Thursday, April 28, 2016

Most Agree With Sanders But Understand We Can't Elect Him...Why?

Noam Chomsky discussed this democratic quandary. We agree on what we want but we also agree we cannot have it.

Most Americans agree with Sanders.

Most are persuaded he is radical and impractical.

Therefore what most Americans want and believe in is radical and impractical. And we can't have that.

This is an undemocratic problem. It may also be the key rationale of voter suppression.

Public opinion seems driven not by what the public wants but by fiat from the persuaders, the persuading class, who are employed by the people with greater wealth.

(The rich persuasions are also obeyed by those with less wealth, who own for a living on a more modest scale, whose financial security is held hostage by equity markets, the people who have retired from working life and joined––as junior members––the body of those who “own for a living.”)

This conundrum is difficult to explain in one sentence, and therefore not useful in persuading people. Fiats are one sentence.

Experience is a better persuader. The persuading class uses hard experience against us. In most cases it is hard experience their rich clients have caused.

The psychological control exerted by the people with money is our larger problem.

The defection of retired workers is understandable; their sentiments run one way but their fears dictate the safer choice of doing what their money says.

For working people the rhetorical trick works like this:

They are earning less than their parents did, but the tax burden has been shifted off of the owning classes and onto them.

This persuades them that they/we cannot afford good government and public sector spending. (Even if government-run programs and projects are less wasteful and less expensive because they’re not driven by profit.)

Their experience of lack of money persuades working people that they do not DESERVE good government and public services.

You pay for what you get.

You get what you deserve.

What you cannot afford you do not deserve.

Hence those with riches are deserving, those living in poverty deserve nothing. Working hard has nothing to do with it.

Working for a living makes you less deserving than owning for a living. In this sense Americans are participating in a violent upending of fundamental American values.

We have returned to the brutality of an earlier age.

Hillary may accomplish more in the hurly-burly of Washington politics than Bernie would. Practicality has a place. But the demands of working people, the grievances of working people, are not radical, and practical politics can solve them if we don't relegate them to second class status, which is the danger right now.

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