Hillary Is a High-Ranking Member of the DC Power Elite - and That's Why She Can't Comprehend Bernie’s Revolution
Let me figure this out. Last year, the Clintons couldn’t believe their good fortune. They were going to face a “democratic socialist” from the marginal state of Vermont and cruise to victory. It would be a romp, with Hillary winning the primaries and then going full mainstream against a reactionary, out of touch Republican opponent on the way to the White House.
As many commentators are saying now, a serious miscalculation was at the heart of Hillary’s plan. Clinton, Cruz, Bush, Rubio and others are all part of the wealthy elite. Although Trump is as well, he is channeling the anger of the working class American. Bernie Sanders also gets it. He knows what happened to the American dream.
Hillary Clinton thinks, in her gut, that America is a prosperous country, and that the policies that led to our prosperity should simply be continued, that they work. But this hasn’t been true since the 1970’s, back when America was the world’s economic powerhouse, with a manufacturing base that was the envy of the world, highly paid unionized workers and a booming housing market.
The American dream started coming off the rails with the election of Ronald Reagan who, as David Stockman noted in his book, The Triumph of Politics, was duped into giving away the store to the military industrial complex. Defense spending soared into the stratosphere, and the “deep state” — which is what writer Mike Lofgren calls the alliance between the defense industry, politicians and Wall Street — began playing a larger and larger role in government. 9/11 sealed the deal, as the national security establishment — what Stockman calls “the war party” — consolidated its power and influence, setting the stage for the global surveillance state.
The deep state has another aspect: It bleeds the American taxpayer, taking money to be “the world’s policeman” and enriching contractors, politicians, Wall Street and the arms industry, while the people get little in return (unless they happen to be working for those same companies.) All of the candidates for president are clients of the deep state and deeply beholden to it — except for Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.
Bernie has been an unsparing critic of the “deep state.” His angry exchange with Alan Greenspan on the floor of Congress left the former Fed Chairman with a bemused expression, as if he were considering an unsuitable visitor to a gated community.
Going hand in hand with the deep state, what Bill Clinton and George Bush enabled was the “financialization” of everything. Regulations on banks came off, credit card interest rates were free to soar, and the American public was sold on investing in an ever-expanding housing market. Private prisons multiplied, payday loan companies and fraudulent colleges like the University of Phoenix sprang up. Vulture capitalism spread its wings. This whole infrastructure of greed is deeply tied into the political establishment, which is why even today, Hillary won’t attack the pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, the prison industry, big oil, the pay day loan industry and the rest, head-on.
The elite — Hillary, Bush and the rest — have no understanding at all how it really is to be part of a growing American underclass (25 million and counting) that has seen their good jobs disappear with the global trade agreements, the war against unions and governments’ blind eye to companies stashing their profits overseas to avoid paying taxes.
Bernie’s declarations that health care and education should be free — that they are public goods, and should not be for profit — fly in the face of what the elites have bought into. When he sued in Vermont Supreme Court to acquire waterfront land from a railway to create a public waterfront park on Lake Champlain, it was in the tradition of creating a public benefit for the people, not for profit. It’s time for government to serve the people, he says — but the deep state only knows serving itself.
The American Dream is sliding off the cliff, and Hillary is still talking about women’s empowerment — the cry that was fresh when I got to college 40 years ago. She offers the deep state — the rigged economy — to voters, and she doesn’t understand that the mask is off. The prosperity that she experiences every day is not something most Americans can relate to. The prosperity that used to sustain America because of our manufacturing base and global economic reach — that used to benefit the many — has now devolved into a rapacious capitalism that feeds on the people — and the people are ready for a political revolution.