This past weekend, the unthinkable happened: a self-proclaimed Socialist has been elected the official leader of Britain’s Labour Party, the UK’s counterpart of the U.S. Democratic Party. His name is Jeremy Corbyn. Like Bernie Sanders, he started out as an outsider – but gained levels of support beyond anything the mainstream corporate media could possibly have imagined.

US corporate media outlets are terrified because of the implications Corbyn’s victory has for the upcoming US elections. This has become apparent by the way they are attacking him. Despite the fact that Corbyn virtually came out of nowhere to capture the Labour Party leadership by a whopping 60% of the vote (the largest mandate in British history, according to the UK political journal New Statesman), the American media is labeling him as “Marx admirer” and a “radical.” Corbyn is being accused of embracing the “new politics of spite,” and is being described as a “divisive, far-left lawmaker.”

And yet, Corbyn won a significant election by 60%. That doesn’t sound particularly “divisive.” It sounds like a concept utterly alien to Corporate America and their Congressional handmaidens: “The Will of the People.”

For better or worse, the United States of America is the offspring of Mother England and the British Empire. It should therefore come as little surprise that our respective history and politics have strong similarities. At one time, the British Parliament was an extension of the British East India Company.

The US Congress today is little more than a tool of Corporate America. Great Britain spent huge amounts of blood and resources between 1600 and 1945 building, maintaining and defending a global empire. The US started down that road during the Mexican-American War in the late 1840s, and continues to maintain an empire that is draining it of vital resources. The UK suffered from years of “trickle-down” economics under Margaret Thatcher. The US has been subjected to a generation of the same hyper-capitalist, neo-liberal BS that started with Thatcher’s spiritual and philosophical brother, Ronald Reagan.  In the late 1990s, both 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and Number 10 Downing Street were occupied by centrist, corporate “liberals” (Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, respectively).

Voters in the UK and their counterparts here on this side of the pond are sick and tired of the same old bull. No-holds barred, Ayn Rand-style, unregulated capitalism has done nothing for the past thirty years except to increase poverty and environmental degradation to the point that it is threatening the very existence of life on Planet Earth. People in the UK, the US and elsewhere are ready for a change. Over the past few years, the People everywhere have become increasingly vocal in their demands for that change. Centrist candidates don’t cut it, anymore. That is why Jeremy Corbyn was able to win the Leadership of Britain’s Labour Party, and why Bernie Sanders’ poll numbers are overtaking those of Hillary Clinton.

The corporate Powers-That-Be know and understand this. It terrifies them – and so it should.

K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues. In addition to writing for The Ring of Fire, he is the author of two published novels: Tamanous Cooley, a darkly comic environmental twist on Dante's Inferno, and The Missionary's Wife, a story of the conflict between human nature and fundamentalist religious dogma. When not engaged in journalistic or literary pursuits, K.J. works as an entertainer and film composer.