Back in the day, it was a pretty straight-forward thing distinguishing right from left on the political spectrum. The right was where you found your reactionaries and warmongers. The left was the "progressive" side of the spectrum. The left was pro-labour, pro-women's rights, pro-choice, anti-racist, anti-war, and if not out and out anti-capitalist, at least acknowledged that the titans of industry and the big banks needed to be kept on a short regulatory leash.
Those were the days when the top union boss at the UE, which represented the workers at the General Electric plant where I cut my welding teeth, was an out-and-out self-confessed commie. Not a "liberal," not a "social democrat," not even a "socialist," but a full-bore communist. Yup, that was CS Jackson. And, may I add, he was a mightily effective union leader to boot.
Today, distinguishing left from right is a much more nebulous undertaking. As I tour the blogosphere, I encounter a gusher of references to "rabid leftists," "left-wing extremists," and "die-hard socialists." At first blush one is inclined to be impressed at the robust health of the left in American politics today!
Then you realize that all these references are to the Democratic party and its acolytes...
Sad to say, the Democratic party today is at least as reactionary and warmongering as their Republican counterparts, if not more so. And at least as pro-capitalist. Hillary Clinton, the "left" candidate, just spent 1.2 billion dollars, provided mainly by the big banks and the war profiteers, in the most expensive election campaign in US history, only to be defeated by a reality TV personality who spent a small fraction of that and got virtually nothing from the big banks and the warmongers.
What the fuck goes on here?
Back in the day, we could rely on the media to explain things, and if we didn't like the explanations provided by so-called mainstream media, there existed a thriving alternative media happy to fill in the blanks. Today the mainstream media is totally in the pocket of the "deep state" and the alternative media hysterically informs us that Obama has a communist agenda.
CS Jackson must be spinning in his grave...
But at least what's left of the UE had the good sense to endorse the Sanders campaign.
Alas, we know how that ended.
Not much... but there is hope! Bernie's short-lived run as a socialist proved that there's a hunger in America for real change. Bernie's unfortunate capitulation to the corrupt Dem party machine put an end to that.
But the hunger remains.