Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Speaking About The Unspeakable Saying The Unsayable

In the aftermath of the successful ratfucking of the American election by the Putin family of crime organizations, here and abroad, the future of democracy here depends on looking hard at what they used, how they used it and how we can protect our democracy and ourselves against those.  Only a total idiot would refuse to look at how such an attack was done and, unfortunately, our media, our government, our courts are staffed by such idiots, such idiots are the major force which makes it almost certain that that won't be done because the truth of how it happened shatters a lot of our most basic and deeply rooted assumptions and beliefs.

OURSELVES.  Since the successful espionage against the United States was done through swaying our election, the basic unit of that corruption was the corruption of individual voters who were sold a line of lies which cause them to vote for Putin's asset, Donald Trump.  The means he did that was by introducing lies into peoples e-mails, into American media (more about which in a minute), successfully duping people into believing those lies, lies obviously constructed in a successful manner to sell, in the way of American advertising propaganda.   I don't have the least doubt that Putin and the successor of the KGB have some pretty impressively smart people studying the United States and other Western countries to try to figure out how to sell the lies they choose to.  We know for a fact that that is done, it's done here millions of times every hour through the American advertising industry which practically invented the most modern forms of selling through deception and lies and preying on our strongest weaknesses.  And in the United States, that's called "doing business" "free enterprise" and a number of other pseudo-sanctimonious bromides of canned civic virtue.  Those were sold to the American People by those very same methods.

It isn't as if how Americans sell Americans on lies is a carefully guarded trade secret, it's taught in universities and books about how to do it are published and sold.  For the illiterate, there are video courses with exactly that kind of come on.   TRUMP UNIVERSITY?  You might have heard of that? I will remind you that an educated Russian is far more likely to have read American literature than your average American college graduate.   Stupid is one thing the Russian intelligentsia is not.

And that comes to the part that our free press played in the Putin ratfucking of our election, virtually every part of the American media has played its part in both producing the anti-Democratic, anti-Hillary Clinton atmosphere, a campaign that has lasted over a quarter of a century and which continues, right now.  Freed of ever having to worry about being sued by public figures, the media from the gutter scrapings of FOX and the Murdoch empire, the supermarket tabloids, up through the other cabloids and up to the highest parts of the print on paper media, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the LA Times and, yes, that lefty media I am so critical of.  All of them prepared the seed bed that Putin planted his lies in, the ones which have flowered into a field of noxious, invasives

That freest of all free presses in our history, that freest of free cabloid and broadcast media also pushed the lies and propaganda that Putin used to put Donald Trump into office.  They gave Donald Trump, literally, billions of dollars worth of free air time, they reported every outrageous lie he told, they had on and still have on his people to tell those and more lies.  They touted every dump of stolen communications mixed with lies without any regard for whether or not they were true.  They helped in every way, even as they may have bleated their phony concerns and fears like Willie Wonka as played by the late great Gene Wilder.  They are still doing it.

As an aside, one of the more bizarre things the media has done is having on, generally figures of the alleged left, to complain that the criticism of what Putin was doing -even as he was exposed as ratfucking our election on behalf of a fascist, trying to destroy American democracy - that criticizing Putin and calling for protection of our democracy was unfair and was the fault of a bunch of "new cold warriors".   I will confess that when I read and hear that the first thing I wonder is if said scholar or journalist might not be getting money from Putin and his associated crime families as the head of the Communist Party, Gus Hall, was from the former Soviet regime, even as they claimed not to be.  I don't think I will ever read the likes of Stephen F. Cohen in The Nation (his wife's magazine) or elsewhere without wondering that, from now on.

And this gets me back to the thing which was most helpful in that,  the court rulings which freed the media to tell those lies, the Supreme Court rulings that I've criticized here dozens of times,  The Sullivan decision freeing media to lie with impunity, something they began using immediately in that war against progress I wrote about yesterday.  That decision came the year before liberal achievement reached its apex, only to be attacked under the post-Sullivan media rules by a media which installed Richard Nixon in the way it couldn't four years before that decision.  After that there came other rulings, Buckley v. Valeo which made money into speech so as to be as free as the Warren Court had made speech, which helped install Reagan who pretty much got rid of all media requirements of honesty and public service and who, lest it be forgotten, allowed the Aussie smut peddler, Rupert Murdoch into the country so he could buy American media, make FOX what it has become, driving the American mind and our politics into the wreck it became.  Under such a regime of such freedom, the American democracy became a rotten door that Putin hardly had to kick hard to knock down.

The American left, as it became ever more a pose of 18th century "enlightenment" libertarianism played a huge part in that, largely lawyers and writers working in the pay of the media and the more affluent, often college based white liberals who valued that more than traditional American liberalism of equality and moral responsibility.   That traditional liberal force, largely religious, which passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and those other Johnson administration laws was superseded as activism passed to the mostly white, more affluent college-based, activism which has driven American liberalism into utter disaster.

The restoration of American democracy will depend on huge changes to protect our democracy in a world which will be forever changed by modern media, modern communication.   The safety of what "free speech" and "free press" meant in an age of unamplified, direct, vocal communication and ink on paper can't be depended on anymore.  If democracy is to either be restored or preserved, just waving the First Amendment around is hardly adequate to protect it from a regime of lies sold by the corporate media and a resultant land of the lied-to that a Putin can exploit using the same permissions the media created his opportunity with.

Waving the First Amendment is how the ACLU, the court majorities in the Sullivan decision, Buckley V. Valeo, Citizens United, a myriad of other, minor court decisions, executive actions, etc. produced the conditions that Putin exploited.

If waving the First Amendment were enough, we would not have had such horrible presidents and congresses under that First Amendment absolutist regime.   It has made us vulnerable to a foreign despot installing his puppet in the White House, a man who we now know, after being warned by the sitting president and others, knowingly appointed a Putin assert as National Security Adviser, making it a position from which to destroy our national security, another as Secretary of State and, as Keith Olbermann pointed out, many other known Putin assets into other key government positions.

The courts are staffed by people who were trained to not think about things like the preservation of democracy, but to pretend the 18th century Constitution is a guaranty of freedom and democracy. The rare times that even Supreme Court members hint of being realistic about that, their training and professional ideology kicks in or kicks back.

I think that we are seeing the prophecy in the Gospels proved by its opposite, the truth will make you free, the lie will enslave you.   And lies sold through the exploitation of ignorance and weakness and misplaced piety are what got us here, today.

I am not optimistic that freedom, equality, a decent life will be restored during my lifetime.  The lies are too thickly planted, too well fed, too much in the interest of too many billionaires and millionaires, too easily believed because they are so well made to seduce us.   I don't have high hopes in some kind of economic disaster or violent catastrophe to restore that.  Those have a proven track record of only making it worse.  The only thing that I can see that will restore it is what produced it in the beginning, a belief that you were to do to others what you would have them do to you, to do to the least among you what you would do to God, and all of those other unstylish virtues contained in religion and nowhere else.

Making lies told about liberal public figures, such as Hillary Clinton actionable in a civil court would be a good first step.  If someone could be sued for such lying, Trump would have had to go on welfare.   He might threaten the media with such lawsuits but if they were fact checking, they would be safe from such threats.  Why they figured it wasn't their job to make sure what they were publishing was true is an interesting thing to consider and a direct result of their prized permission to lie.  Of course, it would be necessary to make those who brought frivolous charges pay the costs of those they sue frivolously.  That could be done.

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