Shades of 68: How Far Will Our Elites Go to Stop Sanders?

Because I have teenage children who sometimes look to me to give them a sense of hope for the future, I try to be as optimistic as I can whenever we talk of US politics and the possibility of positive change in the nation’s dire situation. The success so far of Bernie Sanders’ campaign is one thing they cling to in hoping that the world they inherit will not be as unrelentingly bleak as it now appears it will be. But in my deepest heart, here is what I truly believe: the bipartisan US power structure will never allow Bernie Sanders to be president, and they will use any and all means necessary to prevent this from happening.

Having been raised in a politically active family, I've followed US politics for more than half a century, and I witnessed the decisive period from April 4 to June 5 in 1968, when clear markers were laid down on what happens to those who are perceived to pose a genuine threat to the power structure. I don't hero-worship Sanders and disagree with some of his stances, particularly on foreign policy. But I do think he poses the most serious, genuine threat to the US power structure that we have seen since that period.

Of course, over the years, more sophisticated, less visceral methods have been developed for removing credible threats to the system. For example, the so-called liberal media – NYT, WP, MSNBC – now act as uncritical pipelines for whatever gaslighting propaganda the intelligence services wish to inject into the political process. This was always true of the establishment press to some extent, but any vestiges of skepticism about the proven ratfucking propensities of the "intelligence community" have long been discarded by liberals. This servile credulity, along with social media & other factors, makes it easier to kneecap a threat to the power system without resorting to the cruder methods of the past.

But Sanders' growing popularity, even in the face of relentless sandbagging and ratfucking, represents an "unknown unknown" for the power structure. Thus, while it remains likely that some combination of their sleeker, modern take-down methods will do the trick, I think we should still bear in mind the lessons of history, and recognize just how far the power structure will be prepared to go to neutralize any substantial, credible threat to its dominance. If you think they’re not capable or willing to resort to the most ultimate measures in this regard, then you are simply, wilfully ignoring the historical evidence of our own lives and times – evidence that of course goes far beyond a single three-month span in 1968.

I should note that in this, as with almost everything I've written about US politics in this godforsaken century, I sincerely hope I'm wrong in my darker view of things. But that said, it's certainly proven true that even the darkest predictions of how things will play out in our wretched era have fallen short, time and again, of the even darker realities as we spiral down further into the abyss.