MSNBC, Joy Reid and the Myth of Compassionate Capitalism

Macron’s comfortable victory in the French Presidential election is being used by neo-liberals and centrists in the United States to reaffirm the narrative of their own political agenda. MSNBC’s Joy Reid, a fervent Clinton supporter, tweeted ” we need a global conversation on how to develop a ‘compassionate capitalism’ that answers economic displacement w/ alternatives to fascism,” invoking the ‘compassionate capitalism’ myth championed by Betsy Devos’ father, Rich Devos, in a 1993 book. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi expressed a similar worldview perspective during a CNN Town Hall in February 2016, during which she told a millennial that the solution to the problems caused by capitalism are not progressive policies, but trying to make wealthy people more compassionate. This attitude is why Democrats are failing miserably, as they are willing to diagnose the problems of economic displacement as bad, but insist the driving causes of that displacement are inherently positive or deliberately misdiagnose them as symptomatic of a lack of identity politics.

The 2011 Citizens United Supreme Court decision exemplifies how far wealthy and corporate interests have successfully scaled back the constraints of democracy to further their own interests. Instead of challenging that status quo and disavowing ties to special interests that have hijacked American democracy through massive campaign donations and armies of lobbyists, the Democratic Party has capitulated to their takeover of the party. The leaders of the party remain silent as the ban on lobbyist and PAC donations lifted by Debbie Wasserman Schultz during the primaries has not been re-enacted. Democratic Party officials have attended closed door conferences with billionaire donors on several occasions since Hillary Clinton’s election loss to discuss and formulate party strategies moving forward without the transparency and input from voters.

While several progressive policies championed by Bernie Sanders increasingly gain popularity with voters, like single payer healthcare, the majority of Democrats refuse to join their constituents in supporting it. What those Democrats who don’t support it ignore are the working and middle class people their “pragmatism” leaves behind, just as they did when Obamacare was initially enacted to benefit the health insurance industry who were afraid of a single payer system while leaving 28 million people uninsured.

In June 2016, Fortune reported that the International Monetary Fund admitted neo-liberalism hasn’t been working, rather its stunted economic growth and increased wealth and income inequality. In the United States, this has manifested in constant increases in wealth and income inequality while 99 percent of all new generated income has gone to the top 1 percent of the wealthiest Americans.

Ignoring those progressive policies that have made Bernie Sanders the most popular politician in the country, MSNBC’s Joy Reid and several other neo-liberals have propagated horseshoe theory to corroborate their own toxic politics. The pejorative political science theory claims the far-right and far-left of the presupposed political spectrum that places preserving the status quo in the middle have more in common with each other than the center. This theory is demonstrably false, but it has never stopped Clinton loyalists from trying to equate Sanders Supporters to Trump supporters as a smear tactic.

Recently Bloomberg writer Noah Smith, without citing any evidence because it doesn’t exist, tried to claim that far-left supporters in America and the UK were cheering on France’s far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. MSNBC’s Joy Reid responded to Smith that the only difference she saw from the far left and far right was the right’s overt racism, a ridiculous notion with no basis in reality and represents an overt failure in itself to understand the policies and global perspective that differentiates progressives from other political ideologies, especially the far right. These sweeping claims and generalizations are the norm in the reality Joy Reid lives in where Hillary Clinton was a good candidate and neo-liberalism is the antidote to fascism.

More articles by:

Michael Sainato’s writing has appeared in the Guardian, Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun, Denver Post, Buffalo News, the Hill, Alternet, and several other publications . Follow him on twitter: @MSainat1

March 19, 2018
Henry Heller
The Moment of Trump
John Davis
Pristine Buildings, Tarnished Architect
Uri Avnery
The Fake Enemy
Patrick Cockburn
The Fall of Afrin and the Next Phase of the Syrian War
Nick Pemberton
The Democrats Can’t Save Us
Nomi Prins 
Jared Kushner, RIP: a Political Obituary for the President’s Son-in-Law
Georgina Downs
The Double Standards and Hypocrisy of the UK Government Over the ‘Nerve Agent’ Spy Poisoning
Dean Baker
Trump and the Federal Reserve
Colin Todhunter
The Strategy of Tension Towards Russia and the Push to Nuclear War
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
US Empire on Decline
Ralph Nader
Ahoy America, Give Trump a Taste of His Own Medicine Starting on Trump Imitation Day
Robert Dodge
Eliminate Nuclear Weapons by Divesting from Them
Laura Finley
Shame on You, Katy Perry
Weekend Edition
March 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Michael Uhl
The Tip of the Iceberg: My Lai Fifty Years On
Bruce E. Levine
School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks
Mel Goodman
Caveat Emptor: MSNBC and CNN Use CIA Apologists for False Commentary
Paul Street
The Obama Presidency Gets Some Early High Historiography
Kathy Deacon
Me, My Parents and Red Scares Long Gone
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Rexless Abandon
Andrew Levine
Good Enemies Are Hard To Find: Therefore Worry
Jim Kavanagh
What to Expect From a Trump / Kim Summit
Ron Jacobs
Trump and His Tariffs
Joshua Frank
Drenched in Crude: It’s an Oil Free For All, But That’s Not a New Thing
Gary Leupp
What If There Was No Collusion?
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: Bernard Fall Dies on the Street Without Joy
Robert Fantina
Bad to Worse: Tillerson, Pompeo and Haspel
Brian Cloughley
Be Prepared, Iran, Because They Want to Destroy You
Richard Moser
What is Organizing?
Scott McLarty
Working Americans Need Independent Politics
Rohullah Naderi
American Gun Violence From an Afghan Perspective
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Why Trump’s Tariff Travesty Will Not Re-Industrialize the US
Ted Rall
Democrats Should Run on Impeachment
Robert Fisk
Will We Ever See Al Jazeera’s Investigation Into the Israel Lobby?
Kristine Mattis
Superunknown: Scientific Integrity Within the Academic and Media Industrial Complexes
John W. Whitehead
Say No to “Hardening” the Schools with Zero Tolerance Policies and Gun-Toting Cops
Edward Hunt
UN: US Attack On Syrian Civilians Violated International Law
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraq Outside History
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: The Long Hard Road
Victor Grossman
Germany: New Faces, Old Policies
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
The Iraq Death Toll 15 Years After the US Invasion
Binoy Kampmark
Amazon’s Initiative: Digital Assistants, Home Surveillance and Data
Chuck Collins
Business Leaders Agree: Inequality Hurts The Bottom Line
Jill Richardson
What We Talk About When We Talk About “Free Trade”
Eric Lerner – Jay Arena
A Spark to a Wider Fire: Movement Against Immigrant Detention in New Jersey
Negin Owliaei
Teachers Deserve a Raise: Here’s How to Fund It