Nothing has made me more exasperated and annoyed as the current climate of neo-McCarthyism that is slowly sweeping across what is supposed to be the liberal party. I expected this kind of conspiracy thinking on the right, but not the left. Furthermore, it is distracting many people from the best ways to fight President Trump.
The clearest analogy can be made to the Republicans’ assault on the Affordable Care Act. The entire attack was based on nothing but straw men and hyperbolic assertions made with no evidence. However, the eight-year assault was so successful it was able to make people on the right think that Obamacare was different than the Affordable Care Act. The part where the analogy comes in is that the Affordable Care Act was, in principle, a right-wing healthcare plan. The individual mandate was a gift to private insurers and the government only helped facilitate state-run exchanges. It was not even close to socialized medicine. Therefore, the Republicans couldn’t actually attack the policy itself.
Fast forward to the current Russian hysteria. I believe that it is being used as a distraction from the very real implications of the 2016 election. Clintonism is in its death throes and the progressive half of the base is hopping mad after Wikileaks confirmed what we had already known, that the entire media/Democratic establishment had cheated us out of the better candidate.
But this tweet by Glenn Greenwald was very indicative of the whole Putin/Trump connection and whether there is any actual evidence:
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 10, 2017
For those who were alive during the McCarthy era, it is strange how willing people are to believe that Trump is a Putin puppet. The Soviet Union and Russia today are actually very different economically. For example, Putin runs his country as a kleptocrat and an elected authoritarian. However, the economic system he uses is not communism or socialism, but capitalism. Capitalism is actually not naturally disposed to be compatible with democracy. Profit doesn’t recognize human beings as having any social value.
Regardless of all of the above, there are a plethora of good reasons and good lines of attack to go after Trump. The recent attempt to resurrect his Muslim ban is a good example of something that is worth attacking. Here are just a few good lines of attack against Trump and the Republicans:
- Trumpcare is a watered down ACA with millions of people projected to be removed from their healthcare. Furthermore, it is all to give billionaires a tax break.
- The Muslim ban is unconstitutional.
- Additional military spending is disgusting when Flint, Michigan still doesn’t have clean water.
- His cabinet is filled with incompetents who are not adequate to fulfill the duties for which they were hired.
- Jeff Sessions is a proven liar and racist, who should be nowhere near power.
- Trump has removed many media outlets from press briefings in a standard authoritarian move. However, the remaining outlets are actually conspiracy sites and right-wing hate rags like Breitbart and InfoWars.
- The Republicans are not able or willing to govern. Their ideology is actually dangerous to even their own base.
The media, as horrible as they are, need to be treated with a modicum of respect. But the Democrats are so afraid of taking responsibility for their failure in the last election that they are willing to ally with the Deep State and the only unaccountable part of our government. The CIA has overthrown democratically elected leaders and fostered tyrants. They are not accountable to checks and balances and this is a problem.
Glenn Greenwald’s recent article on The Intercept speaks about the current fear mongering about Russia in a far more eloquent way than I ever could:
She now has a new article in the New York Review of Books – entitled “Russia: the Conspiracy Trap” – that I cannot recommend highly enough. Its primary purpose is to describe, and warn about, the insane and toxic conspiracy-mongering about Russia that has taken over not the fringe, dark corners of the internet that normally traffic in such delusional tripe, but rather mainstream U.S. media outlets and the Democratic Party. Few articles have illustrated the serious, multi-faceted dangers of what has become this collective mania in the U.S. as well as Gessen’s does…… The crux of her article is the point that has been driving everything I’ve been writing and saying about this topic for months: that this obsession with Russia conspiracy tales is poisoning all aspects of U.S. political discourse and weakening any chance for resisting Trump’s actual abuses and excesses. Those who wake up every day to hype the latest episode of this Russia/Trump spy drama tell themselves that they’re bravely undermining and subverting Trump, but they’re doing exactly the opposite.
Greenwald is referring to an article written by Masha Gessen, for the New York Review of Books. Gessen is a fervent critic of Putin, but she warns that this tabloid style of attacking Trump is not helping, but is, in fact, furthering the right-wing cause. I believe that we must only attack Trump with substance.