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Where realism and idealism meet Tony Brasunas, author of Double Happiness

For All Democrats to Ponder: The Real Reasons Hillary Clinton Lost

The Reasons Hillary Clinton Lost

Hillary Clinton and the Democrats lost an eminently winnable race for the White House

Beyond the media spin, the four reasons for this defeat.

As the aphorism goes, if we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. While the corporate media continues to peddle hysteria, the most important thing right now is to rationally understand why Clinton and the Democrats lost this eminently winnable 2016 race for the White House.

Having taken some time to look back over the past six months, I list below what I believe are the four main underlying reasons for this defeat. As it turns out, none of the reasons is particularly complicated, but each will require consideration and systemic change by the party over the next two years.

1. The DNC subverted democracy. This was an anti-establishment year in politics, and there was an anti-establishment candidate running in both major parties. Trump was (barely) allowed to win the primary on the Republican side. On the Democratic side, despite Bernie’s obvious strength and the clear preference of the grassroots, the primary was rigged to put the less popular, establishment candidate forward. It was a colossal risk to take, but the party (more…)

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Posted in Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas on November 13, 2016

Propaganda & Moles: What We’ve Learned from the Wikileaks So Far

Throughout the spring and the summer, many supporters of Bernie Sanders were mystified and angry about the ratio of negative to positive pieces appearing in the media outlets that liberals tend to trust: NPR, the New York Times, MSNBC, the Washington Post, and others.

There was so much persistent negative press about Bernie Sanders — at one point the Washington Post ran ten negative pieces about Sanders in 24 hours — that people suggested that these supposedly left-leaning publications were actually in the tank for Hillary Clinton. That theory was vigorously denied and even ridiculed by both Clinton supporters and the media outlets themselves.

Now, with all the Wikileaks emails circulating, it appears that everything that Sanders supporters suspected — and worse — has been confirmed. Let’s go quickly through what we’ve learned in the past three weeks:

  • The Clinton campaign (CC) and the Democratic Party leadership (DNC) have been essentially one entity since at least last August.
  • News outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post generally alert the DNC/CC before they run pieces about Clinton.
  • Journalists for the New York Times and other outlets often have to offer editorial control over pieces written in order to get access to Clinton, and do so.
  • Reporters for the New York Times sometimes not only show the DNC/CC pieces they’re writing but allow them to edit the pieces.
  • The DNC/CC not only spoke with Donald Trump last spring and summer before he entered the race, the DNC/CC also determined last fall to elevate Trump (as well as Ted Cruz and Ben Carson) as a candidate.
  • The DNC/CC used their channels for media collusion with outlets like the New York Times and CNN to legitimize and boost Trump throughout the winter and spring.
  • The DNC/CC held at least one lavish private party wining and dining 30 or so writers from major corporate media outlets. Many of these writers were the ones collaborating most closely with the DNC/CC.
  • The DNC/CC hid Clinton’s remarks and speeches to big Wall Street banks in which she stated or implied her support for the TPP and lax bank regulation, and revealed holding separate “public” and “private” positions about progressive issues in general.
  • The DNC/CC sees activists who work for things like climate action, black lives matter, peace, and global fair trade as obstructionists to be ridiculed and marginalized.
  • The DNC/CC used their media collusion with outlets like the New York Times to repeatedly disparage Sanders, his supporters, and his rallies.
  • The DNC/CC leaked damaging information about Sanders to many publications, including the Wall Street Journal, and co-wrote a hit piece on Sanders for the New York Post.
  • The DNC/CC had moles inside the Sanders campaign, who communicated covertly back to the DNC/CC and weakened the Sanders campaign.
  • The DNC/CC found ways to appear to appeal to Sanders supporters while actually marginalizing them.

Surprise — the corporate media isn’t really covering these leaks. They don’t seem to want you to know how dishonest and biased their reporting is, nor do they want you to consider how many of their articles should more accurately be called propaganda rather than journalism. After all, what do you call a reporter or publication that publishes articles to support a candidate without disclosing their aim?

When the corporate media does cover the leaked emails, they suggest it’s all the result of Russian hacking, which is an insult to our intelligence: There’s no more proof that it was Russians than that it was me doing the hacking, or you, or Bernie Sanders, or Barack Obama. We don’t know who managed the hacking. What matters is the authenticity of the revelations, which isn’t questioned.

Since the corporate media isn’t covering this with any fairness or thoroughness, here are four independent media stories from various sources, right and left, so you can take your pick how you’d like to learn more.

Regardless whether you’re cynical or optimistic about the present state and future of our political system, it is essential to stay apprised of the state of our democracy. The fact that moles and extensive propaganda have been (successfully) used in our political system is an important lesson from this 2016 election, and it likely indicates that our democracy is significantly endangered, if not already illegitimate.

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Posted in Balanced Media Diet | Democratic Convention | Peaceful Revolution
by Tony Brasunas on October 21, 2016

The Deeper Reason Many Intelligent Progressives and Independents Will Not Support Hillary Clinton

The Deeper Reason Intelligent Progressives Support Bernie Sanders

The “lesser-of-evils” argument might not work for independent voters this year.

For those who hope for swift unity in the Democratic Party, there are reasons to believe it won’t happen if Hillary Clinton is the nominee.

While there are serious policy differences between Clinton and Bernie Sanders, a deeper fault line must be acknowledged between their supporters.

Certainly the two candidates remain far apart on issues that matter to progressives and independents — fracking, the TPP, tuition-free public colleges, universal single-payer healthcare, racist policing, militarism in the Middle East — to name just a few. Indeed, based on policy and political strategy, many independents and Democrats see Clinton as more like a traditional Republican. Many even see it as indicative of privilege if one supports Clinton over Sanders, given the current state of the economy and the environment. Many intelligent progressives see the two candidates as representing different social classes.

Nevertheless, a debate about policy differences only partially explains the disconnect between Clinton (more…)

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Posted in Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas on July 19, 2016