For decades, the carefully scripted Anglo-Saxon world has been gloating at the sight of lesser polities’ perpetual political turmoil: whether it be European — France’s successive ‘Republics’ - currently the Fifth — or the escapades of Italy’s media tycoon turned politician - or Latin America’s succession of what Fidel Castro called ‘politicheros’ - or Africa’s long-term dictators - the US has always been above such confusion, our two parties participating in regularly-scheduled two and four-year election cycles.
Hence surprise and incomprehension among both actors and commentators, as the Republican Party finds itself saddled with a candidate chosen by a rambunctious people rather than party hacks, while the Democrats are unable to see that Hillary’s coronation comes eight years too late: Democratic youth have finally discovered socialism, and are unlikely to vote for Hillary because she has not.
2016 will go down in history as the year the US strayed beyond the boundaries of the Democrat/Republican duopoly, the elephant and the donkey, the blue and the red, into a free-for-all in which the media no longer has to soup up ‘stories’ to increase ratings (which have replaced rational analysis). Many have commented on the ‘bandwagon’ that accompanies American elections, few have considered are made to appear more meaningful in terms of policy than they are.
But never have we seen such grasping at straws! While third party candidates have always been tagged as “spoilers” (think Ralph Nader, who may have cost Al Gore the fateful 2000 presidency…) in this extraordinary situation, the Republicans are frantically seeking anyone who will run against their presumptive nominee, and Democratic voters are trying to convince Bernie Sanders to ditch the party and run as an independent: news shows reveal major Republican movers and shakers desperately try to pull out of a hat someone who has not already been defeated by Donald Trump in the primaries, and who would be willing to take on ‘the Donald’ as he is referred to, as a third party candidate whom they would back, even though they were previously pressured to promise they would back ‘the nominee’…) Such disarray has probably never been seen in Washington, and it signals that there is a real right and a real left in this country, both of which have left the two so-called ‘ruling’ parties behind.
Speaking of France Francois Hollande is the least popular president of the Fifth Republic. His socialist party kowtows to the global financial mafia, (demurely known in French as ‘the market’) following upon similar behavior in Iceland in 2011, Cyprus, 2012-13, Greece, on-going since 2009, Spain and Portugal, ditto. French workers responded to Hollande’s supine acceptance of the ‘market’s’ demand for looser labor laws by paralyzing the country and threatening to desert its 58 nuclear power plants.
Seen in the context of America’s diverse machinations abroad, it’s no surprise that the major tv outlets obligingly announced that Hillary had already clinched the nomination before California voters went to the polls, causing many Democrats to stay at home, depriving Bernie of that crucial state’s delegates - or that they voice confidence that although the Attorney General met with Bill Clinton “on the tarmac”, i.e., in her private plane, for a ‘chance encounter’ the FBI will not upset the apple cart.
As fear rises like fumes from a swamp, in a country in which feminism has become more important than fascism or the threat of World War III, the City Upon a Hill has descended into the real world alongside the rest of humanity, and it hasn’t a clue what to do.
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