Theory, conspiracy theory or healthy cynicism?

The following bolded sentences helped me understand U.S. politics.

"Follow the money." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Follow_the_money

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it." I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked

"Cui bono" (Who benefits?) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cui_bono

"I have the ability to hit almost anything I intend to hit. So, if you see me hit something, know that I hit it because I aimed at it. And, if you see me miss something, know that I intended to miss it." (My encapsulation of a concept that leapt out from Along Came Jones and smacked me between the eyes in a quasi-Purple Rose of Cairo moment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Along_Came_Jones_(film); https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Purple_Rose_of_Cairo

"Flip the paradigm." (Something I heard Montel Williams say.)

Understanding the words "money" and "salary" in the above sayings literally often explains a lot, but not everything. Maybe the benefit being sought is job security, or a feeling of belonging to a community. Maybe it's respect. Maybe it's power. Maybe it's being praised, admired or hero worshipped. It's anything the seeker wants or needs.

Much of my confusion about politics came from society's brainwashing, including school, and my inherently gullible nature. I assumed we paid taxes so that our leaders, and most particularly Democratic politicians, could fight to make life better for most Americans. All too slowly, I began flipping the paradigm society had ingrained in me and, instead, following the money, noting its sources and who benefited from it (and why and how), etc. Now, I think most politicians are using us and our tax dollars to live well while trying to make their own lives much, much better. Unfortunately, that often directly conflicts with improving the lives of most Americans. Also, when politicians seem to be messing up because they don't know better or because of circumstances beyond their control, they are, in reality, hitting more or less what they intended to hit and missing what they intended to miss. They just don't want us to grok that.

I don't think all the above is true of 100% of all politicians all the time. Few humans are 100% of anything all the time, are they? However, because I have been brainwashed and because I am so gullible, I probably should assume that most contemporary U.S. politicians are self-serving most of the time. Example: Assuming that the Presidency and Congressional majorities are the goal of the Democratic Party and almost every politician in it would be eminently reasonable, right? Yet, the evidence this go round simply doesn't support that conclusion. Democrats in power ignored--very cohesively, very stubbornly and very "in your face" ignored--all evidence that Hillary Clinton was likely to lose the general election; and, even if she won, her coattails would be very short, at best. Rather, all the evidence seems to say they wanted the Oval Office to go to either the Republican nominee or to Hillary, not simply to "the Democratic nominee," whoever he or she might be. Why might Democrats want that? I merely ask; answers are beyond my powers. But, I'm guessing big business and/or big money is involved, simply because one or both usually is.

The unexamined life is not worth living.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_unexamined_life_is_not_worth_living

While we're examining: Was Hillary's concession speech, really as gracious and unifying as media immediately cracked it up to be? I know only my immediate impression of her concession speech was very different from that of the pundits and politicians who instantly praised it lavishly.* And, as Lawrence O'Donnell, producer of the The West Wing, just happened(?) to mention last night, and Joe Scarborough also just happened to mention this mourning, she wore "traditional mourning colors." (Bubba, too.) That wardrobe choice is in marked contrast to the bridal white pantsuit she wore to accept the Democratic nomination, as though America's bride had become America's widow. FWIW, I didn't see Obama's speech as wholeheartedly cumbaya, either. For example, he said some might see Trump's election as going backward. If that's gracious and statesmanlike, what might a subtle pot shot have sounded like? http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/mr-subliminal-cold-opening/...

I was intended to see both speeches as nothing but generous, statesmanlike unity, though. I know that because media can't stop saying how gracious and touching and yadda yadda they were. Nonetheless, both speeches and the way that they were delivered reminded me of "Senator McCain and I are ready for that 3 a.m. phone call. Senator Obama isn't;" and that sounded like a dog whistle to PUMAs. Also, the incredible amount of self-examination in which MSNBC has been engaging over why media incorrectly assumed Hillary would win the general exceeds by many orders of magnitude the amount of self-examination in which media engaged over having helped Bush the Lesser lie the country to lie us into the Iraq War, which ranged from zero to six seconds' worth. Draw from that contrast whatever conclusions you will (or none at all).

Just for giggles, though--and who doesn't love giggles?--you might even question last night's spontaneous(?) anti-Trump demonstrations in blue cities. MSNBC covered them for hours on end--and rationalized them. Rationalized them, not very long after excoriating Trump about accepting the results of this very election, even if he suspected tampering. Maybe the demonstrations were indeed purely organic, from Oakland to Boston, but should we just assume that automatically? If not, who had an interest in getting them started and for what benefit? And why is "peaceful transiton" of power, something we've had with little to no mention since Adams took over from Washington, suddenly such a huge issue that heard it said this morning maybe a hundred times before nine a.m.?

Evening of accepting the nomination at the Democratic National Convention

Day of concession speech


memorial bunting

* http://www.caucus99percent.com/comment/206429#comment-206429

Share
up
23 users have voted.

Comments

mhagle's picture

Thought provoking

up
4 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

up
2 users have voted.

Washington, Revere, Henry, Hamilton, Jefferson and Franklin...never Nat Bacon, Sam Adams, Paine..." Gregory Corso

I believe that since we all were in single age digits, we've been systematically lied to about American and world history and the political economy and who controls it and why.

I think the pundits could have written their reviews of Clinton's concession speech before it was given; maybe they did. Since the media was in the tank for Clinton, and thus for global capital, there would be a basic one-voice response.

As for "peaceful transition" I think the covert, and de facto, government is afraid that Trump may indeed try to do what he has said he would do in speeches and disrupt their profit games and world dominance games. Trump seems to have the attention span of a gnat so no one knows so I interpret these remarks as a warning and a preventative. Trump is used to dealing with the Mafia so perhaps he's prepared for a more dangerous party that he has to come to terms with. Don't know.

As to the whole "conspiracy theory" smokescreen: Let's just call out loud musings hypotheses, which is what they are at the beginning, and as the first facts come in to partly corroborate the hypothesis, then we have a theory. "CT" is a bullying tactic meant to end a line of inquiry. Screw that and those who employ the tactic.

In addition to the valuable information of your diary, I want to tell you that I like your writing style which seems well suited to this medium.

up
9 users have voted.

"The justness of individual land right is not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged"

ggersh's picture

wickedness i.e. the system lives on.

thanks HW and you duckpin, you two always seem to be spot on.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/11/09/the-rejection-of-wall-streets-glo...

November 9, 2016
The Rejection of Wall Street’s Globalization Project: Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead!

by Diana Johnstone

Tweet
Email

“There’s no place like home.”

That’s the lesson. Even when home is Kansas.

The real meaning of this election is not, as bitterly disappointed Hillary supporters still maintain with tears in their eyes and fear in their throats, a victory for racism and sexism.

The real meaning of this upset is that Wall Street’s globalization project has been rejected by the citizens of its homeland.

This has major implications for the European nations that have been dragged along into this ruinous project.

Hillary Clinton was the candidate of the military industrial complex and international finance capital. She designed herself to be the figurehead of those forces, as queen of regime change. She aspired to be the one to remake the world in the image Wall Street dictates. It was a project enthusiastically and expensively supported by the one percent who profit from arms contracts and the trade deals they write themselves for their own interests.

To distract from the genuine significance of her candidacy, the Clinton campaign appealed to the desire for respectability of educated city dwellers, portraying Trump supporters as racist yokels motivated by a hateful desire to scapegoat minorities as revenge for their own inadequacies. They were “deplorables”, and you wouldn’t want to be one of them, would you?

Trump was sexist, because he referred to certain women as “bimbos”. Elizabeth Warren called him out for this, on a platform where Hillary sat listening, mouth wide open in delight – she who had referred to Bill’s girlfriends as “bimbo eruptions”. Sleaze and hypocrisy drowned out policy discussions. The worst the Clinton campaign could come up with was an eleven-year-old locker room exchange – just words, hardly comparable to Bill’s chronic actions.

Still, millions who were taken in by the Clinton campaign line are devastated, terrified, convinced that the only reason Trump won was the “racism” and “sexism” of that lower caste in globalized society: white heterosexual working class males.

But no, Virginia, there were other reasons to vote for Trump. Racism and sexism are surely low on the list.

Trump voters were scandalized by Hillary’s lies and corruption. Many of them would have voted for Bernie Sanders if they had the choice. That choice was taken away from them by Democratic Party manipulators who were sold on their own advertising campaign to elect “the first woman President.” A brand new product on the Presidential election market! Be the first to vote for a woman President! New, improved!

Bernie’s success already showed that millions of people didn’t want that woman. But the Democratic Party manipulators and their oligarch sponsors went right ahead with their plans to force Hillary Clinton on an unwilling nation. They brought this defeat on themselves.

Contrary to what you could believe by reading the New York Times, there were even intellectuals who voted for Trump, or at least refused to vote for Hillary, for the simple reason that Trump appears less likely to lead the world into its third and final Great War. He said things giving that impression, but such statements were ignored by mainstream media as they worked overtime to inflate the ogre image. No war with Russia? You must be a Putin puppet!

Trump voters had several reasons to vote for Trump other than “racism”. Most of all, they want their jobs back, jobs that have vanished thanks to the neoliberal policy of transferring manufacturing jobs to places with low wages.

But racism is the only motive recognized by the globalized elite for rejecting globalization. British citizens who voted to leave the European Union in order to recover their traditional democracy were also stigmatized as “racist” and “xenophobe”. Opposition to racism and xenophobia is the natural moral defense of a project of global governance that deprives ordinary citizens of any important power of decision.

This extraordinarily vicious campaign has brought out and aggravated sharp divisions within the United States. The division between city and countryside is most evident on the electoral maps. But these real divisions are exacerbated by a campaign that portrayed Donald Trump as a racist madman, a new Hitler about to bring fascism to America. The antiracism of this campaign, denouncing “hate”, has actually spawned hate.

No, Virginia, Trump is not Hitler. He is the Wizard of Oz. He is a showman who pulled off an amazing trick thanks to the drastic moral and intellectual decline of the American political system. He is neither as dangerous as his opponents fear, nor as able to “make American great again” as his supporters hope. He is the Lesser Evil. What will become of him in Washington is anybody’s guess.

up
11 users have voted.

trump will be amerika's last president

ameriKa's been crapified and yes that
has trickled down

Relations, the establishment organization that lobbied for the Iraq war - Wolfowitz, Feith, "You name 'em we got 'em," and is now demanding more money for the Pentagon to aggressively confront China. If there's one go-to place for establishment - business & academia - imperialism it is the CFR. (They even have a permanent committee named after Henry Kissinger.)

Trump heretofore has not been highly regarded by this influential group. I think it is important to see if Trump turns his foreign policy over to them as Bush and Obama did and Clinton would have.

up
4 users have voted.

"The justness of individual land right is not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged"

Al From were the DLC's first two full-time employees. Hillary is DLC all the way. Marxhall signed the PNAC letter. IIRC, Albright, who is Hillary's good friend and prophet about a special place in Hell for women who don't support HIllary, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, but I am going from memory.

I don't have any great faith in Trump. I think he will learn to love TPP when he learns how much his fellow businessmen love it. However, Hillary would have fast tracked it, much as Obama wants to. So...

up
2 users have voted.

Will Marshall and Al From were the DLC's first two full-time employees. Marshall, who founded the Progressive Policy Institute with From having some unofficial role in that, signed the PNAC letter. Hillary, as we all know, voted for the war.

IIRC, Albright, who is Hillary's good friend and prophet about a special place in Hell for women who don't support HIllary, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, but I am going from memory.

I don't have any great faith in Trump. I think he will learn to love TPP when he learns how much his fellow businessmen love it. However, Hillary would have fast tracked it, much as Obama wants to. So...

up
3 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

that Trump asked her heinous to be SOS.

I have no clue how this all plays out, will Trump do half of what he said he would do, close bases, repeal NAFTA, do infrastructure, it would be good but at what cost(he's a negotiator).

So does he sell out or not, I think we find out soon enough.

up
3 users have voted.

trump will be amerika's last president

ameriKa's been crapified and yes that
has trickled down

I often agree with duckpin. However, duckpin is way ahead of me in knowledge, in clarity of thought and in patience. Posting on the same board is a privilege, as is true of a good number of posters here. I often agree with you as well.

Hillary will not be President in January, but I don't know if she will take some other role. Technically, I think she is head of the Democratic Party now and will remain so until it has another nominee. She has also promised to keep fighting for the things in which she believes, whatever that means. Sounds like more influence peddling and speeches.

As far as the name calling, meh. More pot stirring. I didn't vote for Jill Stein because I am racist or sexist. Or, for that matter, anti-Semitic. I voted for policies.

(Obama's press secretary repeating right now that the President said that people are rightfully disappointed in the results of this election. Also, the President stands by everything he said about Trump on the campaign trail! If I hear once more what lovely speeches Obama and Hillary made about Trump's victory, I may heave.)

up
3 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

and it will take a while for them to let it sink in that they lost the race, that their policies hurt Americans. Hopefully they both go away and join Dubya in the arts.(whoever thought they could say that?) Wacko

up
2 users have voted.

trump will be amerika's last president

ameriKa's been crapified and yes that
has trickled down

lotlizard's picture

the Southern Poverty Law Center. Sad

My gut feeling is now that the people in charge there would put all 59 million Trump voters on its de-facto-Nazis list if they thought they could get away with it.

That’s really regrettable.

up
2 users have voted.

about my blog entries.

How about John Hancock, the revolutionary era epitome of big business. "Let's you and them fight because I hate taxes on imports."

I could not agree more about "conspiracy theory." Although the term had been used some before the Kennedy assassination, it was "weaponized" around that time to make anyone who did not accept the official government line on that and subsequent events seem silly to crazy. People with theories may be wrong, even crazy, but the words "conspiracy theory" don't prove either one of those things. Debunk the theory or say why it's silly or ignore the whole thing.

Some things just seem odd on their own, or oddly coincidental. If so, it's worthy of questioning, IMO. On the flip side, just because someone thought of a possibility and you agree, doesn't convert a musing or a hypothesis into a fact. You can both be wrong. Indeed, you and millions of others can be wrong. (The world is not flat and the sun does not revolve around the earth, even though millions once believed both things.)

I would, however, really like to know why media is spending so much time trying to figure out why they got this election wrong and so little time examining how they aided and abetted Bushco in lying to the country about Iraq.

On peaceful transition, all Trump said was he might not accept the results s He was 100% right. Elections are not all about the people who run. Candidates have a responsibility to the people who supported them, to the people who voted for them and to the nation in general, not to accept the results if they seem rigged. Gore didn't accept the results of his election until after he litigated.

However, media and Hillary immediate got on it like ants on sugar and made it seem as though he planned to fire on the White House unless he won. And, btw, if media really wants a peaceful transition, they need to stop talking about how horribly and justifiably upset everyone is about this election! Accepting the results of an election goes both ways. IMO, they have been trying to foment something since Wednesday morning.

up
9 users have voted.

called plate tectonics. It's obvious to an elementary school student that South America and Africa "fit" into each other; but without evidence, it could be a coincidence. Botanists pointed out that the flora of eastern S.A. was closely related to the flora of west Africa and geologists learned that the rock strata were similar in eastern S.A. and western Africa. Still the theory of continental drift was not widely accepted until the line of volcanoes running down the Atlantic was evidence that the continents were being pushed apart. Then, almost immediately, all the sciences fell into line.

A good hypothesis leads to research. Yelling CT yields nothing and those who use it should be ignored because they are not interested in learning something new but only want to stifle inquiry.

up
10 users have voted.

"The justness of individual land right is not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged"

up
5 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

if they start tagging others with the CT term.

Especially when you see them being very selective and one-sided in how they use it, applying a blatant double standard.

Certainly the whole Hillary campaign narrative blaming Russia, if insider and outsider roles had been reversed, would have been scorned as CT. But no one pointed that out. As WikiLeaks demonstrated, all the establishment insiders and their hacks were singing from the same sheet music.

up
2 users have voted.

It is al right because they are demonstrating for one of the 2 correct parties.

up
5 users have voted.

Another quote from Upton Sinclair (How I wish I could have known him!):

The American People will take Socialism, but they won't take the label. I certainly proved it in the case of EPIC. Running on the Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to "End Poverty in California" I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use attacking it by a front attack, it is much better to out-flank them.

Letter to Norman Thomas (25 September 1951)

up
8 users have voted.
Mark from Queens's picture

to strip the creativity and curiosity out of children so that they obedient, soul-dead conformists of the American consumer culture (to paraphrase the great sage George Carlin). This to me is one of the most important aspects of why we can't seem to make progress toward an egalitarian socialist framework. We indoctrinate kids from an early age to perceive success materialistically.

Mark Twain referred to men as having "corn-pone opinions," in reference to following the money and a man's penchant for conformity.

...a man is not independent, and cannot afford views which might interfere with his bread and butter. If he would prosper, he must train with the majority; in matters of large moment, like politics and religion, he must think and feel with the bulk of his neighbors, or suffer damage in his social standing and in his business prosperities. He must restrict himself to corn-pone opinions -- at least on the surface. He must get his opinions from other people; he must reason out none for himself; he must have no first-hand views.

Men think they think upon great political questions, and they do; but they think with their party, not independently; they read its literature, but not that of the other side; they arrive at convictions, but they are drawn from a partial view of the matter in hand and are of no particular value. They swarm with their party, they feel with their party, they are happy in their party's approval; and where the party leads they will follow, whether for right and honor, or through blood and dirt and a mush of mutilated morals.

As for the protests, I believe they were completely organic and had very little if nothing to do with Clinton support. There was a legitimate visceral reaction to Trump that was warranted and I fully support. Very strange to see a few comments around here disparaging them. They, these largely young and minority protesters, are exactly who we'll need as strong allies in rebuilding the Bernie coalition that has been given a new rejuvenated lease now that all our concerns and predictions were proven to be true.

Thanks as always for a thoughtful piece HW. I also thought Hillary's concession speech was a farce, which I don't care so much to parse, except to say how nauseating she still is to me, especially that completely pathetic pandering line about this "not being about one person." Her whole phony and vapid vainglorious campaign was all about Her! Even in the end she couldn't find any dignity and Disney-duped the throng who bizarrely worshipped her (or are they all just sartorial buffs? Good catch on the mourning colors. In baseball she would be a pitcher who "telegraphs" her pitches). Good fucking riddance, now that she's hopefully blasted off the world stage for good.

Fuck the MSM forever. That should be one of the biggest takeaways now, and one that we must make a concerted effort to impress upon people, especially our malleable friends stuck in the MSM black hole paradigm of relentless propaganda and manufactured controversy.

Speaking of, I love how all these MSNBC hacks covered the protest wall-to-wall, but haven't had the fortitude to send crews to North Dakota and to talk breathlessly about the #NoDAPL protest and its implications on the govt-corporate partnership of unbridled capitalism and militarized police protection equalling Fascism, like they did non-stop about Trump. the MSM is the enemy.

up
10 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Just to be clear, I am not disparaging the demonstrators or the legitimacy of their feelings. People feel how they feel. On the other hand, I do think everyone is egging them on--Hillary, Obama, MSNBC, etc. And I do not dismiss the possibility that some groups got out on the streets and deliberately incited or encouraged demonstrations. I am not saying it happened, mind you. I am saying it could have and I would not dismiss that possibility out of hand. But, if it happened, it would not take away from the sincerity of the majority of those who demonstrated.

It's like the audience reaction at politicians' speeches. The audience is seeded with people who start cheering or booing or applauding. People with zero knowledge of this hear someone applauding and join in with all sincerity.

I agree on the MSM and MSNBC. But, we know the mission of MSNBC is to promote establishment, not leftist protests of the pipeline--which, btw, Hillary's Depart. of State approved.

up
2 users have voted.

especially after Nurse Ratched quit talking, and they all went huggy-huggy. Bill looked like he had just buried his bestest friend. No wonder. There are a lot of pissed Saudis, Chinese, Russians and Wall Streeters who want their deposits back.

As for Obama, he was doing his vice-principal act from Breakfast Club. We're all on detention until further notice.

up
4 users have voted.

According to Game Change, Bubba and Mark Penn were, from Day One, eager to go more negative against Obama than the rest of Hillary's campaign advisors. I don't always believe Halperin, but this seems logical to me. On election night, Carville said Hillary got a lot of opinions from various 2016 advisors, some of whom wanted her to run on an economic plan (probably Carville was in that group), while others wanted her to rely on GOTV and negativity--and . I have to believe that Bill was in the second group. She lost. I personally am not sure she lost because she went negative. She got the popular vote, after all. I think she may have lost because the campaign did not focus on the correct states in terms of electoral votes. Also because GOTV efforts can do only so much when Democrats don't want her to be POTUS. Seven million fewer Dems showed up at the polls for Hillary than showed up for Obama. That is a powerful number.

Some of the pundits are getting it right. This election was a rejection of Third Way, such a huge rejection that Democrats preferred risking a Trump win to voting Democratic. The Clintons knew this might happen. So did the DNC. So did all the thousands of Democratic office holders all around the country who were bullied into endorsing her. They didn't care. Flock 'em all.

up
6 users have voted.