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Di Leo: Laundry Lists, Stimuli, and Pop Culture Propaganda



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By John F. Di Leo - 

When Republican members of Congress joined the Trump administration to work on a proposed stimulus plan to address the Wuhan Flu epidemic – a relief package for employers that had to close the doors for a shutdown, and for citizens on layoff as a result – the House Democrats refused to participate, smugly saying “We’ll write our own bill.”

In a single weekend, they presented an 1119-page COVID-19 relief bill of their own, and it was a doozy.  Chock full of pork for the House Democrats’ special interests, it included union giveaways, student loan write offs, institutionalized vote fraud techniques, and more.  A veritable wish list of American statists that they could never pass in normal times, so they threw a Hail Mary pass in the hope that they might sneak it through in an emergency.

Most shocking, perhaps, was the list of Green New Deal elements that the Pelosi bill included.  One after another, it looks like a laundry list provided by Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’ puppeteers:  mandates for airlines to “offset” their harmless “carbon emissions,”  a push for airports to destroy perfectly functional equipment, yet another new commission for the “study” of the utterly discredited theory of global warming, and more. 1119 pages of this stuff.

Sure, the proposal was dead on arrival… the purpose was primarily to throw it against the wall and see if anything could stick, along with serving as a demonstration to their base that they’re still trying with all this hogwash.  But there’s still a question:

In a time like this, as desperate as the economy is for a quick resolution (the stock market had fallen by almost a third in the weeks leading up to this), one might ask the questions: How do Nancy Pelosi and her cronies get away with this sort of thing?  Why doesn’t such a repellent display of unfeeling, corrupt politics get them thrown out of office for good?  How do they keep getting reelected, again and again, decade after decade?

The usual answer is to point to the newsmedia, and see how biased it is in favor of the American Left.  Then to look at the schools, and consider generation after generation of new voters raised on the destructive fiction spun by such textbook authors as Howard Zinn.

All this is true, but it doesn’t explain it all.  To at least some extent, people know there’s bias in the news media, and kids forget enough of the dreck they’re exposed to in the schools that the damage intended by anti-American textbooks is limited.

Coincidentally, however, a more pernicious explanation arrived in hundreds of thousands of mailboxes across the country the same week: the April 2020 issue of Elle magazine, which hit newsstands on March 24, and the nation's mailboxes and libraries a day or two earlier.

Now, this magazine is classified as a “fashion mag”… so one would expect it to showcase the season’s women’s clothing, makeup trends and accessories, and maybe a feature or two about models, designers, and other influencers. 

That’s not what you get.

This April issue has cover stories including “A Letter from Greta Thunberg,” “Why Jane Fonda Spent the Night in Jail,” and “This Year’s Green Beauty Stars.”

The Beauty section includes stories on “the best in sustainable beauty” and “the fight for clean beauty.”

The Culture section includes “My Carbon-Free Life.”

And there’s a section called Front Row, that includes “The State of Sustainable Fashion,” “Going Off the Grid,” and “Global Good: How Net-a-Porter founding investor Carmen Busquets is using her name to reduce waste and empower activists.”

The entire magazine is a 176-page propaganda pamphlet for radical environmental activism, and it’s funded by beautiful, full color, full page ads from fashion design houses and perfume manufacturers.

That’s how all the fashion mags make their money, of course, and it’s a great capitalist concept: circulation justifies ad revenue, so they give the magazines away for free or near-free, on greatly discounted subscription rates.  Anything to get them in more mailboxes so that their advertisers will pay high rates to be included. 

And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as it really is a fashion mag.

But it’s not, is it?

As this issue demonstrates, the popular culture has become the key pusher of extreme left-wing causes. No longer relegated to a line or two of politics, hidden in an article here and there, these extremist views are now the heart of so many of the publications that reach our youth (if this issue of Elle shocked you, check out a typical copy of Teen Vogue or Seventeen).

Fewer Americans watch the news – and who can blame them? With multiple languages spoken in the classroom, fewer Americans absorb what’s taught there, probably for the better. So the Left has had to find another way to infect the minds of a nation conceived in liberty, and they have certainly found their way.

The popular culture of modern America is filled with examples of the sad truism known as O’Sullivan’s Law:   “Any institution that is not explicitly right-wing will become left-wing over time.”

More and more things that are ostensibly non-political – from fashion magazines to TV award nights, from concerts to chat shows, have become infused with the philosophy of The Squad and the Bernie Bros.

Try talking with youngsters about current events, and they’ll say “Please, no politics; I’m not into politics”… as they turn back to their fashion magazines or their social network newsfeeds, blissfully unaware that their reading or viewing choices are actually more political than most news programs or radio talk shows.

It’s usually a bit more subtle than the current issue of Elle; that’s why this April issue stands out, but that’s the only difference.  To Immerse oneself in the pop culture today is to bathe in socialist propaganda.

It’s a far cry from the days of our grandparents, when the movie industry still made patriotic films, when actors and musicians were more likely to respect their country than to disdain it. It took a long time, but it sure turned around.  The Left may not know how to keep a country safe or manage an economy, but they sure can propagandize.

This is why the modern American Left gets away with their extremism; this is how they evade the consequences they deserve for their repellent tactics.

What can we do?  Well, we can cancel some subscriptions, of course… and at five bucks a copy, that’s a tempting choice.

But remember their tactic: Nobody really pays five bucks a copy.  They give away these subscriptions to justify their ad rates, and they sell ads to companies as likely to be based abroad as here.  This propaganda stream is therefore funded by multinational corporations based in France, Italy, Germany and more, across an ocean, a world away from the values that built America.

And as important as it may be to keep this dreck out of America’s mailboxes, it’s awfully hard – especially in these times – to say No to a freebie, now matter how destructive you know it to be, long term.

Copyright 2020 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer, writer and actor.  A one-time county chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, he has been a recovering politician for 23 years (but, like any addiction, you’re never really cured).  His columns are found regularly in Illinois Review.

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  1. My idea of a “green beauty star” harks to the pilot for Star Trek, 54 years ago.
    Why is it that every bill in Congress becomes a pizza with optional toppings? Spare me the avocado. I’ll take plain sausage.