I had a "pointed discussion" with my wife this morning. In reality, I should probably stop talking to her about "this stuff" and just share my thoughts at other venues, since I do admit I keep asking the same question. Usually the "heated debate" starts by me saying something like "I'm very perplexed as to why there seems to be a total lack of understanding within the current progressive movement about the danger we are facing right now, in this country, and more alarming, a lack of strategic nationwide coordination."
The conversation sometimes "deteriorates" into "So somehow you think you are able to clearly see these dangers, and know what needs to be done, but all these other well-connected people with think tanks, and funding, backers, huge networks, don't?"
So hopefully, this will give some of my regular reader critics some vindication: I'm driving my own wife crazy!
I'm not going to use one of my favorite "F" words to describe the dangers I see coming, and instead will lay out the narrative (so you can draw your own conclusions).
The billionaire class is funding the political dysfunction, including the calls for "austerity." The actual reasons they are funding these efforts has nothing to do with concern about the budget, national debt, or long-term sustainability of so-called entitlement programs. They are doing it to subjugate and exploit the population, plain and simple.
Austerity: They are plunging hundreds of millions of dollars into a and elaborate nationwide propaganda campaign to push economic austerity policies. In a Huffington Post op-ed by Robert L. Borosage today, "Will Half a Billion Bucks Buy a New Recession?" he reports that:
One major contribution comes from the money and monomania of Pete Peterson, a Wall Street billionaire who has committed about half a billion bucks rousing hysteria about deficits and debt. Today, The Nation and the Center for Media and Democracy are releasing an expose of Peterson and his latest front -- the Fix the Debt coalition, with a new detailing the background at CMD's SourceWatch.orgFunding Gun-nuts: They are behind every lunatic conspiracy theory out there, meant to rile up anger and paranoia in the hearts and minds of every single gun-nut in the country, many of whom harbor racist, nativist, ultra-nationalist, and extreme religious fundamentalist views. Think about that. Why are the Koch Brothers, and organizations like ALEC be funding stand-your-ground (license to kill) laws? Or conceal-carry (everywhere) laws? And now those gun-nuts are being organized into paramilitary groups, with the worst example being in Arizona, under the crazed Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The country is currently stressed. There is great discontent about the transparent government cover up of financial crimes by Wall Street. Millions of people remain unemployed, underemployed, and in a state of economic insecurity. We now have a two-tiered judicial system; one increasingly onerous, punishing and draconian for average citizens, and one for the rich and powerful, where prison time is not a possibility.
The current OCD frantic, and increasingly vitriolic debates about the gridlock in Washington is adding to the generalized apprehension among the public.
All this is being funded, paid for, and has been carefully planned by these billionaires and the propaganda groups they've set up:
Peterson has thus far committed about $500 million of his fortune to the campaign on deficits, paying for a mighty Wurlitzer of propaganda,Do you guys see what's going on here? They want to bring down the government! Also, please stop focusing on whether what Republicans are doing is popular or not. That's not the issue. This is scorched earth mentality. They will go to any extent to bring down the government; to create havoc, chaos, confusion; to instigate apprehension, fear, anger. That's the game-plan--fully planned and paid for by the billionaires and their groups.
He has funded ersatz national "town meetings," sprinkled think tanks right, center and left with grants, sponsored national conferences and events. He's seeded what the National Journal calls "a loose network of deficit hawk organizations that seem independent but that all spout the Peterson-sanction messages" on deficits -- including the Concord Coalition, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, America Speaks, and Comeback America.
He launched his own news service -- the Fiscal Times -- feeding articles to increasingly cash-strapped newspapers. He purchased both ad campaigns and the tendentious IOUSA documentary that received national screening. He sponsored bipartisan commissions to develop debt reduction plans, including partnering with and helping to staff and promote the President's "bipartisan commission," known for the co-chairs, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.
Finally, and getting back to my wife, I keep telling her, "How is it possible that all these great minds within the progressive movement appear to be mainly focusing on 'putting out fires,' drifting their attention from one dastardly act committed by the right wing loonies, to the next, or just focusing on electoral politics?"
I tell here, "Gosh, how hard would it be for MoveOn, and Daily Kos, and Bold Progressives, and CREDO, and ColorOfChange, and the SEIU, and the ACLU, and EFF, and Occupy Wall Street, to reach out to each other, form strategic groups, and deploy counter-propaganda campaigns nationwide, relentlessly, very focused, very strategic, very poignant?"
The Left is not engaged (at all) in the propaganda war (it seems to me). There seems to be a collective lack of understanding of how important this is. It seems to me that engaging in a counter-propaganda campaign should be the number one priority of the entire progressive movement, everything else being secondary.
Don't believe me? See how they (the billionaires) do it. It all starts with propaganda, misinformation, and false narratives... Lot's of which the Left keeps repeating, or falling for.
I'm so frustrated about this that I came up with my own idea to do a people-funded "Social Justice National Ad Campaign." But really, I'm not too concerned about whether people back my own project or not. I just want to see somebody do it; somebody with more resources, more contacts, more reach.
Right now, I'm not seeing it. There should be TV ads across the entire country; full-page ads; gatherings, teach-ins, seminars, rallies, protests. People should be doing research about corruption, and exposing that information to the public. Flyers, posters, mailings, across the country, constantly, non-stop, relentless; letting people know how they are being lied to. Educating them about the manufactured crises paid for with billionaires' monies.
Anyways, why am I bothering with this stuff. This is above my pay grade. Can some of the big honchos of these progressive organizations take a look at these ideas?