What is a President? A President is a corporate talking head. He does funny tricks for the public while his staff does all the work. The staff doesn’t work for the President. The staff works for the party and is selected by the party. Since it is the staff who really run the office of the president, the party makes certain that the staff will work for the interests of the corporate sponsors. As there are only two significant parties in the United States, it has been very easy for the corporations to dominate both parties. This is why Bill Clinton’s administration was a continuation of the Reagan-Bush administrations, and was the perfect set up for the current trained monkey.
Jimmy Carter was the last President to actually try to do the job. We all saw what happened to him. Carter’s own party ignored him. The Democrats left Jimmy Carter slowly twisting in the wind over the Iran Hostage Crisis. Of course the Democrats knew that the Republicans were dealing with Iran to make Carter look bad, but nobody stood up to defend their President. Then the Reagan Republicans took credit for all the hard work and hard decisions Carter made to repair the economy. After Reagan’s election, the Democrats showed the world they were not going to stand for any more human rights nonsense. They joined with the Republicans to send our jobs overseas and to assure corporate profits. Liberal became as bad a word amongst the Democrats as with the Republicans, and the nation watched 50 years of social progress go down the toilet.
Television and the media have made it more important to look like a President than to be a President. Giving the devil his due, Richard M. Nixon tried to be a President during the 1960 campaign. Nixon ran an old fashioned campaign based on the issues, while Jack Kennedy ran the first modern campaign based on appearances. Kennedy posed for the cameras. Kennedy wore make-up during the debates. Kennedy was young and pretty, while even in 1960, Nixon looked like a blood hound who just smelled a skunk. Kennedy won on appearances. In 1968 Nixon was washed up and fallen so far into alcoholism that he was hopeless after twelve noon.
Quite often it is neccessary to tell the public what they want to hear in order to get a candidate elected. After eight years of Reagan and four years of Papa-Doc Bush, America was burned out on deregulation. The voters were scared of NAFTA and wanted the government do something for them. Clinton came along and promised national health. That’s what the public wanted to hear and that’s what got Clinton elected. We are still waiting for our national health. Clinton set us up for our present financial crises instead.
After Clinton’s outright lies and open collusion with the Republicans, I cannot understand why anybody would believe anything any Democrat would tell them. Yet there are still people who make excuses for Clinton. They forget that the “prosperity” under the Clinton years was simply a stock market bubble that would have been illegal before the deregulation of the Eighties. They seem to forget that Alan Greenspan started under Reagan and continued through the Clinton years until Greenspan himself chose to retire under Baby-Doc Bush. They ignore the fact that Clinton turned homelessness into a national crisis by signing NAFTA into law and then cutting the social safety net. Clinton created his paper surplus budget surplus through his treasury department investing in valueless tech stocks.
There are customs about the Presidency that have to be followed. One such custom is that the incumbent Vice President gets to run for President at the end of the two terms. Al Gore, the last of the presidentially viable, pro-ecology Democrats ran for president, but the Republicans cheated to keep him out of the White House. Gore’s own party made no great effort to challenge the obvious chicanery. Having Gore in the White House would have been an embarrassment. It would have been like Carter. The president would have said one thing while the party was busy colluding with the oil, mining, and lumber companies. Gore was also pro-labor and depended on the auto industry for his support base. As we see today, the auto industry was another American industry due for outsourcing.
The parties no longer even compete for the Presidency. Both parties get together with their PR and marketing people to see who the voters are most likely to accept. When the public got tired of Republican rhetoric, Clinton got into the White House for eight years with no real changes in policy from the Republicans.
Obama is surrounding himself with Clinton’s criminal family. Obama has already come out in favor of illegal wiretapping, promised to continue and expand the faith based initiatives, and backed away from ending the Bush tax giveaways to the rich. If Robert “The Surge” Gates is selected, that will be a pretty good indication that we can expect a continuation of the last 28 years. If you, like me, find this totally unacceptable, it is time to act. We can start by getting on Obama’s website and letting the president elect know that we are not pleased. http://change.gov/ It might not make any difference but at least we will not be silent accomplices to our own abuse.
About six years ago I brought a cell phone into my life. It was a quiet, innocent, and totally innocuous little cell phone that brought me quiet joy. I could call my clients and my clients could call me. If I was going to be late, I could call my wife. Best of all, when my wife had to go to the East Coast, I never missed her call. I so loved my little cell phone. I still have it. I have gone through several others in the last five years, but I hung onto the original for sentimental reasons.
I had this friend, a Libertarian CAW member, who gave me hell over my innocent little cell phone. The fact that I had a cell phone became a target of obsession with this guy. I was a self-employed salesman at the time. I was working 24/7, but that did not stop his obsession. He was looking for work, and I was letting him use my computer to job hunt. Every time he came to the house, he would drive me nuts about my cell. First it was a leash. When he realized that argument did not impress me and that I was deliberately carrying it for business purposes, he changed tactics.
The next argument was that the government could track me with my cell phone. Of course I replied that I hoped they could. He was talking about the GPS feature which allows 911 operators to locate me in case of accident. I told him that I sincerely hoped that the government could track me with my cell phone. I would hate to pay for something that didn’t work. Boy that took the wind out of his sails. You should have seen the look of amazement on his face when I said that. However, he was nothing if not determined. His next argument threw me for a loop.
“Did you know that the government is listening to each and every cell phone call?” he asked. “You have no privacy. They know everything you are doing!” Have you ever been struck dumb by the stupid statements some people make? That was where I was. My mouth fell open so wide that flies could have used it for a hanger. The pressure built up in my head to the point where I could not stand it anymore and I began banging my forehead against the wall. “Do you have any idea how many cell phones there are in the United States?” I asked him.
“Too many,” he answered.
“Millions,” I replied. “There are millions of people with millions of cell phones making millions of cell phone calls every day. Even if every single one of those calls are recorded and filtered through pattern recognition and word recognition programs, even the calls that are filtered are too many to be listened to by human beings.”
My ex-friend’s response was that I did not understand technology. Here I was, building my own computer and creating my own websites, and he was telling me that I did not understand technology. Here was a man who could not even use a computer without help, telling me about technology. It was amazing. To him technology was magic. It was something out of James Bond. He knew perfectly well that most computers used by the government and the military are obsolete, and that the cost of bringing the Fed up to date would be astronomical. He was a retired military officer, but he still had a child-like awe of the government and acted as if the government could do anything.
This brings to mind the scene in 1984 when Winston Smith was caught cheating on his exercises by the television lens in his living room. It was the first time in 25 years anybody had spied on him, but the very thought that it was possible was enough to scare the bejesus out of the poor guy. Fear seems to be a more effective form of social control than actual spying. Never mind that the claims of government spying is highly over rated. The government would have to hire about a quarter of the population to keep the other 75% under surveillance. The more high tech cameras and microphones and other Bondian gadgets that pops up, the more personnel that will be needed to monitor the spyware.
Of course, imaginary fears always overwhelm reasonable concern. Not only do we have to contend with illegal government wiretapping, but we have a crowd of people screaming about technology that promises the impossible. People who see conspiracies in everything from Sept. 11th to improvements in camera technology certainly blur the line between the possible and the impossible. How can we deal with what is really happening with a bunch of loonies afraid that the government is spying on them through traffic cameras? It boggles the mind. People accusing the government of doing the impossible drown out the voices of people who have legitimate concerns. So the Bush Administration goes about its merry way without concern. They have all these conspiracy rumors for a smoke screen. Were I Bush, I’d be spreading these rumors myself.
Fellow Camp Followers, are you as outraged as I am? Some bean counter at the election board is trying to tell me that Paris Hilton cannot run for president because Paris is too young? Can you believe that? Can you believe the outright audacity of it? This is blatant age discrimination against us dirty old men. How dare they tell mature white male voters that we cannot vote for the candidate of our choice. What is this, Soviet Russia where the state tells us who to vote for?
To make things worse, you will never guess what excuse they used to block Paris’s candidacy? They had the nerve to tell me that Paris cannot run because of the Constitution! Who cares about the Constitution? It’s just a piece of paper, people. I mean, who pays attention to it anymore? Who the hell cares that the Constitution says that you have to be 35 in order to be president? By the time Paris is 35, she won’t be worth voting for. We want Paris now!
The worst of it is the hypocrisy. Right now we have a president in the White House who was not elected through Constitutional means. Nobody kicked Bush out into the gutters of Pennsylvania Avenue just because he cheated in the election. Nobody stops Bush when he gives billions of dollars to Sun Young Moon through his faith based initiatives. Nobody has stopped the government from denying undocumented workers their legal rights under the 14th amendment. Who cares about the prisoners being illegally held in Gitmo, the lies behind the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, or illegal wiretapping? Nobody seems to care about any of that, and some clerk has the nerve to tell me that my candidate cannot run for the presidency? The nerve of some people.
So the bean counters and the nit-pickers are going to waste more tax-payer’s money by making us do this the hard way. The “public servant” I spoke to said that we would have to have a Constitutional amendment in order to be able to vote for Paris. I say why bother amending something that everybody only pays selective attention to? Let’s just ignore the Constitution and vote for Paris anyway. After all, if the current POTUS can just ignore the constitution any time he wants, why the hell can’t we?
So vote for Paris Hilton, the Only Change that Matters in Washington.