|Buffoon or psychopath—that’s the choice facing American voters
(September 8, 2016)
If the U.S. were a genuine democracy, Hillary Clinton would be on trial for war crimes and Donald Drumpf (Trump) would have been ridiculed into obscurity. Yet, these two grossly unfit people lead the two major parties, proving, as if further proof were necessary, that democracy in America is dead.
The upshot is that voters face a seemingly no-win choice between a warmongering psychopath and a narcissistic man-child with the political equivalent of Tourette’s. Slitting one’s wrists seems preferable to entering a voting booth; however, there is a way to understand this election that can show Americans the best way to vote. First, there is the question of legitimacy.
A nomination for the taking
Donald Trump’s winning of the Republican Party nomination was a really forgone conclusion. The intellectually desiccated and morally regressive husk of what used to be the Party of Lincoln could not muster a credible candidate from among the nine current and former governors or the four current and former senators to defeat him.
The demise of the Republican Party is self-inflicted and can be traced to Ronald Reagan. Beginning with his benighted reign, reactionary Christianity, pro-Israeli militarism and neo-Dickensian economics became dogmatized as the only acceptable paradigm of government. Public spending was all but anathematized and legislation was made to serve the self-interest of the corporations and militarists who were calling the shots.
These features had existed to some degree for decades, but the de-intellectualization of the Republican Party and the divorce of politics from reality dates from this time, reaching irreversible levels with the fraudulent 2000 “election” of George W. Bush. By this time, the vast majority of post-Reagan Republicans had ceased to be politicians; they had become doctrinaire anti-abortion, anti-labour, anti-environment, anti-diplomacy, anti-American, neo-fascist true believers.
By the 2008 election, the Republican Party had effectively purged anyone who had a rational grasp of public policy, and so could not put up a credible challenge to the Democratic candidate, Illinois senator Barack Obama. Like Jim Jones’s cultists, the party had drunk the Kool-Aid®. All an outsider like Trump had to do to win the 2016 nomination was step over the bodies, though senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio managed a feeble twitch or two.
Regardless what one may think of Trump and his outrageous utterances, he is the legitimate Republican nominee. He played by the rules and did not benefit from institutional bias of any kind. Those who want to vote for him know exactly what they will be getting.
Ghost of Tammany Hall
Hillary Clinton’s emergence as the Democratic Party’s nominee is quite another matter. She does not represent the Democratic Party; she represents the Democratic Party Establishment. A vote for Clinton amounts to sanctioning a return to the same undemocratic, Tammany Hall machine politics that plagued and impoverished New York City in the late 1800s. To appreciate how illegitimate Clinton’s nomination is, it has to be understood in the context of 1880s New York. See if anything in this edited historical sketch strikes a contemporary tone.
From about 1856 to 1931, the Tammany Hall building on East 14th Street in Manhattan was the seat of New York’s Democratic political machine. The man who would become most closely associated with it was William Magear “Boss” Tweed (1823–1878).
|Testimony of Boss Tweed
before the NY Board of Aldermen, 1877 (excerpts)
Q: “When you were in office, did the [Tweed] Ring control the elections in the city at that time?”
A: “They did sir. Absolutely.“
Q: “Please tell me what the modus operandi of that was. How did you control the elections?“
A: “Well, each ward had a representative man, who would control matters in his own ward, and whom the various members of the general committee were to look up to for advice how to control the elections.“
Q: “What were they to do, in case you wanted a particular man elected over another?“
A: “Count the ballots in bulk, or without counting them announce the result in bulk, or change from one to the other, as the case may have been.“
Q: “Then these elections really were no elections at all? The ballots were made to bring about any result that you determined upon beforehand?“
A: “The ballots made no result; the counters made the result. . . . That was generally done to every ward by the gentleman who had charge of the ward.“
Q: “Can you state now, at this time, whether the election which took place in the City of New York at that time  was a fair and honest election?“
A: “I have not the details in my memory.“
Q: “What is your best impression?“
A: “I don't think there was ever a fair or honest election in the City of New York.“
Source: “How to steal an election,”
City Journal, Autumn 2004
After serving an uneventful term in Congress (1852-1856) he was appointed to head the newly created city board of supervisors, from which position he would strengthen his connections to Tammany Hall and within four years come to control all political nominations to city positions. Some of Tweed’s candidates went on to be elected mayor, governor and speaker of the state assembly.
To get Tammany Hall candidates elected, the “Tweed Ring” engaged in electoral fraud like stuffing ballot boxes and printing pre-voted tickets to hand to voters. It also set up a “naturalization mill” to certify off-the-boat-immigrants as citizens so they could become Tammany Hall voters.
In addition to political corruption, the Tweed Ring became infamous for cronyism and thievery that would cost New York $30 million to $200 million:
In 1870 [Tweed] and his cronies took control of the city treasury when they passed a new city charter that named them as the board of audit. In full force now, the Tweed ring began to financially drain the city of New York through faked leases, false vouchers, extravagantly padded bills and various other schemes set up and controlled by the ring.
The New York Times and Harper’s satirical cartoonist Thomas Nast led a sustained assault on the Tweed Ring that eventually gained public support. Tweed was convicted of forgery and larceny in 1873.
Shortly before his death in 1877, Tweed testified before the New York Board of Aldermen on the ring’s control of New York elections. (See sidebar.) Among his more telling answers to questions were:
• “The ballots made no result; the counters made the result”; and
• “I don’t think there was ever a fair or honest election in the City of New York.”
Throughout his reign at Tammany Hall, Boss Tweed’s motto was: “I don’t care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating.” It might as well have been the motto of Debbie Wasserman “Boss” Schultz before she was forced to resign in disgrace as head of the Democratic National Committee.
For example, even before the 2016 Democratic campaign had started, the Schultz Ring made sure the nomination was rigged to crown Clinton as the Democratic nominee. In fact, the Observer reported that the fix was in as far back as March 2015. Citing the 20,000 emails released by Wikileaks on July 22, it reported that the Democratic National Committee hierarchy actively prejudiced the campaign of (“non-Tammany”) Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. Here are some quotations about Boss Schultz and her Ring:
• Most of the emails released come from seven prominent DNC staff members: senior adviser Andrew Wright, national finance director Jordon Kaplan, finance chief of staff Scott Comer, Northern California finance director Robert Stowe, finance director of data and strategic initiatives Daniel Parrish, finance director Allen Zachary and Miranda.
• The DNC broke its own charter violations by favoring Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee long before any votes were cast.
• The DNC’s joint fundraising committee with the Clinton campaign was laundering money to the Clinton campaign instead of fundraising for down-ticket Democrats. (The fund was called The Hillary Victory Fund.)
• Sanders not only had to run against Clinton but also against the entire Democratic Establishment.
As proof of the last point we have this April 16 e-mail from Boss Schultz, which reads in part:
Today, as he suspends his presidential campaign, I want to thank Bernie Sanders…everything he has brought to this race — and I want you to join me ... Thanks ... now onward to November and victory! Debbie
The growth of Democratic corruption
in New York City
in the entire nation
There is, of course, more to say about Clinton’s Tammany Hall-style campaign, such as questions of election fraud (especially in Arizona, New York and California) as well as pro-Sanders vote suppression. President Obama even got into the Tammany spirit when he refused Secret Service protection for Sanders, despite evidence of a possible threat to Sanders’s life at his northwest Las Vegas campaign headquarters.
But these can wait for another time. The unarguable conclusion from the foregoing is that Hillary Clinton’s candidacy is corrupt. She does not represent the will of Democratic voters. When Sanders capitulated to Clinton, these voters lost their last chance for even the semblance of a fair election.
A vote for Clinton is a vote for corruption, which is why she must not be permitted to take office. I understand that pro-Sanders Democrats might not be able to bring themselves to vote for Trump, but accepting political irrelevance by voting for her to stop Trump would be worse. It would amount to sanctioning the irrelevance of the ballot box and being made accessories to a fraud. Instead, these Democrats should stay home on voting day or vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. A vote denied to Clinton is a vote for democracy.
In the next part, I will prove that an obnoxious, bigoted narcissist is less of a danger to the U.S. and the world than a psychopathic war criminal controlled by Israel.