In the latest installment of a series of interviews on The Real News Network’s “Reality Inserts Itself,” Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges says that the Democratic Party once looked out for the interests of labor and the poor. But that changed, he says, when Bill Clinton entered the White House, and it’s getting worse under President Obama.
“Barack Obama can get up and say all the right things, but in the end, you know, it’s Wall Street and the corporations that are pulling the strings on the puppets,” he says.
This is especially problematic for those who have fallen on hard times because of the economic crisis. As Hedges tells host Paul Jay, the current Democratic administration has “completely betrayed” those whose interests their party purports to represent and defend, in effect making the entire situation even worse for the underclass.
“When you have the figures like Obama who continue to speak in that traditional language of liberalism and yet cannot respond to chronic unemployment, underemployment, you know, foreclosures, bank repossessions, and everything else, and in fact are running a system where the assaults against the underclass are only getting worse, then what happens is there becomes a deep disdain for not only liberal ideology but traditional liberal institutions—you saw the same thing in Weimar—so that when there is an uprising, oftentimes people want nothing to do with not only liberal elites, but the supposed liberal values, quote unquote, that these elites were purportedly espousing,” Hedges says.
“And that is a very real danger,” he continues, “because when you have figures like Obama that present themselves as traditional liberals and yet are unable to be effective in terms of dealing with the suffering and the misery of the underclass, that—and this is what happened in Yugoslavia—that when things exploded, you vomited up these very frightening figures—Radovan Karadzic, Slobodan Milosevic, Franjo Tudman—in the same way that the breakdown in Weimar vomited up the Nazi Party. And that’s what frightens me, because we don’t have the movements, the populist movements on the left, and because we live in a system of political paralysis.”
Watch the interview below, and click here for a transcript:
This is the fifth installment of a seven-part series featuring Hedges. Click on the links below to watch the other four parts.
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.