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jessie j

It’s nice to be able to bring updates to older posts, and so today we have the conclusion to my post last year regarding Jessie Jackson’s extended downfall.  Jessie is an oligarch and the son of Jessie Jackson the civil rights activist.  You see, in American politics oligarchs are not all white middle class Protestants, although a lot are.  The system is such that as soon as one man (and its nearly always going to be a man) breaks through into gaining a seat in Congress, his relatives get a free ride in on the back of his coat-tails.

So it was with Jesse Jackson junior, the Democrat Representative from Illinois who resigned from Congress after just having been voted back for a week last year and who has now been jailed for thirty months for spending his campaign money on toys and baubles.  Baubles that included a Rolex watch, fur coats, $9,600 on children’s furniture alone, a mounted elk head and other detritus all to the value of $750,000 (£483,000).  It wasn’t as if he was poor; he and his wife Sandra were good for $300,000 a year.

Odd?  Oh yes, very.

Jesse Jackson is the 47 year old son of veteran firebrand Jesse Jackson senior, the Baptist minister and civil rights activist.  Jesse senior whose real name was Jesse Louis Burns, was a candidate for Democrat nomination twice in 1984, and 1988 and was Shadow US Senator for District of Columbia.

Jesse junior has been plagued with two problems.  The first being this investigation regarding the use of campaign funds for personal costs, and secondly a long running fight with Bi-polar depression.  Albeit the lawyer’s argument as to his being influenced by this depression cut little ice with the bench.  There is also the matter of the probe into his ethics.  The illness kept him out of politics for much of the last year.  And conveniently away from too much press attention.

Questions rise immediately.  How was it that a man with such apparently crippling mental health problems was allowed by his party to go forward to the election, especially as he was unable to do much campaigning?  Why did they sanction his running?  His resigning days after the election only places a burden on the public purse in the region of 5 to 6 million dollars in running a special election for his successor.  Perhaps because the system is as crooked as hell?

Which leads nicely to the second question.  Who is to take the empty seat?  Surprisingly to outsiders it seems that the Jackson family are still in the lead here.   Oligarchs have no shame.  There was strong talk of his wife Sandi Jackson standing for Jesse’s position until she got stuck with a year in the poky for submitting false tax returns.  Be that as it may it is a matter of interest just how many wives and spouses in the American system stand to replace their spouses when their public office is vacated.  But then, if not the wife, then how about the brother?   Jonathan Jackson too is set for the race.

This is oligarchy, a system where the sons and daughters of achievement are not allowed to rise to the positions of representation, but where nepotism and favourites push out liberty, freedom and democracy corrupting the entire process in their wake.

Copyright David Macadam 2012