Published Sep 25, 2008 9:07 PM
As banks fail, jobs disappear and the economy sinks deeper into a horrific crisis of poverty and misery, the television channels and political campaigns have suddenly become full of the most unlikely people denouncing “big business.”
Lou Dobbs, Glenn Beck and even Sarah Palin and John McCain have suddenly become “defenders of the working people” against “Wall Street greed.”
Dobbs and Beck are broadcast nightly on CNN, a privately owned, corporate-funded network. Their programs are paid for many times over with advertising dollars from the biggest banks and corporations.
Dobbs and Beck often criticize big business—but in totally distorted ways really meant to confuse workers and the middle class about the source of all their pain.
Dobbs rails at big business for hiring immigrant workers. But he is silent about the way U.S. corporations, through pushing for so-called “free trade” agreements, have ruined the economies of Latin America, forcing workers in those countries to come here just to survive. This is a crime of big business he has clearly forgiven.
Beck’s way of being “anti-establishment” was to run an hour-long interview with Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate for president. Barr’s platform calls for complete deregulation of big business and the abolition of every social program and protection won through progressive struggle, from children’s services to college financial aid.
Beck has given no airtime to the campaigns of Cynthia McKinney or Ralph Nader, although they are clearly much more anti-establishment than Barr and ahead of him in some of the polls. How anti-establishment can Bob Barr be? He is author of the “Defense of Marriage” Act, which makes it seem like same-sex couples are the big problem confronting families in this country. Meanwhile, families of all kinds are torn up by housing foreclosures and evictions, unpayable debts and health crises because of lack of affordable health care. What’s Barr doing about that?
Among these right-wing demagogues who preach against big business is Ron Paul, who held his “Rally for the Republic” as a counter to the Republican National Convention. In his speech to this seemingly anti-establishment rally, Paul claimed that U.S. schools don’t teach “free market economics” any longer. He also claimed that the U.S. needs to stop following ideas like “corporatism and socialism.”
Is he at all in touch with reality?
Any youth who has attended school in the U.S. knows that “free market economics,” not socialism, is shoved down your throat at every opportunity. And anyone who has ever been unemployed should know that the U.S. economy has nothing to do with socialism. Every socialist revolution has immediately led to guaranteed jobs for all. Unlike capitalism, which is totally built around providing profits for a few and needs a reserve of millions of unemployed to keep down wages, a socialist economy is publicly owned and can plan production to meet people’s needs.
While these voices that play on people’s frustration are now emphasizing pseudo anti-corporate rhetoric, they haven’t let up on their attacks on immigrants, calls for militarization of the border or hatred of affirmative action.
Beck has defended the racist Philadelphia police and gave free publicity to the hate book “Murdered by Mumia.” In his interview with the author, Maureen Faulkner, she was never confronted or challenged on her claims, all of which were made with the motive of having Mumia Abu-Jamal executed for a crime he did not commit. How anti-establishment is it to side with racist cops in their drive to kill an innocent man?
Lou Dobbs continues to spin John Birch-style fairy tales about the U.S. being conquered by globalist conspiracies while ignoring the terrorism that the U.S. government is committing against people in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan—wars initiated by the Bush administration on behalf of the huge oil and “defense” companies, the one sector of the U.S. economy still turning in huge profits.
The Republican Party presidential candidate, John McCain, and his running mate, Sarah Palin, have been pro-big business from day one and get their funding from the same big banks and corporations as Barack Obama, but now they are attacking the first African-American nominee of the Democratic Party as “elitist.”
Are we to believe that these folks are the answer to big business?
If anything, this should prove that running your mouth off and saying what’s popular, as all these forces do, doesn’t mean you are really fighting against the powers that be.
If a Dobbs or a Beck or a McCain is being paid by big business to speak against them, can he really be a threat to those footing the bills?
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