Finally the seemingly endless overture to Hillary Clinton’s second attempt at The White House has come to its utterly unsurprising close today.
Hillary Clinton has decided that now is the moment to announce her being a candidate for nomination by the Democrat party and the media has responded as required with a wild outpouring of gushing nonsense.
So, we might ask, what is it that Hillary stands for? What, as our marketing friends might ask, is her unique selling point? Well, we might have been handed a clue in the Huffington Post on Friday when she said the following:-
“I’m more convinced than ever that our future in the 21st century depends on our ability to ensure that a child born in the hills of Appalachia or the Mississippi Delta or the Rio Grande valley grows up with the same shot at success that Charlotte will.”
Here Hillary was referring to her grand-daughter by Chelsea.
In the oligarchical nature of American politics this is a hollow offer.
Of the 43 Presidents of the United States (and it is 43 not 44, as Grover Cleveland served in two non-sequential administrations) fully 29 were related to each other by blood, marriage and adoption. And this is a feature that far from being essentially an eighteenth century phenomena is one which gets stronger and stronger today.
The Clintons were certainly “novus homen” when they appeared in the White House but they have most certainly bedded in well since. Chelsea married Mark Mezvinsky the son of Ed Mezvinsky a big Democrat suit and fixer, as well as being a one-time Representative from Iowa, and Marjorie Margolies-Mevinsky who was a representative from Pennsylvania.
Hillary Clinton’s running allows us to envisage a truly awesome fight in 2016 between Hillary and Jeb Bush, the Governor of Florida. Jeb Bush is the brother of one President, George W Bush and the son of another, President George Walker Bush. He is the grandson of Senator Prescott Bush. He is also descended through his mother from President Pearce. Jeb’s son George Prescott Bush has already started his own political career. So for the third time in 27 years another Bush may yet become President. If either Hillary or Jeb win then a member of either of their families will have held the highest office of State for all by eight of the last 31 years.
We should see though that it is not really a matter of one particular political family, or another political family. It’s the fact that so many families be they Carters, Nixons, Eisenhowers, Kennedys etc lock together to shut out competition that defines so much of American political life at its highest levels. Sure, some truly outstanding candidates like a Reagan or a Clinton can occasionally break through to the highest offices, but only if an oligarchic candidate is not on offer. Indeed to make matters worse, they all come cut from more or less the same genealogical cloth. They do not represent the amazingly diverse hodge-podge of backgrounds that the American people come from. They are, in short, not representative of the people they speak for.
It is the great American political lie to believe that a person no what matter their background or race, may by dint of hard work, intelligence and drive, achieve the highest office of state.
Are we to seriously believe that some child born in those hills in Appalachia or the Mississippi Delta can gain the contacts, the corporate sponsors and financial backing that either Clinton or Bush can garner? Or that either Clinton or Bush will change matters? Of course not. In tomorrow’s America that child will just be staying put in those Appalachian hills.
Copyright David Macadam 2015
Coda: This article appeared in “The Scottish Independent” Tuesday 14 April 2015.