Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Gloria Steinem Joins Reformers Selling Out
Sadly there seems to be a growing list of reformers and civil rights activists that have sold out after getting partial reform, at most, and joining the establishment, and securing a comfortable life for themselves. These civil rights activists, or perhaps I should say former civil rights activists still come out with plenty of rhetoric but don't seem to recognize how many things remain to be done and in some cases even act to promote politicians who represent corporate interests at the expense of civil rights and even attempt to silence those who are trying to continue reforms that are undone.
(Updated below with a few comments about Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright's recent comments about women supporting Bernie Sanders.)
Some of these activists are people that many never thought would even consider selling our, and prefer not to consider the possibility they might be doing just that.
Gloria Steinem apparently did that with her endorsement of Hillary Clinton which we were reminded of on This Week With George Stephanopoulis when she endorsed Hillary Clinton again:
I wouldn't claim that simply endorsing Hillary Clinton would constitute selling out if it wasn't so obvious to any reasonable person that she isn't even remotely sincere and has an incredibly long record of collecting enormous amounts of campaign contributions from corporations and catering to them when in power while pretending to represent the majority.
Our political system has become so extreme that it looks like an absurd satire to anyone who pays attention.
Many people including me in some of my past posts have gone into enormous detail about how often Hillary Clinton sells out and how she manages to do it almost every time, with the possible exception of when there is an enormous grassroots opposition to her positions and even then she only reluctantly changes positions, perhaps only temporarily, like her positions on TPP and the Keystone pipeline among many other things. In both these cases she came out strongly in favor of them when she was in power but then once she was campaigning for president and realized they had no popular support she opposed them.
Are we supposed to believe she won't flip flop again if she gets into office? She has a history of doing just that repeatedly including when she opposed "that awful" banking bill as first lady but after collecting enormous amounts of money voted for the same bill as Senator.
If people get most if not all of their information from the traditional media it might seem as if the establishment left wing may have done a good job equalizing rights for women and many other previously underrepresented people, at least judging by those that the media actually covers. However the people presented by the media are overwhelmingly better off than the majority of the public. Most of them are celebrities or from the political and business community. The majority of the public including most women, who Gloria Steinem claims to represent is still struggling with low wages and inadequate health care. Bernie Sanders is far better on these issues for everyone including women than Hillary Clinton.
If Gloria Steinem is more interested in getting a women elected even if they cater overwhelmingly to corporations then Hillary Clinton might be a good choice but if she really is interested in issues then either Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein would be far better choices. Even if, as the media is constantly trying to convince people, that votes for third party candidates like Jill Stein are a waste of a vote, it could still go a long way to breaking up the Duopoly controlled by corporate interests, and an endorsement by Gloria Steinem might make that a much better choice.
I'm sure there are plenty of well informed women that realize this.
Selling out is routine for Hillary Clinton and there's plenty of reports to back it up on one issue after another which can be found with a relatively quick Google search.
Selling out among politicians is also routine and often happens after discussions behind closed doors; this often even includes some of the politicians that many of us think we can trust the most. Sherrod Brown has been considered one of the most progressive voices in the Senate, besides Bernie Sanders, who he agrees with on many issues, and yet he endorsed Hillary Clinton who doesn't agree with him on many issues.
This enables some politicians to get credit for supporting some issues even when they lose, but those who take a close look might notice that they might not be trying quite as hard as they seem. This is more common than most people realize and even supposedly progressive politicians like Elizabeth Warren have done similar things like when she complimented Lawrence Summers and supported Janet Yellen even though they opposed her positions on banking and even signed a letter supporting Hillary Clinton before realizing how opposed her grassroots supporters were as I explained in several previous posts including Elizabeth Warren's propaganda overlooks many flaws!
Even more surprising should probably be John Lewis' endorsement of Hillary Clinton even though, as I explained in Regardless of Polls Bernie Sanders Supports Blacks much better than Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders is obviously much better when it comes to standing up for civil rights. He marched with Martin Luther King when Hillary Clinton was supporting Barry Goldwater and while he's consistently opposed private prisons she hires their lobbyists and only opposed private prisons after she realized it was necessary to run for president. Amazingly when Black Lives Matter activists interrupted Hillary Clinton instead of bringing this up he urged them to stop. Better informed people would surely know that her opposition to mass incarceration didn't start until it was necessary for her campaign.
This must be incredibly disappointing to many people who have paid enough attention to notice this especially since it seem to include some people that many of us thought were much better than that and in most cases they are; John Lewis and Sherrod Brown is still some of the best member of congress but like Elizabeth Warren they are much more reliable with constant reminders that they represent the public not the establishment. Hopefully if we manage to get major political reform then there will be much less of this but there clearly seems to be some behind the scenes negotiations that many of the reformers might even believe is for the best interests of the public that is actually corrupting the system and this is much less likely with an informed public that keeps representatives accountable. Bernie Sanders seems to realize this and often tells his supporters that no president can get anything done without continued support from the grassroots.
I don't think Bernie would be inclined to water his positions down like most politicians once he gets in office but we're much less likely if his grassroots supporters take his advise and keep the pressure on, not only congress, but him as well.
Occasionally this goes beyond politics and often includes many celebrities as well. Does anyone have any doubts bout seeing Paula Abdul or Stephen Tyler host American Idol? Would they have been able to rise to the top themselves that way? Centralized control of entertainment could weed out anyone without spoken views.
Remember the Dixie Chick?
Remember when Bob Dylan got the medal of freedom eight months after singing about Hurricane Carter in the seventies? Or did that happen eight months after he said nothing about Troy Davis?
These so-called honors should be considered an embarrassment to great musicians and when Mick Jagger was knighted many people seemed to realize it; but when Bob Dylan got the medal of freedom along with Madeleine Albright who was responsible for many human rights abuses hardly anyone noticed.
Edit: Since this post both Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright their selective views as described in Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright Rebuke Young Women Backing Bernie Sanders (02/0/2016), when Gloria Steinem implied that young women are only supporting Bernie Sanders to pick up guys; and Madeleine Albright said that there is a special place in hell for women who don't help each other presumably by voting for Hillary Clinton who does far more to protect the rich regardless of sex than middle or lower class women.
This is the same Madeleine Albright that said "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it," when asked "We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that"s more children than died in Hiroshima. And — and you know, is the price worth it?" as described in Democracy Now! Confronts Madeline Albright on the Iraq Sanctions: Was It Worth The Price? 07/30/2004 and Dedicated to Madeleine Albright, on Behalf of the Children of Iraq, whose Lives were a “Price Worth It.” 05/0/2011 Madeleine Albright claims that the sanctions were put in place because Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, which is of course true but she fails to remind the public that he was previously supplied with arms including chemical weapons by the Reagan Bush administration, and more importantly in the Spring of 1990 when it was obvious that Saddam Hussein was considering an invasion the Bush administration remained quit at a time when a small effort would almost certainly have prevented the invasion in the first place. This isn't a guarantee but at least he could have tried.
Forgetting inconvenient facts carried out by the political class of either party is typical of members of the political class who routinely ignore problems for those not in the political class, whether it is Iraq children of children in Flint Michigan that were devastated first when jobs were shipped overseas due to trade policies then with poisoned water.