June 28, 2004
"Basically, The Republicans Conduct Business in a Dishonest Way." And they are Demagogues to Boot.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
As Michael Moore brilliantly captures the nightmarish years we have spent under the Bush occupation government -- and it came to power through a judicial/media/political coup, which is where Moore begins "Fahrenheit 9/11," so don't start thinking to yourself that BuzzFlash is exaggerating -- he interviews an American soldier wounded in Iraq. The young man recounts his injury and then states matter-of-factly (and we are paraphrasing here) that he is voting against Bush this year because "Basically, the Republicans conduct business in a dishonest way."
And that about sums it up, doesn't it?
All we need to add is that the Republican Party is now run by radical, fanatical, self-enriching demagogues. They rule through the power of emotion, not through the value of their public policy. That is the essence of demagoguery. And they are its most artful practitioners.
Whether they hold the white working class non-union stiff in their power through making the mythical "liberal elite" the source of all their problems (read the brilliant, compelling book "What's the Matter with Kansas?" to learn more about how they accomplish this and how it works) -- or use the fear of terrorism -- the Republican Party might as well be run by Mussolini.
If you just said to yourself, "BuzzFlash is getting all incendiary again," (or something like that), then you just don't get it yet.
The central thesis of "Fahrenheit 9/11" is that the Bush Administration is one big con game, and that if you want to know what the stakes are, just follow the money. Who's being conned? The American people. Where's the money? In the hands of the president, his family, and the vice president and their supporters.
Yes, deception and demagoguery are the tools by which the Republican Party have come to rule America -- all the time blaming the Democrats and "elite liberals" for all of America's problems, at a time when the Republican Party controls every branch of government.
They couldn't do this, of course, without the mainstream media -- including the news departments of the so-called "liberal media" being on their side. And this includes the Washington Post and the New York Times, even if they write an occasional article revealing the truth about Bush Cartel malfeasance. (The NYT and WP were basically news outlet megaphones for the Republican attempt to impeach Clinton.)
The role of the media in propping up an illegitimate administration is the focus of another brilliant documentary we have been exclusively selling, "Orwell Rolls in His Grave." Deceptions and demagoguery only work when you have a media that can be a conduit for emotional manipulation and the mass marketing of lies. The modern corporate conglomerate media lives off of money earned through advertising, which depends upon branding products -- and now news is just another commodity. So, it is not surprising that a war can be sold to the American public through a media that now essentially sells a fabricated, commercial version of news, which at BuzzFlash we have come to call "Govertainment." And it is no surprise that the mega-companies that now run mainstream news outlets benefit from Republican tax policy. It all fits so neatly together, doesn't it -- the merging together of the White House, Madison Avenue and the news room?
"Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Orwell Rolls" are all about how we are now the passive pawns of a media/government de facto alliance of interests. Moore's film is more about the true story that the mainstream media doesn't tell Americans (there wouldn't be a need for Moore's film, if it did), while "Orwell Rolls" is about how the media evolved into being a shill for the wealthy elite of the GOP.
"Fahrenheit 9/11" broke box office records this weekend because at least half of America yearns for authentic news -- and for news put into context. Moore doesn't provide any information you haven't read in BuzzFlash (if you are a regular reader), but we aren't the mainstream media. What Moore does is distill the news that you have read on BuzzFlash about the Bush Cartel and thread it together into a compelling indictment of the illegitimate Bush Administration. And he does it within the framework of the enormous visual and gripping power that cinema provides.
And remember -- as Moore reminds us even before the opening credits roll -- this is a presidency that was stolen. Moore doesn't spare the Democrats (except for some courageous Black Congressmen and Congresswomen) for sitting on their hands as the White House was seized, in violation of the will of the voters, by a Republican conspiracy. We are certain that Al Gore, for one, realizes now that he was far too much the gentleman when faced with the subversive tactics of the GOP/Bush goon squad that mugged democracy.
Central to the Reaganesque demagogic mythological manipulation of the American white non-union working class is the evocation of the values of the "great American Heartland." For Bush, that has meant his propaganda squad always wants him to be viewed as a rancher from Crawford, Texas, where the real people are. (Of course, Bush bought the ranch just before he ran for President -- and the Mayor of Crawford supports Kerry; but those are facts, not "Govertainment" myth.) For Moore, on the other hand, the American heartland is represented by his hometown, the beleaguered city of Flint, Michigan, where unemployment runs as high as 50%, and Marine recruiters literally spend their days trolling the city for poor youth to become cannon fodder.
If the "Govertainment" myth of Crawford rules the airwaves, it is cities like Flint that fuel the outrage of the working poor, the unemployed, and the declining middle class. It is cities like Flint -- and smaller rural cities -- that provide, as the mother of a GI killed in Iraq notes -- the backbone of our armed forces. It is cities like Flint that provide the fresh bodies that help keep the downward spiraling "war on terrorism" alive as a self-fulfilling political tool for the Bush Cartel.
The Republicans offer the masses emotional manipulation and the scapegoat of the phantom liberal oppressor. They offer them terror alerts and lies. They offer them the kindling wood "Govertainment" of FOX News anger and outrage against the alleged "coarsening" of American society and the "terrorist" enemy lurking around every corner.
The terrorists are out there, all right, but the Bush Cartel isn't winning any war against them. Just the other day, an Irish journalist (a real actual journalist, not one of your American style blow-dried stenographers) challenged Bush with the fact that terrorist incidents had increased three-fold under his term in office. Indeed, Bush needs terrorism in order to rule. The worst thing that could happen to the Bush administration politically would be a decline in terrorism. Because, then the truth might start to sink into the white working class and farm state residents -- and they might start to realize that they have been had.
You can't keep your base motivated forever on a self-immolating diet of working and middle class wedge issues. You can't keep the myth of the phantom "liberal elite" alive when it is the GOP wealthy elite who are calling the shots from the White House to the Congress to the Supreme Court. You can't keep the myth of a "liberal press" alive when the media is your personal megaphone for misinformation and emotional manipulation.
And, if you stand exposed for the lying self-enriching rot that you are, you can't win an election when the only people who benefit from your reign of dishonesty are the top one or two percent of American income earners. The numbers just don't add up.
The success of "Fahrenheit 9/11" indicates that many Americans are seeking what they can't find in the mainstream media. They are looking for something that the newspapers, television and radio "news" coverage in our nation doesn't provide.
They are looking for the truth, and they are yearning for a restoration of democracy.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL