Monday, July 4, 2016

Corporate America Marshals Its Forces to Declare Independence from Democracy: One U.S. Citizen's Fourth of July Concerns in 2016

The FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's reliance on a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State has dogged her for over a year. However drip drip drippingly tiresome the email scandal has become, some unexpected developments breathed new life into the story the week before my nation celebrated its 240th Independence Day.

Clinton-Lynch Tarmac Meeting / FBI "Interview" Timeline

Monday, June 27: Former President Bill Clinton meets privately with current Attorney General (AG) Loretta Lynch aboard Lynch's plane on the tarmac of Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport for half an hour. FBI personnel instruct onlookers: "No photos, no cameras, no cell phones."

Tuesday, June 28: During a press conference at the Phoenix Police Academy, Lynch admits the meeting occurred but claims that she and Clinton talked strictly about social matters (such as golf and grandchildren) and did not broach any subject relevant to the ongoing email investigation.

Wednesday, June 29 & Thursday, June 30: The story of the meeting and its duration (broken by Christopher Sign of ABC15 in Phoenix) gains national media attention. 

Friday, July 1: Lynch acknowledges that it was a mistake for her to meet privately with Hillary Clinton's spouse, since Ms. Clinton is under investigation by Lynch's Department of Justice. Lynch also punts the question of whether Ms. Clinton will be indicted to James Comey, the current head of the FBI.

Saturday, July 2: Corporate media outlets friendly to the Clinton campaign report that Ms. Clinton spent the morning being "interviewed" (not "questioned"—and certainly not "interrogated") by the FBI concerning her use of a private email server.

Sunday, July 3: Clinton campaign mouthpieces spend the day assuring the nation that a recommendation for indictment from the FBI is unlikely

Monday, July 4: Citizens wonder whether James Comey's FBI will recommend an indictment of Clinton or not, but they try not to wonder too hard (because cognitive dissonance about America being subject to the rule of law is a real buzzkill on a patriotic holiday).

It's predictable—if pointless—that the Beltway bubble is suddenly abuzz with concern about the Lynch-Clinton tarmac meeting and its potential impact on the indictment process. Realistically, however, the indictment itself is a side issue the same way that all issues become side issues with the Clinton campaign—since the only demand Clinton makes of her supporters is that they turn a blind eye to anything she may have done wrong because the candidate from the alternative party is unthinkable. 

If there is no recommendation for indictment, that merely indicates that the FBI is as subject to influence by special interests as any other part of the American federal government, which should come as a surprise to no one.

No one's mind about Clinton will be changed. Clinton spokespeople will claim that Comey's refusal to recommend an indictment proves her innocence. Clinton critics will claim that such a refusal merely demonstrates Comey's complicity in her corruption. 

If there is a recommendation for indictment, it's still true that no one's mind will change concerning Clinton. Her supporters will contend that with Donald Trump as the alternative, we have no choice but to elect her—even if it means empowering her to pardon herself for any wrongdoing she may have done and subsequently covered up. Her opponents will argue that the indictment is even more evidence of Clinton's corruption, but since they're the only ones concerned about that corruption, it won't necessarily prevent her from being elected.

The question isn't whether we the people of the U.S. want Clinton as president. The overwhelming majority of us don't.

The question is whether we can do anything about the election considering that our corporate overlords have decided to install her. 

I'm spending this Independence Day coming to terms with the possibility that matters are out of the voters' hands at this point (some four months prior to the election).

Clinton represents a grand corporate partnership. Her donors in media and finance get the most attention, but the Clinton coalition is also sponsored by the agricultural, military, energy, and pharmacological sectors.

Plainly, the purpose of trade agreements such as TPP, TiSA, and TTIP is to force democracies around the world to be more responsive to the demands of multinational corporations than to the vulnerabilities of their citizens. And just as plainly, the purpose of a Hillary Clinton presidency is to ensure that our government is as receptive as possible to the hostile corporate takeover portended by such agreements. 

The easiest way to force sovereign nations to privilege corporate bylaws over their own constitutions is by putting the might of the U.S. military on the side of the corporate bylaws. That's the world that American citizens willing to look outside their own narrow range of interests can see being built before their eyes on this Independence Day.

The U.S. military isn't executing the will or acting in the interests of U.S. citizens. It does the bidding of American politicians who lie to us about their motives, their allegiances, and their objectives as they wage war throughout the globe—to the point of having militias armed by our Pentagon battling other militias armed by our CIA in Syria.

America has become the world's Pinkerton Detective Agency: a private security firm on a collective retainer from the most powerful multinational corporations. The poor Americans who don't profit directly from the corporate hierarchy of that arrangement must fend for themselves in one coal town or another: buying groceries on credit from the company store, watching the Pinkerton thugs bust up any attempts to organize unions, and greeting each morning with the awareness that they are getting another day older and deeper in debt.

American democracy was never perfect. There were always questions about elections. Voters were always deliberately misled by political campaigns and outright propaganda. I'm not trying to suggest that America was pure and innocent for almost two and a half centuries before becoming the world's nuclear-armed mall cop in 2016.

But 2016 is different, for it marks the year when the powers behind the throne of our democracy decided that it was too much trouble even to pay lip service to democracy. They're tired of tricking us into thinking that ____ is our enemy. They need to be able to declare war on _____ at a moment's notice—without having to go through the onerous process of making the case (much less proving) that _____ did anything wrong and/or that the public supports taking military action against _____ for such a heinous (though unproven) act.

Whether Clinton is indicted or not, 2016 will be the year when the corporate juggernaut made democracy irrelevant throughout the world. Sure, the coup in Brazil matters. Sure, Islamist authoritarianism in Turkey matters. Guatemala, Honduras, Libya, Syria, and the Ukraine all matter. But the U.S. matters most—not because it's richer or has a longer history of democracy, but because the emerging global corporate state can only hold humanity hostage at gunpoint, and the U.S. is the only country with a big enough gun for the job.

Since the Truman administration, American democracy has been a very ineffective check on the expansion of the military-industrial complex. But at least the potential to check that expansion was always there, even if it remained mostly theoretical. 

I don't believe such a check will remain (not even theoretically) after 2016 (whether Clinton is indicted or not). Democracy may have died long ago, but even the illusion of democracy will be put to death by the end of the year. Corporations won't settle for being recognized as people. They'll be eager to demonstrate that some people are more equal than others—and with American democracy thoroughly exposed as the sham that it has been for a very long time, there won't be anything left to stop them.

Twelve score years ago, our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that "all men are created equal."

Whether Hillary Clinton is indicted or not, the recommendation of the FBI (and her reaction to it) will demonstrate that American citizens are no longer created equal—that those who function as tools of the corporate agenda can always expect to be treated as if they are above the law . . . because they are . . . because corporate interests have superseded human interests at this point in our nation's development, which is why corporations should spend this Fourth of July celebrating their independence from the constraints of democracy.

No comments:

Post a Comment