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The “Convenience” of Untruth

If I may state a vulgarized Leninism, I hope Hillary gets the Democratic nomination, the ideal political “two-fer” in making possible a fresh start for America. Candidate and party are made for each other: a morally bankrupt unity of militarism, corporatism, class dominance of financial elites, all contributing to a national mindset of permanent-war doctrine, global commercial/ideological hegemony, cosmetics as stand-in for a social safety net, and the ruthless disregard of democratic principles of governance. Is it really that bad? Probably worse. Liberal fascism is not an oxymoron, rather a useful description of the perversion of Center-Left politics and thought in America successively enlarged after the New Deal so as to appear sympathetic to principles of equality, social justice, and world peace while achieving opposite results, including systematically supporting a class-state of heightened wealth concentration meanwhile discouraging potential dissident groups, chiefly, blacks, labor unions, immigrants, the working poor from mobilizing to create a more just polity and social order.

Hillary is the poster woman for all that is repellant about class dominance, capitalism’s militarization as starting point for domestic social regimentation to ensure popular acceptance of financial and corporate leadership in US policymaking and definitions of national self-interest. Here add the element of security, a perfect witches’-brew of the Business State assuming global proportions. There is something uncanny in her make-up, an urge to power deliberately left undisguised, as if to impress the people with the duty of authoritarian submission in the name of higher values. Hillary the Statue of Liberty in sunglasses, on the ramparts of freedom to protect us all from dangers open-ended, often unspecified, every pursuit of self-aggrandizement converted into a virtue, most recently, her presumed effort in defense of the rights of women (a sick joke) or her claims of government transparency via the selective release of official USG documents as Secretary of State from her private account.

I want her to run, to win the nomination, and then whatever follows. A Republican victory could not be worse, for at least Americans would know what to expect, and could either acquiesce or fight back. But a Hillary triumph courts the danger of becoming enveloped in a sea of false consciousness—except that it also raises the prospect, finally, after decades of bipartisan consensus, of political upheaval, in which the Democratic party is exposed and the seeds planted for its displacement or, at the very least, a third party in militant opposition. Hillary unwittingly can sound the tocsin, an awakening to the structured loss of democracy, brought about by its putative friends. If by chance Elizabeth Warren were the party’s nominee (I expect little departure from her on foreign policy, but her domestic is something else), that would only postpone the inevitable: the discovery of the rottenness of the Democratic party, which one candidate at the top could not hope to rectify. No, Hillary all the way, in the hope of party-destruction and subsequent realignment.

***

Can one blame her? Hardly; her political antennae have always been up, and, correctly, she has gauged the reactionary pulse of the American electorate (and that of her own party), an ideological framework in which, beyond the personal power-demiurge, she may actually believe, making for a more unitary personality than the mere opportunism which appears on the surface. Too, she wears her reactionary credentials honorably in the sense of being married to, and sharing the principles of, perhaps the biggest fraud in presidential history, the Janus-faced William Jefferson Clinton, whose capitulation to wealth and militarism has become a superb marker for contemporary liberalism. The Foundation is the least of his explorations into Greatness, his dynamic duo of Robert Rubin and Larry Summers and the prodigious gift to Corporate America of deregulation ranking near the top of the dung heap. And when foreign policy is fully scrutinized, we have an indictment of Democrats’ claims to representing a progressive social force, now adumbrated by the consummate forfeiture of democratic principle by the Obama administration on both domestic- and foreign-policy counts.

Hillary is a product of her political-ideological times, no better, perhaps no worse, than her predecessors and surroundings. America has been in the business quite literally of war and war-preparation for some time; it has also done little for the internal democratization of the social system, black leadership today especially callous in that regard. I ask: Would Dr. King favor and employ drone assassination? Would Dr. King provoke regime change, openly court confrontation with Russia and China, unleash covert action to weaken or topple governments with which the US disagrees? Remembering his Poor People’s Campaign I wonder would Dr. King applaud Obama’s closeness to the banking and business communities? Would he see the recent celebration of the 50th anniversary of Selma, in light of America’s overwhelming stance of militarization, even filtering down to the local police, as anything other than a sham. I was in Selma for the interim tensions before the famous second march, the beauty and the genuine eloquence of Dr. King’s memorial in Brown’s Chapel for James Reeb, murdered on the streets of Selma, and as I look back I have only contempt for Obama, Hillary Clinton, and all the humanitarian-fakirs who have trespassed on the rights and dignity of the common people. America has changed, and not for the better.

***

The New York Times deserves commendation for breaking the story of Hillary’s email/federal records deception, even more, following the story closely, as in this article, Alan Rappeport and Amy Chozick’s “Clinton Tries to Quell Email Controversy,” (Mar. 10), which began, “[HRC]… defended her exclusive use of a private email address during her time as secretary of state as a matter of ‘convenience,’ saying about 30,000 of her work-related emails would be made public, but that thousands more that she deemed personal had been deleted.” Savor the element of personal discretion—and will the public see those not deleted and deemed not work-related? Transparency, thou outmoded, obsolete factor in a fast-disappearing democratic system of governance. And for chutzpah: “’I thought using one device would be simpler; obviously, it hasn’t worked out that way,’ she said in her first public comments since the issue emerged last week.” The admission is lame, and even then, forced because she got caught.

Adding insult to injury, because determination of personal-work related remains with Clinton alone, she says: “’I feel that I have taken unprecedented steps to provide these public emails; they will be in the public domain.’” (Sorry, but I hear echoes of Bill’s admission of Lewinski in the background.) Thus in a 20-minute news conference addressed to women’s issues and the Republican open letter to Iran, there was little about the emails, or as she said: “’I fully complied with every rule.’” The State Department announced that it would “publish online [in one batch] the full set of emails provided by Mrs. Clinton from her time as secretary of state.” Again, she is the sole arbiter of relevance. In passing, the reporters noted that after the revelations, “Clinton fielded political questions from reporters, something she had not done since her 2008 presidential campaign.” That will no longer be possible: “But as she shapes her 2016 campaign, Mrs. Clinton must wade back into politics, prompted not by her own careful timing but forced by a controversy over whether she intentionally used a private email account to skirt federal records requests for State Department correspondence.” The best-laid schemes o’ mice and men gang aft agley.

My New York Times Comment on the Rappeport-Chozick article, same date, follows:

Will this stop the Hillary locomotive for the nomination dead in its tracks? Obviously mot, the Democratic party in full damage-control mode will work around Mrs. Clinton’s felonious attempt to evade the LAW. We expect this from the Clintons, a superb training ground as Bill’s wife for grazing the truth, self-enrichment, contempt for transparency. Everything however untoward can be explained by/dismissed as a matter of “convenience”–her damaging admission that she is too used to free passes to notice for what it is: criminal intent disguised as convenience.

Mrs. Clinton’s statement, “I fully complied with the law,” should automatically disqualify her from a run for the presidency, except that that is now par for the course in Washington. Too, that she has been defensive with respect to the press corps augurs poorly indeed for honesty, sincerity, transparency–instead, more like a case of paranoia (to which the Clintons are no strangers).

Should one rally to her defense because the Republicans have proven themselves crypto-fascists, as in their latest anti-constitutional escapade? No, the lesser of two evils is still evil; in this case seeking to cover over strong prowar tendencies with fool’s gold, i.e., the patina of liberalism.

If the Democrats can swallow a potus whose trademark is drone assassination, why not a Hillary who in advocating for troop surges has proven she can belt them down with the big boys? This contempt for the public should be sent packing.

Norman Pollack has written on Populism. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at pollackn@msu.edu.

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Norman Pollack Ph.D. Harvard, Guggenheim Fellow, early writings on American Populism as a radical movement, prof., activist.. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at pollackn@msu.edu.

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