Well, another phrase for “swell mantra” is “self-fulfilling prophecy.” Recently, we have seen two very strong examples of this redundant behavior.
The first is “Yup. The Democratic Party is screwing it up again.”
For evidence, you don’t have to go any further than last Tuesday’s “debate.” These things have never, ever been a debate. Ideas are rarely offered and never questioned but always confronted. So, it was to the surprise of only the terminally optimistic that once the field was whittled down to a half-dozen viable candidates (and a couple who hang in there just because of their lack of reality testing) these TeeVee follies have devolved into screaming sessions – with most everybody screaming at the same time as the moderators drown in flop-sweat. To the viewer, who has yet to select among the survivors, such a display evokes our “why bother” reflex.
(Yes; I said “us.” I don’t have to make up my mind until the end of April, when my state primary crawls out from under its rock to see who’s still standing and who still cares. I drift towards at least two candidates and I find a third acceptable but we’re going to have to see if any of them will have airfare to go on.)
The second is “America will never vote for a socialist.”
Well, I can invoke the historically correct analysis that Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan were socialists, but that’s because I just happen to know the differences between socialists, communists, Soviets, liberals, Democrats, and Jews. Each group is unique. They may share some philosophies but that’s like saying I must be a conservative because I think licensed people can own reasonable guns.
Baby boomers and our dwindling number of predecessors are the ones doing most of the bitching. That’s because we boomers were raised during the height of the Red Scare, a.k.a. McCarthyism, a.k.a. blacklisting. Our network news was hysterically anti-left-of-center. I suspect YouTube or some such digital warehouse has routine clips of Lowell Thomas, John Cameron Swayze, Douglas Edwards, and John Daly during this era, and you’d be surprised at just how mindlessly they pandered to the Scare and to the right-wing advertising community.
Of course, we also were raised on “Duck and Cover.” Even in 1957, when the Soviets launched Sputnik and Americans shit their pants, we seven-year-olds knew that in the event of nuclear explosion hiding underneath our school desks with our hands over our heads was not going to save our well-exposed asses. An entire generation was raised to be scared out of our minds, and it really worked.
Today’s Gen-X, Millennial and Gen-Z voters were raised without this burden. They know nukes are harmful to their health, but the whole Red Scare bullshit was nothing more than the quaint mutterings of scared pre-hippies who grew up with Korea, the Rosenbergs, French Indo-China, “Czar Bomba” (Google it) and Nikita Khrushchev pounding his shoe on the table at the United Nations. They aren’t scared of socialists, communists, Soviets, liberals, Democrats, and Jews, at least not as a conflated group.
However, they do fear Trump – and they are in the majority of voters. So when the aged Democrats keep screaming “Bernie Sanders is a SOCIALIST, and Americans will never vote for a socialist,” they are exactly like Bert the Turtle, the star of Duck and Cover. Michael Bloomberg, Joe Biden, and Tom Steyer repeat that blatant lie over and over. What they really mean is “Screw Bernie. Screw Elizabeth, and vote for me, you stupid commie-lover.”
Except for Miami and south Florida. That slice of the American pie is controlled by the great-grandchildren of the Mafiosos that Castro threw out of Cuba six decades ago. No, Meyer Lansky was not born in Cuba, but between 1933 and 1959 he ran the island like the mafia family boss he was – through the bribed grace of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, a man so evil he made both Castros look like Mother Teresa. Bernie just ain’t gonna get that Miami vote.
So, unless the Grand Wizards of Old School Conventional Wisdom buy themselves a new calendar, the greatest fear the Democratic Party has right now is not Putin, not Trump, and not the Republicans who are shedding non-white voters from the voting rolls.
Nope. The greatest fear the Democratic Party has right now should be the Democratic Party.