Special Interests Won Again
By Paul Craig Roberts
November 08, 2012 "Information
- The election that was supposed to be too close to call
turned out not to be so close after all. In my opinion, Obama
won for two reasons: (1) Obama is non-threatening and inclusive,
whereas Romney exuded a “us vs. them” impression that many found
threatening, and (2) the election was not close enough for the
electronic voting machines to steal.
As readers know, I don’t think that either candidate is a good
choice or that either offers a choice. Washington is controlled
by powerful interest groups, not by elections. What the two
parties fight over is not alternative political visions and
different legislative agendas, but which party gets to be the
whore for Wall Street, the military-security complex, Israel
Lobby, agribusiness, and energy, mining, and timber interests.
Being the whore is important, because whores are rewarded for
the services that they render. To win the White House or a
presidential appointment is a career-making event as it makes a
person sought after by rich and powerful interest groups. In
Congress the majority party can provide more services and is
thus more valuable than the minority party. One of our recent
presidents who was not rich ended up with $36 million shortly
after leaving office, as did former UK prime minister Tony
Blair, who served Washington far better than he served his own
Wars are profitable for the military/security complex. Israel
rewards its servants and punishes its enemies. Staffing
environmental regulatory agencies with energy, mining, and
timber executives is regarded by those interests as very
Many Americans understand this and do not bother to vote as they
know that whichever candidate or party wins, the interest groups
prevail. Ronald Reagan was the last president who stood up to
interest groups, or, rather, to some of them. Wall Street did
not want his tax rate reductions, as Wall Street thought the
result would be higher inflation and interest rates and the
ruination of their stock and bond portfolios. The
military/security complex did not want Reagan negotiating with
Gorbachev to end the cold war.
What is curious is that voters don’t understand how politics
really works. They get carried away with the political rhetoric
and do not see the hypocrisy that is staring them in the face.
Proud patriotic macho American men voted for Romney who went to
Israel and, swearing allegiance to his liege lord, groveled at
the feet of Netanyahu. Obama plays on the heart strings of his
supporters by relating a story of a child with leukemia now
protected by Obamacare, while he continues to murder thousands
of children and their parents with drones and other military
actions in seven countries. Obama was able to elicit cheers from
supporters as he described the onward and upward path of America
toward greater moral accomplishments, while his actual record is
that of a tyrant who codified into law the destruction of the US
Constitution and the civil liberties of the American people.
The election was about nothing except who gets to serve the
interest groups. The wars were not an issue in the election.
Washington’s provoking of Iran, Russia, and China by surrounding
them with military bases was not an issue. The unconstitutional
powers asserted by the executive branch to detain citizens
indefinitely without due process and to assassinate them on
suspicion alone were not an issue in the election. The sacrifice
of the natural environment to timber, mining, and energy
interests was not an issue, except to promise more sacrifice of
the environment to short-term profits. Out of one side of the
mouth came the nonsense promise of restoring the middle class
while from the other side of the mouth issued defenses of the
offshoring of their jobs and careers as free trade.
The inability to acknowledge and to debate real issues is a
threat not only to the United States but also to the entire
world. Washington’s reckless pursuit of hegemony driven by an
insane neoconservative ideology is leading to military
confrontation with Russia and China. Eleven years of gratuitous
wars with more on the way and an economic policy that protects
financial institutions from their mistakes have burdened the US
with massive budget deficits that are being monetized. The US
dollar’s loss of the reserve currency role and hyperinflation
are plausible consequences of disastrous economic policy.
How is it possible that “the world’s only superpower” can hold a
presidential election without any discussion of these very real
and serious problems being part of it? How can anyone be excited
or made hopeful about such an outcome?
Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for
Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal.
He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service,
and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments.
His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.
Scroll down to add / read comments
Support Information Clearing House
Search Information Clearing House