The mainstream media imposes some serious certainties on the 2020 presidential election that drive me into a furious despair, e.g.:
Even though Bernie Sanders, winner of the first two Democratic primaries, is now leading in the national polls, he “can’t and won’t” be the party’s nominee “because in coming weeks,” writes Liz Peek in The Hill, “Democrats will make sure that Socialist Bernie does not get the nomination. Overwhelmed by ads, underwhelmed by others in the race, they will come to realize that Mike Bloomberg is the best they’ve got.”
As this certainty imposes itself on the election coverage, in both obvious and subtle ways, I find myself juxtaposing it with another emerging tidbit of news:
“Parts of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument — the parts with indigenous burial grounds and other rare, historically important areas — are being bulldozed and blown up to make way for the border wall that Mexico is supposedly going to pay for.” The Trump border wall proceeds, slicing through, and destroying, a complex ecological wonder that also happens to be indigenous sacred ground. The wall, writes evolutionary biologist Kelsey Yule, “is turning the landscape into an ecological dystopia.”
Furthermore the $5.7 billion wall is cutting directly through the soul of the Tohono O’odham Nation, an indigenous people whose ancestral land in the Sonoran Desert, approximately the size of Connecticut, spans both the United States and Mexico. The Department of Homeland Security rules and it’s going to build the damn wall no matter what. Elections aren’t supposed to be about core values. Those values are already decided and “Socialist Bernie” doesn’t get to mess with them. These values, of course, mean as little as where you were born. These values are about who has power. Big Money rules and will always rule, right? If you consume a lot of mainstream news coverage, you might be thinking that no one has quite the stake in the future that Bloomberg, the $60 billion man, does. He has bought his way into the election process.
This is our country: up for sale. No matter that Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, pushed stop-and-frisk policing when he was in office, inundating minority neighborhoods with police — a.k.a., the occupying army — and stopping everyone who “looks suspicious” for a humiliating pat-down and possible arrest. A federal judge eventually ruled the practice unconstitutional, calling it “checkpoint-style policing.” But Bloomberg has continued to quietly defend racism-based security, infamously maintaining, in a 2015 speech, that 95 percent of murderers “are male, minorities, 16-25.”
So what we have here is a political system that continually surrenders to us-vs.-them thinking: leadership that requires an enemy to keep the country united. This kind of thinking cuts cruel social gouges everywhere it’s in place, creating endless harm to some and insecurity for everyone.
American democracy continues to be up for sale, but only to bidders who support The Wall.
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