Thierry Meyssan analyses the political and electoral system of the United States. He believes that the only true issue of the Presidential election is the maintenance of power in the hands of the WASPs, which has never been contested since the Declaration of Independence. While Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton are the guarantors of this status, the candidacy of Donald Trump announces a profound upheaval of the system which will only occur once the Anglo-Saxons become the minority.
A large number of candidates play off against one another in the primaries. The media pay attention only to the Democrats and the Republicans, ignoring all the others, given that the system is devised so that they can never win.
The US primaries offer a depressing spectacle during which the main candidates do not seem to be aware that their reckless judgements and demagogic declarations will have consequences, both at home and abroad, if they should manage to become President.
Despite appearances, the Presidential function enjoys only limited power. Thus, it was obvious to everyone that President George W. Bush was incapable of governing, and that others did it for him. In just the same way, it is obvious that President Barack Obama is unable to inspire obedience in his own administration. For example, we can see men from the Pentagon waging a ferocious war against men from the CIA on the battlegrounds of Ukraine and Syria. In reality, the main power of the White House is not in commanding the armies, but in naming or confirming 14,000 senior civil servants – 6,000 of whom are nominated when the new President takes office. Beyond appearances, the Presidency is therefore the guarantee of the maintenance of power by the governing class – which is why it is the power structure, and not the People, who decide the election.
Let’s remember that, according to the Constitution (article 2, section 1), the President of the United States is not elected by universal suffrage, as the ignorant media pretend, but only by the 538 governing representatives. The Constitution states no obligation for these governors to nominate electors who correspond to the desires expressed by their citizens during the preceding ballot. Thus, in 2000, the Supreme Court of the United States refused to invalidate the electors designated by the governor of Florida, even when there was doubt concerning the desires expressed by the electors of that state.
Let us also remember that the «primaries» are not organised by the political parties, as in Europe, but by the states – under the responsibility of the governors and each according to his own system. The primaries are designed so that, in fine, the major parties each present a candidate for the Presidential function who is compatible with the interests of the governors. They are therefore organised on the Soviet model of «democratic centralism» in order to eliminate any individual with an original thought, or simply anyone who may risk questioning the system, to the profit of a «consensual» personality. In the case where the participating citizens are unable to nominate a candidate, or particularly if they manage to nominate one who is incompatible with the system, the party Convention which follows will decide, if necessary, by overturning the citizens’ vote.
The US primaries are therefore not a «democratic moment», but on the contrary, a process which, on the one hand, allows the citizens to express themselves, while on the other, directs them to give up their own interests and line up behind a candidacy which conforms to the system.
In 2002, Robert A. Dahle, professor of Constitutional Law at Yale university, published a study of the way in which the Constitution had been written, in 1787, in order to ensure that the United States would never become a true democracy . More recently, in 2014, two professors of Political Science, Martin Gilens at Princeton and Benjamin I. Page at Northwestern, demonstrated that the system has evolved in such a way that all laws are now voted at the demand and under the control of an economic elite, without ever taking into account the opinions of the population .
Barack Obama’s Presidency was marked by the financial crisis, followed by the economic crisis in 2008, whose main consequence was the end of the social contract. Until now, it was the «American Dream» which united US citizens, the idea that anyone could rise out of misery and become rich by the fruit of their own efforts. All sorts of injustice could be accepted, as long as there was always the hope of being able to «get clear». As from now, with the exception of the «super-rich» who continue to get richer, the best that can be hoped for is to avoid plummeting into oblivion.
The end of the «American Dream» first of all led to the creation of movements rooted in anger – to the right, the Tea Party in 2009, and to the left, Occupy Wall Street in 2011. The general idea was that the unegalitarian system was no longer acceptable, not because it had weakened, but because it had become fixed and permanent. The supporters of the Tea Party claimed that in order for the situation to improve, it was necessary to lower taxes and let people work their own way out, rather than waiting for social protection – while the people of Occupy Wall Street thought, on the contrary, that it was better to tax the super-rich and redistribute what had been taken from them. However, this stage was overtaken in 2015 by Donald Trump, a billionaire who has no argument with the system, but claims that he has profited by the «American Dream» and that he can relaunch it. In any case, that’s how the citizens seem to have understood his slogan « America great again ! » Trump’s supporters have no intention of tightening their belts a few more notches in order to finance the military-industrial complex and reboot imperialism, but hope, in their turn, to be empowered to become rich, just like several generation of US citizens before them.
While the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street have legitimised respectively the candidacies of Ted Cruz for the Republicans and Bernie Sanders for the Democrats, the candidacy of Donald Trump endangers the positions acquired by those who protected themselves during the financial crisis in 2008 by blocking the system. It thus appears that he is not opposed to the super-rich, but to the senior civil servants and political professionals, all the «hidden profiteers», who enjoy huge salaries without ever taking personal risks. If we were to compare Trump to certain European personalities, we would not be looking at Jean-Marie Le Pen or Jörg Haider, but at Bernard Tapie and Silvio Berlusconi.
How will the gouvernors react? Who will they elect as President?
Until now, the «US aristocracy» – according to the expression of Alexander Hamilton – was composed exclusively of WASPs, or White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Originally, the «P» stood for «Puritans», but with time, the concept widened to include all «Protestants». However, a first exception was made in 1961, with Irish Catholic John Kennedy, whose election enabled a peaceful resolution of the problem of racial segregation, and a second, in 2008, with the Kenyan Barack Obama, which enabled the illusion of racial integration. In any case, in neither of these cases did the elected official use his power to to renovate the governing class. Furthermore, despite the promise of general disarmament by Kennedy and nuclear disarmament by Obama, neither of them was able to do make any headway at all against the military-industrial complex. It is true that in both cases, they had been obliged to accept a representative of the complex as their Vice-President – Lyndon B. Johnson and Joe Biden – a replacement measure which, in Kennedy’s case, was activated.
Donald Trump, with his straight-talking attitude, incarnates a form of populism which is opposed to the conventional manners of the «politically correct» so dear to the WASPs. The uneasy alliance between the President of the National Governors Association, the governor of Utah, Gary Herbert, and Donald Trump clearly demonstrates that an agreement between Trump and the ruling class will be very difficult to establish.
We are left with two other options – Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz. Cruz is a Hispanic who, on the intellectual level, became a WASP after his «conversion» to evangelical protestantism. His nomination enabled an operation comparable to that of the election of Obama, but this time by manifesting a desire to integrate the «Latinos» after having favoured the «blacks». Unfortunately, although he was launched by a company which works for both the CIA and the Pentagon, he is a totally artificial personage who will have a hard time fitting the costume. That leaves feminist lawyer Hillary Clinton, whose election will enable power to manifest a desire to integrate women. But her irrational behaviour and explosions of hysterical fury creates anxiety. Furthermore, she is currently the target of a serious legal enquiry which makes her easy to blackmail and therefore to control.
At no point in this analysis have I spoken of the candidates’ programmes. This is because, in the reality of the local political philosophy, they don’t count. Since Oliver Cromwell’s «Commonwealth», Anglo-Saxon political thought considers the notion of general interest as an imposture aimed at masking dictatorial intentions. So the candidates do not have a programme for their country, but «positions» on given subjects which enable them to collect «support». The elected officials – the President, parliamentary representatives, governors, prosecutors, sheriffs, etc. – do not pretend to serve the Common Good, but to satisfy the greatest majority of their electors. During an electoral meeting, a candidate will never present his «vision of the world», but will list the support that he has already won in order to invite other «communities» to trust him with their defence. This is why political treason in the United States does not mean changing parties, but acting against the supposed interests of his community.
The originality of this concept is that politicians are not expected to be coherent in their declarations, other than in terms of the interests that they are defending. For example, it is possible to affirm that a fœtus is a human being and thus condemn abortion in the name of the protection of human life, and then, in the next sentence, commend the exemplarity of the death penalty.
There would not be any great difference between the policies followed by the evangelist Ted Cruz, the feminist Hillary Clinton or the Marxist Bernie Sanders. All three would have to walk in the footsteps already left by George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Ted Cruz quotes the Bible – in fact, the Jewish values of the Old Testament – and speaks to a religious electorate about the return to the fundamental values of the «founding fathers». The job of unclogging the system therefore calls for personal morality, where money is seen as a «gift from God to those who fear Him». From her side, Hillary Clinton is running a campaign directed at women, considering that she already has the vote of those people who got rich during her husband’s Presidency. For them, unclogging the system is a family affair. Bernie Sanders denounces the capture of wealth by 1% of the population and calls for redistribution. His supporters dream of a revolution from which they would benefit without having to fight for it.
Only the election of Donald Trump could mark a change in the system. Contrary to what his declarations might seem to indicate, he is the only rational candidate, because he is not a political man, but a business man, a dealmaker. However, he knows nothing about the subjects with which he would have to deal, and has no a priori. He would be quite content to make decisions according to the alliances he creates. For better or for worse.
Strangely enough, the states that Bernie Sanders has won are approximately the same as those won by Ted Cruz, while those won by Donald Trump include almost all those won by Hilllary Clinton. This is because, unconsciously, the citizens are viewing their future either in terms of morality, which enables redemption and then the acquisition of wealth (Sanders and Cruz), or in terms of hard work and the material success that it should bring (Trump and Clinton).
At this stage, it is impossible to predict who will be the next President, or even if that would have any importance. But for ineluctable demographic reasons, the present system will collapse in the next few years, when Anglo-Saxons become the minority.
Translated by Pete Kimberley
Thierry Meyssan is the founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference.