Convention, Democracy, Grassroots, Media, Nevada Caucus, opinion, Primaries, Uncategorized

Of chairs and propaganda—countering the vile fiction of a “violent Sanders base”

Let’s just cut to the chase, shall we? We don’t have much time for bull. We’re trying to get something vital and reasonable done—in spite of ever-increasing obstructionism. The desperate Clinton/corporate propaganda machine is in full swing, stretching to spread its smear measures across the cable airwaves. This latest is an awfully thin smear, made of fabricated fabric. It’s also exceedingly ironic in a few pretty important ways.

We’ve got the Internet and us, so let’s stay calm—nauseating though it all is—and settle the score quickly and decisively. Common sense 1; ruthless frantic lying greed 0.

FACT: There were 3200+ people at the Nevada State Convention. Nobody got a video of any actual chair throwing—or any violence at all. Not one has surfaced, even with all the video taken.

FACT: Police were brought in when the final motion was made and proceedings were shut down. Police would be forced to report all incidents of violence. NO such reports were made about Sanders supporters, and no report or video has surfaced of them dealing with a Sanders supporter.

FACT: From a pretty sharp guy named Van Jones: “Also, if you want to talk about violence, only one person’s been arrested; it was a Hillary Clinton supporter, Wendell Pierce, arrested for assaulting a Sanders supporter.” More on that story here and here.

FACT: Even IF—IF!—there had been, say, ten people throwing chairs, that would be 10 out of 1,600, not “the majority” as being “reported” by loose-with-the-facts “journalists.” (But again: there weren’t any thrown chairs. Nope, not ONE.)

FACT: (This one’s really compelling.) In all of the hundreds of rallies Sanders has held across the nation over the past year, many of them exceeding 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 and even 25,000 people—and many of them in what might be considered “high crime” areas of major cities—there has not been ONE reported incidence of violence at a Bernie Sanders rally.

Not one. In a year. During which well over one million people gathered to hear and rally for Sanders.

FACT: There is a clip of one person holding a chair (that corporate media is showing over and over to make this insane new propaganda point that Sanders supporters are violent (seriously?!)—another lever to try to marginalize us. If they showed the whole video, you’d see the person then put the chair down  and…hug it out with someone. Really.

(Do they not even care that we have smartphones? Do you know how stupid they must believe you are? Which, regarding anyone still paying $30 a month to subscribe to this steaming poo, just maybe they’re kind of right.)

(LITTLE ASIDE/FACT: Corporate media never showed over and over Clinton coldly snubbing Black Lives Matter activist Ashley Williams in South Carolina—telling Williams “Can I talk? And maybe you can listen to what I have to say.” Adding: “No one’s ever asked me that [for an apology about her bring them to heel comment] before.” Ha!  After which Williams was then escorted away by Secret Service. Even though the activist paid $500 to be there and peacefully asked her question. And then, unbelievably, with painful irony, Clinton saying “Now back to the issues!”

Or Clinton literally sticking her finger in a Greenpeace activist’s face and shouting at her. No. Corporate media did not play that over and over. I will resist the temptation to list many dozens of other jaw-dropping Clinton moments they do not play over and over. Another day, another piece.)

FACT: To say the day was filled with “irregularities” is a generous understatement. The Nevada State chair literally ignored a deafening roar of “nays” and moved on her own motions. She rejected Sanders delegates’ votes, rejected petitions, and autocratically adopt new temporary rules that would uphold a Clinton win instead of the subsequent (second convention) Sanders flip—then ran off the stage. After 16 hours at the Convention, Sanders supporters were denied democracy in a stunning, flagrantly despotic move. For this—and for Sanders supporters’ completely appropriate non-violent anger at this unconstitutional, despotic and arguably criminal motion—Clinton, the DNC and press are demanding an apology from Sanders.

And they are calling Sander’s denouncement of the Nevada Democratic Party’s behavior “defiant” and “weak.” (Even though he agreed and stated that violence—though none occurred, unless you count the violence to justice done that day—should never be condoned.)

REPEAT FACT: Clinton is demanding an apology from Sanders after the Nevada Democratic Party invented its own temporary rules to flip the convention back to Clinton.

But we’re crazy?

NOTE: Clinton has been “outraged” for far less than having an entire state stolen out from under her at a convention with no precedent and no democratic process. She’s outraged when someone even deigns to mention something she actually did or didn’t do.

FACT: One of the key strategies of propaganda is to accuse the other party of that which you yourself 13177890_10154218310611663_804812778968073536_nare actually doing. (In psychology and relationships, this is also called “projection”—and every human being knows it feels as shitty personally as it is dangerous politically.)

After perpetrating an astonishingly egregious list of violently undemocratic crimes at the convention, the Nevada Democratic Party wrote to the DNC: We write to alert you to what we perceive as the Sanders campaign’s penchant for extra-parliamentary behavior — indeed, actual violence — in place of democratic conduct in a convention setting, and furthermore what we can only describe as their encouragement of, and complicity in, a very dangerous atmosphere that ended in chaos and physical threats to fellow Democrats.”

Basically, the nutballs are calling us nutballs. The criminals are calling us criminals. The violent are calling us violent. The party is claiming that we did what in fact they did. And the media feeding frenzy  over an entirely manufactured scrap—that is a true loony-bin scene.

Just a Google search is enough to turn your stomach: nearly every media outlet from the obvious major networks to supposedly “liberal” rags like Mother Jones are running wild with the “violence” meme and decrying Sanders’ alleged “condoning” of violence and failure to “control” his supporters.

Is it sheer ignorance, or shrewd calculation? For the party, it may go beyond tossing the heat off their own unconstitutional antics. It may be setting the stage for something else. See next point.

CONJECTURE: This stunt could have been a setup to create just this kind of fake, damning narrative, in keeping with the filthy, anything-goes, above-the-law comportment and tactics of the Clinton campaign/corporate media from the very beginning.

Make them angry, then take pics of them getting angry. (Except, for all the outrageousness of the Nevada stunt, they couldn’t come up with much. IRONY: As angry as Sanders supporters have a right to be, the stunt didn’t actually manage to incite anything damning.  So, they’re making hay with what they got—someone, well, holding a chair. And putting it down. Weak. Very weak. And yet, look at the corporate media crowing and dancing with it.)

This would, if true, be a sick attempt to discredit a movement whose strength is terrifying them—terrifying, yes, because we are this close and she is this weak.

(Many would say this is far firmer than conjecture, but I’ll be fair. it’s not yet proven fact.)

CONJECTURE: Moreover, this could also be manipulating perceptions and manufacturing consent in preparation for how Sanders supporters might react based on whatever similar scheme—on a larger and more outrageous scale—they might be cooking up for Philadelphia. If they’ve already established us as “violent,”1 they could have more precedent to shut us down (with violence, ironically) if they perpetrate another, bigger coup at the national convention. Bush vs Gore, anyone? You think it can’t happen again?

Literally and figuratively, they’re donning their riot gear while screaming at us that we’re violent. If this gets bloody, they will want to divert and deflect. But they will be the ones who made it so. They will be the only ones with the guns, scrambling to justify it.

CONJECTURE: Imagine how this absolutely abhorrent specimen of damaged character will deal with our peaceful revolution if given presidential powers—if this is how she and DNC deal with it now. Just imagine your freedoms to protest under a Clinton presidency.

SUGGESTION/OPINION:  If that doesn’t scare you?  If you’re not seriously worried about the oligarchy-turned-fascist-leaning state of affairs of the Clinton Dynasty/DNC/corporate media triangle and their increasingly and openly despicable, atrocious, lawless conduct? If you’re not as troubled by the unchecked, anarchistic Clinton/corporate apparatus as you are of the dumb, hapless clown Trump?

And if you’re not deeply insulted by the Clinton/DNC/media unconcealed contempt for you, the working-class person who just wants some justice, equality, decency and democracy? If you are not unbelievably pissed at the vast bulk of corporate media buying and spreading this absolutely nonsensical meme that “Sanders is under fire for supporters’ behavior at Nevada convention?”

As the old saying goes, if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention. Or you are as naive and bamboozled as they want you to be.  (That might veer darned close to a fact as well.)

REALLY SUPER IMPORTANT POINT:  Do you find it at all strange, odd, bizarre funny-not-haha-funny that the media is entirely focused on the purported (yet in fact non-existent) “violence” of Sanders supporters INSTEAD OF what actually happened at the Nevada convention? That they are all kerfluffled about a fictional chair throw instead of about a DNC coup? Has any of them actually laid out the facts and shown the video of what Roberta Lange did?

I find this rather hideous. And it’s a point in and of itself that should be reported on. What exactly the EFF are these media calling news?  If there is a “chair story,” it is about the Nevada Democratic Party Chair, not a fake story about a thrown chair. The Chair committed a crime. The ass-clown media is screaming a fake story about the kind of chair you sit in. Being thrown. Not.

REQUEST: PLEASE SHARE. Share these facts in whatever form you feel comfortable. Do your part to turn it around. Get loud, because they’re getting uber shrill.

This is the latest, dirtiest, most desperate and vile attempt yet to discredit Sanders and his supporters. Why is it getting so obscene? Because nothing else they’ve tried (and oh, they have tried so much!) has worked. We need to keep our heads clear and high, and straighten out the record.

The media is pushing this filthy bit of fiction hard because it’s their last chance.  We’re close to the convention and we’ve still got momentum. Sanders is quite possibly winning. He has won 21 states. He is at this writing (update) just 274 delegates behind. There are 475 at stake in California alone. He is headed into the convention with a reasonable argument to superdelegates whose mandate points to him. Clinton knows she could lose (in spite of her fairly offensive public smugness to the contrary). Yet the DNC promised her this win and planned for it for eight years. Did you think they would let Bernie Sanders win this honestly and fairly? With so much money and power at stake?

Look at what this county has become—and who is pushing to keep it that way. Think for a minute about just how vicious they’ll be willing to get to ensure that this (gasp!) honest “outsider” not get anywhere near the White House (and he’s getting near, for all their denials). Do your part to broadcast. They’ve got networks and cables. We have these facts and the Internet. Talk to people, speak out, share and write.

Because you’re seeing, right now, what historians like Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn spoke and wrote about all their lives. We are living it right in this moment, and it is our time. We can rise up against it or let them trample us underfoot with their fear-mongering and falsehoods.

There has never been a more important time to be the media. If you are not one who listens to the lies, it’s time to get braver and bolder about rebutting those who do.

With that effort, some persistence and consistency, our own honesty and equanimity, and a little luck—their efforts will continue to reveal where the ugliness and violence really lies. The truth will out.


RESOURCES

1 Consider this quote from the Nevada State Democratic Party, who demonized Sanders supporters in a fantastically projecting letter written to the DNC (to pave the ground for more of this?) :
“We believe, unfortunately, that the tactics and behavior on display here in Nevada are harbingers of things to come as Democrats gather in Philadelphia in July for our National Convention. We write to alert you to what we perceive as the Sanders campaign’s penchant for extra-parliamentary behavior — indeed, actual violence — in place of democratic conduct in a convention setting, and furthermore what we can only describe as their encouragement of, and complicity in, a very dangerous atmosphere that ended in chaos and physical threats to fellow Democrats.”

SANDERS STATEMENT ON NEVADA
http://thebernreport.com/sanders-statement-nevada/

“If the Democratic Party is to be successful in November, it is imperative that all state parties treat our campaign supporters with fairness and the respect that they have earned…Unfortunately, that was not the case at the Nevada convention. At that convention the Democratic leadership used its power to prevent a fair and transparent process from taking place. Among other things:

    • The chair of the convention announced that the convention rules passed on voice vote, when the vote was a clear no-vote. At the very least, the Chair should have allowed for a headcount.
    • The chair allowed its Credentials Committee to en mass rule that 64 delegates were ineligible without offering an opportunity for 58 of them to be heard. That decision enabled the Clinton campaign to end up with a 30-vote majority.
    • The chair refused to acknowledge any motions made from the floor or allow votes on them.
      The chair refused to accept any petitions for amendments to the rules that were properly submitted.

“Within the last few days there have been a number of criticisms made against my campaign organization. Party leaders in Nevada, for example, claim that the Sanders campaign has a ‘penchant for violence.’ That is nonsense. Our campaign has held giant rallies all across this country, including in high-crime areas, and there have been zero reports of violence. Our campaign of course believes in non-violent change and it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals. But, when we speak of violence, I should add here that months ago, during the Nevada campaign, shots were fired into my campaign office in Nevada and apartment housing complex my campaign staff lived in was broken into and ransacked.”

ANOTHER GOOD PIECE DEBUNKING THE CHAIR/MEDIA FRENZY
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/18/the-faux-fracas-in-nevada-how-a-reporters-pack-of-lies-ran-riot-in-the-fact-averse-media/

SUPERB IN-DEPTH PIECE ON THE INFRACTIONS BY DNC AND CHAIRWOMAN LANGE
AT THE NEVADA DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/05/18/how-democrats-manipulated-nevada-state-party-convention-then-blamed-sanders-chaos

Lists in thorough detail all the key acts of misconduct, suppression, and at the Convention.
“All of this conduct has been drowned out by a narrative that somehow Sanders supporters were sore losers.”

Dan Rolle, a congressional candidate for the fourth district in Nevada, was present at the convention. He put together a video of what happened at the convention and why it happened. Two days later, it has over 30,000 views. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_7c0I8ODKw
Rolle was very unsettled by the final moments of the convention, when the entire stage was flanked by Las Vegas metro police as leadership fled after undemocratically bringing the convention to a close.
Rolle sent a letter to Senator Harry Reid, Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, urging them to demand Lange resign after her actions at the convention.
“I personally did not see any acts of violence,” Rolle stated.


GERMANE QUOTES

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
― Howard Zinn

“If those in charge of our society—politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television—can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.”
― Howard Zinn

“The most revolutionary act one can engage in is… to tell the truth.”
― Howard Zinn

You don’t have any other society where the educated classes are so effectively indoctrinated and controlled by a subtle propaganda system – a private system including media, intellectual opinion forming magazines and the participation of the most highly educated sections of the population….[their essential function is]…to set up and maintain a system of doctrines and beliefs which will undermine independent thought and prevent a proper understanding and analysis of national and global institutions, issues, and policies.”
– Noam Chomsky

“The public relations industry, which essentially runs the elections, is applying certain principles to undermine democracy which are the same as the principles that applies to undermine markets…The goal is to undermine markets by creating uninformed consumers who will make irrational choices and the business world spends huge efforts on that. The same is true when the same industry, the PR industry, turns to undermining democracy. It wants to construct elections in which uninformed voters will make irrational choices. It’s pretty reasonable and it’s so evident you can hardly miss it.”
– Noam Chomsky

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
– John F. Kennedy, 1962 White House Speech

1 Comment

  1. Louise

    Thank you so much for your sane and coherent summary of what happened at the Nevada convention and why the FACTS MATTER. I had followed the convention via Twitter as it was happening, and you did a great job putting it all together.