Democracy and the US presidential elections

The democracy most know has over the years undergone a radical transformation in the United States. Where one person, one vote would traditionally work, in the US the candidates in general tend to represent the corporations that fund their candidacy and political positions. The two political parties which admit of no serious contenders have become corporate, and the citizens they are elected to represent have been largely ignored – until the next voting cycle approaches.

The ‘shock’ victory of Donald Trump, a Republican but one anathema to its corporate establishment, continues to consume the air time of baffled corporate media. These are the very media that promoted the outlandish performance of the candidate until he became the Republican candidate for the US presidency and challenger to their pre-selected candidate, Hillary Clinton. That a candidate with such a history of loutish behaviour not be defeated, summarily routed by Clinton was deemed very unlikely – until polls started showing an uncomfortably close contest, even with both surreptitious and overt media collusion.

Afshin Rattansi of Going Underground at RT elicits an ‘outsider’s’ view of these US election results with his interview of journalist and film maker, John Pilger. The headline of the synopsis of the video interview provides a clue to the debacle, the travesty of democracy, John Pilger: Liberals created Trump by pushing corrupt Clinton, but now act surprised. Wasting no time, Pilger implicates the media in the farce,

Award-winning journalist John Pilger says that Donald Trump’s election victory “could be seen from miles away,” and has blamed a union of political, financial and media figures for standing behind a “grotesque campaign” to elect the “corrupt” Hillary Clinton.

He then provides a profile of Clinton and her entourage, summarised here,

Pilger criticized Clinton’s entourage, noting that she was backed not only by Wall Street heavyweights, but nearly all of the major arms manufacturers in the US, creating an unappealing image for a woman those at home and abroad already saw as a “warmonger.”

“Most of the world regards that kind of behavior from the most powerful country in the world as abhorrent, and she has been the personification of that,” said Pilger.

Of course, the fact that millions of despairing voters, many in dire economic straits, across the US, would place their hope in someone like Trump would seem highly implausible. The fact that millions of disenchanted young people, Latins, and other racial and other groupings would dare to either show some limited support to Trump or not vote at all was deemed inconceivable – they all belonged to the Democrat party and respond reflexively, unthinkingly. Nothing like dashed expectations. Worse, some of the states Trump had won, were won by Obama in 2012 – so much for only racism, xenophobia or whatever.

A candidate who offered nothing new, a candidate whose performance at the US State Department with potential financiers, and whose ‘takings’ afterwards for brief speeches usually fetched in excess of US$200,000 should certainly not be surprised if hesitant voters would think of their own economic circumstances, and make their resolute decision at the voting lever.

On that selection process of the Democrats and the inevitable election of Trump, we can add couple strong inputs of Glenn Greenwood from his post at The Intercept, Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit Couple key observations,

Put simply, Democrats knowingly chose to nominate a deeply unpopular, extremely vulnerable, scandal-plagued candidate, who — for very good reason — was widely perceived to be a protector and beneficiary of all the worst components of status quo elite corruption. It’s astonishing that those of us who tried frantically to warn Democrats that nominating Hillary Clinton was a huge and scary gamble — that all empirical evidence showed that she could lose to anyone and Bernie Sanders would be a much stronger candidate, especially in this climate — are now the ones being blamed: by the very same people who insisted on ignoring all that data and nominating her anyway.

But that’s just basic blame shifting and self-preservation. Far more significant is what this shows about the mentality of the Democratic Party. Just think about who they nominated: someone who — when she wasn’t dining with Saudi monarchs and being feted in Davos by tyrants who gave million-dollar checks — spent the last several years piggishly running around to Wall Street banks and major corporations cashing in with $250,000 fees for 45-minute secret speeches even though she had already become unimaginably rich with book advances while her husband already made tens of millions playing these same games. She did all that without the slightest apparent concern for how that would feed into all the perceptions and resentments of her and the Democratic Party as corrupt, status quo-protecting, aristocratic tools of the rich and powerful: exactly the worst possible behavior for this post-2008-economic-crisis era of globalism and destroyed industries.

Obviously, for The Chosen One the key aim is to use the position of power, not just to throw around military power against weaker countries, but also to hoover up as much money as possible from as many as possible in as short of time as possible, defining characteristics that have only become stronger and more subtle over time. And all interlopers are blocked, even if guarantors of success.

The politics of unfettered greed – Corporate Democracy in the US, a democracy that has awakened the fury of the ‘deplorables’. The question, a return to democracy for the US or its slide to intolerant, militarised oligarchy?

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