The news networks were recently called out for their blatant favoritism of a presidential candidate, Donald Trump. It’s been interesting to watch their response since this calling out. After disappearing for a day or two, the candidate is back in the news with a vengeance, although now the writers take a more critical approach. And I think I see a new element with the potential to be just as damaging as the unequal coverage—the disparagement of this candidate’s supporters on the basis of class. This is particularly dangerous because it’s effects are subliminal.
It is legitimate to criticize one’s political opponents on a political or moral basis, but in my opinion it’s not legitimate to criticize them for class differences, i.e. for wearing a blouse ‘right off the rack at Walmart’, or living in a mobile home. I’m afraid I didn’t notice this problem when we were first told that these voters are poorly educated, but it’s become impossible to ignore.
When I first [intlink id=”2062″ type=”post”]endorsed[/intlink] my candidate, Senator Sanders, I explained that I never intended to use this blog for political strategy. In my view his presidency was an opportunity to reorient our politics and our policies to address the reality of the future, a future which includes a growing population and diminishing resources. The class issue, which many people have said is probably made up anyway, makes this peaceful existence unlikely.
Of course fighting these divisions is not our responsibility alone—our opponents have chosen hostility, fear, and selfishness as the way forward. What’s really damning in my view is that they chose these things over the brighter way that was available to them. This is a legitimate criticism. The class criticism on the other hand might have subliminal effects because it hides behind the legitimate one.
As I write, I realize that this article has been influenced by this media trick too. it’s sounds like I’ve forgotten that Senator Sanders is the champion of social justice and that it’s not our policies that need explaining. That’s what these tactics are meant to do.