Populism, Democracy and the Big Lie
The news media lies to you, but probably not in the way you are thinking.
When you think of news media lies you probably think of Saddam's WMDs and his fictional ties to al-Qaeda.
This lie was the exception because the news media was lazy. They lied about something specific that could be easily disproven, which was unusually sloppy for them. Most of the media's lies are much larger and harder to disprove and usually involve half-truths and lies of omission.
The media is universal in agreement that populism is bad for democracy.
Populism is dangerous. Populists are authoritarian. Populists, of both the right and the left are racists.
It's centrists that love democracy and moderation will protect democracy.
There is virtually no disagreement with this assessment, so it was surprising that I found this article.
My research suggests that across Europe and North America, centrists are the least supportive of democracy, the least committed to its institutions and the most supportive of authoritarianism.
...Some of the most striking data reflect respondents’ views of elections. Support for “free and fair” elections drops at the center for every single country in the sample. The size of the centrist gap is striking. In the case of the United States, fewer than half of people in the political center view elections as essential.
I could say something about Russiagate and our "sacred elections", but instead I'm going to move onto the critical subject of freedom.
In almost every case, support for civil rights wanes in the center. In the United States, only 25 percent of centrists agree that civil rights are an essential feature of democracy.
So centrists aren't very fond of democracy, elections, or civil rights.
So what do centrists value?
I find, however, evidence of substantial support for a “strong leader” who ignores his country’s legislature, particularly among centrists. In the United States, centrists’ support for a strongman-type leader far surpasses that of the right and the left.
Keep in mind that these are the very same people that are telling us not to trust the other guys, and that only they stand for freedom.
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense.
Who are the populists? They are generally the people in the streets. They are often affiliated with the left or the right.
Who are the centrists? They aren't the streets. They are most often part of the establishment, which brings up their disdain for primary challenges, an essential part of democracy.
A 2018 poll conducted by the progressive think tank Data for Progress and data analytics firm YouGov Blue showed that 54% of Democrats agree that, "Democrats should provide a clear, positive agenda to contrast with Trump and the Republican culture of corruption. Primary elections ensure the strongest Democrats emerge to advance that agenda."
Only 35% of Democrats believed that, "Democrats should focus on providing a check against Trump and the Republican culture of corruption. Drawn-out primary fights among Democrats are counterproductive."
What is happening with Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn in Britain, the Yellow Vests in France, third parties in the U.S., is a rise in real democracy.
The establishment is telling you to hate this democratic activism because it is a threat to their "democracy". You are being told to hate the things that can save us and to embrace the things that are killing us.
You want primary challenges? You must want the Democratic Party to lose.
You want to vote third party because they share your values? You are throwing away your vote.
It's the Art of the Big Lie, and it's not new.
"All this was inspired by the principle - which is quite true in itself - that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation."
- Hitler, Mein Kampf