Ben Norton: Right-wing Democratic Party censors socialist messaging in doctored Twitter photo of PSL newspaper

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The Democratic Party is “history’s second-most enthusiastic capitalist party,” wrote top Republican strategist Kevin P. Phillips in The New York Times in 1990.

Years later, the liberal wing of the corporate duopoly controlling the US government continues to show just how committed it is to maintaining this dubious honor: The Democratic Party censored anti-capitalist messaging by doctoring a photo of a socialist party’s newspaper at an anti-Trump protest, which the right-wing party then tried to use for its own public relations.

It backfired.

The Democrats’ official Twitter account tweeted a picture on March 24 featuring a photo of a protest under the word “PERSIST,” accompanied by the text, “The GOP pulled their disastrous health care bill — this is a victory for the American people. Continue to speak up. It’s working.”

At closer inspection, however, it soon became clear that the neoliberal, Wall Street-funded Democratic Party had doctored the photo in order to remove left-wing slogans.

In the photo the right-wing party chose for its tweet, a protester in the crowd is holding a newspaper of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, or PSL, a revolutionary marxist party.

In the real photo, the newspaper reads: “Trump is the symptom; capitalism is the disease; socialism is the cure.”

In the version the Democrats posted on their official Twitter account, on the other hand, the newspaper simply says “Trump is the symptom.” The anti-capitalist phrases were censored, removed via Photoshop.

The PSL called out the Democratic Party, noting that socialism is “the word that terrifies @TheDemocrats the most.”

This comes as no surprise considering what happened just a few weeks before. On January 31, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi — a key figure in her party’s supposed “resistance” against Trump — was asked in a town hall event if the Democrats would abandon their right-wing neoliberal economics, which has destroyed their base and ravaged the country.

“We’re capitalist; that’s just the way it is,” Pelosi replied dismissively (in the Democrats’ variation on Margaret Thatcher’s notorious capitalist slogan, “There is no alternative”).

There’s a reason socialists have for decades referred to the Democratic Party as “the graveyard of social movements.”

I once argued that the “America Is Already Great” hat the Democratic Party was selling on its official website was “the most perfect symbol of its reactionary politics, the most accurate encapsulation of its bankrupt ideology.”

Yet we now have a new winner. Censoring anti-capitalist, socialist messaging from a protest, while using a photo of that protest to try to peddle your Wall Street-funded party’s own reactionary messaging, easily takes the cake.


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