Hillary Clinton has formally announced that she is to run as the Democratic Party candidate for the 2016 Presidential Election, which is fine – few people expected anything else. She has experience as First Lady, and as Secretary of State – can anyone else match that? No of course not, and there’s more – she’s a woman. Wow! There has never been one of those on the US banknotes before.
Her opening lines centre around the Humanities – around Healthcare, Social Services, Education, Equality, and the great middle income dilemma. All of which is the stuff of good governance but it’s not her personal stuff. Let’s not be bound up in the personality battles so common in US politics. When we talk of Humanities in this regard we are talking of Democrat Party policy. We are talking of people first, not business first. We are talking of the real function of government which is to take care of its people while improving their living standards and nurturing their spirits.
While we’re establishing definitions let’s be clear about defense. It’s not offense. Defense does not mean building a military force that outweighs every other nation’s military establishment combined by a considerable margin. That is not defense. That is offense – it is in fact offensive in both the physical and mental sense. People who think are offended by a political party duping its electorate into funding an outrageously large army, air-force, and navy when already defended by the world’s largest oceans on two sides and by friendly nations to the north and south. The US is not in danger. There is no threat of invasion by the smaller countries of the Middle East. China and Japan are not likely to come charging over the oceans to storm the ramparts of the Pacific coast. The Europeans are not going to swarm the Atlantic to take the Eastern Seaboard. Those that say otherwise are fear mongers – liars who feed on fear Clearly the maxim that says, “The bigger the lie, the more believable it becomes,” is true.
What is also true, and let there be no mistake about this, is that by providing political candidates with unlimited funding from anonymous sources, PACs, we are flinging wide the doors for corruption of the very worst kind. Only those intent on profiteering will be elected under such an arrangement. People who care about others, people intent on long, useful lives for themselves and others, are not the people who come funded by big business and egotistic power brokers. Those people, those sophists, funded by corporate entities are there to protect those same entities. They are not there to promote health, education, and growth of the nation. They are there to keep the tax laws favourable to high earners and to restrict government to a few, malleable, protagonists.
Make no mistake this election should be focused on the intent of the political parties: Not, as the media would have it, on the suitability of the candidate. The parties can each determine who among them can best take on the cloak of President. The job of the electorate is to determine which of the parties’ manifestos presents the best policy for the people of the US – all the people of the US.
On the last occasion a republican became President the US was catapulted into two wars in which it still participates – fourteen years later taxpayer’s money still flows to those foreign fields. How did that come about? How did this great nation find itself in such a quagmire? It came about because of a hung election. It came about because George W Bush, the titular head of the Project for the New American Century, did not receive sufficient votes for a mandate: He did not receive enough votes to implement the dreams of his backers. He actually received less of the popular vote than his democratic opponent but squeezed home with just one vote via his brother Jeb, then Governor of Florida, and the Supreme Court. A thinner majority would not have been possible so there was no approval: there was only the responsibility. In the event, despite its huge military might, the US was attacked on its own soil with civil airliners piloted by citizens of a friendly nation. How could that happen? How could the citizens of the nation which signed the oil-for-technology treaty with Franklin Roosevelt seventy years before be attacking the hand that still feeds them? Or were they? Were they just innocent dupes in a deadly struggle for the power of the people?
The truth remains buried, though be it in a shallow grave, but the outcome was lifted high: A firm mandate to attack the nation harbouring the attackers emerged, and a clear reason to build bigger the defenses followed. Whatever the New American Century lacked before 911, it had in spades before the month was out. The leap that followed, the leap that transferred retribution from Afghanistan to Baghdad, somehow slipped from the purview of the US electorate. That was not the case in the rest of the world; the rest of the world knew there was no justification for the invasion of Iraq but in went the US troops with guns blazing and boots crunching and all the evil horrors of war followed. We are paying for that – all of us – still.
So let’s be absolutely clear for what the people are voting come November 2016. They are not choosing a personality; they are choosing a government. They are choosing between either a business government or an humanities one. If they continue to choose business over people they will arrive at rule by private enterprise – by fascism – rule by dictate. If they wish to retain democracy they must choose carefully. FDR told us long ago that, “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”
Education, it was decided, by the sages of ancient Greece some 2,500 years ago, is the first responsibility of government. It was true then, and it is true now. When we choose to vote we must be wise; to be wise we need education. Vote not for Hillary; vote for what Hillary brings.