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Clinton Incorruptible: An Ideological Contrivance

Goldman got its money’s worth at the Convention, $700k for two speeches, more a promissory note on behalf of the entire Wall Street community for continued support when and if she is elected president. Clinton, an engine of self-promotion that never turns off, makes Trump’s self-promotion infantile, tiresome, and dyspeptic by comparison. A coinciding of personas, public and private, is difficult to hide, ambition-driven translating into hawkish militarism, the mutilation of national healthcare, friend to corporate and financial vested interests, outclassing Trump in service to monopoly capital.

Was the Democratic party hypocritical in nominating Clinton for the presidency? Hardly. Its own record on war, health insurance, corporatism stands out, with the exception of the New Deal, since Kennedy’s time with comparable stands going back to Wilson, and before that, Grover Cleveland—a sordid promotion of anticommunism and red-baiting to cover its sins of omission and commission in opposing a society of authentic human welfare. Now, somehow, a woman crashing the glass ceiling—never mind her reactionary bent and danger to world peace—fits perfectly the the scenario of constant obfuscation, as the concentration of wealth-and-power as a unified structural syndrome continues apace.

The desexualization of gender, as proving herself one of the boys (the Afghanistan surge) and continually in evidence wherever paramilitary operations, regime change, and provocative confrontation with Russia and China has been involved in recent years, gives her high credence in Pentagon circles. And her affinity for Clintonian economics, shoulder to shoulder with Bill, and in willing company with Geithner, Summers, and the neoliberal onslaught, adds a dose of steeliness, in the face of widespread poverty and economic class-differences, to her pseudo-masculinity when it comes to displaying reserves of, and readiness to use, power with impunity.

Game-changer, according to Bill? Quite possibly, if her ruthlessness becomes operable, as surely it would, in the advancement of public policy. But that is not what he meant, for as con man (only rivaled by Obama), he credits her with a softness, delicacy, caring-ness, devotion to the cause of children, motherhood, consoling voice to the grieved; he pulls out all the stops in fallacious image-building, a Mother Theresa in pantsuit. Goddess of War and Privilege is more like it, and positively appealing to an America itself increasingly authoritarian, so that in the coming election, it is not that she is a woman but that she shows greater determination and strength in full-scale resumption of the Cold War that proves her winning attraction.

Already the propaganda machinery is cranking out a Trump-Putin hidden relationship, not only to divert attention from her own deviousness (especially the content of the privately-retained emails), but to make her the only safe guardian of American security. Power-woman has little relation to gender-equality and –justice because it reduces identity to a nameless, sexless basis of raw destructiveness. (Children in American—what of the countless children murdered overseas via armed drone targeted assassination, with not a word of protest from her.) She plays the gender card the way Obama played the race card to gain office—utter cynicism, the cultivation of a non-menacing aspect, in both cases making identity politics an utter scam by which to further the worst features of plutocratic-militaristic capitalism in America.

And the masses shout hosannas. A Clinton-Trump election is an uncanny replication of the nation’s heartbeat, one that verges on nascent fascism proceeding quickly to a full-scale reproduction. Both Clintons are equally reprehensible to Bush II and Trump in that regard, as measured on that standard, and the major parties they respectively represent, likewise. Who is to blame? Not the candidates alone, and not even the parties as self-sufficient agents of causation. It is us, all of us, either directly engaged in, or directly and indirectly benefiting from, imperialism, militarism, privatization, and a spirit of nihilism (particularly as concerns climate change and the environment), that has thrust candidates and both parties alike into positions of legitimacy and prominence, despite—and actually because of—their contemptuous record on, and regard for, human welfare.

Measured by the stabilization and enlargement of capitalism, in America, but more important, also as an exclusive world system, free from socialism, peoples’ democracies, formal and informal colonial dependencies, indigenous peasant revolts, the US stands implicated in its un-budging posture of global counterrevolution. The Philadelphia convention merely drives further nails into the coffin of humanity.

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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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