Secondly, most progressives avoided any serious attempt to influence the policies proposed by Kerry which were, on foreign affairs, the same as Bush. Most of us were forced to go with the strange idea that after winning, Kerry could then alter his position away from that of Bush, perhaps.
Back then there was less cohesion among progressives and more attraction into mainstream politics, wherein progressive journalism was more often than not reacting, replying and arguing as an in-house loyal opposition rather than an outside force calling for real accountability from both the government and the Democratic party.
The 2004 election showed the weakness of collaborating with a Democratic party which having never acknowledged the criminality of the Vietnam War, now had returned to the once discredited claim that the war was about protecting American freedom and democracy. It was the Democrats who brought the Vietnam war into focus again with mass media heralding veterans as heroes with no appreciable reaction from progressive publications. Thereupon the Republicans ran with this jingoistic patriotic theme unchallenged and were able to use the lies of past history to support the lies of recent history being molded in Iraq.
The odd parading of Vietnam veterans at the opening of a Democratic Convention, about to nominate Kerry who had once denounced that war as a crime against humanity, was an obvious attempt to garner the support of pro-war voters, which played right into Republican hands. Progressives just looked on, anguished that they had tied themselves to the Democratic candidate as the best of two evils.
Congressional Elections this November saw Progressives coming into their own again, uncompromisingly pushing the Democrats into anti-war positions and hammering on the theme of the removal of all troops from Iraq. They helped Democrats in the voting out of office of a critical amount of pro war conservatives. Now, it is time for progressives to focus on the real progenitor of war, mass murder and theft made possible by conglomerate owned media news and information management, its daily shameless administration and military propaganda, and the acquiescent collaboration of clergy and academia, namely, the whole corporate elite criminally insane system which includes the collusion of the leadership of both wings of the two parties sharing the domination of the nation's political life in alternating rule with the consent of their wealthy backers.
With this Republican defeat, progressives should now focus on the Democratic leadership just as they focused on the G.O.P. leadership and President Bush before the election, and not to be lulled into falling for that old trap of considering corporate backed liberals as being closer to progressive anti-empire positions than corporate conservatives? The admonishing slogan "Tweedlydum and Tweedlydee" has been repeated by progressive leaders throughout U.S. political history.
Actually, since liberals are elected by, and claim to represent, the less wealthy, it is liberals who can be considered to be so often devious for going along with the corporate agenda, while conservatives are quite consistently frank about their first allegiance. America's number one progressive Noam Chomsky, charmingly illustrates the nuance of guilt often felt by the conflicted liberal for the conundrum of serving two masters, when he once quipped in a humorous and friendly off-handed aside,
"By conventional measures, the Harvard faculty is much more liberal, in fact left-liberal. MIT faculty are very conservative, often even reactionary. I get along fine with the MIT faculty, even when we disagree about everything (which is the usual case). If I show up at the Harvard faculty club, you can feel the chill settle; it's as if Satan himself had entered the room." ["Chomsky, A Life of Dissent", Robert Barsky, MIT Press]
Michael Moore gave a succinct description of the nature of the two parties during a radio interview, "Well, the Republicans are gangsters, and the Democrats are pimps." Though most of us would not dare to say that, we recognize where Moore is coming from, and it encourages us, emboldens us, to be firm in treating the corporate backed Democratic leadership the same as we treated the other twin corporate backed party before this election. We will also be being fair to the Republicans to do so. After all, it is the war and dishonesty that was and remains the issue.
The media presents discussion upon discussion of the president and Iraq as if its audience were made up of naïve children. As if we have forgotten that leadership of both parties backed the invasion and
war of occupation in Iraq, just as both parties backed the long crucifixion of the Indochinese under six presidents, three from each party.
The old boy deep pockets will continue to be so pleased if they can see their puppet Bush still taking most of the heat as if he were the real culprit, rather than the grand financial conspiracy that functions as the government of United States of America. Sincerely concerned citizens will not allow their attention to be drawn away from the present power and responsibility of the Democratic congressional leadership, and progressive editors will hopefully not regard themselves and their citizen readership as a kind of 'in house' opposition but rather refuse to feel drawn inside and part of the criminality itself wherein progressive voices will be compromised with little effect and help to the nation and world. Better to remain on the margin, independent of a closed dual cooperating, mutually complicit and corporate beholden, monopoly of power.
Rather than a begrudging integration within the Democratic Party as its left wing, it behooves our progressives editors to take stock of how real independent journalism and activist information webs could best serve the nation and the world. Should we not return to keeping strictly loyal to our ideals of governance of the people, by the people, staying within our base, and respecting long term useful goals of educating as much of the public as we can reach? Or shall we continue being lured into joining in the corporate agenda on the liberal corporate side in order to feel engaged and active within the establishment?
Progressive journalism is needed for its descriptions of the real situation in the world, in stark contrast to the dangerously distorted pictures of conditions and events promoted by the giant conglomerates of an entertainment/news and information industry which has now totally penetrated school, university and church libraries. Facing this awesome mass media power for disinformation and fear mongering, progressives can only serve sanity and eventual enlightenment by remaining outside the corrupted and intentional
confusions of main stream propaganda and not 'buying in' to this skewed and manipulative system of commercial pseudo-democracy.
If progressives tactics take into realistic account that the corporate juggernaught is going to be rolling unstoppable for the foreseeable future, there will be less likelihood of mistaken alliances out of impatience.