I often criticize some elements of the left and the progressives for obsessing about anything Republican. What animates that criticism is that I see the phenomena as the result of the effects of manipulation by the corporate media conglomerates who, after all, own most of the media outlets used to disseminate "progressive" programming.
My point is that it amounts to a ruse, a lie, to manipulation, and it serves to distract people from conceptualizing what a true PROGRESSIVE movement would look like.
And since I'm referring to cognition, one cannot dismiss the power of propaganda. The right wing is, and always has been, the masters at it. I've been observing this phenomena for years, and as I've seen them tear down the regulatory infrastructure in order to pillage and defraud, buy off the two major political (corporatist) parties and turn their politicians into corrupt stooges used to help transfer wealth and power to the ruling elite, weaken the labor movement (union busting), and implement (what I consider) neo-fascist legislation (voter suppression, stand-your-ground, i.e., creation of armed right wing militia laws), I can't help but be in awe of how effective they are.
I'm sure many readers know how we got here: A group of thinkers, philosophers, and business leaders coalesce around a common world view based on laissez faire capitalism and set out to influence the entire socioeconomic landscape. They create think tanks (or marketing and public relations propaganda shops) like the American Enterprise Institute, CATO, the Heritage Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and (what I term) neo-fascistic organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and the National Riffle Association (NRA).
They then partner up with other (again, my interpretation) neo-fascistic groups in the form of fundamentalist religious organizations, taking advantage of the world-view nexus between ravenous capitalism and religious fundamentalism, based on the deep-seeded influence of puritanical thought in the fabric of the nation, which sees poverty, illness and misfortune as the result of sin, and wealth, blessings and abundance as the result of hard work and enterprise.
Then, they systematically go about taking all the steps necessary to implement that world view, working mainly outside the confines of democracy, by using accumulated wealth and power to buy off and influence the politicians (the great majority of them, in both parties), and hence taking control of the entire power structure.
And to my amazement and disappointment, I see the feeble progressive movement acting as a deer-in-the-headlights. Always reacting (more than taking "preemptive" action); always complaining about the meanies in the Republican party and the right wing, and corporations, and ALEC, and the NRA; always backing down, and explaining, and being apologetic. In total disarray, rejecting anything that has even an appearance of organization, discipline, strategy. Dissipating their energies on countless causes (environment, animal rights, workers' rights, pollution, too many fast food restaurants in certain neighborhoods, etc., etc.).
How has that worked out? Wealth and power continues to accumulate at the top, at a faster and faster rate; corruption in the entire system of government, from local municipalities, to counties, states, and the nation, continues to spread on our way to becoming a veritable Banana Republic; fascistic laws are passed at a faster and faster rate, across the entire country (violation of privacy; voter suppression; license to kill).
And then, those who could actually create a platform for a true and powerful progressive movement, like Van Jones, and others, end up diluting its power by creating the illusion that they are the real thing, while at the end of the day, they are just apologists of the system, and political operatives.
And so, sadly, what we end up with is a carefully-choreographed manipulation of liberals and progressives, which in actuality is not that dissimilar than that of the less intelligent FoxNews viewers, paid for by the same corporatist interests.
Progressives, pardon my French, but wake-the-fuck-up! Break free of this bullshit manipulation we are being exposed to every single minute of the day, 24/7. Think.
What would a true and powerful PROGRESSIVE platform would look like? That's the questions, ins't it. Yes, I understand that the exact answer to that is above my pay grade, but having a general idea should not be that hard. What is clear is that the liberal and progressive movement is moribund (Wisconsin recall notwithstanding).
Start with the media... If the outlets are owned by corporatist media conglomerates, then, ultimately, we are being fed the same bullshit as the (average) less intelligent conservatives, even if presented in different form.
Understand the nature of the two party system... It is basically a one-party corporatist (and utterly corrupt, and fascistic) system, with two wings that act as Good-Cop-Bad-Cop, but who serve the same (pay) masters.
Yes, if given the choice of voting for an outright fascist party (Republicans), vs. the more "humane" (but not less beholden to the corporatist hegemony), the Democrats, I will vote democratic. And yes, of the two corrupt corporatist party, I think there is a better change of reforming the Democratic party. But it would take a mighty struggle to eventually do that.
So a true powerful progressive movement would be truly independent and free of influence from the corporatist public relations propaganda shops that permeate the entire society, and it would be totally independent from the corrupt one-party (two wings) political hegemony.
It would be cohesive; it would have a clear set of bold goals. Here are three easy ones: One hundred percent unionization of the labor force; single payer universal health care; public financing of elections across the country (including local elections).
But here's the most important aspect: It would be in-your-face, unapologetic, unafraid, and share an almost cult-like conviction about its goals and aspirations for a better society. A society based on the rule of law, applied equally to all without bias or prejudice; a society that shuns and condemns excesses, extreme greed and avarice, and understands that one of the most important roles of government is to prevent dangerous accumulation of wealth and power into the hands of a few plutocrats.
The state of affairs of the progressive movement is so dismal, that some see the choices between what we have now (the faux "progressive" media programming, and self-serving "leaders") and a "guerrilla movement." That is absurd, and I would argue, that that is precisely the type of effect the manipulative media landscape is designed to engender.
You have to understand and conceptualize that what is truly radical, and criminal, and extreme, is the current state of affairs, where "corporations are people; my friends." Where a very small group of people have been able to pillage and plunder the nation's coffers with total impunity; where war profiteers have been feeding at the tit of America for far too long.
That is what is truly obscene, and radical, and extreme.
A progressive movement that fully understands that, and coalesces around the never-ending goal of forming a more perfect union, has some very simple (intellectual) tools at its disposal, including the U.S. Constitution, and the respect for knowledge, science, and the most sacred aspect of a true free and modern society, secularism.
Let's get to it...