The Media: Not the Enemy? Then who is?
The massed mainstream media has a campaign afoot to collectively force the perspectives of their owners and their masters down the throats of the United States citizenry as a whole. Today, almost all major media sources launched coordinated editorial attacks designed to counter growing doubts about their objectivity and credibility. Doubts about whether the media is even engaged in journalism, assuming we define journalism as the reporting of accurate information necessary for informed electoral decisions, that’s what the Russians and WikiLeaks are accused of doing with respect to all things Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign (horrors!). Public concerns fueled by presidential broadsides leading to the growing public perception that rather than engaging in journalism, the “mainstream: media is engaged in the dissemination and constant repetition of misleading propaganda. Propaganda couched in charged behaviorist terms designed to elicit emotional rather than informed responses using visceral vocabulary and photography designed to render our cognitive functions dysfunctional rendering obvious lies and distortions are undetectable. An image forms in my mind of a dangling watch and someone trying to convince me that my eyes are getting heavy and that I’m getting sleepy. If only.
Evidently the presidents defensive tactics, characterized by most members of the “mainstream” media as unprovoked attacks (one wonders what they would consider “provoked”), have hit a nerve. The great media self-defense campaign is currently designed to reject the notion shared by many citizens from both the left and the right that the media is the enemy. In a sense the campaign is correct. Perhaps the media is not the enemy. Perhaps it is only a tool, the real enemy’s most potent and essential tool, the tool without which we could not be kept under control. The enemy has other tools, the intelligence community, our military, even our police forces. Tools all controlled by a very few, very powerful loyal deputies and in many cases tools largely comprised of very decent underlings, foot soldiers who have been convinced that their causes are right.
The Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians, the Turks, the Palestinians, etc., are not the enemy, although their interests are frequently adverse to ours.
President Trump is not the enemy. He is all too frequently wrong. He is frequently uncouth. He is all too often seemingly incoherent. But he is hated by the powers that be not for his personality traits or his policies (which in most cases mirror those of his Clinton — Obama led opponents) but because he is uncontrollable, perhaps dangerously so. Still, the enemy has to a large degree bent him to its will in all the areas where he seemed to have positive instincts, a real estate developer’s aversion to uncertainty and conflict which hinted at rapprochement with Russia and China, improved infrastructure, extrication from Syria and perhaps myriads of other “hot spots” where the real enemy, our enemy, has its sticky fingers drenched in blood.
The Republicans are not the enemy. They are wrong about many, many things, but they are nowhere near as hypocritical as are the Clinton — Obama led Democrats: hyenas in sheep’s clothing (my apologies to both hyenas and sheep but the metaphor required their inclusion). And while Republicans are the adversaries of collectivist social, political and economic politics, the Democrats are their enemies, albeit not “the” enemy. They are enemies of collectivist social, political and economic politics claiming tongue in cheek that if only it were electorally pragmatic to do so they would be their champions. They are enemies that in reality block access to collectivist solutions to the major problems of our times. That’s why “the” enemy currently favors them, they are its dike in troubled and troublesome times. The enemy is inherently individualistic. It has to be. Collectively it represents much less than one percent of the world’s population.
The hypocrisy of today’s Clinton — Obama led Democratic Party and its “mainstream” media enablers is mind boggling or would be if the “mainstream” media were not completely dedicated to obfuscating reality. I am a bleeding heart liberal-immigration-policy supporter. My attitude is based on a combination of demographic perceptions involving the economic necessity for continuous immigration and a belief and ethical and moral values. I am, in fact, an immigrant, my mother entered legally and brought us to the United States in a very different era. But I’ve never forgotten my roots or abandoned the spirit of Emma Lazarus’s sonnet, “The New Colossus”. The foregoing, however, does not require me to be an idiot, or blind, or deaf, or a victim of Alzheimer’s memory deficiency. I understand what the law is and that it needs to be changed, not merely ignored. Ignored so that a politically useful sore can fester, a sore essential for current Democratic Party electoral politics as long as Democratic Party slogans and propaganda rather than actions are highlighted.
Take the separation of minor children from parents as they enter the United States in violation of immigration laws. The media coverage is heartbreaking, the use of art to touch souls impressive, and it’s a no lose situation. The choices are three: keep the children brought into the country illegally together with their families in detention (then Democrats can bewail the imprisonment of children, as they in fact have), keep the parents who violated the law in detention but release the innocent children (the horror of separating families), or encourage the use of children as shields to prevent enforcement of immigration laws that Democrats refuse to change (eureka), at the same time, setting Americans at each other’s throats, you know, as with other wonderful wedge issues unlikely to be resolved, issues like abortion and gun rights. Little mention by the media of realities, they’re to be avoided at all costs, the famous conspiracy of silence even more lethal than constant attacks. Realities like the fact that perhaps a thousand times the number of children separated by Mr. Trump’s insistence on the enforcement of current immigration laws have been separated from incarcerated parents as a result of the Clinton administration’s Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, an enormous $30 billion package, the largest crime-control bill in US history. The media reaction? Virtually none. No representative pictures of the millions of minority families destroyed. And of course, Mr. Obama’s ICE engaged in enforcement actions not much different than those of the Trump administration, at least until after Mrs. Clinton lost the last election. The deporter in chief was not all that bad just a few years ago. Immigration law enforcement, horrible when undertaken by Mr. Trump (despite his urging of legislative reforms to ameliorate defects and improve the process) was not really bad when Mr. Obama was in charge.
The immigration issues are merely illustrative as the hypocrisy of the mainstream media — Clinton — Obama Democratic Party is all-encompassing. The difference in the actions of the duopoly is all too trivial when they’re in power, the main difference being that Republicans admit and defend their actions while Democrats deceive us trying to make us believe that they’re different.
I confess to being neither a Republican nor a Democrat, although at different times in my past I’ve experimented with both. Currently, I am an unabashed democratic socialist (very different than social democrat or socialist or communist). I strive to emulate democratic socialists like Noam Chomsky, Bertrand Russell, John Dewey, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Christopher Hitchens, Helen Keller, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Naomi Klein, George Orwell, Andrei Sakharov, Cornel West and Howard Zinn (albeit I am certainly neither as noble nor as successful as any of them). In the last election, I voted for Jill Stein. Notwithstanding the enemy’s best efforts, democratic socialism is evidently a political philosophy coming into vogue (can’t help it, an image of Madonna dancing in high couture comes to mind) and some versions seem to be sneaking in to the public’s social psyche, albeit poorly understood; too often confused with similarly named concepts like socialism, social democracy, communism, etc.
So, just what is democratic socialism?
Democratic socialists believe that certain general social goods like health care, education, the environment, insurance and the financial sector should be run by the government but otherwise support the concept of private property (provided that ownership is not distorted to provide unfair advantages to the few at the expense of the many, e.g., ludicrously long, anticompetitive and restrictive intellectual property rights, mineral royalty and other concessions at giveaway prices, etc.). Key differences between socialism, communism and democratic socialism include the fact that democratic socialists don’t believe the government has to own all the essential means of production while many socialists and all communists do. Democratic socialists believe in democracy and reject authoritarian forms of government as well as violence, whether military, political or economic, as a means of dispute resolution. Democratic socialists believe that enforcement of human rights across the board is essential; all human rights, not just the nineteenth century version of negative rights, but also economic, social and cultural rights as well as new generations of rights such as animal rights, environmental rights, etc. Democratic socialism is not a mere idealistic theory but a form of governance currently being practiced. Examples of countries that practice democratic socialism include Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and other Scandinavian countries. And it works. Denmark is regularly ranked among the happiest country in the world while Sweden, Norway and Finland are among the wealthiest, the most economically and socially equal and enjoy the highest standards of living. Interestingly, examples of countries that reject democratic socialism in favor of more traditional neoliberalism include Haiti, Honduras, Iraq and Libya, you know, states were the enemy has successfully intervened.
Too many people with democratic socialist ideals in the United States are unfortunately diverted to the Democratic Party where they can be safely controlled, sort of under house arrest. They are used as voter fodder and then betrayed, kept in line, prevented from attaining real democratic socialist political successes such as government provided health care, higher education and minimum guaranteed income. It is not, after all, the Republican Party that keeps people like Tulsi Gabbard or even the deceptively pragmatic Bernie Sanders safely bottled up. Fear is a wonderful tool, as are myths like lesser evils.
The enemy relies on a state of international chaos based on enemy theory to maintain the political power necessary in order to attain and maintain its globalist economic agenda running, running, if not always smoothly, at least consistently profitably. During the entirety of the post-World War II era, regardless of which duopolistic party was in power, we’ve had official enemies. First the Soviet Union and the threat of international communism (ironically, the economic theory closest to that espoused by the legendary Jesus), then, when the Berlin wall fell and we all rejoiced imagining the social benefits we’d derive with the peace dividend, the enemy morphed into an alleged worldwide Islamic conspiracy, ironically led by CIA trained and financed mujahedeen. ISIS, the crystallization of that alleged conspiracy having been defeated in large part through Syrian and Russian efforts, the Russians have become the once and future enemy, daring to meddle in our democracy by allegedly disclosing accurate information about illegal, immoral and unethical Clinton — Obama electoral crimes, and even better, a poster boy for it all has been created, the man who very unexpectedly derailed the coronation of the Clinton dynasty’s dowager became the easiest of targets for a 24/7, no holds barred campaign to obfuscate all the real issues that confront us, to shatter progressive aspirations using progressives as unwitting foot soldiers. To keep the enemy safely ensconced in power. How delightful for the villains that use us as their toys. A picture of Dr. Evil picking his teeth comes to mind, followed by a villainous “Buahahahahaha”.
So, the Boston Globe screams in editorial headlines, echoing every other major “news” (more accurately propaganda) source, “Journalists are not the enemy” (August 15, 2018). The Boston Globe is right, felicitations. Just as Second Amendment advocates are right when they say guns don’t kill people (perhaps meaning that it’s usually the bullets that do). But today, assuming that it’s appropriate to call the writers who write what passes for news in the mainstream media “journalists”, “journalists are the bullets the mainstream media (think guns) fires when the real enemy pulls the trigger.
And each of us is their target.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé and Diana Marcela Cardenas Garcia; Manizales, 2018; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and much of his writing is available through his blog at www.guillermocalvo.com. Diana Marcela Cardenas Garcia is a Colombian social communicator and journalist who collaborates with Dr. Calvo on diverse civic, social and political projects.
 A much more comprehensive and impressive list can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_socialism#Notable_self-described_democratic_socialists.