by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ December 11, 2019
The media pundits, spokespeople, and, even, some of the ‘he said, she said’ journalists now need to be watched closely for signs of panic. They have maintained their carefully defined roles with very little change for three years. Nothing seriously frightening can be said but only vaguely alluded to as, minor, distortions of the eternal US norm.
None of them have caused any upset with public epiphanies on the meaning of this soap opera of dementia starring Donald J. Trump. While the roles have remained the same the content of their communications has changed subtly over the last year and became, very carefully, more explicit when the Ukraine extortion attempt was exposed and, stunningly, confessed.
Three years of domestic disasters and international embarrassments with increasingly blatant criminal acts made it very hard to maintain an unchanged demeanor. They succeeded but with a steady loss of credibility. The unspeakable becoming normalized is referenced but far down in the stories to get the warning on the record, not for the public good, but for professional fall back contingencies. See, I mentioned everything!
Those oriented to the traditional progressive have become more open in talking about the endless cascade of lies, foreign disasters, absurd performances of the Trump party members, and baltant criminal acts of Trump himself, but without ever acknowledging the crumbling cliff edge under their feet. Cliff? What cliff? Bottomless pit? Where?
Their focus is permanently fixed on the Trump base in the heartland and the angry, aging, white, opiod addled, folks permanently ensconced in small diners drinking weak Midwestern coffee. Those folks won’t change until the diner is bulldozed and then they will move to the one across the street. I know, I grew up in Indiana and they are my cousins and high school classmates.
These are good people in everyday life but they have been avoiding significant change since they were kids and are still embarrassed about listening to wild music. They have never questioned the absurd religion that they grew up with, everyone that did left years ago, so the ones still there will believe anything that comes from the pulpit. And, if they know better, they still need to blend in. So they are not going to recant or question Trump until someone with the weight of Walter Cronkite tells them they better change or their world will go to hell.
By every definition these are reactionary people in a culture in full decline. Their life is getting their Social Security check and prescriptions filled and another cup of weak coffee, please, with a piece of cherry cobbler. These are not the people of the future. They are being used as an excuse by the media and the old political parties to not see the pit into which we are falling.
The politicians, once Republican, who have prostrated themselves at Trump’s feet have edged steadily in the direction of hysterical posturing and violent gesticulations to their base, to hell with everyone else. This is a steady increase in volume with no other changes. Those who might have suddenly found reality have either already been voted out, quietly retired, or abandoned any effort at reelection. These last groups represent a significant number, around 104, in the House of Representatives with more retiring everyday.
This is a very frightening type of ideological cleansing. How far this can go is made clear daily by William Barr and Trump’s less bright goons in Congress.
The daily review of polls and expeditions to ‘fly over’ country holds firm with declared Republicans unwilling to consider any change regardless of the level of criminal activity. This is not normal. It is a condition that now rests directly on the heads of our national media. Maybe they’ve been looking in the wrong places or had too much weak coffee.
We know the US’s archaic and crippled representational system is heavily weighted to the white elite and the people remaining in the midwestern diners. Without structural change, driven by galvanizing leadership, nothing will change until the crumbling cliff gives way and panic sets in, too late.
With an ignorant and mentally ill person in the White House fully under the control of Putin and, seemingly, dedicated to Russian interests first and his own pockets second, and a corrupt Congress unable to do anything but rehashed trade bills or fascist insults, there is little hope to be had. That Nancy Pelosi, a consummate old school politician committed to the eternal normal, stated that with Trump all things lead to Russia, is a stark. That no one has followed up on that in the media is just as stark.
It is also included in the media stream for everyone that we don’t have anyone with the charisma of Obama to jar people from their rut. Trump has few skills but he can generate continuous fear, uncertainty, and outrage. He also has the Fox media network and Russian GRU social media forces to control the less aware and fully manipulated populations in the few ‘swing’ states that still matter in our system.
The weakness is the timid allusions to Russian influence when the reality is Russian control. That the Mueller Report did not convict Trump and his cohorts of Russian collusion fully exhibits that collapse of hope in the US. That report presented all the evidence of Trump’s control by Russian interests but evidence is blocked by fear and incidentally an incredible struggle to prevent access to Trump’s financial records to allow, what must be, a multiyear cleanup. And that fear among the official media makes it possible to say that there is no proof of Russian influence and control of Trump. Yet the proof of that is public in the Mueller Report.
The endless muddling of the media is what needs to be watched with an eagle eye to determine minute changes in the level of accepted absurdity. When will the despicable and criminal become too much? When will climate disasters destroy the base of our neoliberal illusion? When will the obeisance to Russia become official ritual as it already has in the Trump Party?
That the main elements of the media have refused to accept Trump and Putin’s Ukraine conspiracy is a positive sign just as Trump’s impeachment is positive. But the Putin propaganda line keeps being shouted by the regime. We all know that the impeachment will be dispensed with by the corrupt Senate. History shows that denial of constantly repeated propaganda slowly erodes as the lies all becomes so common that they must be true. The media know this but, again, only says it quietly as their profits could be affected.
And we are tripped up by are constant battle for media eyeballs causing any scandal or crisis to become old news and unsaleable in days or a week at most. That is our capitalist media, again, that works only for profit and greed. A momentary stand for honesty and the public interest is not a profitable commodity. Already most people don’t care and if they do, momentarily, they will forget about it tomorrow.
The success of Boris Johnson in the British election is, I think, a clear sign of exhaustion in societies that have dispensed with all virtues but greed. Lies must simply be repeated as easy, feel good memes as we have been trained by a hundred and fifty years of advertising. The political message is that all problems are the fault of the others, whomever they are.
Lock it down. Buy and kill the competition if you can’t kill it more cheaply. The mass must be kept comfortably poor and permanently in debt. They never notice, then, what happens down the road from the comfortable diner.
But that is only the old, declining world. Soon they will be gone. And the rest of us with them if we don’t take control.