Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses. — H. L. Mencken
Will Hillary Clinton ever go away and leave us in peace? Only when she is lying in her coffin with a wooden stake driven through her heart can we hope to see the last of her.
Yes, I’m afraid she’s back. In order to test the strength of your gag-reflex, check out this recent announcement from Variety: “Hillary Clinton launches Online Class on ‘the Power of Resilience,’ Addresses Her Loss to Trump and Reads Her 2016 Would-Be Victory Speech.”
Just a glimpse at her photograph — the head, slightly too big, looks photoshopped onto the body — with the Cobra eyes, tight-lipped sinister smile, and the signature HRC smug pose that says, “I’m just a big, irresistible bundle of wonderful” will make you recoil in horror like Jack Woltz (John Marley) in the Godfather waking up to find a bloody horse head in his bed courtesy of the Corleones.
Hillary Clinton is sharing her personal insights and strategies about perseverance and resilience in an all-new internet course. . . . Clinton will host lessons covering practical tools that have sustained her through a lifetime in the spotlight, including “the importance of personal strength, preparation and hard work” . . .
Whenever Hillary proposes to “share,” there is going to be a price tag. So, what are these “personal insights and strategies” she is go eager to share going to cost you?
“The course is now available on MasterClass, along with more than 150 classes led by celebrities and expert instructors, as part of the site’s annual membership plans that start at $180/year.” Think of it as an offer you can’t not refuse.
Remember when 50 or 60 minutes’ worth of “wisdom” from Our Lady of Chappaqua went anywhere from a quarter to three-quarters of a million dollars? But the influence-peddling engine that drove the Clinton Foundation at breakneck speed during her State Department reign of incompetence has mysteriously quit working, and the Saudi princes, Goldman Sachs executives, and the Kazakhstan dictator no longer care to throw their spare change out for the Clintons to pick up and funnel into their coffers — I mean, their “charity work.”
So in the unlikely case you are still interested in more “Hillary about Hillary”: “The class culminates with Clinton addressing her most public defeat — her loss to Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election — and, for the first time publicly, she reads the victory speech she would have given had she won.”
Is there any over-the-hill politician but Hillary self-infatuated and deluded enough to think it is cool to blather at length about his “most public defeat”? Well, the gods smiled upon us. Though she still hasn’t figured it out, she didn’t win, and the most painfully obvious question is: Why, now, five-plus years later, would she imagine that anyone would give a rat’s ass about a speech that American voters wisely prevented her from making — even if it were for free, much less pay for it? A sane reaction to the prospect of hearing her “victory [sic] speech” would be: “Not then. Not now. Not ever!”
Her “victory speech”? Is this a cruel joke? Is there anything she won’t do to get attention? Think of that future prospective biographer so unfortunate to have to slog through the verbiage dump from HRC’s 30-year career: the tedious speeches, snarky interviews, press conferences, pre-programmed campaign stumps. The challenge would be to find something, anything, that is not (a) pandering and grievance mongering; (b) self-servingly invented or false; (c) a projection of her own hostility and paranoia; or (d) malicious and rancorous slander of her numerous “enemies” — that is, anyone who had the temerity to remind the public of her frequent detours around the truth. The most memorable and enduring of any of the things she said are the “basket of deplorables” campaign slur that combines all the elements described above, and her shrill “What difference does it make now?” dodge of responsibility before the Congressional Committee investigating the Benghazi debacle of her making.
From the Variety trailer of HRC reading her “speech,” if you can handle it:
“My fellow Americans [and future Americans already on the way from Guatemala, Haiti, and the other poorest parts of the planet], today you sent a message to the whole world,” Clinton says . . . choking up [well, an unconvincing attempt] while reading the opening lines of the speech. “Our values endure, our democracy stands strong and our motto remains e pluribus unum — out of many, one. We will not be defined only by our differences. We will not be an “us” versus “them” country. The American Dream is big enough for everyone [well, except for, you know, the ‘deplorables’].”
Should you be tempted for more, that’s about as original and “inspirational” as this babbling brook of banalities gets. But if that is not enough enrichment for your current Covid-limited existence, Arkansas Elvis lurks backstage to continue with the “sharing” action a bit later on:
Hillary Clinton’s class is the first of the “MasterClass Presents the White House” series [better titled Tales from the Crypt and introduced by a Vincent Price lookalike with spooky music in the background] — and is set to be followed by a class from President Bill Clinton, who will teach a course on “inclusive leadership.”
I am hoping that “includes” how to select office interns who can recognize “leadership” and will know how to, uh, respond to it.
Oh, those lovable Clintons. Like the grey-haired rockers in their dotage pining for their groupies, this devious duo just cannot call it quits. In the not-too-distant future, with Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” as background music, look for some fresh-faced young interns to wheel out the blanket-covered, slack-jawed Bill and Hill in their wheelchairs, waving feebly with dollar signs still floating across their stroke-dimmed eyes. Audiences, no doubt, will be found who will shell out just to see them in person, or even online. Not having to listen to them talk about themselves will be a vast improvement over what we have now.
But back to Hillary’s fake possessive pronouns from her “victory speech”: “Our values endure, our democracy stands strong.” The “our” in this declaration has for Hillary the same slippery status that “is” had for Bill when explaining his relationship to Ms. Lewinsky before a grand jury: “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”
This is Clintonian postmodern politics at rarified perfection: Every serious activity becomes (wink-wink) a parody of itself. Language disconnects itself from reality, its meaning always temporized by the speaker’s relation to power.
The huge temptation is to say that if what we as citizens get out of “our democracy” are the likes of Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris, Tony Fauci, and Mitt Romney, then perhaps “democracy” really means “kleptocracy,” and “our democracy” is just a euphemistic bouquet intended to cover the stench wafting up from the capitol city’s cesspool of corruption and decadence, a place run by poseurs and hypocrites who devote their energies to self-enrichment by selling political influence to the highest bidder. Added to the injury of their shameless corruption and collusion is the insult of their arrogance and condescension and their pretense to wisdom, moral superiority, selflessness, and compassion for the oppressed.
Whatever a serious observer might wish to call what the average citizen gets out of participating in the American political process, a “democracy” is not what would first jump to his mind. Democracies, supposedly, “are states in which all sane adults participate in making political decisions.” By a rough count, there are approximately 200 million registered voters — official participants, so to speak, in America’s political decision-making. How many of them are sane (or stoned or illiterate or dead), of course, is anyone’s guess. Thus, for each and every one of you, my fellow citizens, your participatory share of American democracy is about 1/200,000,000. Imagine your joy at being informed that you were named a distant heir to an estate worth $200,000,000, and then your reaction at learning that you were in the will for a whole dollar. That analogy suggests how excited you should be about how much power you wield in American politics or how seriously to take HRC when she waddles onto a stage and warbles about “our values.”
A more accurate, prosaic description of American politics is that it is a rapidly degenerating client-patron system. The politicians compete to be patrons (elected officials who sell access to power) for clients (officially designated victim groups) and their lobbyists. The quid pro quo is obvious: the votes of the victims put the patrons in power; the victims get to be favored by the patrons over non-victims. “Favored” means rent-seeking privileges and political and legal support to leverage your official victim-status for social, professional, and economic positioning so that you can get whatever advantages in life you’ve been deprived of by the non-victims. The patron also helps his clients with the stigmatization of the non-victims as morally degenerate bigots (“irredeemable”), those responsible for making the victims into the victims (best to ignore the irony at this juncture). Much of what now passes for political campaigning is simply a language game that separates the victims from the non-victims with code-words (“racist,” “sexist,” “homophobe,” etc.) used by the patrons to secure and align their client coalitions and morally isolate the designated bigots bearing their particular stigmata.
A client-patron approach to politics leads to an escalating state of “victim-inflation,” because being a victim (a client) means you get to go to the front of the line. With no patron to advance your claims to victimhood, you go to the back of the line — if you are lucky to make it to the line at all. With no patron to back you when you need him, as we have recently seen in Minneapolis; Kenosha, Wisconsin; and Brunswick, Georgia, you are at the mercy of the mob.
That is the way “our democracy” is working these days for us, the demos — well, the non-victim part of it.
To add to whatever amusement that we have gathered so far from contemplating how far the rhetoric of “our democracy” departs from reality, check out the virtual, international “Summit for Democracy,” conducted this December by a fossilized functionary who happens to be called “President Biden.” This Summit was a PR stunt masterminded by that gang of neocons who comprise the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Biden’s opening remarks are the rambling, grammatically mangled, and increasingly risible babble delivered in a style perfected over 50 years of garrulously talking about things of which he has not the slightest clue. No one at the Summit would be paying any attention to him.
The propaganda on the CFR’s website hyping the Summit would make George Orwell wince, however. Case in point: the “aim of the Summit for Democracy” — the brazen dishonesty and the middle-finger-waving gesture of arrogant power that says, “This is our latest set of whoppers; don’t you love it?” are truly breathtaking. Thus: “[T]o begin on December 9, the summit is organized around three themes — defending against authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights.”
This confirms what you already know: The ruling class pretends to be the opposite of what it is. The “Summit for Democracy” is claptrap, a cynical charade that gathers authoritarian, corrupt oligarchs, collectively engaged in stripping away the legal and constitutional rights of their citizens. Our government’s recent encouragement of the Black Lives Matter thugs and its support for show trials of white men branded as “white supremacists” show what “promoting respect” for our constitutional rights really looks like. Whatever language they use to cover their depredations, they lie. No one should believe them.
“Our democracy”? Is an “Emperor has no clothes” moment possible?
 Kenneth Minogue, The Liberal Mind (Ingram Distribution. Kindle edition), 2580-2581.
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