By Jerry Alatalo
he British politician and member of the Labor Party for 47 years, Tony Benn (1925-2014), once observed that corporate media owners used their powerful communication assets to produce apathy, hopelessness and resignation in the minds of those fighting for positive social change – such as the millions now supporting Senator Bernie Sanders for president.
If Tony Benn were alive today he would certainly have given a strong endorsement of Sanders for President of the United States, known full well the corporate media owners’ plans, and called them out beginning with Sanders’ announcement to run some 11 months ago in his home state of Vermont. Sadly, Tony Benn is no longer available to help the Sanders campaign as he passed away two years ago at the age of 88.
Perhaps the most astonishing and frustrating development in the 2016 election has been how efficiently media owners’ efforts have succeeded – producing the precise apathetic perceptions in citizens’ minds they sought when determining their course of action after Sanders’ announcement and subsequent growing popularity. Doubly astonishing and frustrating has been how men and women self-described progressives have also fallen for media manipulation of their perceptions into varying states of apathy.
When college student Bernie Sanders was arrested in Chicago protesting segregation during the 1960’s, Hillary Clinton was working for the presidential campaign of Republican Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater. Goldwater was a leading opponent of landmark civil rights legislation. Thus far in the 2016 election, for whatever reasons, Clinton gained substantially more delegates in deep southern states, with those delegates accounting for her lead today.
Fortunately for the Sanders campaign and its supporters, voting in southern states for the 2016 election determining the Democratic nominee is history and over, and the second half of the Sanders-Clinton battle in all polls promises strong gains, renewed momentum for Sanders. Now the major question becomes whether or not progressive men and women across America will allow themselves to continue being manipulated by the media – succumbing to apathy, “inevitability” and defeat – or wake from their slumber, unite, and fight the good fight. This has been throughout history, and will remain for all time, the stuff – the reality – of accomplishing any peaceful, genuine, positive political revolution.
With all due respect for fellow progressives who support Green Party candidate Jill Stein (this writer supports both Mr. Sanders and Ms. Stein) and/or have criticized Sanders during election 2016, think deeply about what it means for America and the world if Hillary Clinton becomes the 45th President of the United States. Is it not of paramount and foremost importance to act forcefully using all options available and necessary, accelerate the greatest united effort in American political history, and finally put an end to that potentiality?
Whether Sanders or Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, Jill Stein will still be there. Do progressives want to see debates between Sanders, Trump and Stein or Clinton, Trump and Stein? Think deeply about the different consequences for humanity which will manifest on Earth from those choices – the most likely (2) remaining outcomes for the 2016 presidential race.
A realistic current assessment of the 2016 presidential election leaves one with no other conclusion: the American people – in particular, those in the progressive movement – are now facing an unprecedented, historic, profoundly vital moment of truth.
(Thank you to Bernie 2016 at YouTube)