Something’s Berning – I
Many of my friends ‘feel the Bern’. I don’t, but I don’t think one needs to feel much in order to observe politics. I’d prefer a rational approach over an emotional one. ‘But you have been mocking Senator Sanders all that time, how is that rational?’ one might ask.
I have not so much been making fun of Sen. Sanders, rather teasing his followers with some observations of the Bernie campaign and its often non rational behavior and arguments. That wasn’t very nice and I apologised. My observations come from long distance, but they come from goodwill; I am firmly on the side of the United States of America.
I agree with many of Senator Bernard Sanders’s ideas. I consider wealth redistribution of crucial importance. All US citizens should have full access to quality education and health care. The environment should be on the very top of any political agenda. The prison industry, that racist societal control instrument, should be reorganized, actually dismantled and rebuilt. The deplorable infrastructure built up. The financial industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the weapon industry would have to be reorganized into transparency. Et cetera, et cetera.
And yes, the press should be held accountable as well, to maintain (or regain) a factual and critically intellectual approach of journalism. Not just the much vilified biased ‘mainstream’ but also the equally biased ‘alternative’ press. Yes, there is strong evidence of media bias (as clearly demonstrated by decisirondata.org). It’s one of the more interesting exposures that these elections have yielded. But the whine about this unfair share of corporate media attention has become another boring litany of Sanders’ social media support. By the way, I don’t underestimate the power of social media, it may well prove to be of decisive power.
I’ve been increasingly surprised how much the discourse of these elections has become a quasi religious narrative. The mass rallies, the worship, the sermon (the reverend father opening with ‘dear brothers and sisters’, not ‘comrades’), the chanting, the hypnotic repetition of dogma. The believe instead of convincing arguments. If it looks like a cult, sounds like a cult, smells like a cult... it might even be one. And the sad reality of cults is that they’re directed inwards, not open to dialogue or critique, a cozy fanatic gathering of the likeminded.
In that respect it is not unlike Facebook.