By Ramin Mazaheri
In speaking with Iranian immigrants to the US, I always hear a couple of refrains repeatedly:
1) Why Democrats do not criticize their own politicians when they do the exact things they criticize Republicans for?
2) When Republicans get into office, at least, they actually do things they say they want to do; Democrats never do.
If an immigrant can pick up on this - why can’t American voters?
An answer which is empathetic to the American voter was discussed in the very first column I wrote from America for Press TV just after the 2020 US presidential election (back when the results were still allowed to be openly disputed - so just three days after the election), “Results are in: Duopoly wins, Trumpism wasn’t a cult of personality”:
“The biggest problem is something Press TV tried to address in our coverage of the election from the start: the refusal of the world’s oldest and strongest duopoly to allow third-party, alternative voices to be heard, much less have some political or cultural power.”
Americans cannot pick up on these two ideas which new arrivals can. And because they lack these two political insights they foolishly expected Democrats to do something seriously different in 2021.
Many are surprised at how far to the right Biden and the Democratic Party have behaved since January 2021 because conservatism (fiscal, political, foreign policy) is the only policy allowed in what is truly a uniparty system, which is the direct result of the forced duopoly.
Indeed, politically-active Americans would rather rabidly shout at non-believers that the other side is on the side of Satan rather than honestly discuss the obvious pattern of overwhelming similarities in the actions of Republicans and Democrats. Political reporting is far more interesting in France, where at least there’s a multiparty system and proportional (not first-past-the-post, winner-take-all) voting.
To avoid discussions of such realities, the US media is paid to whip up the basest emotions over the most moral of public concerns and to treat elections like horse races for gambling. There is ruthless suppression of any sustained discussion of ideas, which threaten the uniparty - the US government’s seizure of presstv.com domain last June (during the Biden administration, not Trump, please note) stands as proof of both this sentiment and the fact of duopoly.
We can’t say that American’s aren’t somewhat aware – a slim majority of America does prefer to classify themselves apart as “independent,” but they are powerless to stop the endless conservatism/reaction of the duopoly/uniparty.
It has been said for over a century – because all working and middle class people simply want morality in economic matters and fair justice in political matters – that the masses of the US are far to the left of their workers. I’ve read the same thing from just as long ago about the French. The problem is clearly endemic in their political system, which is “Western Liberal Democracy,” which remains a fundamentally aristocratic, elitist, anti-revolutionary, inequality-perpetuating system. Who can be surprised that Democrats haven’t reduced inequality, much less tried?
The Democrats who claim to be progressive are sending disgruntled messages via text or on Facebook – they must either be new in the US, naive, hypocritical or simply playing a role for others. But just as Trump was a net positive because he revealed to even the most thick-headed, or simply jingoistic, people the glaring faults of Western Liberal Democracy, so too will the subsequent disappointment of the Democrats show many the light regarding the implacable reaction of the duopoly.
It’s almost as if Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi wanted to fail – why did she wait so long to even bring to a vote an infrastructure package, which would have provided the campaign of Democrats with something tangible to show for one year of Bidenism? Much was made of the fact that campaigning Democrats were “begging” for this. Negotiations took too long? Couldn’t corral her own party? Or is it entirely possible that she wanted to ensure that there was no progressive component, something which the duopoly has always opposed?
I refer to the laughable ideas – to those like myself who are surely quite cynical to the committed US Democrat – that the US 1% were going to pay for universal community college, paid vacations (in France since 1936) and a host of other entirely sensible and moral ideas, which have been quantifiably improving other nations around the world for decades already.
The idea is that Pelosi wanted to delay, and then to fail, in order to have the minuscule progressive faction known as “the Squad” to blame, in order to – from this point forward – say that these progressive promises, which Biden made are simply not feasible from a political point of view, as it turns out; that the people actually don’t want these things, per the losing votes.
Of course, the duopoly – run by the 1% – wants progressives to fail. They have wanted this decade after decade - they’ve wanted it so very long the US is now one of just 7 countries (most of the others are islands) without one day of maternity leave.
Why did Democrats spend the last year pushing major educational reforms such as sex education classes for children, the false idea that US was actually founded in 1619 (when the first African slave arrived) and other nonsense rather than do one-tenth of what they campaigned on? The same answer makes the most sense: Democrats wanted to lose because their real policy is “American duopoly ultra-conservatism.”
My post-election column stressed how - whatever one thinks of Trump or Trumpism - the uniparty American system burned down whatever was necessary in order to get Trump out precisely because he threatened the duopoly. Indeed, the only thing the US 1% wants as much as progressives to fail is to have gotten Trump out.
Trump, after all, changed his party affiliation five times and was rejected by the Republican establishment as late as May 2016. He’s not a Republican, but Republicanism has - as that column also predicted - profited from him: “This will allow the Republican elite and establishment to eventually dilute and soften ‘Trumpism’, rather than giving America a truly new start and somewhat revolutionary clean break. This is how effective the duopoly is when confronted with any grassroots movement.”
And this is also what has just happened: the victorious governor of Virginia was described by The New York Times as a fleece-wearing, dad-like “Trump in khakis.”
Republicans were always going to profit from the undeniable success of Trumpism; Republicans were always going to profit from the guaranteed U-turn of a Democratic Party, which held both the White House and Congress; the duopoly was always going to continue cooperating among each other to enact law after law to make the rise of a third party harder and harder; the duopoly was always going to suppress media like Press TV and force their media to inflame the moral sensibilities of many over nonsensical and needless issues like 1619, transgender bathrooms, etc.
Iran had a particular interest in the US election: Trump initiated the total blockade of “$0 in oil sales” and waged a travel ban, so there was a fair amount of relief in Iran when Biden ultimately replaced him.
There has been no change in Iran policy recently, I note, and we all note this exact same thing.
I didn’t mean since January 2021 - I mean since 1979.
The sub-human policies of the US towards Iranians were easy to try and pin on the seemingly sub-human Trump, but it’s a fact, which requires no special political insight to note that they were the same policies of Obama, Clinton and Carter. Those Democrats’ policies were the same as Reagan, Bush and Bush II. It’s a uniparty system, masquerading as fair and balanced duopoly.
The uniparty’s policy abroad is to crush progressive countries, reduce them to chaos and force upon them a slavish dependency towards an elite US. Americans should learn that their politicians - either Democrat or Republican - extend the same policy to their own lower and middle classes: crush any progressive political ideas out of them, reduce them to chaos and create unwanted dependency towards the US elite.
Many people are not as naive as they were one year ago, but at quite a cost. Some others are actually excited to hear the Democratic plan to “win” the mid-term elections of 2022, and all the hopeful changes that are surely coming.
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.
(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)