” would become the new “N” word.

During the late 80s and early 90s, the right wing media machine worked overtime. Not only did they make Liberal a dirty word, and a scarlet A if you got tagged, they also hijacked another key word, “ELITE.” Now the ELITE used to mean people who wore tuxedos to dinner on Saturday night on their way to a Broadway show. ELITE were the people who sat in First Class without getting upgrades. ELITE were guys who felt uncomfortable when they didn’t have a jacket on over their button-down shirts. But the right wing media machine masterfully reengineered this word to mean “Liberal.” Teachers working for 40k a year plus bennies were now “ELITISTS.” Any college professor, ELITIST. Movie star…ELITIST. Artists? Yes, the term was hijacked. Might you ask why? I can see that the way the GOP caters to the rich (the real ELITE) and has promoted tax changes and legislation based solely to help these true elitists, they wouldn’t want the sheep to catch on. School teachers, those elite bastards, if they dare to ask for raises or even negotiations over contracts, the new right will start bleating “elitists elitists.” Meanwhile, some of those people bleating can talk about selling their spot in a line waiting to buy a new Ferrari for over half a million dollars. So on one side, a teacher making a relative pittance is an elitist, and a guy working at a financial firm who can sell a spot in line for his 8th car is a mainstream American. Yep. I got it now.

So where does Obama fit into this rant? Well, if we look at the chart again, Obama would fit somewhere in between the T and the E in “MODERATE.” (By contrast, you would find me somewhere between the R in Radical and the L in Liberal). Obama has done nothing liberal. Even his Supreme Court nominees haven’t been what I would call Liberals or Progressives at all. And yet the right wing nuts are calling him a Marxist Socialist. If asked, they would peg him to be to the left of me!! Ngek! Obama’s healthcare plan, if indeed Liberal, would not have said “Fuck the Public Option.” It would have said, “Fuck the Public Option, we are going single payer! Medicare for all from the moment your mom squirts you out!” Obama’s Marxist Socialist method would not have bailed out the banks, it would have Nationalized the banks, closed the Federal Reserve and hung the FED board from the Lincoln Memorial. But then again if you look at the curve, and how far and hard to the right the debate has been taken, you can see how this shit comes about. Obama, sadly, is just another middle of the road politician serving the Corporate Masters. If he had an (R) by his name, the right wing nuts would love him. Okay that’s a little much. He is a person of color. The right wing nuts would tolerate him instead of having their media fueled unreasonable hatred of the man.

Someday the debate will be moved back toward the center, and this country can start another path toward greatness. Until then, Singapore looks pretty good to me…

Filed under:La Voz del Norte — la voz @ 3:12 am

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