Polling data is not always accurate, and at times it can be wildly inaccurate. A single vote won’t be cast for Democratic nominee until next year and already you’re seeing how the media and polling companies are manufacturing consent.
In 1988, Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman wrote a book titled ‘Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. It details how the corporate media (and I believe polling companies) use their influence to essentially engineer society to accept certain paradigms and Washington “conventional wisdom” as norms. This is to make sure Americans do not challenge the agenda of the State or support policies that the Establishment don’t want to support – regardless of how popular those policies are.
The mass media serve as a system for communicating messages and symbols to the general populace. It is their function to amuse, entertain, and inform, and to inculcate individuals with the values, beliefs, and codes of behavior that will integrate them into the institutional structures of the larger society. In a world of concentrated wealth and major conflicts of class interest, to fulfill this role requires systematic propaganda.
There’s another term for this – it’s called social engineering. It’s a form of psychological manipulation to convince unwitting people to do things against their best interests. It still doesn’t sink in with many Americans that they are victims of deliberate propaganda and have been for a very long time. Folks have this perception that what they hear from politicians and the corporate media is what they truly believe and that everyone speaks in good faith. Many would still frame discussions about psychological warfare and social engineering as “conspiracy theorizing.” They’d be wrong.
It went under the radar back in 2012/2013 when the NDAA was passed that there was a provision in it that effectively legalized state propaganda against Americans. However, many people are familiar with the more recent Cambridge Analytica story that detailed (via a whistleblower) how social media was used to manipulate Americans through the proliferation of right-wing fake news. Even though Cambridge Analytica wasn’t done by the U.S. government – it does reveal that there are powerful groups targeting the minds of Americans with the conscious intention of manipulating them.
Manufacturing Consent For Joe Biden's Campaign
So what does this have to do with Biden’s campaign? It’s less about Biden and more about what he represents. It’s Biden this cycle, it’ll be another neoliberal in the future. There are some common themes –
Many commentators have mentioned previously that the Establishment is less opposed to Trump than they are to the Progressive agenda. The problem for them is that Joe Biden is at odds with many of the popular Progressive policy positions that voters would like to see implemented on the federal level. So there’s a disconnect between what the electorate wants and what the Establishment wants. How do you fix this? By manufacturing consent.
Recent polling data has come out showing Joe Biden with a large lead over Bernie Sanders and the rest of the Democratic field. This has been chalked up to name recognition and the fact that Biden was Obama’s Vice President. While those things might play a role, we can’t ignore the largely favorable daily reinforcement of a pro-Biden, pro-status quo narrative coming from the media.
Activist and Actress Alyssa Milano was on MSNBC recently and was asked a loaded question meant to project a certain response. Start at the 7:15 mark…
It goes without saying that I disagree with this framing completely. The Democratic base not wanting to get behind Biden because of his past stances and the damage those positions have done is not a “woke” position. It’s called accountability and a lack of trust. It says wonders that for some in the Democratic Party, their response to Trump is to run the most conservative, white male DINO they can find. Someone who has been on the wrong side of many positions throughout the years.
You see, Bernie Sanders has name recognition too. Many people know who he is now because he ran in 2016. So I don’t believe name recognition has anything to do with it. What you see here, and what’s reflected in the polling (which is problematic in itself) is what happens after decades of nurturing a status quo mentality in the minds of the public. As described above, many within the electorate are making political decisions that really will not help them or their children. They do it essentially because that’s what they’re being influenced to do by the corporate media through framing akin to what you see above.
Support for Joe Biden has everything to do with maintaining the status quo so that Progressives can’t expose the Democratic Party for what it’s become. If you can keep Bernie Sanders out of the Oval Office, you don’t have to come to grips with the fact that you’ve been wrong on a host of policies for decades.
This is the manufactured consent Noam Chomsky has warned us about for decades now. I’d like to believe the polling is just wrong, and to an extent, I do believe that…but every poll shows a lead. You can’t brush them all off, despite the fact that small sampling sizes and not polling younger voters are something several polls have been caught doing. So there is manipulation going on with some of the polling firms.
This is an uphill battle we’re fighting on the Left, but it’s a fight worth having.