This backlash has nothing to do with the fatally flawed candidate himself or the supremacist groups rallying to his idiot banner. And everything to do with one of the worst economic climates for working Americans in U.S. history and an opponent who appears to be more closely aligned with the monied interests responsible for it.
Those who appear to be cashing in on political corruption, like Hillary Clinton, have to work their asses off for even the smallest political gain in this kind of populist environment. Like a salmon swimming upstream to spawn.
Desperate Americans are lashing out at beneficiaries of the status quo any way they can now that legitimate populist Bernie Sanders has been sidelined. For many voters, that means gravitating toward the lesser machine politician in a race which pits two Wall Street darlings against one another.
Don’t look for that kind of context from big national news organizations like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fox News, Bloomberg News and MSNBC.
What’s left of the shrinking U.S. news herd isn’t good for much. And it shows.
Newsroom employment fell 42 percent to 32,900 jobs in 2014 from 56,400 in 2000, according to the annual newsroom employment census by the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Even as our national population was growing 13 percent to 319 million.
The handful of meaningful news outlets left in this country seem to have less economic diversity on their news teams with each passing year as 1 Percenters like the Sulzbergers and Murdochs continue to hire their friends from prep school and the country club. The result is an increasingly elitist news media which is increasingly blind to the world as it really exists outside the DC, New York and LA privilege bubbles.
The few remaining working class scribes don’t stick their necks out any more and have learned to turn a blind eye to the rising American caste system.
That’s one of the unintended consequences of sanitizing your newsroom staff of anyone willing to make a principled stand.
Instead of crusading reporters and editors, we now have a news media comprised of fawning sycophants and sheltered silver spoons. One which Richsplains events to us by completely ignoring class warfare.
These second stringers habitually ignore exploitative labor practices like the now common trimming of older workers to lower corporate health insurance expenditures, and the pressuring of younger workers to work overtime for free. Most of them have no idea that we now have over-the-road truckers in this nation who live and work in their trucks seven days a week while earning less than half the minimum wage.
Cause most of today’s hipster journalists have never done blue collar work and don’t know anyone who has. They don’t think working with your hands is cool and the articles they generate are often useless for critical analysis because of such idiotic blind spots.
For example, the gist of most of their stories about Trump’s rise vis-a-vis Hillary Clinton is that the pursuit of journalism balance is generating a kind of false equivalency between the two candidates. One that’s leveling an illegitimate Republican with a legitimate Dem, according to the “When a Crackpot Runs for President” column by Nicky Kristof of The New York Times.
Trump is a fatally flawed candidate. There’s no doubt about that.
However, the pampered pundits of the mainstream news media fail to realize Hillary is even more flawed in the eyes of the faltering middle class.
Because she’s grown rich by embracing the monied interests exploiting them. The Clintons and Bushes have become icons for the two political machines in that respect, which is why Jeb Bush took such a drubbing in the Republican primary.
Say what you like about the fringe candidates who were crowded into the GOP clown car during the primary, there’s no question the hyper-competitive process yielded a populist candidate for a populist election. Trump is a ridiculous kind of populist, given his Stage-4 Affluenza, but he does talk the talk between Tourette’s-like piques of entitled nonsense.
Trump’s intermittent populism compares favorably with Hillary’s feeble attempts to convince American workers she really cares about them. The former “Goldwater Girl” has an unfortunate proclivity for delivering speeches about income equality while sporting designer outfits that cost more than many people’s cars. Case in point, the $12,495 Giorgio Armani tweed jacket she sported during an April speech in New York.
Democratic Party insiders combined a relentless series of rule changes with their ridiculous superdelegates to stymie the will of the electorate and select Hillary Clinton as their nominee. They’re paying the price right now for those Star Chamber machinations, which tied them to a couture candidate in a Carhartt election.
End of story.
It doesn’t mean the Dems won’t win, but they’re doing a helluva job of making it look really, really hard.
This election comes on the heels of tens of millions of Americans losing their homes to predatory lending and foreclosure fraud; their jobs to offshoring and treasonous profit growth; their health to the outrageous individual workloads driving corporate productivity gains; and their savings to the scandalous prices now charged by hospitals, for-profit colleges and payday lenders.
Many of those victims, as well as their friends and relatives, rightfully blame the venal Republican and Democratic political machines for those travails.
Wall Street investment banks were allowed to run the modern equivalent of their own currency printing presses during the Clinton and Bush administrations.
They cranked out new investment vehicles of dubious integrity during this time, geometrically increasing the units of currency being traded globally. These devices include mortgage backed securities and synthetic investment vehicles, whose inflated values were often little more than wishful thinking.
These excesses gave us The Great Recession, an 18-month-long economic contraction which began on December 2007. They also left us with a staggering global debt of $240 trillion, against just $78 trillion worth of actual goods and services.
It was during the Clinton and Bush administrations that then Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan infamously asserted that markets could do a better job than government regulators of policing predatory lending and mortgage fraud.
Never mind that the scenario he foresaw doesn’t become true until after you have a huge pile of broken middle class families who have lost their homes and no longer trust the U.S. mortgage industry. Which is precisely where we are now.
The Clintons – both lawyers – have received $153 million in “legal” bribes from big banks and the like by categorizing these payoffs as speaking fees.
This epic political scam, which occurred over more than a decade, has been obscured by the steady drumbeat of frivolous charges leveled against them by the Republican Noise Machine. However, the speaking fees represent political corruption on a grand scale and may be the single most lucrative political crime in U.S. history.
By comparison, the reptilian Trump looks like Tiny Tim saying “God bless us, every one” in A Christmas Carol.
Both the Democratic and Republican parties have sold out to global monied interests and their lobbyists in recent years, fostering a House of Lords Congress with a median net worth of $1.03 million per member and record low approval ratings. That figure compares with just $56,000 for the average American household.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – who has been accused of using her Congressional exemption from insider trading rules to enrich herself – has somehow managed to amass an incredible $88 million despite spending virtually her entire life in “public service.” It’s a safe bet she is not alone.
The insider trading exemption creates yet another loophole for legalized bribes, via tips from CEOs about upcoming developments which might impact their company’s stock prices. Like a new government contract.
It’s pure political corruption. Sans consequences.
Why else would a shameless grifter like Trump want in?
If you’re one of the journalists who think it matters that I just mentioned another Democrat here with Pelosi, instead of one of the many corrupt Republicans, you’re part of the problem. Because you still think political affiliation matters.
It doesn’t. Not when both major parties have forsaken working Americans for global monied interests.
And not when the faltering middle class has been struggling for basic economic survival since 2008 and exhausting more and more of their savings and credit with each passing year. They see fuckers getting rich off Wall Street in both parties, and they see the rest of us.
Guess which group they think Hillary Clinton belongs to?
Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton received $600,000 a year from MSNBC to serve as arguably the single most incompetent national correspondent in the history of U.S. journalism. The same news organization handed out similar undeserved gigs to the sheltered, pampered and criminally unprepared daughters of Republicans George W. Bush and John McCain even as thousands of veteran journalists were being laid off.
That kind of class warfare represents the foundation of the present climate of populist desperation Trump is now cavorting in like a hog in a North Carolina manure lagoon.
The national news media has been equally tone deaf to the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements, and the battle against a supremacist energy industry now being waged by the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies in North Dakota. They’ve given a free ride to recent exports of fossil fuels by an energy industry that routinely justified drilling offshore and drilling in the arctic by citing the need for U.S. energy security.
We reduce that security when we export our fossil fuel reserves instead of consuming them domestically or leaving them in the ground for our children and grandchildren.
Elitist DC journalists like silver spoon Tucker Carlson simply don’t understand why such profit growth initiatives should be scrutinized. The result is often a vain search for answers to questions their raging affluenza makes them ill equipped to fathom.
Apparently, in the country club world it’s OK to create a society which completely favors the rich and marginalizes the rest of us. So long as you wrap it in the correct political rhetoric and ignore the vestiges of class warfare all around you.
It’s OK to reduce the percentage of working class Americans with a job to a 20-year low; and it’s OK to create a society where people have to work themselves sick to have any job security, but lose all their savings the first time they’re hospitalized from overwork.
It’s OK to craft a society where working class children become debt slaves as college freshmen; where workers have no dignity and no political representation; where the profit growth agendas of multinationals trump all other human considerations; and where the children of the “representative” elected leaders directing our military and public school system neither serve in them nor attend them.
But most of all, it’s OK for the denizens of our privilege bubbles to Richsplain to the rest of us what’s really going on in our world. Even when they have no idea, whatsoever, and are incapable of cleaning their own homes, changing their own automobile tires, shoveling the snow from their own walkways, baiting their own fishing hooks, or even turning a Phillips screwdriver.
Instead of pondering the dreaded CW question, this generation of wealthy fools is now pointing the finger at one another and wondering if beat reporters and their editors are trading access to Trump for favorable coverage. As if they do not habitually engage in such behavior with Hillary, Obama, Pelosi and Ryan.
Here’s what’s really going on…
The middle of the Bell Curve is going to get more desperate with each passing year as the Too Big to Fail multinationals on Wall Street continue to pursue record profit growth by any means necessary. The faltering middle class will continue along that path so long as the rich keep insulating themselves in their privilege bubbles from the damage they’re doing to the rest us.
You don’t have to be a genius to figure out when you’re excess population in the eyes of your fellow Americans. Or to comprehend that this self destructive societal behavior is not going to have a happy ending.
Only an educated idiot would think otherwise.
That’s why the number of working class whites, ages of 45 to 54, who are dying from suicide, alcohol use and drug use is up 22 percent since 1999 in a world where older workers are routinely trimmed to make way for cheaper and younger replacements. And that’s why an incredible 22 military veterans are now committing suicide every day as they search fruitlessly for a way to pay their bills.
Saying it isn’t so will not reverse these trends.
The only way to accomplish that goal is to bring our factories back from China and our call centers back from India; give America’s proud workers and veterans the dignity they deserve in the workplace; rein in corporate greed; and begin to scale back military spending and the global military empire.
Every year a laid-off worker has to tap their savings or credit for basic survival is a year in which their financial situation gets worse. Not better.
This has been going on for many of us since 2008.
Because this economic recovery is a paper recovery which actually reflects corporate profit growth while ignoring the middle class balance sheets which are being pilfered to support it.
Ten dollar an hour jobs do not replace $25 an hour jobs, especially with the cost of health care surging every year behind the avarice of the American Medical Association.
Embracing a nonsensical unemployment rate which goes down when people exhaust their benefits or fail to look for work one week is not going to change the fact that a huge portion of America’s workers are either unemployed or ashamed of their jobs.
Allowing banks to engage in foreclosure fraud and predatory mortgage lending without criminal consequences is not going to change that.Neither is letting them put loan sharks out of work behind the kind of high lending rates which used to be criminal.
Same is true for gaming U.S. inflation data by embracing substitution – i.e. hamburger for steak – to obscure surging prices at the cash register.
The one thing Trump has gotten right is that the true percentage of Americans without work is ridiculous – roughly 40 percent.
Using statistical sleight of hand to suggest otherwise is like telling a rape victim she brought it on herself. Especially for those of us who have been laid off or fired.
That’s why Trump is doing so well, even though he embodies the Crackpot 1 Percenters who have created this unsustainable situation.
It’s not Trump’s strengths which are driving his polling gains, but Hillary’s weaknesses. Her penchant for corruption, her condescending lies, and her aristocratic and authoritarian ways. The candidate oozes the kind of holier-than-thou ethos long associated with hereditary monarchs.
Hillary is viewed as being even closer to Wall Street than Trump at a time when monied interests are so universally despised the big investment firms dare not commission a survey to gauge their own approval ratings. Out of fear it will be leaked by their own people.
The faltering middle class sought peaceful change via Occupy Wall Street and got beaten with police batons at the direction of 1 Percenter Michael Bloomberg, and disparaged by the elitist journalists at The New York Times, MSNBC and Fox.
The faltering middle class tried to vote for positive change behind a positive populist candidate in Bernie Sanders. And the senator from Vermont was subjected to every dirty trick in the book by Team Hillary and disparaged – yet again – by the elitist journalists at The New York Times, MSNBC and Fox.
It is trying to rein in our out of control energy industry in North Dakota right friggin now in the face of similar hostility from the corporate media.
What was it Einstein said?
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting for a different outcome.” Right?
In that context you have to marvel at anyone who wonders why the remaining members of the faltering middle class now are trying something completely different instead of going quietly to an early grave.
I agree with those beneficiaries of the status quo who say Trump is not a legitimate candidate, but Hillary is the preferred candidate of one of the two big machines. Whereas Trump is widely reviled by the GOP machine.
That makes Hillary just as illegitimate and repugnant to many voters as the two political machines which have betrayed their trust.
In their minds, the machines now represent Wall Street. Not Main Street. And they’re right.
That’s why I can safely assure you that both the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement and The Keystone Pipeline will be approved by our venal president and Congress by the end of 2017 in one form or another.
Because they’ve already been paid for.
That’s the beginning and the end of the political conversation right now for those of us who have been on the business end of this economic downturn since 2008.
The nature of a candidate’s genitalia has absolutely nothing to do with either that climate or their fitness for office.
People are ready to vote for anything but more of the same, and they’re becoming more and more ready with each passing year. Workers and their families desperately want to vote against Wall Street and against those selling access to elected office to the higher bidder. Failing that, they’re clearly shifting their anger to those closest to the two political machines which have betrayed our democracy.
Most would much rather vote for a fellow American who represents their hopes and aspirations. Someone who puts our national welfare ahead of the so-called “Great Game” of transforming the globe into hostage markets and slave labor for Wall Street.
Sadly, that is not an option right now in our broken democracy. Any more than reading an intelligent discussion in our national news media about the role in this election of nearly 40 years of unremitting class warfare by the rich. For themselves. And against everyone else.
The chart below represents the percentage of Americans with a job. Any job. Even a crappy job they’re ashamed of.
The drop it illustrates would be even more precipitous if this data focused only on the 16-64 age cohort. Or just those of us over 45. Instead, this data includes kids and retirees.
As you can see, it tells a very different story than the official unemployment rate of 4.9 percent, which is part of the chart beneath it. Four percent would represent full employment – in theory – if all workers actually were being counted. Because a certain amount of churn by job changers is considered normal and healthy by economists.
If you want to understand America right now you have to understand the difference between these two charts, each of which tells a completely different story about exactly the same thing.
You have to understand the difference between the useful fiction of the official unemployment rate, which says the labor market is grand, and the painful truth conveyed by the employment-to-population ratio, which says it sucks.
On paper, just about everybody has a job, but in reality about 40 percent of us have no work. Those with jobs are being paid less and asked to do far more than ever before.
Wall Street’s unwavering commitment to annual corporate profit growth – by any means necessary – dictates that this dynamic will only worsen.
The result is a widening gap between the comforting fiction of America embraced by the residents of its privilege bubbles and the painful truths the rest of us struggle with every day.
Chief among those painful truths is that these are not the best of times for most Americans.