The broad appeal of Bernie Sanders’ message of wealth inequality and corresponding corruption of the US political system can be seen in the fact that Hillary Clinton plagiarizes him so regularly. At this point, it would hardly be surprising if her next announcement is that she’s converting to Judaism. But Hillary, unlike Bernie, is no revolutionary. And that’s a problem for everyone.
In the first place, she is, in her person, the quintessence of exactly what Bernie is running against. She’s the Marie Antoinette of the 21st century American oligarchy, stepping up to her term-limited husband’s throne to render her own well-rewarded service to the global elite. She’s been thoroughly vetted by the powers that be—for whom a few constitutional or international illegalities are no impediment to exercising their will. The one percent has secured the global media control necessary to maintain the constant propaganda hum critical to the stability of the New World Order and its Praetorian Guard, the US military-industrial complex.
And to closely guard their influence on the US political system.
It shouldn’t be forgotten how the Clintons rose to power. From white trash roots in the swamps of Arkansas Blue Dog Democratic politics and service to the mega-wealthy, with Hillary on the board of Walmart and in the Rose Law Firm, the Clintons’ path to the White House was also greased by Bill’s cooperation with the intelligence community and the Nicaraguan contra resupply effort in Mena, Arkansas; and by the close sponsorship of DC doyen Pamela Harriman, the widow of Averell Harriman—Prescott Bush’s business partner in dealings with Nazi Germany, and fraternity brother in the secret society Skull and Bones. The Clintons’ chumminess with global elites like Henry Kissinger and the Bushes, junior and senior, is no accident.
If Hillary comes to power, there won’t be any war crimes trials. And as Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, has noted, Hillary is probably the most hawkish candidate in the presidential race, of either party. She will be very good for the defense industry, and guaranteed by her past “experience” to swell the profits of US arms exporters, who already lead the world in supplying the weapons that keep global conflict churning and investors rich.
This presents a problem for Bernie supporters who—whether they are progressive party loyalists in the Democratic base, or independent political agnostics drawn by Bernie’s anti-establishment message—are here for the political revolution.
Any fair-minded analysis of the race so far, with Bernie at about the same point Obama was in 2008, would conclude that corporate media predictions of Hillary’s “inevitable” nomination are both further illustration of psychological operations by the power elite, and ridiculously premature.
Granted, the polling at this point favors Hillary. But Bernie has confounded the pollsters throughout the campaign, and has significant advantages that the Obama ’08 campaign lacked—namely, a Justice Department grant of immunity to the guy who set up Hillary’s email server; a history of disastrous US foreign policy under Hillary’s watch at the State Department; and a record of very cozy correspondences between foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation and Hillary’s decisions as Secretary of State. This is in addition to Hillary’s Wall Street donations, which Obama couldn’t really talk about—for obvious reasons.
But if, in fact, Hillary does become the Democratic nominee, it leaves Bernie’s grassroots insurgency in a fairly complicated strategic dilemma. If Hillary is the most immediate and visible target of their political revolution, why would they ever support her in November? In fact, there is already a movement to switch allegiance to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, or to write in Bernie’s name even if he loses the nomination. Polling indicates that about 20 percent of Democrats will not vote for Hillary, under any circumstances.
How this complicates things is that it brings the Bernie rebellion face to face with the existential question, “What is the nature and scope of our political revolution?”
If the present incarnation of the progressive movement—inaugurated among farmers and populists over a century ago in reaction to an earlier era of corporate greed—still has social justice as its ultimate goal, surely a Republican presidency, which would cement corporate power and an ultra-conservative US Supreme Court in place for at least a generation, would represent a step backward for that long-term revolution. And symbolically, at the very least, a female president would represent a step forward.
On the other hand, if the Bernie insurgency is, as he describes it, a campaign to “transform” the entire American political system—from one that has evolved to its present form of craven service to billionaire campaign contributors, into one that serves justice, insures tranquility and promotes the general welfare of the people, as the Framers originally intended—then a vote for Hillary is a vote that legitimizes that very system of political and economic oppression.
And what loyalty can there be to a party that has done literally everything in its power to deny the righteous aspirations of its own “grassroots activists”? If recent history demonstrates anything, it’s that the opposition flourishes when the other party is in power, and a Republican administration would serve the purposes of revolution better than another Democratic corporatist.
The imperial Democratic machine ignores this truth at its peril.