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Moral Monday A Branding Exercise Blaming Republicans for Stuff Democrats Helped Them Do

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by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Is Moral Monday “sweeping the nation”? Is it the beginning of a new movement, or the revival of an old one? Or is it a sad, cynical and partisan attempt at renewing the brand of the black political class as fighters for justice and representatives of the oppressed?

Moral Monday A Branding Exercise Blaming Republicans for Stuff Democrats Helped Them Do

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

To hear the flock of Democrat media and civil rights spokespeople tell it, it's sweeping the country, or at least the South. “Moral Monday” may be coming to a state capital near you. It's this, it's that, it's hot, it's holding Republicans governors and state legislators accountable for the gamut of their heinous policies against the poor and people of color. It is, they say, the beginning of a new movement or the revival of an old one.

If only this were true.

The problem of course, is not that Moral Monday's core demands – expanding Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, raising the minimum wage, and doing something about hunger, are bad things. The problem is that Democrats enabled and helped Republicans to enact the immoral policies which Moral Monday spokespeople inveigh against in the first place. White House and Congressional Democrats did these things to please their campaign contributors, mostly the same wealthy donors who give to the Republicans. But now, the Democratic president who proposed and invented the sequester, the Democratic president and Democrats in Congress who voted to cut food stamps and not extend unemployment last year, the Democrat in the White House who campaigned saying he'd increase the minimum wage and enable unions to organize but did nothing when he had majorities in both houses of Congress – these Democrats need to pose as champions of the people fighting callous, the greedy and the evil Republicans. The immoral Republicans.

The inescapable truth is that President Obama and Congressional Democrats created the opportunity for Republican governors in the South, where the majority of uninsured poor African Americans live, to exclude them from Obamacare's Medicaid expansion when they chose not to fight for the single payer Medicare For All health plan their constituents wanted and many of them campaigned on. Democrats, including many so-called “progressives” proposed food stamp cuts to the Republicans, who responded with even more savage ones. Congressional Democrats freely chose not to fight to keep unemployment benefits intact, and the president kept his veto pen in his bully pulpit or wherever he keeps those things.  On one of these occasions, the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus declared that he and his allies had voted for a "satan sandwich."  But for all this, Moral Monday wants us to exclusively blame Republicans.

Why? Because Moral Monday is a cynical branding exercise. Branding is the indispensable tool of marketers. The aim of branding is to deliberately evade rational thought on the part of its target audience, and to evoke within them them real or imagined memories, feelings, tastes and attachments which can be powerfully felt but not rationally justified. In this case, what's being marketed is the Democratic party's and the black political class's “brand” as fighters for the oppressed in general and “representatives” of black folks in particular.

Moral Monday, at least in Georgia where I live, run by the state conference of the NAACP, the heart and brain stem of the same black political class that has run Atlanta since the 1970s. Moral Monday is a partisan branding exercise, a flag around which Democrat and allied activists can rally a docile crowd at the state capital every week that legislative Democrats can step outside for photo opportunities at its head.

Moral Monday Georgia is all about providing a flag for diehard Democratic party activists to rally the faithful around, without demanding that Democrats in actual positions of power to do much of anything in particular.

Moral Monday Georgia won't address the privatizing and gentrifying black Democrat who is the mayor of Atlanta. Maybe privatization and gentrification aren't really immoral. It won't question the black Democrats in the legislature who last year co-sponsored bills that allow Atlanta public schools to be replaced with privately owned charters any time charter operators fund a small petition drive in a school district, because Moral Monday's leaders will be supporting those same Democrats this November. It won't demand the restoration of the pensions Atlanta's black mayor has savaged, or question Democratic support for the bipartisan project of privatizing Atlanta's public transit. Morality can only go so far, after all.

Moral Monday won't stand up for the residents of Shell Bluff, whose community has been poisoned and irradiated by Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle nuclear reactors or the millions of Georgia ratepayers who are billed each month for reactor costs because Georgia Power is an equal opportunity campaign contributor, generously giving to Democrats as well as Republicans, black legislators as well as white ones. A former Georgia Power president even headed up SCLC's building fund drive, so nothing they do can be immoral, right?

It's been three years since black, brown and white Georgia prisoners went on a hunger strike demanding education and justice behind the walls. Moral Monday isn't demanding accountability from Georgia's prisons either. It's not on their moral horizon.

To the extent that Moral Monday captures the energy of some well-intentioned folks, it's not the beginning of a new movement, or the revival or an old one. It's an exercise in messaging, a triumph of branding over substance. It's a weekly photo opportunity, to shore up the fading brand of black Democrats who pretend to stand for justice, but really don't stand for much at all.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report and a member of the state committee fo the GA Green Party. He lives and works in Marietta GA and can be reached via this site's contact page, or at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com.

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Comments

What are we supposed to do?

See, I don't disagree that Democrats also bear some responsiblity, but you seem to imply that because of that, the good people of North Carolina should just stay home and let moral and social justice rot on the ground. So I don't get the point of your article, unless it's to support your corporate and Republican masters?

Democrats should do better, sure, so support the good folks of my home state in going to Raleigh and demanding that the entire state government do better. Again, unless your motivation is something else, and you support the decay.

Own your beliefs, don't obfuscate them, and hide behind opaque excuses.

Democrats

I totally understand the frustration and betrayal people feel about Democrats.  Obviously, they could do better.  Maybe these protesters are naive, but they are out there with their signs, and authentically believe in their causes, all of which are right on.  This alone, is valuable.  So I salute the people out on the street.  In their simplicity, they are out there in public, declaring what they believe in.  They may not have a sophisticated understanding of politics, but they are still standing up for what they believe in.

Regarding black Democratic leaders:  I think a lot of them have finally gotten to a place where they have some power and respect.  They do not want to jeopardize that.  This shows they are no different than anyone.  When they have power, they like it and want to keep it.  So they don't rock the boat too much.

Once you are in power, it's a whole lot different than when you're on the outside, criticizing.  As long as people like to be in privileged positions, we will have problems.  Very few people can get into positions of power and not be corrupted by it.

Anyway, the peeps on the streets are being righteous, even if they are being used a bit.

Revolutionary movement

In the past we have witness number of revolutionary movements, that helps to change the face of the current nation. But due to lack of proper resources and movements every single time people along with nation suffers a lot. Sometime it helps to change the current situation and system, but in most of the time it fails to do the same.

Here in this above article we have found a different movement related to the topic Affordable Care Act and its Medicaid coverage, I hope through this movement people were able to deal with the current health care service around the country. With this movement people were aware about how to deal with health care cost.

 

Auxiliary subdivisions of the same evil

In liberal-speak, Democrats are never evil bastards (like those nasty, hateful Republicans); they are either weak, stupid, or cowardly. To suggest that Democrats are anything other than blundering, inept, fearful do-gooders is to be pejoratively labeled a dissident 'cynic', as if that's such a bad thing. For the record, I'm a proud cynic and I loathe both Democrats and Republicans equally along with the capitalist organized crime syndicate currently masquerading as the US Government, which they both fervently and faithfully serve.

Of course the cynics are right; they usually are, which makes them unpopular. So what else is new? People have been hiding from the truth and clinging to irrational belief systems since the beginning of time. Besides, it's always easier to cast aspersions on the cynics (Wikileaks/Julian Assange) rather than confront uncomfortable truths, such as, say, Democrats are evil, vile bastards who will lie, cheat, and steal from the public in service to the ruling class, just like, gulp, Republicans. Of course, collective cognitive dissonance leading to visceral disdain for truth is the goal of all well-run disinformation and propaganda campaigns, and the Democrats continue to reap the benefit of the doubt through this media-generated, cowardly lion-act from their faithful followers despite an historical record of subservience to the capitalist ruling class stretching back over the better part of a century.

To clear up any misconceptions: Democrats are not stupid, they are not weak, and they are not cowardly. If those claiming to be liberals and progressives who insist upon defending the honor of the Democrats would intently focus on what Democrats actually 'do', as opposed to what they 'wish' they would do (if they weren't so cowardly and weak), they would understand and see what the Democrats truly 'are'.

That's really the typical 'liberal/progressive' argument isn't it? Gosh, theDemocrats would really and truly LOVE to do the right thing, "but, well, ya see, they just can't help it. They're weak." They're cowards. They're inept.

This brings up another point. If many liberals and progressives continue to support Democrats because they choose to see the Democrats not as evil, but rather as weak, inept, or cowardly, I have to question their continuing support of weakness, ineptness, and cowardice, as if these are justifiable or admirable attributes of the people's representatives. Obviously, Democratic politicians are none of these things; they are evil opportunists just like their Republican counterparts, but still, is claiming weakness or ineptness of character as an accommodationist defense any better? Of course not.

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Bullseye Bruce !

You have hit the nail on the head once again. Now lets extend this analysis to its next logical step. What is the "Hot Topic" that Democrats are tub thumping these day ? Chris Christie and the "Bridge Lane Closure" scandal. Anyone that hasn't been hermetically in a cave knows that Christie is a pig in more ways than one. But to listen to the wailing and gnashing of teeth out of the Democrats one would think the dude dropped in from Outer Space last week ! SiriusXM Radio's Mark Thompson has done several Live Broadcast from Moral Monday Demonstrations in various State Capitals. Thompson also uses his show to rail away about Chris Christie be it through Laborious Monlogues or through the bevy of Democrat Party Suckups that make up the preponderance of the guest he hosts. The Twitter Page used to promote his show has numerous entries assailing Christie in an incessant tirade that can go on for days at a time.

Of course we know who Christie is ! And we also know a smoke screen when we see one ! Christie is the hand picked Heir Apparent to the Republican Party's Presidential Nomination in 2016. Thompson and the other Democrat Party Flacks are engaged in a campaign to divert our attention from reality. Like the Moral Monday Campaign now underway the Democrat Party Toadies are trying to deflect our attention on to their fear of what might happen in 2016. "Never mind what is happening now and ignore the abject failure that is the Obama Presidency", that is their credo. Their fantasy of what might happen to the Democrat Party and their Flunkies in 2016 is more important than the reality of what we have been living under for the last 6 years.

Now is the time to prepare for the oncoming landslide of bullshit that will attempt to divert our attention from Obama's Record.

Keep up the good work Bruce.

"And we also know a smoke

"And we also know a smoke screen when we see one !"

WE know a smoke screen but sadly 90% of the sheeple still don't.  You are so correct about Christie being the latest distraction of the month along with him being the Rethuglican nominee for 2016.  The powers that be know a good setup when they create one:  run a Repub that will never appeal to the general electorate independent and dissatisfied Dem voters against a p.c. Demowit.  Winning Demowit will be able to enact a fascist agenda that no Rethuglican could ever pull off.   Next up it's devil incarnate Killary.  Next time, it's the Latino's turn or maybe the powers will change up and install that Rethuglican Jindal cretin from Louisiana.  And the liberalocracy will laud the "diversity" of it all.  Man, are we up shit creek.

Moral Monday

While the Moral Monday movement has acquired a lot of grassroot support and media attention here in Raleigh, North Carolina, in close proximity to the now Republican controlled state legislature & governor's office, as it pertains to public demonstrations, the silence is deafening, as far as the local Democrats are concerned.



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