Saturday, June 25, 2016
The human dogwhistle
Here's the totally not-racist Senator Jeff Sessions explaining that Brexit is all about fighting the financial elites. He doesn't even mention race or immigration but then he doesn't have to does he? He's a walking dogwhistle.
But keep in mind a couple of things. Margaret Thatcher was all for the EU. Just saying.
And Sessions voted against every single policy that would have helped actual working people during the Great Recession and pushed for austerity measures that would have made even David Cameron cringe. He wants to repeal every bit of the safety net and doesn't believe there should even be a minimum wage.
He doesn't like trade deals but that's only because he's what's known as a business nationalist:
According to progressive scholar Mark Rupert, the right wing antiglobalist worldview (the worldview of business nationalists) “envisions a world in which Americans are uniquely privileged, inheritors of a divinely inspired socio–political order which must at all costs be defended against external intrusions and internal subversion.” Rupert argues that this reactionary analysis seeks to challenge corporate power without comprehending the nature of “capital concentration and the transnational socialization of production.” The reactionary analysis absent this understanding breeds alienation and intensifies “scapegoating and hostility toward those seen as outside of, different or dissenting from its vision of national identity."
As alienation builds, more overtly fascistic forces will attempt to pull some of these angry people into an ideological framework that further justifies demonization of the chosen "Other."
Business nationalism carries with it its right-wing baggage. Pat Buchanan’s rhetoric is an example of this baggage. His racist, antisemitic and xenophobic inclinations reflect business nationalism’s right-wing national chauvinism.
At the core of right wing populism is the "producerist narrative" where the main scapegoats are people of color, especially Blacks. This narrative diverts attention from the White supremacist subtext. It uses coded language to mobilize resentment against people of color through attacks on issues immediately relevant to them, such as welfare, immigration, tax, or education policies. Women, gay men and lesbians, abortion providers, youth, students, and environmentalists are also frequently scapegoated in this manner.
Yeah, I think you can see why Session and Trump are two peas in a pod.
Anyway, here's Sessions, giving cover to the bigots with a sophisticated nationalist populist argument that elides all the underlying motivations:
The British people, our special friends and allies, deserve our full support following their sovereign and considered decision to leave the European Union.
The people spoke from their hearts and with conviction. They considered deep and critical issues never discussed by the international elites. Their strong vote arose not out of fear and pique but out of love for country and pride of place. Their experience with a distant government in Brussels was given a long and fair chance to succeed. In the end, however, they concluded that the costs outweighed the benefits. Often, Britain makes changes that precede U. S. action. The Thatcher movement preceded the Reagan revolution. Both were victories for the people over outdated and corrupt forces. Both were achieved against powerful and determined establishment forces. Both resulted in historic and positive periods in their nation’s history.
Now it’s our time. The period of the nation state has not ended. No far off global government or union can command the loyalty of a people like their own country. Vague unions have no ability to call on the people to sacrifice for the common good. They seem incapable of making decisions and when they do, they have difficulty executing the decision.
Far better to celebrate the wonder and proven worth of good nation states and to work hard to use that foundation to build harmonious political and trading relations among the nations. This is the best basis for peace and prosperity.
In negotiations and relationships, national leaders should first ensure they have protected the safety and legitimate interests of their own people. This principle has been eroded and Brexit is a warning for America. Our British friends have sent the message loud and clear.
The interests of powerful international corporations, media, special interests, and leftist international forces are not coterminous with those of our people. This we must understand. The ultimate interest that our government is legally and morally bound to serve is that of our people.
Just as in the U.K., our November presidential election presents a stark contrast. The establishment forces, the global powers, are promoting their values and their interests. They want to erode borders, rapidly open America’s markets to foreign produced goods, while having little interest in advancing America’s ability to sell abroad. These forces have zero interest in better job opportunities and higher wages for our citizens.
It has been known for years that the European Union has often served as a barrier to its members taking action that would serve their own interests. Perhaps nothing proves this more definitively than the current migrant crisis, where the EU has clearly been part of the problem, not the solution.
And, consider the promotion of radical trade policies that erode the power of the people to control their lives. Millions upon millions of dollars from around the globe are being spent to get America to agree to the massive, twelve-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership. While sold as a trade deal, in reality, the TPP is a Trojan Horse for yet another sovereignty-eroding global pact. If implemented, it would create a new governing body that would exercise power and make decisions that the United States Congress would be effectively powerless to block. Like the EU, each nation gets one vote. Brunei and Vietnam get one vote as does the President of the United States.
We must remember that the European Union began as a seemingly benign economic agreement, and we must not forget, that as Secretary of State, with negotiating responsibility for the TPP, Hillary Clinton promoted it and called it the ‘gold standard’ for a trade deal. That should give us all pause. This sovereignty eroding trade deal is in perfect accord with her globalist agenda.
Too many politicians and pundits here in America have been woefully oblivious to, or in some cases complicit in, what is going on around us. The failed European Union experiment, and Great Britain’s rejection of it, must serve as a wake-up call for all of us in America.
I applaud yesterday’s strong and patriotic action taken by America’s special friend, retaking its independence. I know that moving forward the deep and historic ties between Great Britain and America will grow ever stronger. I believe the American people too will choose independence this November.
digby 6/25/2016 11:00:00 AM