Darryl Cooper, in his essay posted on Glenn Greenwald’s Substack page, has a message for the American Left. It’s a message of unity and common cause:
[Trump supporters] are absolutely right that the institutions and power centers of this country have been monopolized by a Regime that believes they are beneath representation, and will observe no limits to prevent them getting it. I encourage people on the Left to recognize the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in front of them. You’re not going to agree with the conservatives on everything. But if in 2004 I had told you that the majority of the GOP voter base would soon be seeing the folly of the Iraq War, becoming skeptical of state surveillance, and beginning to see the need for action to help the poor and working classes, you’d have told me such a thing would transform the country. Take the opportunity. These people are not demons, and they are ready to listen in a way they haven’t in a long, long time.
Stated another way, the Left has criticized those “institutions and power centers of this country” for decades while many conservatives went along with the high school civics class version of the U.S. Those conservatives now know to a certainty that, if you step outside of the prescribed electoral box, you will be personally mocked and demonized, but worse, the “Regime” will stop at nothing to take down your candidate, should he have the effrontery to win. That means that the Right and the Left can now link arms, at least on some big-ticket items, and the Left would do well, if it wants real change, to stop vilifying the Right and start listening to it.
Now, I would shade Cooper’s message a bit. Throughout his generally fine essay, he characterizes Trump voters thus:
They give their kids a pocket Constitution for their birthday. They have Yellow Ribbon bumper stickers, and fly the POW/MIA flag under the front-porch Stars and Stripes, and curl their lip at people who talk during the National Anthem at ballgames.
I’m sure many of them are all that and more, but what Cooper misses is that the people who gave Donald J. Trump the Republican nomination (to the horror of the RNC and the GOP generally) were already what we in the anti-Viet Nam War movement used to call “radicalized.” They knew all too well about what they called the “swamp,” knew the administration of George W. Bush had lied to them about WMDs, knew about the surveillance state and, above all, knew that Washington and the elites of the two coasts neither knew nor cared about them. Cooper assumes that the Left is the “radicalized” wing of American politics, but it wasn’t the Left that elected an outsider in the hopes of “draining” that swamp, it was the Right. And no left-wing office holder has been treated with the deranged hatred that the Left visited on Donald Trump.
Still, Cooper’s piece is well worth the read.
Yes, the Russia Collusion hoax was bad enough, but, had there been some follow-through by the press, might have been passed off as garden-variety political chicanery. But there was none. That the Clinton campaign had, using campaign funds, paid Fusion GPS that then hired Steele to produce disinformation on the Trump campaign that the FBI then used against Carter Page, lying to the FISA court in the process, looked positively Nixonesque. The fact that, for all intents and purposes, the entire press corps has taken a “nothing to see here, move along” attitude about that series of outrages remains one of the signal features of Trump’s time in office.
But those institutions had gambled their power and credibility, and they’d lost, and now Trump supporters expected a reckoning. When no reckoning was forthcoming - when the Greenwalds, and Taibbis, and Matés of the world were not handed the New York Times’ revoked Pulitzers for correctly and courageously standing against the tsunami on the biggest political story in years - these people shed many illusions about how power really operates in their country.
Trump supporters know - I think everyone knows - that Donald Trump would have been impeached and probably indicted if Robert Mueller had proven that he’d paid a foreign spy to gather damaging information on Hillary Clinton from sources connected to Russian intelligence and disseminate that information in the press. Many of Trump’s own supporters wouldn’t have objected to his removal if that had happened. Of course that is exactly what the Clinton campaign actually did, yet there were no consequences for it. Indeed, there has been almost no criticism of it.
When it comes to American politics, I’m as jaded as the next person and probably more so, but the utter lack of interest, much less outrage, about the Russia collusion hoax still has me bug-eyed and gasping.
But, as Cooper makes clear, that’s hardly all.
[Trump supporters] could have managed the shock if it only involved the government. But the behavior of the press is what radicalized them. Trump supporters have more contempt for journalists than they have for any politician or government official, because they feel most betrayed by them… The corporate press is the propaganda arm of the Regime these people are now seeing in outline. Nothing anyone says will ever make them unsee that, period…
They watched the corporate press behave like animals for four years. Tens of millions of people will always see Brett Kavanaugh as a gang rapist, based on an unproven accusation, because of CNN. And CNN seems proud of that. They helped lead a lynch mob against a high school kid. They cheered on the most deadly and destructive riots in decades.
All true and so much more. Even the MSM let us know what was really going on behind the BLM riots.
Time Magazine told us that during the 2020 riots, there were weekly conference calls involving - among others - leaders of the protests, local officials responsible for managing them, and members of the media charged with reporting on the events. They worked together with Silicon Valley to control the messaging about the ongoing crisis for maximum political effect.
And, had Trump won in November those riots would have looked tame by comparison.
In case of a Trump victory, the same organization had protesters ready to be activated by text message in 400 cities the day after the election. Every town with a population over 50,000 would have been in for some pre-planned, centrally-controlled mayhem.
That’s the kind of thing that’s now frankly approved both by local governmental officials and the national press. Hey, vote for anyone you want to, but if it’s someone of whom we disapprove, we’ll burn your country down.
And let’s not forget Big Tech. The major players thereof got in on the game too. Remember Hunter Biden’s laptop?
Big Tech ran a coordinated censorship campaign against a major American newspaper while the rest of the media spread base propaganda to protect a political candidate. And once again, the campaign crossed institutional boundaries, with dozens of former intelligence officials throwing their weight behind the baseless and now-discredited claim that the laptop was part of a Russian disinformation campaign. That lie was promoted by Big Tech companies, while the true information being reported by The New York Post about the laptop’s contents was suppressed. That is what happened.
Cooper makes himself altogether clear:
It hardly needs saying that if The New York Times had Donald Trump Jr.’s laptop, full of pictures of him smoking crack and engaging in group sex, lots of lurid family drama, and emails with pretty direct discussions of political corruption, the Paper of Record would not have had its accounts suspended for reporting on it. Let’s remember that stories of Trump being pissed on by Russian prostitutes and blackmailed by Putin were promoted as fact across the media spectrum and used as the basis for a multi-year criminal investigation, when the only evidence was a document paid for by his opposition and disavowed by its primary source.
Cooper’s core message is spot-on. Tens of millions of people had their faces mashed in muck for four years and they are not happy about it. Cooper wants the Left and Right to join in mutual outrage in order to make major changes. I say it won’t happen. To its everlasting disgrace, the Left (except for a few like Greenwald) figures that what was done to Trump is fine because they hate the man. They seem incapable of absorbing two obvious points – that if it happened to Trump, it can happen to their guy and that 2016 – 2020 was a blow to basic fairness, decency, democracy, the rule of law, ethics and honesty that this country may never recover from.
Now is the time for unity and reform. Will it happen? I doubt it.