Mr. Rogouski on Mr. Sanders

Following my wordpress reader, I’ve just stumbled on an interesting post by Stanley S. Rogouski, spelling out five reasons, why white working class men in the U.S. won’t vote for Mr. Sanders.

The first four points he makes, are all very logical and comprehensible, albeit not easy to understand for an European woman with a fairly left tinge. But I was utterly surprised by the fifth argument: that corporate media won’t ever let a candidate like Bernie Sanders into the White House.

Are the media in the U.S. really that powerful? Or mercenary? Or else, was Mr. Rogouski’s point merely, that the media, your average white working class man usually refers to, is like this?

I am not closely following the election campaigns in the U.S., and what little I get, is marred by the horrible Trump news and quotations. In general, I tend to believe, a certain Mrs. Clinton might stand a good chance to win the election. America might just be ready to have a female leader. But I have to say, I like this Bernie Sanders and would much rather have him in the Oval Office than even Mrs. Clinton.

What little I’ve listened to or read of him, all makes perfect sense and is long overdue. I also do believe, that he will have a hard time, targeting Wall Street, the Bank system  and “the Rich”, or speaking up for minimum wages and health insurance for everybody, much more so, than any politician in Europe would have. Over here in Europe, terms like “Democratic Socialism” and “Social Market Economy” are not considered abusive language, but regular parts of politics and in some countries, even part of governance. These countries tend not to be bad countries to live in. Even in industrial Germany, this year a minimum wage for every employee was enforced. After much fight and horrid scenarios  painted on the wall by industrial leaders and business owners, in reality, economy didn’t collapse and there are more folks in emplyoment today, than this time last year. I think, consumers need to learn, that services, that were very low wage up until now, are worth something. A persons labour is worth something. I am a strong defender of this: a full time job needs to earn a living.

Honestly, I don’t see the U.S. people vote for Mr. Sanders in their majority. They better should, though. I thing, his policies would actually serve them well.

15 thoughts on “Mr. Rogouski on Mr. Sanders

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  2. Over here in Europe, there is a fine and widely recognised distinction between what I think, you refer to, when calling something “socialist”, which we call exactly the same: Sozialismus, to describe, what once ruled the totalitarian communist countries. And “Sozialdemokratie”, meaning social democrats, the ones who govern, for example, Austria since years, or are in coalition with the conservatives in Germany now. And did govern the country on their own, before Mrs. Merkel came to power. Also many Scandinavian countries are ruled by social democrats, and their living standards, levels of education, economic wellbeing and successes in integrating foreigners is exceptional. So just maybe, social democracy is not so bad.

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  3. Lots to chew over in this post and comments. I guess my assessment is a little different. Actually, Bernie Sanders’ big problem withinin the Democratic Party is more with African American than white working class voters. Sanders has a decent chance to win the primaries in Iowa and/or New Hampshire, both predominantly white. However, in states where the Democratic electorate is heavily African American he is trailing badly. The Clintons have had strong black support going back to the Clinton presidency, whereas Sanders comes from a small state that is almost all white.

    The problem with white working class voters for the Democratic Party emerges more in the general election, especially in the south. Racial politics are at the heart of that situation. However, I think Bernie Sanders would actually do better among white working class voters in the general election than would Hillary Clinton. Economic populism has some appeal among some white working class voters who vote Republican. The Clinton wing of the party lost support among this group through their embrace of “free trade”.

    Lots more that can be said on this subject, but I think I’ll stop there.

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      1. Excellent question. Because here in the USA we come up with all kinds of euphemisms for socialism. Populism sounds “American”, socialism not so much, though I think that is changing, especially with younger people.

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  4. Lots to unpack here. First – we do have our public media – I get most of my information from NPR and PBS – both wonderful resources which only exist thanks to loyal supporters propping up this last bastion of non-commercial media. These two will never have the number of viewers/listeners that a Fox or a CNN etc. has.
    As for Bernie Sanders, he is battling uphill not only against corporate America and corporate media, he is participating in what has become a huge entertainment event. Elections in the States became reality shows long before Trump entered the scene. The major players often have no real ambition for the Oval Office job – they are using the circus to draw attention to themselves or some agenda they have. Getting yourself or your issue talked about for a while will help you to some future employment or future relevance (think of all the candidates that end up as pundits, consultants, or lobbyists, or have their gig on a TV news show. I think Sanders himself began his run with the idea of using the election as a platform and megaphone for his pet issue. Trump surely began his run as a way of improving his brand.
    Where am I going with this? I think American “consume” the elections now – and less than half of them will actually go out and vote. Trump’s poll numbers tell us only that he has the highest entertainment value. Sanders is really inspiring people, but then he is asking us to go out and start a revolution and that starts to sound .. . inconvenient. Like real work. Socialism requires activism beyond voting, it seems – so maybe we will stick to representative democracy – allowing whomever got the most ticks in the box by their name to make the decisions for us for the next four years while we go back to binge-watching Netflix and finding the next new thing to taste.

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    1. ” I think American “consume” the elections now”

      Right. And Trump (and identification with conservatism in general) is a “luxury” product for working class voters. A vote for Trump means you’ve made it and you can look down on the poor. A vote for Sanders means identifying with people who need help.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Nice. Though I don’t want to go so far as to say conservatives want to “look down on the poor” in the sense of mean-spiritedness. I would say, though, that they certainly don’t want to look SIDEWAYS and see the poor, – in that sense they would rather look down.

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    2. Never heard of those channels. Will try to check them out.
      As for campaigns turning into shows: it pretty much gets to that over here, too. With televised “debates” that are none, but rather slots of public speaking time to display slogans or bad-talk opponents. That’s a pity, as the idea, to swap opinions on certain matters does have the chance, to inform voters of what to expect.
      The thing I liked, was the “Yes, we can” movement, way back when. Last time, I saw enthusiasm around any election issue. Boy, did Obama get even the Germans liking him.


      1. NPR is the “National Public Radio” of the US and PBS, the “Public Broadcasting System” runs both TV and radio stations. PBS was pretty good when I was a teenager (way back in the 1980s) and a lot of the introduction I got to high culture came from their rebroadcasts of BBC dramatizations of famous novels/plays etc. They put on the entire cycle of Shakespeare’s plays in the early 1980s. Sadly, however, both PBS and NPR have gone downhill in quality, mainly because of relentless right-wing attacks on their funding which has forced them to turn to big corporations. NPR tends to be pretty right wing these days.

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  5. Since Obama is in office, American militarism is not as bad as it used to be. Although it still has things to answer for, like just assassinating people abroad without verdict. And having no public media is something, that’s beyond reach for me, anyways. Whenever I visited the states, I was appalledby the advertising ridden, poor quality of TV. However GB has their Yellow Press, too. And Germany has RTL, SAT1 and BILD Zeitung, so who am I to criticize.
    Of course, most people in Germany hate paying a flat fee for those public channels, but to me, it’s one of the taxes/fees, I am very happy to pay. I think, public media is a basic requirement for democracy. As long as it is not instrumentalised by those in political power.
    As for Sanders, I agree with you: he makes more the impression to have stumbled into this candidacy, making the best of it in his field of expertise, which seems to be applied economics.

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  6. re: “Are the media in the U.S. really that powerful?”

    Yes, mostly because Americans have a far less developed civil society than western Europeans. We have no history of social democratic parties, class struggle, unions. We don’t have football/soccer clubs or the sense of community that goes with them. We don’t have a sense of history. The typical American is a socially isolated cultural vacuum who’s almost completely dependent on the media for his sense of what’s possible and what’s not. In 2004, we had a pretty good anti-war candidate in Howard Dean, far less radical than Sanders, but dangerous to the media. It took about a week after he started talking about repealing the Telecom Act of 1996 and breaking up the big media cartels before they took him out of the race. All they had to do was remove the background noise from a stump speech (to make him look crazy) and run it 24/7 on the cable news channels, and his campaign was history.

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      1. It’s interesting that there are two things I’m not seeing him do:

        1.) Criticize American militarism the way Jeremy Corybn is criticizing British militarism

        2.) Calling for a real public media (like the BBC in its prime) and for the return of the Fairness Doctrine

        Either he’s a one issue (anti-Wall Street) protest candidate who’s gotten further than he’d thought he’d ever get or he knows that the military and the media are sacred cows he can’t touch without seeing his candidacy destroyed.

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      2. Good example of what I mean vis a vis the media. British newspaper reporters are literally bragging about going after Corbyn (even his supporters on social media).

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