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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/23/16

Rabble Rousing

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Message BK Faunce

We the People
We the People
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"What to do? What to do?"

If you listen closely, you can hear the Clinton campaign fretting all the way from New York.

"We bought a ton of votes . We put our people in control . We framed the narrative . We limited debate . We manipulated databases . We disappeared progressive voters . Just in case, we rigged the system with superdelegates . Ah, but this is the general election we're talking about. Swing votes. Independents. Folks on the fence. It's an entirely different bowl of chili. It will require an entirely different kind of seasoning."

Now that they appear to have wrapped up the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton and her handlers will have to figure out how to triangulate her documented, unquestionable and unequivocal support for endless war, corporate-friendly economic policies, union-busting trade deals and increased domestic surveillance, all wrapped up, to put it delicately, in a penchant to mislead . In short order, they'll have to figure out how to lie, deceive, dissemble, fudge and otherwise avoid the truth -- at least until after the general election.

It won't be easy.

Put yourself in Hillary's shoes. You are a true believer in corporate power and the reign of the ruling elites . You've spent your entire adult life trying to join their privileged ranks. You worship money and privilege and the accumulation of both at the expense of anyone or anything. Your only principle is protect the status quo. Your only policy is self-enrichment .

Once in the White House, you have every intention of enacting more of the same corporate-driven policies that were enacted by Barack Obama. But, like Obama, you can't tell the rabble that. You can't admit you work for corporate America. You won't get elected.

Instead, you have to fool them, tell them what they want to hear, that you're with them, that you're in their corner, you've got their back, you're their champion. Tell them you believe in their agenda. Tell them you feel their pain. Tell them . . . whatever.

You don't actually have to do anything. Legislate. Sponsor bills. Pass laws. Fight to make life a little better for working people. You just have to say you will. Like Obama, you have to practice to deceive without appearing to practice anything at all. Once in power, checkmate. Political expediencies and 'if you knew what we knew" and all the rest .

It will be a bit of a trick for Hillary. She can't afford to throw off the pretense and admit the obvious.

"I know, I know. Policy measures that benefit the ruling elites don't create jobs . They don't help the economy. They don't boost consumer confidence. In fact, research shows they have the exact opposite effect . But . . . these are my closest friends and associates we're talking about. These are the people I hang with, go to dinner with, have drinks with, play power politics with -- the people with whom I am most comfortable and who, I am confident, are most comfortable with me. We believe in each other . . . and besides, they back-PAC'ed a sh*t-load of money into my campaign coffers and, well, naturally, they expect results . . ."

You get the picture.

Slight aside: I wonder what former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is having for dinner tonight? This is known as a rhetorical question. It does not require an answer. That's because, when she was Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton gave the green light to the Honduran military to remove the democratically elected leader from power . The US government's response to Zelaya's attempt to challenge the authority of the Honduran elites is a perfect illustration of Hillary's belief that the rabble should under no circumstances have control over their own resources -- you know, what otherwise might be called democracy. Rhetorically speaking, who cares whether an exiled reformer eats or not? But asking the question reminds us that the position being advocated by Hillary Clinton in Honduras right now is the same position advocated by her hero and noted war criminal, Henry the K, in 1973, when he declared that the issues affecting Chile were "too important" to allow Chilean voters to "decide for themselves ."

(Here a less sensitive writer would draw attention to the current president and his deceitful kabuki on the Flint water crisis as further proof of the US government's anti-democratic, pro-corporate bent, but doing so might appear indiscrete. And, as John Kiriacou and Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden can tell you, when criticizing the US gov't, one surely needs to be discrete.)

Second aside: ever wonder which candidate for the US presidency is favored by military contractors? These are the folks who manufacture a whole horror show full of serious killing devices and who then sell them to brutal dictatorships, like the one in Honduras, who in turn unleash them on their own civilian populations . These are the same folks who contribute huge sums of money to presidential campaigns in order to ensure that their market continues to be profitable. This is not a rhetorical question. It has an answer. And the answer is Hillary Clinton . It's not even close.

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BK Faunce is a retired Associate Professor of English (UMW / UCSC) specializing in British Romantic Literature, Film Theory and Writing. His recent work examines the use of state power and its impact on visual culture.

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