From inside, America's presidential elections are treated as urgently consequential, as if Democrats and Republicans represent polar extremes with the soul of America at stake. In reality, along the yardstick of political thought, they are about an inch and a half apart, toward the right-hand end, with no trace of soul.
From outside among America's allies and victims, our duopoly is simply recognized as two branches of the American Empire Party, two heads of the same hydra, indistinguishable for their interests or safety. The late Princeton political theorist Sheldon Wolin described our system not as democracy but as "inverted totalitarianism." In 1930-40s totalitarianism, the state bent industry to its will. In our system industry controls the state, thus political leaders irrespective of party affiliation make little difference to the unelected, largely invisible capitalist rulers. Like professional wrestling, the competitors are allowed to stage political theater contesting issues such as abortion or LGBT marriage that pose no threat to the system, but no name change on the Oval Office door is allowed, or allowed for long as we saw with John Kennedy, if substantive change behind the door is expected.
Relentless and remorseless imperialism has been our national history. The Monroe Doctrine defined the Western Hemisphere as our empire. Manifest Destiny laid claim to a continental empire cleansed of its indigenous inhabitants. We have subsequently presumed rightful dominion through military violence over Southeast Asia, South and Central America, and the Middle East, with a military presence now in 175 countries. Empires require armies, armies require supplies, and emperors must provide these with psychopathic indifference to anyone in the way. Meanwhile our pathological duopoly assures that we can't afford universal single-payer health care, free or low-cost higher education, or a full-speed-ahead renewable energy program like most of the developed world.
Hillary's careless mouth has twice exposed the truth. In 1996, while promoting her husband's repressive Omnibus Crime Bill, she declared that inner city gangs were "super-predators" with "no conscience, no empathy" that must be "brought to heel." That was a projection. We need but insert the subject pronoun "we" to see the truth about who are the real predators. In 2011 following our wanton destruction of Libya - Gaddafi's uniquely successful socialist economic model with Africa's highest per capita GDP that he was poised to expand across the continent to challenge Western control of Africa's vast hydrocarbon and mineral resources - she triumphantly declared, "We came, we saw, he died!"
Paraphrasing Julius Caesar revealed Hillary's psychology as well as the disturbing political truth that we are not a democratic republic - as our two "party" names imply - but an empire. A democratic republic has citizens, an empire has subjects. When Caesar crossed the Rubicon in defiance of its Senate, Rome traded a republic for an empire. To compensate for loss of participatory citizenship, Rome provided its subjects self-indulgence and sadistic entertainments to keep their worst instincts awakened and empathy for its victims repressed. Sound familiar? Remember George Bush's encouragement to "go shopping" as they prepared to lay waste to two Muslim countries? George too had a careless mouth exposing profound truths about the manipulations of collective psychology supporting our imperium. We must seriously heed their inadvertent notice.
And there's empirical evidence. A 20-year study of 1,779 federal policy decisions throughout the Reagan, Bush-41 and Clinton administrations, published by Princeton and Northwestern political scientists, found that public opinion in surveys and organized citizen interest groups had virtually zero influence, while the economic elite and corporate business interests called the shots entirely.
These data validate what people widely sense - their helplessness and invisibility between election seasons. With the electorate identifying as only 21% Republican and 29% Democrat, half are up for grabs. Outsider candidates generated the voter enthusiasm in both 2016 primaries, suggesting revolution in the air - as Chris Hedges sensed percolating beneath the surface in 2013, warning of potential chaos absent coherent systems to replace those discarded. Elections are the nonviolent vehicle of change in a democracy, but when defrauded as they were in Florida in 2000, Ohio in 2004, and as three lawsuits with strong statistical evidence allege in the 2016 New York, California and several other Democratic primaries, what is left?
The obvious answer is an honest, moral and reality-based Third Party. We now have the opportunity. The imperium has obviously chosen Hillary for coronation next January as its next imperial figurehead. Trump serves as an easily dismissed stalking horse. But Senator Sanders has become an unexpected nuisance, proposing to redefine subjects as citizens entitled to the benefits of their own labors and tax dollars. Unlike the scripted contests written for our conventional political theater, Sanders advances a model threatening real change. Its enthusiastic reception by tens of millions of voters despite inattention, marginalization and ridicule by the imperial press has necessitated desperate emergency vote fraud across the country.
Sanders proposes a reasonable, moderately socialist model resembling those in Western Europe and elsewhere, a well-developed and well-tested model that can be implemented progressively without chaos. He has volunteered for the job and demonstrated his capacity for elective success. His sincere attempts to reform the Democratic Party have, predictably, proved fruitless.
We cannot permit another four years of murderous imperial arrogance. We need a new party committed to climate change abatement and economic justice in cooperation with all the world's peoples, established by non-violent revolution through the elective process. We the People must proactively lead and choose our government administrators, by draft if necessary. Only Senator Sanders currently meets acceptable criteria, has volunteered to accept responsibility as our lead administrator, and has demonstrated the capacity to win elections. I see no alternative but to place his name on every ballot in states that permit this and write him in where necessary. And then announce that the coronation has been cancelled.