The tragedy and farce of the U.S. presidential race is under-way.
By E.F Nicholson
The U.S. presidential race is starting to gain momentum as the throng of Republican nominees line up at the starting fence. Democrats have the supposed inevitability of Hillary Clinton and the seemingly normal human being of Bernie Sanders. As an outsider looking in, it seems astounding that the U.S. population could potentially vote for the wife of a former president or the brother and son of two other former Presidents. The choice within the political aristocracy is so minute that over a 35-year period you have one of two families ruling the world’s wealthiest countries. That said, you could argue that, like modern day Kings and Queens, the U.S. president is really more of a figurehead than, in the end, the commander-in-chief, as the real commanders and chiefs are the ones bankrolling the whole show. Like the WWF, it’s not the wrestlers who make the most money, but rather those in charge of creating the whole spectacular itself. The presidential race has simply become a question of who outspends whom. Up until now the winner of the dog and pony show has been the candidate who has been given the most money and spent the most money. It could be done way simpler just by adding up who gets the most money and announcing them as the winner.
All the industries who have a stake in how things are done from banking, defence, pharmaceutical, Big Oil, Big Ag, etc., all seem to spread their bets and at times add a little extra for the candidate they prefer. The one percent of the one percent are the political gatekeepers, anointing who may or may not be entrusted to be their humble servant.
All this works on the proven assumption that elections are bought, not won. It’s really an advertising campaign showdown on who has the slickest, most convincing sales pitch and the most effective scaremongering. This isn’t any secret; Obama won the 2008 Ad-Age’s marketer of the year. It appears the citizens are basically stupid and will go with whomever tells them the loudest who they should vote for.
Watching the 18 Republican candidates starting their bid to be the president borders on the hilarious and tragic. Donald Trump, of course, seems to be there just as some orange-headed court jester, as he is so overtly crass and narcissistic it’s very hard to think this is nothing other than free publicity. The rest of the more “serious candidates” start the collective pretence of showing their voters the USP, that is, their unique selling point. What gets revealed early on is that none of them have anything remotely unique. They are all just your run-of-the-mill egomaniacs, power-hungry career narcissists, who just love the idea of being the President of the USA. What amazes me is how, year after year, we get the same spiel that each of them casts themselves as “Washington outsiders,” wanting to come into D.C. and shake it up with some real change. It doesn’t seem to matter how established and embedded in the D.C. political elite they may actually be. It seems if they take the Sarah Palin underdog angle people may believe it if they just say it enough times. Jeb Bush, who couldn’t be more of the D.C. Dynasty, in his commencement speech stated:
“We will take Washington – the static capital of this dynamic country – out of the business of causing problems.”
The assumption is, of course, that it’s static because he is not there. I mean, his daddy and brother were there for quite awhile, but nonetheless, Washington obviously needs him. Like his fellow 18 competitors, he is going to clean up Washington. It is also disconcerting to find out Jeb has a son who appears to be getting groomed to follow in his daddy’s, Uncle George’s and grand-papa’s footsteps. It’s like the Beverly Hillbillies, but with less IQ points.
Listening to the announcements that they will be entering into the race is a bizarre spectacle. In the background of their respective rallies you have all these humans, who I think might, in fact, be androids or clones, waving signs with the said candidate’s name on it, cheering on cue and applauding when prompted. Who are these people? I mean, who really is willing to believe anything these guys are say when lying, cheating and looking after the one percent is all they have records for? If 12% of the population have faith in Congress, I guess here are the 12% with signs and bumper stickers showing they are still in some kind of massive collective denial. The truth of how bought and pointless the whole thing is just hasn’t reached the conscious part of their brains, or maybe it has, but it was told to go away. Candidates become pretty much walking cliche machines, saying stuff that sounds possibly inspiring, but in reality means nothing, such as the following taken from the speeches announcing their runs for president.
Jeb Bush: “We will lift our sights again, make opportunity common again, get events in the world moving our way again.”
What does that even mean? Get events moving in the world our way again? It assumes that world events once upon a time moved solely for their way and now Jeb, in allegiance with the Eye of Sauron and its dark magic, will once again get world events moving for them, as opposed, maybe, for the actual countries in which those events are taking place.
That’s so true, except that is when he said he didn’t close a bridge down to piss off an opponent, which he didn’t mean to say that he meant to say he didn’t know that he didn’t know to say that. Makes total sense.
Rubio on Hillary Clinton, rising to the challenge of mentioning “yesterday” 4 times in 2 sentences. Rubio just arrogantly assumes that a time machine will never be invented. He obviously has no idea about the threat of the Daleks.
Ted Cruz: “We stand together for liberty! This is our fight. The answer will not come from Washington… when the American people stand together, and say, ‘We will get back to the principles that made this country great.'”
Again, the let’s straighten out those corrupt Washington types by sending me to Washington. Honestly, when exactly did the U.S. lose the principles that made the country great? Where did they go? Anyway, who said the country was great in the first place? It’s all a bit presumptuous, methinks.
I feel for them in someone ways, as they have to find that tricky balance of appealing to the white, aging, Christian conservative base, whilst not alienating any potential swing voters. Like the anxiety of the teenage girl who wants to be sexy, but not sluttish, they move to a vague centre just long enough to get into power. Yet being Republican douche-bags, they are easy targets. The candidate I really find most obscene is Hillary Clinton. Her sense of entitlement is gi-normous. She painfully had to suck it in when Barack Obama beat her back in 2008, and it’s been an unwritten assumption in the Democratic party that Hillary is next. It’s my turn, and now I get to be President. Because why? I have no idea. Like the majority of Democrats, Hillary is hawk and harlot of the finance industry. If anyone encapsulates the D.C. Establishment, it’s Hillary. Like the Republicans, for her to win her allegiances have to blurred and ambiguous as she gets on the campaign trail and starts her web of lies, embellishments and straight-out deceptions. She is a champion of the interest of the one percent, but will use her womanhood and her mildly progressive views on a few fringe issues to shoehorn her way into office. How people can buy her shtick is just outstanding, a real case study in the power of propaganda and persuasion.
The only redeeming and noteworthy candidate is Bernie Sanders running against super Hillary for the Democratic nomination. Sanders is campaigning on issues like taxing big business, increasing minimum wage and working to resolve the massive income inequality in the U.S., and also seriously addressing climate change. Obviously, to the mainstream media these are crazy fringe ideas (although they would benefit 90% of the population and are, in fact, in line with many voters’ needs and wishes). Sanders is given the “token dark horse, will soon drop off the radar once the serious stuff gets started” type attention, a kind of Ron Paul of 2016. The dismissive and condescending tone Sanders’ campaign is treated with just shows how far the mainstream media is embedded with and in synergism with the “business as usual” mindset that dominates U.S. politics. Anything outside the right-of-centre Democrats or right-of-right Republicans appears to be completely incomprehensible. When being interviewed the other day Sanders mentioned the 90% tax rate for the rich that was in effect during the 1950s and something he would be willing to reintroduce, and the host let out an almighty guff. Inconceivable! Yes, in-fucking-conceivable, indeed.