Long gone are the days when the path to the White House was open to anyone who met the Constitution's bare minimum requirements of being a natural born citizen, a resident of the United States for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older.
Today's presidential hopefuls must jump through a series of hoops aimed at selecting the candidates best suited to serve the interests of the American police state. Candidates who are anti-war, anti-militarization, anti-Big Money, pro-Constitution, pro-individual freedom and unabashed advocates for the citizenry need not apply.
The carefully crafted spectacle of the presidential election with its nail-biting primaries, mud-slinging debates, caucuses, super-delegates, popular votes and electoral colleges has become a fool-proof exercise in how to persuade a gullible citizenry into believing that their votes matter.
Yet no matter how many Americans go to the polls on November 8, "we the people" will not be selecting the nation's next president.
While voters might care about where a candidate stands on healthcare, Social Security, abortion and immigration--hot-button issues that are guaranteed to stir up the masses, secure campaign contributions and turn any election into a circus free-for-all--those aren't the issues that will decide the outcome of this presidential election.
What decides elections are money and power.
We've been hoodwinked into believing that our votes count, that we live in a democracy, that elections make a difference, that it matters whether we vote Republican or Democrat, and that our elected officials are looking out for our best interests. Truth be told, we live in an oligarchy, and politicians represent only the profit motives of the corporate state, whose leaders know all too well that there is no discernible difference between red and blue politics, because there is only one color that matters in politics--green.
The powers-that-be will not allow anyone to be elected to the White House who does not answer to them.
Who are the powers-that-be, you might ask?
As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the powers-that-be are the individuals and corporations who profit from America's endless wars abroad and make their fortunes many times over by turning America's homeland into a war zone. They are the agents and employees of the military-industrial complex, the security-industrial complex, and the surveillance-industrial complex. They are the fat cats on Wall Street who view the American citizenry as economic units to be bought, sold and traded on a moment's notice. They are the monied elite from the defense and technology sectors, Hollywood, and Corporate America who believe their money makes them better suited to decide the nation's future. They are the foreign nationals to whom America is trillions of dollars in debt.
One thing is for certain: the powers-that-be are not you and me.
In this way, the presidential race is just an exaggerated farce of political theater intended to dazzle, distract and divide us, all the while the police state marches steadily forward.
It's a straight-forward equation: the candidate who wins the White House will be the one who can do the best job of ensuring that the powers-that-be keep raking in the money and acquiring ever greater powers. In other words, for any viable presidential candidate to get elected today that person must be willing to kill, lie, cheat, steal, be bought and sold and made to dance to the tune of his or her corporate overlords.
The following are just some of the necessary qualifications for anyone hoping to be appointed president of the American police state. Candidates must: