The Pay Off
(image by StockMonkeys.com)
Perhaps Americans think that unless a politician is corrupt, the politician won't be able to get anything done -- he or she will be "weak" unless corrupt. That view, which seems to be reflected in casual acceptance of corrupt politicians such as of all Republicans (beholden to the super-rich), and also of conservative Democrats such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (beholden to the super-rich while speaking as "liberals"), is a rejection of democracy, because democracy cannot even function at all if it's corrupt; only the corruptors then rule, and that's not democracy; there's another name for that; it's called kleptocracy, or fascism, or a number of other terms, but they all refer to dictatorship, by the corruptors, who buy the officials -- and no dictatorship is, or even can be, democratic.
After Jonathan Chait headlined in New York Magazine on 23 September last year, "How to Beat Hillary Clinton," there was a brief flurry of punditry responding to Chait's view that Hillary's record is too corrupt for her to be able to beat Elizabeth Warren in Democratic Presidential primaries. The preponderant view expressed by commentators was that Chait was wrong and Hillary is inevitable to win the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016 (if she wants the Presidency, which she obviously does). The blogger "Steve M" at "No More Mister Nice" bannered the very same day as Chait, "No, Hillary Clinton Is Not Going to Lose in 2016 Because of a Sudden Populist Anti-Corruption Surge," and he cited example after example to show that,"Voters don't get angry about cronyism, because they expect no less; they don't get angry about financiers' shady doings, because no ambitious politician dares to talk about them, for fear of drying up the revue stream ... Yes, maybe there's one exception to that rule: Elizabeth Warren . But she's become all but invisible to the average American since she won her election."
Since that time, last September, has Hillary's poll-standing gone down, or Warren's gone up? Not at all: neither has happened.
This has been so even during the past few months while Hillary Clinton has been visiting with Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms to pick up $200,000 a shot for meeting with them and for discussing with them in private whatever questions they ask her while they size her up for how much money they will donate to her campaign.
Maybe Americans just don't know how corrupt Hillary is ; or else maybe it's just that they don't care about corruption; but, either way, Americans seem willing to throw democracy out the window and to live in a corrupt society: a dictatorship by big money, instead of a democracy.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.