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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/19/19

The Strategy of the Democratic Right Is Divide and Conquer the Left

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From Reader Supported News

MSNBC's Steve Kornacki imparts polling wisdom to the viewers in the run-up to the 2018 Midterm elections.
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So, if two thirds of the Democratic voters want to nominate a progressive candidate for President and Democratic leadership wants a conservative, corporate-friendly nominee, what is Democratic leadership to do?

Fracture the base, divide and conquer. Wonder why DNC oracles MSNBC and CNN are so gung-ho on promoting at least 23 candidates for the Democratic nomination? It waters down and fractures the progressive vote, which allows Democratic leadership's preferred conservative, corporate-friendly candidate, Joe Biden, to stand apart from the crowd.

Sanders and Warren are true progressive candidates. However, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Beto O'Rourke, and a host of the other candidates appeal to progressive-leaning Democratic voters well enough to keep what should be a progressive majority safely marginalized.

The 2016 race for the Democratic nomination was essentially a two-way race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Despite Clinton's massive advantages, Sanders all but won anyway, massive chicanery by the Clinton campaign notwithstanding. Minority rule is not an exclusively Republican strategy. It's just as appealing to Democratic leadership. Maintain power at all costs.

The Polls

Chris Hayes, on MSNBC Monday evening, dismissed polling as meaningless at this stage of the nominating process. What Hayes did not take into consideration was that his own network broadcasts poll results around the clock, replete with well-informed analysts eager to define for the viewing audience what they mean.

Used in that way, poll results regardless of their methodology, verifiability, or accuracy are actually more effective in shaping public sentiment than gauging it. It's called push-polling and the cable networks use it as aggressively as any political propaganda oracle in US history.

The Debates

A political debate, when allowed to play out organically, can be very enlightening and instructive. Unfortunately, when the debate is broadcast on a privately owned network, those who wish to participate are obliged to play by the network's rules.

The candidates want to debate each other, and that's what the voters want as well. But the privately held network wants, for a variety of reasons, to be in the middle of the process and is not at all shy about inserting themselves there.

It's billed as a political debate, but with the networks imposing their will, it becomes a heavily produced political presentation. Like any other manufactured programming, any result can be achieved. Wouldn't it be nice if the candidates were allowed to interact as adults and actually ... debate?

There's a sense here that the DNC has too much control and the networks have too much influence. That is leading us back to the same dynamic that defined the 2016 presidential election and likely the same result.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, now the founder, editor and publisher of Reader Supported News:

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