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A weblog about the politics and affairs of the old and glorious City of Albany, New York, USA. Articles written and disseminated from Albany's beautiful and historic South End by Daniel Van Riper. If you wish to make a response, have anything to add or would like to make an empty threat, please contact me.

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March 22, 2016

The Presidential Distraction Examined

No one wants me to add my opinion to this noisy perverted election cycle but here it is anyway

After retreating from American minds for some ten years, the information controlling entity known as the Corporate Media has found a handle and appears to be dictating our thoughts once again. This phenomenon has become painfully evident with this absurd 2016 presidential election cycle, a horror show of misinformation that is designed to degrade our country thoroughly from top to bottom. Somehow the people who control the Corporate Media have shrugged off competition from the internet and taken complete control of this election, turning it into a vile sports contest distraction.

What alarms me the most is how almost no one that I talk to recognizes that the Corporate Media has seized control of their brains once again. Today is very much like the final decades of the 20th Century, when most people walked around parroting Corporate Media concepts and phrases as if those thoughts were their own. Unless an awful lot of people wake up in a hurry and realize they are being manipulated, I fear that we all are in for the start of some very bad times before this decade is finished.

It’s The Elephant’s Crap Spewing From His Mouth
It’s The Elephant’s Crap Spewing From His Mouth

A fringe minority recognizes the true reasons why Donald Trump is currently on a fast track to the White House. Yes, unless some sort of upheaval happens between now and November I think it likely he will be the next president. The thought of this dilettante rich boy spoiled brat taking nominal charge of our country is something we need to look square in the face if we want to survive as a society.

Now, I’m not going to suggest that the popularity of Trump can be explained by one thing, that is what so many scholarly thinkers and dumb fool pundits seem to be trying to do. There are, as the media content providers are fond of saying, Many Factors In Play here. This almost frantic tendency to try to simplify is actually a part of what’s disturbing about this presidential “race.”

What most commentators inside and outside the Corporate Media usually focus on is the One Big Reason for Trump’s popularity. It’s like his popularity baffles them and needs to be not merely explained but explained away. Almost without exception these commentators hand down their explanations from on high with the attitude of “those people” are being manipulated by arcane forces, as if the commentators themselves are immune from those forces.

Actually, Hitler Was Smarter Than Trump And Started Out With Less Privileges
Actually, Hitler Was Smarter Than Trump And Started Out With Less Privileges

One basic cause of Trump’s popularity that rarely gets mentioned is that he is a longtime TV star. Apparently his authoritarian bullying of working people on that “You’re Fired” series or whatever it was called made Trump’s image on the TV screen a welcome guest in all kinds of living rooms. Familiarity is often the key to popularity just as it is the key to tolerance and acceptance, for all too many people Trump’s image is one of the family. But that’s just the beginning of the explanations.

Another cause of his popularity that thanks to the Black Live Matter movement gets more exposure is Trump’s dance with racism. I don’t wish to upset anybody here, but racism is not a major reason for his appeal, rather it is an ugly symptom. Racism has been presented by Trump and by the Corporate Media as an acceptable outlet for genuine anger and frustration with the failed Neocon Corporatist economic policies that this country has been saddled with since Ronnie Reagan. Let me try to explain this further.

At the core of Trump’s popularity is the enthusiastic support of white people who are working class and working poor, the fastest growing economic class in America today. If some of those commentators ever bothered to lower themselves enough to actually talk to some of these white working folks they would quickly discover that what almost all of them admire about Trump is that he can and does say almost any damn thing that he wants and can get away with it. Actually, a handful of commentators have picked up on this, but none of them that I’ve seen have the faintest clue why this apparently anarchic freedom of expression so overwhelmingly appeals to working people.

Seriously, this is almost universal, I hear it constantly. The Corporate Media is fond of showing to middle and upper middle class people those particular Trump-supporting working class and working poor people who are undeniably dingdongs and nitwits. This is a very deliberate tactic. It reinforces the widespread impression among the middle and upper middle classes that “those people” are all simple minded idiots and that these hordes of simple minded idiots are out there somewhere elevating this elite con artist from New Yawk City to the top of the heap. (For brevity I’ll call the working classes and the middle classes each by one name.)

The Disposable Working Class
The Disposable Working Class

The explosive growth of the white working class means that a lot of white people who formerly have been or expected to become middle class are experiencing downward mobility. Meanwhile those who have always been and have always expected to be working people are also experiencing downward mobility. What this bland phrase “experiencing downward mobility” means is that life is getting harder and living conditions are deteriorating steadily with no hope of improvement in sight.

I see this right here in my neighborhood in Albany, middle class white folks (and some middle class black folks) forced to give up their expensive unsustainable houses in the suburbs and moving into easier to pay for apartments in the City. This is widely understood to be a national trend. In Albany there is a serious apartment shortage. Partly because of this trend the population of the City is expected to rise steadily for the near future, the first time since the 1950s.

Of course, once Albany becomes economically vibrant again, the upper classes will start eyeing the sustainable urban center and start taking possession of it, gentrifying poor and working class neighborhoods. Eventually the very poor will be driven to the suburbs, statistics show this Flight Of The Poor is already happening locally. But that’s a whole other story.

Former Re-pub Candidate Ben Carson, The Stupidest Neurosurgeon In America
Former Re-pub Candidate Ben Carson, The Stupidest Neurosurgeon In America

This might come as a shock to middle class persons, but the vast majority of working class people of any color are not stupid, or rather, no more stupid than middle class people are. Both classes are subject to the same controlling forces, both classes are just as easily manipulated. Both classes have mindlessly succumbed to the decades-long effort to divide them and set them against each other, causing them to regard each other as The Other.

But see, in this country no one except the very upper classes are allowed to think about class, if you do then you are labelled a Communist, and for some reason that is taboo. In fact, I’ve just lost several readers by merely pointing out that the taboo against Communism is mindless and outdated. For the record, I don’t like Stalinist Communism one bit, it is a Corporate style government and I believe no corporation has any right to any sort of political power, but of course that’s a politically incorrect perspective. In any case, the ideological Cold War ended like 25 years ago.

But this taboo against thinking about class is a central and serious problem. Because of that taboo, each class fails to recognize other classes. They only see their own class, and if they notice someone who doesn’t fit precisely within their own class they dismiss that someone as wrongheaded and perverse, “they just don’t know how to behave like proper persons.” And yes, this works in both directions, up and down.


For example, the middle classes regard working people as failed middle class people. They consider anyone who actually works with their hands as inferior, unable to achieve access to a job where they sit in an office like lumps and let their butts get fat for 30 years or so. As someone who was born into the working class and continues to work with my hands while living among the middle class, I get hit with these attitudes all the time. (I deal with it, no prob bob.)

Also because class is a taboo subject, the middle classes have not yet figured out that they are rapidly losing political power as a class. Middle class Baby Boomers in particular, who were born and came of age when the middle classes were still expanding, are probably the most unaware of this shrinkage. Middle class people rail against the apparently stupid people who support Trump, but it appears that no one important seems to give a damn what they think.

I should mention that I’ve been reading reports that a fair number of middle class Baby Boomers support Trump. This is easy to explain, Boom Babies have always been slaves to their TV sets, and Trump is a TV star. Thus they are the second largest group of his supporters, I’m surprised that the rest of my generation is not enthralled with his idiot box celebrity.

Meanwhile the expanding working classes look at the middle classes and feel class discrimination much more acutely than I do, for them it’s a much more serious matter. They notice all too well how their living conditions are steadily deteriorating, how it is getting harder and harder to get by. Along with that they feel quite rightly that any sort of freedom they might have had to try to get ahead has been systematically taken away from them.

A Nation Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand
A Nation Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

The vast majority of working people, like middle class people, can’t consider class issues because for them it’s taboo, but they can see damn well how the middle classes seem to be getting by okay at their expense. They also see and hear the middle class sneering at them, they catch the middle class attitude that those who do actual work for a living are not good enough. And although the cause of working class economic problems emanates from policies dictated by the very upper classes, the One Percent, working folks don’t see the filthy rich, they see the middle classes. And for sure the Corporate Media is not telling them who’s really responsible for their woes. But they see the middle class sneering all too clearly.

So the Corporate Media has encouraged working folks to blame their troubles on anybody else who seems to be doing better than they are or seem to be receiving opportunities and privileges that are routinely denied to them. “Liberals,” Black people, Eastern Urban Elites (but not Trump!) Gays, immigrants and foreign refugees, Muslims and anybody who looks like Muslims, etc. In fact just about anybody except the very richest of the richest rich boys and girls are fair game.

This is how the Corporate Media has snared control of working class whites, by giving them a language and an “acceptable” outlet for their justifiable anger. Since the early 1980s they have been taught that the middle classes are mostly “Liberals.” Generally, the definition of this word as a pejorative is “anybody I don’t like who thinks they’re better than me.” That makes “Liberal” a fine substitute for “Middle Classes” but without the class understanding.

“Ted” Cruz And A Younger Bill Murray: You’re Telling Me They’re Not Related?
“Ted” Cruz And A Younger Bill Murray: You’re Telling Me They’re Not Related?

So in this presidential election cycle we’ve been handed a nonstop circus of juvenile airhead brats called “Republican Candidates.” To the feigned surprise of the Corporate Media the brattiest and most juvenile airhead of all has emerged as the popular choice among the working classes, Donald Trump. As of this writing his only rival is far back in numbers, the much less flamboyant Canadian born juvenile airhead brat “Ted” Cruz (who is probably not the Zodiac Killer, certainly not the original one.)

Trump is leading the pack of these buttheads for a very simple reason. Every time I am in the presence of a TV for a few minutes I see or hear Trump. Every time I listen to some radio news show it starts to talk about Trump. Every single day the local paper newspapers feature Trump on their front pages, that particular media is mostly fed to Baby Boomers.

You can’t even look at cat pictures on the internet without scrolling down and seeing clickbait about Trump. You can’t escape him. It’s Trump Trump Trump every day and every night, ooh look he said something outrageous, hey he started a riot, oh boy the old boys in the Re-pub Party want to stop him but they can’t. Now the “Liberals” are all upset about Trump. Yeah, it’s like Trump is already in charge.

True, But Aren’t Those Protests Just Giving This Jerk More Publicity?
True, But Aren’t Those Protests Just Giving This Jerk More Publicity?

That’s why Trump is leading the polls among the rad righty Re-pubs. It’s true that the core of his popularity is driven by the oppressed working class whites who have identified with his blathering style of common touch. But because of that support he is the number one choice of all loyal Gops, both the politicians and the voters. The power of popularity impresses the Gops. Trump will be chosen as their candidate and they will all unite behind him in lockstep with the Corporate Media. You’ll see.

Of course Trump will make a lousy president, perhaps the worst we’ve ever had. Contrary to his carefully crafted image, he is lazy and ineffectual, basically a classic schoolyard bully who gets other people to do his work for him. He’ll get bored with the job almost immediately and hand over most of his power to the worst sort of manipulators, like George W. Bush and Ronnie Reagan did. Almost certainly one of those manipulators will be that scary criminal Carl Icahn.

Imagine if the Corporate Media had instead given us Bernie Sanders twenty four seven like they’ve been giving us Trump. Months of constant exposure along with Mr. Sanders’ very sensible comprehensive programs to begin to solve the problems foisted upon our society by the Neocon Corporate Elites, well, by now we’d be talking about President Elect Sanders. But of course the Corporate Elites are scared half to death of Mr. Sanders, so such Corporate Media exposure could never happen.

Aren’t They Lovely? Rupert Murdoch And His Best Boy Roger Ailes
Aren’t They Lovely? Rupert Murdoch And His Best Boy Roger Ailes

However, we keep hearing about all this Stop Donald Trump stuff from the Corporate Media without any explanation of exactly who wants to stop him or why. Sure, anybody with half a brain doesn’t want that lazy, privileged blowhard brat anywhere near the levers of power. But I’m not talking about regular folks, I’m talking about some very powerful, very clever but ultimately very stupid people who want to stop him from seizing the presidency purely for reasons of self interest.

You see, we are not witnessing “the disintegration of the Re-pub Party” as the mindless lying pundits have been telling us. What we are witnessing is a coup inside the Re-pub Party, a challenge to the Neocon Corporate Elites who have controlled both the Re-pub Party AND the Democratic Party for decades. Sensing popular dissatisfaction with the political and economic failures of the Corporate Elites, these upstarts are using this presidential cycle to seize control of the party machinery with their control of the Corporate Media.

Or they are trying to anyway. Trump is such an egomaniacal psychopath that he is hard to control by anyone, or at least it appears that way. But is he? It’s really hard to say if Trump is really fighting with his sponsors, such as Rupert Murdoch’s media outlets like FOX and the Wall Street Journal, or if this is a pose designed to show his supporters that he is “anti-establishment.” I think it’s a pose because if the people who control the Corporate Media really wanted to stop Trump they would simply stop covering him and impose a blackout like they’ve done with Bernie Sanders.

What we are seeing is that the Neocon Elites have lost control of the Corporate Media, and the up-and-coming Elites who control the Corporate Media have turned the working class against the Old Boy Elites. For too long the Old Boy Neocon Elites have depended upon the Corporate Media to hold power over the easily controlled American minds. But the Neocon Elites have not kept up with the changing technology behind mass mind control, and now the people who they have depended upon to do the dirty work of generating and feeding propaganda to the voters are shrugging them off.

Meanwhile The Adults Debate The Issues, Mostly Ignored By The Corporate Media
Meanwhile The Adults Debate The Issues, Mostly Ignored By The Corporate Media

Meanwhile, in the Democratic Party, the responsible adults have been discussing the issues that affect We The People the most. The two candidates talk about economic opportunity, trade deals, foreign policy, personal rights and personal freedom, equal access to services, that sort of thing. Almost none of these vital policy discussions get through the Corporate Media filter, you mostly have to go to the internet if you want to find out what the grown ups who are running for president are saying.

The Corporatist candidate for the Democratic Party is Hillary Clinton, the Elites find her acceptable to their interests. Granted, Ms. Clinton is a very palatable Corporatist, especially when compared to the pack of destructive sniveling Gops. Like Barack Obama she believes that if you want the cows to keep giving milk you have to feed them once in a while and give them some shelter from the elements. Meanwhile, the Re-pubs want to slaughter the cows so they can get all the milk at once, and then burn down the barn so they can collect on the insurance.

Bernie Sanders has shocked and terrified the Elites with his astounding popularity that owes almost nothing to the Corporate Media. Despite a total blackout followed by an intense negative campaign by the Corporate Media, Mr. Sanders continues to handily outpoll all of the Re-pub candidates in a general matchup, including Trump. Especially Trump. Ms. Clinton, who has been vilified by the Corporate Media nonstop since the mid 1990s, does not have anywhere near the popular appeal of Mr. Sanders outside the Democratic Party. All this is well known.

Tom Tomorrow Nails It
Tom Tomorrow Nails It

Sad to say, as of now it looks like Ms. Clinton is going to defeat Mr. Sanders for the Democratic nomination, a testament to Neocon Corporatist control of the party. Mr. Sanders is far from finished and could still win the nod, but for sure he is running behind Ms. Clinton inside the Democratic Party. It’s hard to say, naturally, but I don’t expect Ms. Clinton will defeat Trump. One would expect the Elites to back Ms. Clinton because she is a much more competent and responsible and can be controlled, but in this current political climate the support of the Elites could actually backfire badly.

Allow me to remind everybody that it is insanely easy to stuff the electronic voting machines, which are used in all too many states and cannot be inspected or their results confirmed because the software that runs them is “proprietary.” In 2004, 2008 and in 2012, now discredited Karl Rove set up elaborate networks to alter electronic voting results, this is well documented in federal court transcripts. Today there are plenty of local party functionaries, probably from both major parties, who know how to discreetly alter electronic data to favor one candidate or another.

In the general election I think it very likely that the electronic machines will be stuffed for Trump over Ms. Clinton. I wonder how much it costs to get a voting machine corporation to hand you a national election, and how much local elections cost to win. But no one is allowed to talk about that. This silence about this obvious problem at the heart of our voting process has always disturbed me greatly, and once again I feel very lonely in my fear.

Senator Sanders At The Chessboard, Vermont 2014
Senator Sanders At The Chessboard, Vermont 2014

But there is no denying that Mr. Sanders represents a movement toward reform and responsibility in government that is not going to go away, but likely is going to continue growing. Ms. Clinton, like all of the Re-pub politicians, is looking more and more like a dinosaur, a lingering relic of a past age that is fading away much too slowly. If Mr. Sanders does not become the candidate this year he is unlikely to try again because of his age. But he has shown the way for others to follow, new Bernies will arise.

The ray of hope here is that Mr. Sanders has done as well as he has despite being frantically opposed by the Corporate Media. It appears there is a younger up and coming electorate that completely dismisses the Corporate Media and therefore cannot be mind controlled by their propaganda. Perhaps this is why the Corporate Media owners are pushing Trump so blatantly, they know their time is running out and it’s now or never for them if they want to seize control of our society and impose an overt corporate dictatorship.

But I’ll vote for Ms. Clinton if she gets the nomination, the more palatable Corporatist, one more time the lesser of two evils. Very much less evil than the Re-pubs, I should add. I don’t plan to vote for the Green Party candidate Jill Stein or for any of the other third party candidates that get no exposure whatsoever in the Corporate Media and thus have no chance of even making a noticeable blip in the vote tallies. I’m sorry to say that would be a vote for Trump.

Like Mr. Obama, Ms. Clinton will continue to bomb countries for no reason and negotiate disastrous trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership that give away Constitutional power to foreign Corporations and deliver welfare to Wall Street. But Ms. Clinton will not behave like a Re-pub, she will not build walls on our borders to keep Americans from escaping, she won’t re-establish slavery, she won’t undermine abortion rights or gay rights or persecute Mexicans and Muslims and Jews and women and guys like me as dingbat Re-pub politicos like Trump or Cruz promise to do. At least I hope she won’t.

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Posted by:cek
Posted on:03/22/2016
I'm with you up to the last two paragraphs. I don't think that younger electorate that is electrified by Bernie is going to fall in line and vote for Clinton. The Democrats will lose them, and a lot of older Sanders voters as well. "I hope she won't" is not going to prevail against Trump, and it will likely cause the Democratic Party to be exposed as the hollow Wall Street Frankenstein it is -- and about time too.

Posted by:tkpwaeub
Posted on:03/29/2016
Okay, so maybe Clinton isn't perfect as far as my interests are concerned, but for heaven's sake, there's three hundred million of us! That's democracy for you.

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