May 16, 2022

Pitchforks Are Out, Torches Are Lit

Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger
Hillary Clinton Meets With Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger

With all of the political speculation surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election, this is an undisputed fact- the New Hampshire Primary result was an anti-establishment message sent by the Primary electorate. Bernie Sanders took 60% of the Democratic Primary vote vs. Hillary Clinton’s 38%, while Donald Trump’s 35% compared to 15% for his nearest Republican rival, John Kasich. Both Sanders and Trump are candidates of change.
At every opportunity, Sanders has portrayed Clinton as a pro-establishment candidate, a candidate who, unlike Sanders, is funded by big business, banks and billionaire donors. Clinton hasn’t helped her cause by tying herself to the Obama presidency, praising the accomplishments of the previous eight years of which she was a part,  from 2009 to 2013, as Secretary of State. Clinton doesn’t seem to view the Obama presidency through the same eyes as many of her potential voters. These people see the promise of change slogan, “Yes We Can”, used by Obama to get elected in 2008 reduced to “Well, Maybe We Can Try”, after eight years of rivalry and bitterness between Republicans and Democrats, resulting in half baked policies such as Obamacare and utter failures such as the promised closure of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp.
Sanders also made note of Clinton’s use of Henry Kissinger as a foreign policy adviser. During the PBS Democratic Debate, held two days after the New Hampshire Primary, Sanders spoke of Kissinger as a proponent of the Domino Theory. To stop Communist China and Russia from spreading Communist Doctrines to countries around the world, the U.S. had, according to Kissinger, the right as the defender of democracy, to do whatever it took to stop the spread of Communism. Vietnam, the bombing of Cambodia, various coups and support of brutal dictatorships were all policies adopted by the U.S., based upon the advice of Kissinger and others believing in the Domino Theory. After the U.S. loss in Vietnam, Kissinger, under President Nixon, was instrumental in the normalizing of relations with Communist China which, Sanders stated, resulted in the present loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs to China and the resulting shrinkage of the U.S. middle class. Sanders ended his piece on Kissinger by stating, “I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend.”
Donald Trump is not a politician. He is a salesman, marketing to the Republican voters a product- himself. His strategy of tying into voter discontent has resulted in his being the front runner in the Republican run for the presidency. Trump’s promise to return the U.S. to days of past glory with an unrivaled economy and a position of world influence is met by cheers of agreement from those who share the same goals, but have somehow neglected to take note that Trump has not shared how he intends to attain these goals. Instead of attacking Trump for his inconsistencies and lack of policy details and showing his supporters that he is not the messenger of change, the other Republican candidates have settled for attacking each other, apparently content to fight to be number two in the race, allowing Trump to stay above the fray by not having to respond to legitimate criticism. People like to vote for a winner and as long as Trump stays number one in the polls, his support will continue to grow.
Both the Democratic and Republican National Committees, as integral parts of the “establishment”, do not want the change hoped for by the backers of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Business as usual is the mantra of both of the big political machines. They have managed to block the inclusion of third party candidates into mainstream U.S. politics, which would have threatened their duopoly on political power. The DNC and RNC have it within their power to halt the rise of Sanders and Trump as agents of change. The parties can change the rules of the game of how candidates are elected in the Primary process. The change of rules would accomplish the aims of the “establishment”, but the point of no return has already been passed. If the two political parties changed the rules now, it wouldn’t be only Sanders and Trump supporters who would have the pitchforks out and the torches lit.

©HeckleMaster™Inc., February 17, 2016, All Rights Reserved



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