“The only people truly bound by campaign promises are the voters who believe them.”
These were the words of the late political commentator Christopher Hitchens, whose written works and published essays chronicled everything from self-ascribed beefy “modern” Democrats like Bill Clinton (who Hitchens seemed to despise), to literary greats like George Orwell. It had been the latter of these whose visions of a futuristic, anti-utopian control state have become the resounding echoes behind our modern culture of surveillance, and its ongoing efforts to collect as much information about all that it can, in an ever-sprawling war against the very real threat of terror.
To return, however, to Hitchens’ emphasis on why the politically faithful’s hopes so often remain unfulfilled, we must recognize the very fundamental reality of American politics today: one in which the majority of its players are indeed bought and sold, and as the late philosopher and everyday deep-thinker George Carlin (not Orwell) advised, yes, the game is rigged.
This seems to be a real-enough interpretation of things as they stand today; enough so that, by now, even the majority of mainstream news outlets have reported on the now infamous retreat to Sea Island, Georgia, in recent weeks. Attended by leading politicians like Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, as well as influential “technocrats” like Elon Musk, the aim of this decidedly secretive picnic was simple: keep Donald Trump as far from being granted the nomination by the Republican party as possible.
Whether to love, or to hate “The Donald”, is irrelevant to the bigger picture: one must admire his ability to command his audiences, having successfully mounted a surprise affront upon the establishment (and against both parties, truthfully), carried along on a gloating American semi-intellectual swagger that has been both praised, and absorbed, by the “Great Unwashed”, to evoke Thomas Wright’s phraseology pertaining to Victorian England’s working class. Or, to summarize it with less eloquence, here’s how another of our “lost, but not forgottens,” Hunter Thompson, once put it:
“The whole framework of the presidency is getting out of hand. It’s come to the point where you almost can’t run unless you can cause people to salivate and whip on each other with big sticks. You almost have to be a rock star to get the kind of fever you need to survive in American politics.”
Spoken in 1972, Thompson’s words still effectively underscore the modern enigma that is Donald Trump in our present day.
Of the Sea Island affair, certain fringe literature affords us tales about the significance of this region, particularly the little spattering of islands of Georgia’s coast, and their conspiratorial heritage. G. Edward Griffin’s magnum opus, The Creature from Jekyll Island, outlined the creation of the Federal Reserve bank, which occurred under remarkably similar circumstances to this latest gathering of members of the “anti-Trump” crowd; whether the Sea Island sleepover will go down in history to any comparable degree to that of its neighboring Jekyll Island will only be revealed with time.
As a brief, but relevant aside, it is worth of noting in regard to the history of the Federal Reserve and its relevance to the current election, that Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders introduced the Senate version of House Resolution 1207, a bill aimed at auditing the Fed, in 2008; this was part of a broader movement spearheaded by now retired congressman Ron Paul.
Elsewhere, angry voters in Arizona, many of them pouring out in droves with support for the aforementioned Vermont Senator (read: “the other non-establishment guy”), have launched a new “We The People” petition at whitehouse.gov, demanding an investigation into possible election fraud which might have benefited Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Public outcry hasn’t been the extent of the damage after Tuesday’s primaries, however; Arizona’s Democratic Party also says it plans to follow through with an official investigation of the claims.
I realize how absurd the prospect might appear to some, that such “conspiracies” could be afoot this election season. Especially for those who fall in lockstep with the essential tenets of the broader establishment worldview — whatever side of the political fence that may reside with at any given time. However, as I noted elsewhere in a recent blog post, what some may call a “secret conspiracy” to keep Donald Trump from claiming the GOP nomination has been anything but secret. The results of the White House’s response to its “We the People” petition, along with the Arizona Democratic Party’s existing investigations into possible election fraud, may also reveal any “secrets” behind Hillary Clinton’s current winning streak in the primary election states. Only time, and the results of the pending investigations, will tell.
If these circumstances, however, prove to have any more weight than pure conjecture can offer, in the near future it might become evident that we aren’t even afforded that privilege of choosing the ones that aim to rip us off. “They” may simply be chosen for us.
How’s that for democracy?
Image: “Four Knights” by Nina Silaeva. Capablanca-Steiner, Los Angeles 1933.