Jimmy Dore Has Kicked Off a Guerilla Psy-War Against Establishment Narratives

Stephen Boni
4 min readDec 22, 2020

The Internet and social media sphere have been burning up for weeks, debating the merits of popular comedian and political commentator Jimmy Dore’s idea for self-proclaimed Congressional progressives to withhold their Speaker-of-the-House votes from Nancy Pelosi unless she brings Medicare for All to a floor vote.

Like many, I’ve been following the hullabaloo closely. At this stage, it appears to me there’s a clear connection between Jimmy Dore’s idea and the main argument that’s been put forth by independent leftist writer Caitlin Johnstone over the past 2 or more years.

That argument essentially boils down to this: The most important thing that prevents the American public from tearing down the U.S. corporate/military oligarchy from within is the fact that they’ve been effectively propagandized not to — and, given this reality, the first step in making a better world possible is to chip away at peoples’ acceptance of that propaganda by carrying out a relentless and decentralized guerilla psy-war on establishment narratives. Until we clear away the distracting fog of comforting, soporific mythologies that permeate our daily lives, Americans will never rise up in the necessary numbers to end what has become a foreign and domestic killing machine.

With this idea of challenging the Congressional progressive caucus and “The Squad” to actively fight for their stated policy priority (supported by way more than half the population), Jimmy is doing — in his own way, with his own skills — exactly what Caitlin has suggested we all do. He’s waging a guerilla psy-war against a foundational and longstanding establishment propaganda narrative; that people in Congress genuinely try to represent the will of their constituents.

As I’ve written before, voters are simply not their real constituents. Big donors to the party are. Or, as George Carlin famously said, “they don’t give a shit about you. At all. AT ALL.” This goes just as much for pretend populists as AOC as it does for corrupt corporate cash dispensers as Nancy Pelosi. Because the current system is designed to make it virtually impossible for politicians, even when they’re ostensibly willing, to genuinely fight for the people.

Caitlin is arguably the most perceptive writer to come along in the West in the past 10 years, so it’s not surprising to me that one of her recent pieces shows that she sees the same connection I’ve outlined above, probably well before I did.

Take a listen:

Rhetorically and stylistically, Caitlin Johnstone and Jimmy Dore don’t have a ton in common. But in terms of how they think and how they strip away distracting information to get at the bedrock of issues, they are two peas from the same pod. One just yells and swears more often than the other.

In the way Caitlin writes and in the way that Jimmy talks, each of them also avoids the conventions around “how you’re supposed to” use language and tone when engaging in political discourse. If you pay attention, you’ll also notice they both have a larger allegiance to representing knowledge that comes from emotional and spiritual engagement with themselves and the lives of others. Felt knowledge. This makes all the difference and it’s a huge reason why each of their respective platforms have resonated so deeply with such increasingly diverse and sizable audiences, organically, and without any deep support from established institutions.

As Caitlin so unblinkingly points out in her piece above, not only will AOC, The Squad and other LARPing Congressional progressives not stick their necks out to oppose Pelosi and force a vote on Medicare for All, but even if they did their efforts would be nullified with all due haste by the other bought and paid for “Congress critters” (a term coined by Steve Poikonen of the excellent Slow News Day video podcast) that surround them.

I believe that Jimmy Dore is far less naïve than many observers think. I believe he knows full well this will be the case. The most important objective of his effort is not to force a floor vote. It’s to expose Congressional progressives and their boosters in the media as phonies. And this goals is already being achieved. For the past few weeks, politicians and pundits across the establishment spectrum, and particularly those who have portrayed themselves as anti-establishment, have been showing the public just how hard they will fight to rationalize NOT doing anything to help people during a health/economic crisis.

One guy broadcasting from his garage (metaphorically popping up from behind a rock with a slingshot), has gotten them to expose themselves as servants of power in a system that intentionally obscures the way it’s rigged to serve the powerful. This makes them utterly mundane and utterly useless to anyone who lives outside their bubble (which is nearly all of us). In a country that bombards its population with so many mythological smokescreens about democracy, fair play, and the importance of the average citizen, this one little strategic shot has hit a basement light switch and flicked it on — and now we can see the rats scurrying around trying to hide.

If that’s not the opening salvo in a guerilla psy-war exploiting a glitch in the matrix of establishment narratives, then I don’t know what is.

As always, thanks for reading.

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Stephen Boni

I write children's books and socio-political missives. I care about people, nature, humor, moving pictures and, uh, survival.