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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 10/2/16

Installing a President by Force: Hillary Clinton and Our Moribund Democracy

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Moribund Democracy--the end game
The U.S. no longer displays a thriving democracy: hard evidence is accumulating to document this in rigorous, scholarly research. Studying almost 1,800 issues of public policy, political scientists Martin Gillens and Benjamin Page said this:

.. .economic elites interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.

Two other political scientists, Bastiaan van Apeldoorn and Nana de Graaff, looked into the "grand strategy makers," the 30 most influential people in cabinet-level and senior advisory positions in the last three administrations--Bill Clinton's, Bush's, and Obama's. In the Clinton Administration, 25 of the 30 "grand strategy makers" (83%) were linked to 197 different corporations, as executives, directors, senior associates, or partners in law firms, either prior to their public service or after it. In the Bush Administration 27 of the 30 (90%) had connections to 157 corporations. In the Obama Administration 23 of the 30 (over 70%) had such "top-level corporate affiliations" with 111 companies. Most of the companies involved were financial institutions and transnational corporations.

Oligarchy is rule by the few. Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy. Corporatocracy is a society governed or controlled by corporations. We have all three.

The conjunction of corporate political power and immense wealth has a lock on Washington. The citizens comprising it--"the 1%" in common parlance--are prospering as never before: the upward shift of wealth and incomes continues, accompanied by expanding, apparently dominant political influence.

The people of the 1% inducted Bill and Hillary Clinton into their ranks, by enriching them over four decades with an astonishing $3 billion in various contributions, commissions, and speaking fees. (See the documentation in the Washington Post here.) All five of the Clintons' previous campaigns have been lavishly financed by them, Hillary's current candidacy even more so, and the Clintons over all those years have served them well.

So have the corrupted institutions. The Democratic National Committee would not and could not have thumbed the scale without the unfettering of corporations, without the distraction by entertainment and spectacle, without the cavalier respect for laws, without a grotesque system of campaign funding.

The mortal imperative for the wealthy and powerful is to keep the status quo inviolate. Hillary Clinton's nomination would assure that. Senator Sanders' call for political revolution was an intolerable threat, particularly when it was so enthusiastically endorsed by twelve million voters, 44% of the national total.

In the end, the imposition of Hillary Clinton was a cliff-hanger. Even after the fraudulent primaries she did not have enough democratically-elected delegates to secure the nomination. 7% short of the requisite 2,382, she needed the votes of 163 unelected superdelegates, those empowered by the Democratic National Committee.

Hillary Clinton's presidency will change nothing of substance because she is a creature of the corruption. Corporate dominion will prevail. Entertainment and spectacle will displace awareness with delusion. Laws will be ignored for financial or political gain. Governance will be marketed. Democracy will be a myth and a memory.

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Retired professor of public policy and administration. Author, frequent contributor to progressive websites.

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