Tuesday, November 01, 2016

The FBI Has Finished The Job of De-Legitimizing America's Democracy

The only thing we know for sure about next week's election is that either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be proclaimed president elect. Oh yeah, there's one other thing - half of the population will be furious with the outcome and reject the legitimacy of the winner.

If Trump wins and the last-minute FBI email scandal turns out to be groundless, a lot of Americans, half or better, will know they've been had by the ultimate dirty trick. This won't even be a "hanging chads" event. Trump's legitimacy, across a broad spectrum of American demographics, will be crushed.

If Hillary wins, Trump has already conditioned the other half of the American public with groundless tales of rigged elections and the persistent "Crooked Hillary" smear. Her legitimacy, likewise, will be tattered from the outset.

I've been wondering how this madness could happen. In my opinion, it's because the American people have failed to defend their democracy.  They have turned on their own institutions. It's happening because those who are driving it know they can get away with it. With  a society so deeply divided across so many lines - ethnic, political, economic, sectarian - it's as easy as pie to manipulate that breakdown of social cohesion. It's hard to see how the American people can come back from this, how they can reclaim and resurrect their democracy. We may be witnessing the beginning of the end and the ascendancy of Amerika Inc.

Make no mistake, there'll be no winners when the president elect is declared on November 8th. Everyone loses in this election and that's not just limited to Americans.


Owen Gray said...

Precisely, Mound.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to know what to say anymore. As if the saying would make any difference.


Anonymous said...

The Reagan years have borne their poison fruit. Eliminating the Fairness Doctrine that required broadcasters to present controversial matters in an honest, equitable and balanced way, lead directly to the rise of right-wing hate radio and Faux News. These "infotainment sources" have crowded out legitimate news reporting to such an extent that many Americans are unable to distinguish fact from unfounded opinion and lies.

"Free trade" treaties have offshored once-lucrative manufacturing jobs and broken the backs of the trade unions that provided the foundation for equitable pay distribution and middle-class prosperity.

Financial deregulation led to casino capitalism characterized by massive financial speculation with losses backstopped by the public purse. The rich take their winnings and stash it in tax havens, leaving the middle-class and poor to clean up the mess. Is it any wonder that people have turned away from the institutions that have let them down so badly?


John B. said...

It's only going to get tougher to develop effective messaging strategies.

Are there are any as yet untapped groupings of halfwits in America that can be "told it like it is" and "brought into the electoral process"?

Well, all I know is ...

The Mound of Sound said...

Cap, I have written many times that we're watching an American public that has been deeply and quite deliberately conditioned to be rendered in some respects insensible and thus easily controllable. Critical thinking has been displaced by rumour mongering and a culture of conspiracy theories. In this campaign I've found a disturbing amount of that setting in among Canadians also.

If, collectively, we cannot get enough traction to compel restoration of progressive, liberal democracy starting with the essential rejection of neoliberalism, perhaps it's better to use our time and effort to prepare for its collapse. If you're interested in this idea, get a copy of Thomas Homer-Dixon's "The Upside of Down" from your library.

Anonymous said...

If Trump wins and considering the FBI influence on the election; will the result be considered a bloodless coup d'etat?.
Or will it in Trump speak be a hostile takover!


Anonymous said...

Homer-Dixon points out that modern empires collapse within a decade or so, much more quickly than their predecessors. Regardless of who wins next week, it sure looks like we're witnessing the collapse of the American empire, and with it perhaps the global order that has grown up around it.

Whether we see a restoration of progressive liberal democracy remains to be seen. With surveillance and social control systems beyond what was ever in the hands of the world's greatest tyrants, it could easily go the other way.


The Mound of Sound said...

TB, one of the morbidly fascinating aspects of this election is how events will unfold in its wake. About the only thing that seems certain is some aftermath of unrest. How will that play out? How will whomever governs respond to it?

The Mound of Sound said...

Cap, I think the seeds of decline of the American empire were sown many years ago, during if not before Bush/Cheney. I've read that many American military commanders attribute their country's global decline to the atrophy of society and the political apparatus at home far more than any external circumstances.

There are so many stressful forces in play right now, far more than we can attend to with our self-interest and narrow attention span, that the ease and comfort we enjoyed through the 70s and 80s now seems like a mirage.

Anonymous said...

Those two statements are incongruous:
"American public that has been deeply and quite deliberately (sic!) conditioned"
"culture of conspiracy theories."

Those who deliberately destroy American democracy also deliberately peddle conspiracy theories to discredit them. "Catch the thief" yelled the thief...

Anonymous said...

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