sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Who Rules Here?

Who rules the United States of America? The many or the few? The people or the oligarchs? Our Constitution says: the people are sovereign, and their rule is mediated through representative institutions, limited by written Constitutional norms (a republic). 

But that's not how it works. And I'm not speaking of newly released e-mails with details of Colin Powell's orgies at the Bohemian Grove, though there is that.  A thin veneer of respectability overlays the reality of how things work. United States is ruled by a transnational managerial class, which operates in conjunction with the administrative state. To the extent that the two major political parties are adversarial at the national level, it is merely to determine who runs the administrative state for four years. There are major financial perks when you're in charge: nobody looks into your dirty dealing.  However when you're an insider, whether there is a D or an R after your name, you are taken care of. Who knows which party will be in charge next? Everyone wants a safety net and election once means a cushy job for life, substantial power and a lot of money.  So you get along in private even though there is a public rancor between the parties. You don't get donations if there is no rancor and if the donors (referred to as "clowns", "mooches" and "chumps" in DNC e-mail) don't think that they are throwing money at candidates to get what they want.

Challenging the administrative state is akin to declaring that you are a witch in need of burning. The bonfires are fed by the mainstream media. The Democrats are united on this point. The Republicans are at least nominally divided. But those nominally opposed (to the extent that they even understand the problem, which is: not many) are unwilling or unable to actually doanything about it. Are challenges to the administrative state allowed only if they are guaranteed to be ineffectual? If so, the current conservative movement is tailor-made for the task. Meanwhile, the much stronger Ryan wing of the Party actively abets the administrative state and works to further the managerial class agenda. 

Trump is the first candidate since Reagan to threaten this arrangement. The administrative state  cautions voters that experts must rule because various advances have made governing too complicated for public deliberation, and besides, the unwise people (the same ones who cling to God and guns) often lack knowledge of their own best interests even on rudimentary matters. When the people want something that they shouldn’t want or mustn’t have, the administrative state prevents it, no matter what the people vote for. When the people don’t want something that the administrative state sees as salutary or necessary, it is simply imposed by fiat. Don’t want more immigration? Too bad, we know what’s best. Think bathrooms should be reserved for the two biological sexes? Too bad, we rule. And so forth ad infinitum.

Trump is mounting the first serious national-political defense of the Constitution in a generation. He may not see himself in those terms. I believe he sees himself as a straightforward patriot who just wants to do what is best for his country and its people. Whatever the case, he is asserting the right of the sovereign people to make their government do what they want it to do, and not do things they don’t want it to do. He braces from headlong attacks of determined opposition from a managerial class and administrative state that want to perpetuate their own rule. This is why the anti-Trump movement has so many Republican bureaucrats and people who benefit financially from the current arrangement, in their ranks.

Trump is not a conservative. He's a populist. He won the Republican nomination on a populist approach and his expansion of certain entitlements is not conservative, but you may not be able to win the presidency anymore without promising free cheese, bread and circus. Trump understands bread and circus even better than Hillary Clinton does.

The rise of Donald J. Trump is one of the most unusual things to happen in American politics in a hundred years (or more).  He directly challenges the two-wing megaparty who run the nation and have developed a substantial power base, because no matter who wins an election, it's "their person". The current American administrative state where there are as many government workers as private sector workers is not operated as a conspiracy so much as it is simply a massive, moribund bureaucracy.

The American Administrative State is multinational. Trump is a nationalist, only interested in making America great. That very notion flies in the face of both Republicans and Democrats who have looted the nation eight ways from Sunday through shady deals that offer vast kickbacks. Trump is a billionaire and really doesn't care. Additionally he's been robbed by politicians for years and knows the pay-to-play game and has vowed to end it. If that doesn't cause acid reflux in the ranks of the political elite of both parties, nothing will.

And who knows what a Trump Justice Department armed with a mandate to investigate corruption will find?



14 comments:

  1. We're all populists now. And how exactly do I finagle my way into one of those Bohemian Grove orgies?

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    1. The closest I ever got to that was that I know a guy who delivered wine from a Napa winery to the place before a month-long orgy was set to begin. I've heard that they have a first class security system. If I hung out up there, I'm sure that I could get work as a gunslinger on the property.

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  2. Do you think enough states will ever get together to make the Convention of States a reality? And do you think it will actually pull us back from Socialism?

    Either way, Trump has our vote; though I know at least two annoyingly ignorant supposedly smart people who are voting for Killary and can't be convinced otherwise....

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    1. I think that forms of socialism are here to stay, because people want them. It's one of those things where sugar subsidies are wonderful to one person who hates food stamps. If socialism benefits "you" then you like it.

      Institutional graft runs deep in the nation, and has for a long time. Wars (I'm thinking of Bush's Iraq War) are good for business. Most of the trillions spent trickled back to US businesses who in turn bought goods and services from other businesses and it turns into welfare for the Middle Class. Trump understands that and called BS on it. Hillary would embrace war because the government can justify taking power and spending vast sums. Look at what she has said in the past.

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    2. That's true: when socialism benefits you, you're all for it, even though other forms that harm you, you oppose. I know a farmer here in Illinois, he is heavily subsidized via ethanol mandates, he loves those. But food stamps? Hates 'em, and hates those who receive them.

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    3. You can't have it both ways. Therein lies the problem.

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  3. Nice analysis, but will DJT hire the Witch Hunter? Hillary, be afraid, very afraid.

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    1. LSP - I'll kick in to help hire the Witch Hunter, even if DJT doesn't hire him. Some things are too important to humanity to be left to politicians.

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  4. Attn: Whoopi Goldberg, Cher, Samuel L. Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Alec Baldwin, Rosie O'Donnell, and all the other l the entertainers, actors, musicians, comedians, journalist, and athletes.
    You exist for my entertainment. Some of you are great. Some of you can deliver a line with such conviction that you bring tears to my eyes. Some of you can scare the crap out of me. Others make me laugh. But you all have one thing in common, you only have a place in my world to entertain me. That’s it.
    You make your living pretending to be someone else. Playing dress up like a 6 year old. You live
    in a make believe world in front of a camera. And some behind the camera. Some of you sing and dance, some play games with balls, Your entire existence depends on my patronage period. Without myself and people like me all American citizens I might add your NOTHING. Your unemployed.
    I’ll crank the organ grinder; you dance. Like the monkey you are.
    I don’t really care where you stand on issues. Honestly, your stance matters far less to me than that of my neighbor. You see, you aren’t real. I turn off my TV or shut down my computer and you cease to exist in my world. Once I am done with you, I can put you back in your little box until I want you to entertain me again.
    And you? Really? I’m supposed to care what the director of fluffy tripe made for gullible people thinks about global warming or gun control? Get back into your bubble. I’ll let you know when I’m in the mood for something blue and shiny.
    And I'm also supposed to care that you will leave this great country if Trump becomes president? So you know how stupid you sound? Please don't forget to close the door behind you. We'd like to reserve your seat for someone who loves this country and really wants to be here.
    Make me laugh, or cry. Scare me. But realize that the only words of yours that matter are scripted. I might agree with some of you from time to time, but it doesn’t matter. In my world, you exist solely for my entertainment
    So, shut your pie hole and dance, monkey, and get the hell out of America if you want to, but don't just promise me...GO!!"

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    1. They may all stay just to tick you off.

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    2. They all said the same thing when GWB ran for his second term. And they all stayed after he got re-elected.

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    3. Best "anon" post I've read in years......

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    4. "So, shut your pie hole and dance, monkey," -- I might have to quote you.

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