My brother, who lives in England, reads my weekly scribblings for grins, I suspect.
He is what the English call a Conservative, no Socialist he, but admitted to me that he cannot understand the US electorate’s toleration of an incredibly unfair tax system and the velvet glove treatment of the wealthy. He drew my attention to an opinion piece from The Economist, that the USA is well along the way to creating the first democratically elected feudal state with a self-perpetuating elite.
It is a bit alarming, but it looks possible. If you are reading this I assure you, you are not now, nor will you ever be, a member of the 1%. You will be down here with the rest of us in the 99%. Horatio Alger’s stories were stories, not the historical reality of the USA. Unfortunately, moxie, hard work, etc. seldom provide the way up. Your chances are better in Europe.
I have just finished reading a book, “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” an unauthorized biography of Roger Ailes, the genius behind the creation of Fox News Channel. While the book leans toward a hatchet job, the parts dealing with the operations of Fox, how the narrative of Fox is created, why every Fox host has the same bee in his or her bonnet, is explained. The ladies of Fox are interchangeable as Stepford Wives, not by accident, but by design. Fox’ central thesis is that the “mainstream” media are lying to you and Fox creates an alternative reality. Fox creates a world of endless tension and conflict, producing plots and diversions where none exists.
Roger Ailes has been very candid about what he has created; a machine that generates a billion dollar profit every year and sells the best interests of the 1% consistently, week in, week out. Certainly the audience is small—five to six million people some nights—but the drumbeat is consistent and constant and it seeps into the national consciousness and eventually alters the terms of “reality.” That, of course, is the definition of brilliantly executed propaganda.
A recent piece on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show brought it all home in very funny fashion. Wasted on those who watch Fox, (a) they don’t watch Stewart and (b) they believe what they are told on Fox, because it fits what they already believe.
I note laudatory commercials in Steve Southerland’s behalf are now gracing our airwaves. Try subjecting each claim about Southerland “working for us” to the question, “Who’s Us and how did he help?” Claim, yes; evidence? No. Then look for the tiny type at the end of the spot, “Americans for Prosperity!” And who writes the checks for Americans for Prosperity? Why it’s our old friend David Koch. Now, which “Us” is Southerland working for?
If you are a typical American, none of that matters. You’ll vote against your own better interests because you’ve been carefully taught to do so. Right now we are a nation of sheep—Bahhhh! Just follow the bell.