One of the facts that most baffles the political opposition in Spain is that the constant political scandals have not succeeded in sinking the left.
Its constant scandals almost affect the left electorally
The government of Pedro Sánchez has been marked by corruption cases, lousy economic management, extremely high unemployment figures and public indebtedness, reduced sentences for hundreds of rapists and pedophiles, abuses of power, attacks on judicial independence, pardons for criminals who are allies of the government, and even a notorious prostitution scandal. With only a quarter of this, any right-wing party would collapse electorally.
However, the Spanish left resists quite well despite all this. the socialists of the PSOE have barely suffered in the polls, where they hold around a quarter part of the voters for two years, with certain fluctuations. The same is true of the far-leftists of Podemos, for whom polls have been giving around 10% of the vote.
How is this possible? At first glance, it sounds like left-wing voters have huge mouthfuls, but is such a simple explanation correct? To tell the truth, there are several reasons that explain the immunity of the Spanish left to all its scandals. Some have to do with the left itself, and others have to do with the way in which a part of its rivals, giving up the battle of ideas.
The control of the left-wing over the media
Obviously, the control that the left exercises over the media is decisive in cushioning the electoral effects of its scandals. In addition to controlling powerful public media such as Televisión Española and Radio Nacional de España, the left has the support of influential private media such as La Sexta, El País, Cadena SER and others. This support is not simply based on questions of ideological affinity, but is also rewarded by numerous public aid. The government of Pedro Sánchez is breaking spending records in institutional advertising, using the money of all taxpayers.
The ideological hegemony of the left in the media
But this purchase of the support of the private media with our taxes is not enough to explain the electoral immunity of the left. A compelling reason for the left not to lose its political weight in society is ideology. Spain is one of the countries with the most ideologized media, a considerable distance from the media of any other European country. Even many right-wing media outlets have assumed the ideological dogmas of the left, assuming gender ideology, the social normalization of abortion, environmental alarmism and anti-masculine feminism as unquestionable. Words like "machismo", "homophobia" and "transphobia" have become commonplace in most of the Spanish media to anathema those who question the ideological dogmas of the left.
The ideological desertion of a part of the opposition
The success that the left has had in Spain when it comes to imposing its ideology on society is explained, to a large extent, by the cowardice and lukewarmness of a part of the right -the Popular Party (PP)-, who has decided to desert the battle of ideas and limit his work in opposition to the left to economic issues and scandals, in an attempt to wear down socialists and communists but without questioning their ideological dogmas, for fear that the same left wing would label the PP as "fascist". This fear, together with a considerable lack of principles, is what has led the PP to submit to the dogmas of the left to the point of being indistinguishable from the PSOE in many aspects.
The PP's technique of posing as a kind of honest PSOE might have had a chance if it weren't for the fact that the PP has also been plagued by notable corruption scandals, which the left has known how to exploit through the media. Why have the right-wing media failed to exploit scandals on the left in the same way? Well, precisely because of what I pointed out in the previous paragraph. When the left points out the scandals of the right, it attributes them to their ideological nature, to that straw man that the left has created to caricature and demonize their political rivals.
The submission to the ideological framework of the left
However, the PP and its related media are incapable of linking the scandals of the left with their ideology, because they have assumed it to a large extent. How can you blame everything that Sánchez does on socialism, while the PP meekly submits to socialist ideological mantras? In Spain there are very often situations as absurd as right-wing people saying that the PSOE is not "socialist" for this or that thing it does, while the PSOE has no qualms about blaming all the ills of the PP to its supposed rightist condition (something increasingly distant from reality). Some people on the right even attack the left as the really "conservative", or that "the really progressive thing" is to propose something different to the left.
By doing so, what these people demonstrate is that they have assumed the ideological framework of the left, a framework that gives it an advantage and that ensures it a clear hegemony over our society. This hegemony has the effect of for the left to be excused from any scandal because, after all, it is supposed to have a good intention (since it is from the left, that is, from "the good guys") , something that would not happen if that scandal happened to the right (that is, "the bad guys" in the leftist ideological framework). One of the characteristics of leftist sectarianism is precisely to judge people by their ideology, and not by their deeds, assuming that even the most horrible crimes are excusable if their perpetrators were from the left.
An ideological hegemony that is embodied in a double yardstick
This is how it is explained that today in Spain there are monuments to people as despicable as Che Guevara, Companys, Largo Caballero and other well-known leftists linked to various crimes, and yet homage cannot be paid to Sanz Briz, who saved 5,000 Jews but is accused of being a "fascist" by a profoundly anti-Semitic left like the Spanish.
This double standard of measurement is what is reflected in the polls and what explains, to a large extent, the electoral immunity of the left. An immunity that will continue to exist as long as a significant part of the right insists on continuing to submit to leftist dogmas, that is, submitting to the ideological and moral hegemony of the very left that it wants to dethrone. Yes The Spanish right wants to reverse this situation, it has to free itself from that leftist ideological framework, as Vox has already done. That is why it is the most hated party on the left: it has no control over it.
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