Politics in the United States is so broken that the impressions of a non-observer may be as worthwhile as the view of the experts. My cursory impressions of some of the candidates follow. I envision them dressed in togas, addressing the Senate in Rome, perhaps on the first of April, 44 BC.
Obama: “We see ourselves as the successors of the successful; we have no responsibility for the past, and every right to the full bounty of the future. Race doesn’t matter among us because our allegiance is to our pocketbooks, not our skin color. Under my rule, Blacks won’t cost you. Long live the Empire”
H. Clinton: “We can make nice and still make money for the Big Money. Managing the rabble is cheaper and easier by corporations making nice (as every woman knows) than by sloppy brutality. It only has to look like we care about gals and coloreds, our allegiance is to our pocketbooks, not our skin color or sex. Long live the Empire.”
McCain: “The decorum of the Great White Fathers is the pillar on which to drape the hierarchy of ownership from its snowy peak to its dank and dusky base in the jungle of humanity. Under my rule the Fathership will resume dispensing its Authority by the traditional values of our Establishment, and the power of this example will rectify the comportment of the lower orders. Long live the Empire.”
Edwards: “I want it so bad, I am willing to lead the rabble in a charge against the corporate ownership of this country. Under my rule we will mute that assault after a few fresh hunks of fat have been tossed out, as this should easily quell the distractable infantile minds of the masses. We can preserve the fundamental engine of prosperity, and retain the engineers that steer it, to the general satisfaction of all. We are united by our allegiance to our pocketbooks. Long live the Empire.”
Romney: “I want it because then we have the power to bring more of the people who avoid living under the cultist repressions we place on ourselves, to heel. Under my rule national power will be brought to bear to segregate the chosen from the unclean, the prosperous from the losers, and heathenish races will be kept far at bay from our domain of ownership. Long live the Empire.”
Huckabee: “I want it because then the decent people who live their lives filled with the blue-eyed Jesus can finally assert their authority to bring more of the people who avoid living under the cultist repressions we place on ourselves, to heel. Under my rule our blue-eyed Jesus inspired Love will rectify the comportment of the lower orders, and fill all pocketbooks with the bounty they deserve by our reckoning. Our allegiance is to a hierarchy of prosperity under the umbrella of our cult. Long live the Empire.”
Candidates who do not salute “Long live the Empire” don’t count. I may have some or all of these candidates wrong; as I said, I’ve not followed the news. Your reaction to any particular candidate is a function of your perception of their “we,” “us” and “them.” You like the candidates whose “we” is your type (so you think) and whose “them” is not; and you dislike the candidates who give you the opposite impression.
What does it mean for the country? The usual. The “campaign” is the period of time during which the deals are cut that will operate the country through the next cycle. The USA is run as a cyclic plundering organized by patronage. The victors of the next election (not primary) get to choose the order in which patrons line up for the dispensation of the booty. The difference between a Hilliary and a McCain would matter intensely to oil and insurance companies, because for them it’s a battle over who is ahead in line. For you and me, mere voters, it is irrelevant. The Big Money entities own the line, we get the carcass after all the lions have belched and left it as too rank for any but flies and vultures. As in Aesop’s fable of “The Lion’s Share,” you are always welcome to share the burdens of “the great” (send campaign contributions, chase down voters on rainy nights, see your Army recruiter), but you are not welcome to share the spoils. Why imagine that things have changed since the days of Aesop? Evolution doesn’t work that fast.
Manuel Garcia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org