The biggest issue that the US faces is the attempt by the oligarchy to take over complete control of all aspects of the country. What is clear is that they want to go all the way and remove anything that stands between them and unbridled profits. This means dismantling regulations that protect the public interest, underfunding regulatory agencies so that they cannot even enforce what regulations are left, removing any oversight under the guise of cutting down the bureaucracy, changing the tax structure to benefit the wealthy even more, and divert to themselves all the funding that goes to the mass of people in the form of public education, public services, and social welfare programs, under the guise of making government more efficient or preventing ‘moochers and looters from exploiting the system.
Let us not fool ourselves. The oligarchy seeks nothing less than the destruction of all the things that make for the public good that does not benefit them, seeing them as sources of revenue that they can divert to themselves. They also want to keep the country on a permanent war footing because not only do wars against other countries benefit them, they need that war machinery to be able to control an increasingly restive domestic population as hardship inevitably spreads.
This is their goal. It used to be more diffuse and subtle but now is more overt. They have already advanced a great deal towards it but the extent of their control is masked in part by the willingness of the establishment media to talk about anything else other than the greed of the oligarchy and their dominance in all aspects of the country.
There was a brief break in that cone of silence, The generous way that the big banks were treated after the financial collapse and its executives escaped scot-free and continue to thrive even more led to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Although the establishment moved quickly to crush it, the movement was successful in highlighting the fact of the 1%-99% split. The reality is that it is even worse, with just the 0.1% or even the 0.01% controlling everything but the “We are the 99%!” has a catchy ring to it and has been retained.
As a result, all the political candidates have been forced to talk about inequality. But the media lets them discuss it in the same vague way they do with any other policy issue like health care reform, as a kind of technical issue, rather than as a symptom of a fundamental deforming of the democratic system. This is because all of the Republican candidates and Hillary Clinton, without exception, are already either beholden to the oligarchy for money or are desperately seeking their support. They cannot bite the hand that feeds them.
This is the danger that Bernie Sanders poses. It is clear that he has taken the issue of oligarchic control as his main platform, the foundation on which almost all the other social ills that plague US society rests. He is going to be talking about this taboo topic for the rest of his campaign and this has to be a concern for those who want to hide the fact that big-moneyed interests have taken control. He is clearly passionate about the topic, is articulate, has command of the facts, and is not easily distracted.
It is not that the establishment media are not going to try and get the public to look at anything other than this issue. You are going to read and see and hear a lot of trivia and rubbish about the Sanders candidacy aimed at justifying why they should ignore him, dismissing him as not being a credible candidate, as being somehow weird, asking why he doesn’t comb his hair, whether he has enough money, and so on.
But as Matt Taibbi correctly points out:
It’s a little-known fact, but we reporters could successfully sell Sanders or Elizabeth Warren or any other populist candidate as a serious contender for the White House if we wanted to. Hell, we told Americans it was okay to vote for George Bush, a man who moves his lips when he reads.
I will be trying to wade through that muck and bring to light anything that is substantive. Here is the first installment, a good interview that Sanders had on MSNBC’s The Ed Show where he talked about the major issues of the day.
If Sanders’s message about oligarchic control catches fire with the public, we will see an even more determined effort to shut him down. That is the one topic that they cannot allow to become the subject of mainstream debate.