This graphic made the rounds in the run-up to the 2016 election. It was a warning.
Eye on Miami has a fair number of posts tagged, "oligarchy". Type it in the search bar or click here.
One post that jumps out, "Disappearing Democracy", June 2012, during the second Obama campaign. One of its graphic images says, "Turn Off Your TV".
What I meant, at the time: Fox News and its relentless tear-down of Barack Obama.
What I didn't grasp then and not until the aftermath of November 8th 2016; Fox News is part of an fake news ecosystem.
In Obama's first campaign, Fox News had more viewers than the Big Three networks combined and dwarfed CNN.
In 2016, though, the pundits using mainstream media channels were fighting the last war.
In 2016, voters weren't glued to cable news on television. A great mass of (conservative GOP) voters parked in their living rooms with their laptop and PC silos of fake web-based news.
99% the geniuses who created the web-based culture are Democrats. 99% of the fake news ecosystem created by their adversaries are Republicans.
That was the genius of Steve Banon, former CEO of Breitbart News at Neo Nazi, Alt-Right bigots. No one in Hollywood watched his documentaries, but he didn't make them for the lib-tards.
Fox would start the lie and then Banon and Breitbart and all the foot soldiers and trolls on the internet would propagate the lie. They were creating a fake news ecosystem while the Democrats were wringing their hands over the loss of real ecosystems.
Trump strategists, prominently son-in-law Jared Kushner, figured it out: the web had higher order of numerical contacts, starting with Breitbart but also hundreds of fake news sites on Facebook reinforced by Twitter feeds. "It's just numbers," Kushner has said, and he was right.
Warning signals were flashing all through 2016 on web based traffic analytics. The Democrats chose to ignore the signals, and the impact to democracy today is worse than 9/11. What Democrats failed to see was worse than George W. Bush in 2001 who ignored intelligence warnings that the United States was under attack.
For thirty years, Fox through Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch understood "nasty sells" in all politics. The web is just a system of finer and finer tributaries; a point that Democrats missed entirely because it was -- well -- morally offensive.
Blogs like ours turned out to be useful to opposition research teams. It is not to say, we didn't have a voice or effectively reach our audience and beyond.
Assessments like this are pinging around the web: mainstream media chased ratings that are meaningless in the context of the web-based cauldron. Meaningless, except to corporate advertisers and to large corporate ownership who can't control either Facebook or Twitter.
All in all, the net result of 2016 is a disaster for democracy.
If there is an easy way out of our fix, we would have seen it on April 18, 1977, when President Jimmy Carter delivered a televised speech declaring that the energy crisis was "the moral equivalent of war". (Carter encouraged energy conservation by all U.S. citizens and installed solar water heating panels on the White House. He wore sweaters to offset turning down the heat in the White House.)
For his temerity to challenge the petrostate, he was defeated by Ronald Reagan in a landslide. Now Trump, Rex Tillerson, Oklahoma's Jeff Sessions and Scott Pruitt and the petrostate.
It is just so ... retro. A good way to describe a president who can still remember getting past the velvet rope at Studio 54, but even with the coke, the girls, and the amphetamines; no one knew who he was. Trump bought the casino in Atlantic City to show them and nearly lost everything. But he clung to Norman Vincent Peale and refused to admit failure. He gamed the banks and the lenders and now he is President of the United States.
NOTE: If you have read this far and don't know about Trump and Norman Vincent Peale, read another report we missed at the time: "How Norman Vincent Peale Taught Donald Trump To Worship Himself", by Gwenda Blair, Oct 6. 2016 in Politico.)