One picture worth a 1000 words

Recently former first lady Nancy Reagan – the one who introduced astrology into all the important White House decision making – has died. At her funeral this photo was taken :

CdeV41iW0AA5s1O.jpg-smallPresident Bush II & Hillary Clinton

If there was ever a photo, which tells the story of Hillary Clinton better than this I still have to find it.

Here are two people cozying up to each other like an old couple. They of course slept in the same bed or at least bedroom for eight years even if not at the same time. The tenants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC – known as the White House – are members of the most exclusive club and seem to be closely bonded.
However, we must not forget who this affectionate couple in this lovely embrace are.

Bush

George W Bush junior was the 43rd president of the United States and arguably the most disastrous and incompetent president in modern history. You only have to watch him in a Florida class room on 9/11 after receiving the news that America was under attack. Global Research describes it as follows :

At about 9:06, the president’s chief of staff, Andrew Card, came in and whispered in Bush’s ear, telling him, Card later reported, “A second plane hit the second Tower. America is under attack.”
What Happened Next
Thanks to Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11 the world knows what happened next: Bush remained sitting there minute after minute after minute after minute.

What followed later was the invasion of Iraq, which had nothing to do with the attack. That war crime – war of aggression –  was justified by Mr Bush and Blair by lying to their people and the world about non-existent weapons of mass destruction. Over 5000 Americans and hundreds of Brits and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died. Mr Bush gave us Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.  As a result the Middle East region turned into a sectarian quagmire and breeding ground for groups like ISIS and international terrorism on a unprecedented scale.

The greatest achievement of George W Bush on who’s watch despite ample warnings 9/11 happened was the incredible spin winning him a second term ‘that he kept America safe’.

One positive sign from the photo is the fact that the recovering alcoholic is holding a cup instead of a glass with something stronger than coffee.

Clinton

Hillary Clinton of course as a senator voted for the Iraq war in 2002. As Secretary of State she bears responsibility for the US war against the old Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi. She was in the room when Osama Bin Laden was remotely executed in Pakistan.
This has given her the reputation of a hawk and warmonger in Washington. She seems to be comfortable with that image. To be fair as a women she had to keep up with the boys and not allow herself to be seen as “soft”. She is Machiavellian enough to play the game regardless of the costs in human life and misery.

The Picture

The picture of the Bush/Clinton embrace apart from the common bond of the White House tenancy symbolises much more than a closeness in some of their policies.

This image epitomises what is wrong with the US political system. The deterioration of democracy into a system dominated by political dynasties. As if the world greatest power has little other choice to elect a president from hundreds of millions of people born in the USA other than a Bush or a Clinton. Of course all countries democratic or not have always been run by political elites. However, in the US the presidency has been passed on from Bush father to son with the attempt to pass it to brother definitely not based on merit. In the case of Clinton the presidency can now go from husband to wife definitely not because she is the best among 200 million US born Americans. If that is how the succession of power now works in the USA there seems to be not too much difference to North Korea except that they don’t even bother with the expensive charade of elections.

There is of course a need for elites to run things. Any organisation needs Chiefs as well as Indians. All this is fine as long as the Chiefs act in the interests of their community and the Indians have a chance to become chiefs based on merit. This is also known as the American Dream the not just distant hope but distinct possibility to rise from dishwasher to millionaire through hard work and talent. The problem is that the American Dream has over the last 35 years of neoliberal capitalism all but evaporated. The lower and middle classes have gone backwards and the rich-poor-gap has grown exponentially. The elites have over the years become the establishment not acting in the interests of the community but for their own self-preservation. They have been waging a class war against the majority i.e. the working people.

And the majority knows it. After “Occupy Wall Street” and “We are the 99%” they have found their voice in the 2016 election cycle or rather voices on both sides of the political spectrum in Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

In contrast to Clinton both have made the core issues of the class war of the rich against the poor central to their campaigns. These are the influence of Wall Street and corporate money in politics. Sanders does not accept corporate money while Trump boast with his personal wealth thus making him independent from corporate influence. Both oppose the neoliberal trade deals like the TPPA, which are detrimental to jobs and the working classes. Both talk about the most expensive health system in the world where big pharmaceutical corporations enrich themselves at the expense of the most vulnerable patients. And they even want to take on the industrial military complex, which sells crab planes (and other weapon systems) to the government for inflated prices.
These are the things the establishment does not want to hear and the corporate media hardly report.

Of course Sanders and Trump are totally different personalities. One is a decent person who held the same lifelong political believes, which finally are gaining traction and becoming mainstream. The other is a narcissistic buffoon who as a skilled demagogue has learned to tell his angry supporters what they want to hear.
However, they have one thing in common. They are challenging the elites and are rightly seen as the anti-establishment candidates. And they seem to be the only men standing in the way of the self declared proud Goldwater girl Hillary Clinton who is the ultimate  personification of the establishment elite. 

Last year we have seen the election of anti-establishment candidate Jeremy Corbyn as UK Labour Party leader. The grass root membership rose up against the party elite.
Signs are that 2016 might be the year the US electorate rises up against their elites in what Bernie Sanders calls the Revolution. However, he now seems to be unlikely to stop Hillary Clinton as it appears the Democratic Party elite has a much firmer grip on their nomination.

That leaves Donald Trump as the last hope of breaking the picture perfect cozy embrace and stopping the establishment elite of winning. Again.

Not a nice prospect.

And here for the New Zealand connection : If it stops the toxic Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) Trump might as well be worth it.

 

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