BY WILLIAM BOWLES, http://williambowles.info/
Posted by Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 4, February 24-March 1, 2008
Harlem, NYC — That both a black man and a woman are the ‘front runners’ in the ‘race’ for the presidency speaks reams about the desperate state of the Union these days, not that the up-coming US election has much relevancy to anything of import but the illusion that voting every five years is a reflection of real democracy, has to be maintained.
And regardless of what the polls say, it’s obvious that the corporate press are pushing for an Obama win, perhaps because the Clintons are vulnerable to attack and also because Obama can be better sold as a ‘fresh face’, (no obvious skeletons in his closet). Yet look at who Obama has grouped around him—almost without exception they are from the Cheney/Bush propaganda team.
As for the Republican race, it’s largely an internal affair as it’s pretty obvious that the power elite have decided that the people need a ‘rest’ from the Bush Gang (aka the Carter years following the Nixon debacle) before, hopefully, getting back to ‘business as usual.’ The question however is whether there can ever be a return to business as usual.
So on the one hand we have Obama presented as Hope and Change to the public whilst the reality is that he is bought and sold by the same power elite who selected Bush (just a different branch). And on the other, Hillary Clinton, the ‘backup’ candidate, just in case.
Picking Obama/Clinton is a win-win solution, a stroke of marketing brilliance as there’s nothing to choose between the two candidates, so whether it’s Obama or Clinton who ‘win’ the nomination, matters little as long as one of them does (any other alternatives have long been removed).
The important thing is that the populace are sold the idea that electing one or the other of these ‘brands’ sells the idea of Change and Hope. Thus whichever one ‘wins’ matters little, what’s important is the illusion that by voting for either of the two candidates heralds a new Era of Change, change from the disastrous rule of Bush and his gang of gangsters.
So what’s going on? Why have the US ruling elite taken such a drastic step as boosting both a black man and a woman for the next president, an event unprecedented in US electoral history?
The reasons for this abrupt turnaround should surely be obvious; number one is the dire state of the economy and number two is the complete loss of legitimacy, something all the ‘advanced’ countries are experiencing. So, just as with the Carter years, they need the appearance of a clean break with the past.
Furthermore, it reveals a ruling class in disarray and divided over what to do. The Bush years, led by the alliance of the weapons, financial and energy sectors and until recently, a totally complicit corporate media, are caught in a paradox of their own making.
On the one hand in order to maintain hegemonic control of the global economy through unlimited access to resources and markets, meant the projection and use of overwhelming military power but in so doing it has undermined the economic basis of the rule of Capital, eg the $9 trillion government debt, the collapse of the credit system, itself the product of cutting social spending to the bone and depressing wages, so that millions of working people whose consumer spending kept the ‘wheels of industry’ turning can no longer afford to buy the products produced, produced not in the US but in China and other points East and South.