John Pilger on "brand Obama":
It is more than 100 days since Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. The “Obama brand” has been named “Advertising Age’s marketer of the year for 2008”, easily beating Apple computers. David Fenton of MoveOn.org describes Obama’s election campaign as “an institutionalised mass-level automated technological community organising that has never existed before and is a very, very powerful force”. Deploying the internet and a slogan plagiarised from the Latino union organiser César Chávez – “Sí, se puede!” or “Yes, we can” – the mass-level automated technological community marketed its brand to victory in a country desperate to be rid of George W Bush.
No one knew what the new brand actually stood for. So accomplished was the advertising (a record $75m was spent on television commercials alone) that many Americans actually believed Obama shared their opposition to Bush’s wars. In fact, he had repeatedly backed Bush’s warmongering and its congressional funding. Many Americans also believed he was the heir to Martin Luther King’s legacy of anti-colonialism. Yet if Obama had a theme at all, apart from the vacuous “Change you can believe in”, it was the renewal of America as a dominant, avaricious bully. “We will be the most powerful,” he often declared.
Chris Hedges talks about brand Obama and it's use to manipulate liberals. Without liberalism a country can not progress and change. Conservatives and liberals have been manipulated into not looking at the whole picture of what is going on in the country and the world. They give us sound bites, talking points, and they whip up one emotional issue such as abortion to divert attention away from their main goals. It is all smoke and mirrors used by the corporate ruling class to get control of the country. I use L. Fletcher Prouty’s phrase Secret Team to describe the whole system that is being used. Prouty called the CIA and all of the agencies, media, and military branches, and private contractors the CIA is embedded into the Secret Team. His book, The Secret Team was published in 1973 and the government tried to make it disappear. The CIA is so deeply embedded now, 37 years later, they are undetectable. The government and all of it’s agencies are working together with the corporate ruling elite, this combination is our government. The regulating agencies allow unhealthy food in the grocery stores, unhealthy farming practices, poisons in our foods, un-useful health harming medication on the market, drug company indoctrinated doctors, do-as-they-damn-well-please oil companies, so called health reform designed to maintain profits for industry, unethical economy destroying banking practices and environment harming practices to continue under the guise of being good for us in some way. The government “for and by the people no longer exists”. If you have any doubt about that read the Washington Post series, Top Secret America.
Hedges discusses the function liberals play in making incremental changes in society and serve as a safety valve during times of political turmoil. The rise of the corporate state has destroyed the liberal class. We are their biggest enemy because we love truth.
“…the needs and desires of citizens are irrelevant…when the first bail out package was proposed, 700 billion dollars, constituent calls in congress were 100/1 across the political spectrum against the bailout and yet it passed anyway. It passed because the corporations and wall street wanted it passed.”
“Unfortunately with the rise of the corporate state the liberal class has been destroyed and the institutions which sustain the liberal class, the press, the universities, culture, the democratic party, labor unions, religious organizations…have been decimated by corporate control so that those ah truly independent voices…look at any economics departments at just about any university in the United States and they’re all come out of the Chicago school, they are all, you know the free market believers in globalization. Ah, the liberal class internally has purged those kinds of voices that in a time of crisis they so desperately need to hear, so that they are not only outside of the liberal institutions themselves, but because these institutions, especially the press of course control the means of communication these voices are not heard. Ah, and you saw ah very heavy handed tactics ah both in the primaries and in the general election to shut out these kinds of voices. You saw it with Dennis Kucinich who was literally locked out of debates in New Hampshire, Nevada, and other places by the debate committee which is a private committee actually funded by corporate interests, you saw it the way Nader was shut out…Nader of course essentially being destroyed by the Democratic party after his grass roots movement posed a very credible threat to Democratic control. So, what is happened is that the liberal class to retain it’s positions of comfort and privilege has essentially abandoned any serious defense of traditional liberal values. You see it all in any column that Thomas Freedman writes. It is an embrace of imperial war, preemptive war which of course under international laws or under post Nuremberg laws in defined as criminal, a war of aggression, it’s an embrace of globalization, ah it’s an abandonment, a betrayal of the American working class. And, when you within a society have a bankrupt liberalism, it’s something Dostoevsky wrote about in Demons and Notes From Underground at the end of the nineteenth century, you descend inevitably into a period of moral nihilism. You remove that capacity ah for change, that mechanism by which change is possible and ah so that this legitimate rage which is being expressed by huge numbers of the dispossessed within the United States has no outlet through traditional political mechanisms and finds it's expression in these protofascist movements like militias or Tea Parties. And that’s essentially what’s happened. So, the tragedy of the liberal class is it was destroyed and it destroyed itself and you can’t maintain a civil society ah in those kinds of circumstances.”