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John Chuckman


“Could a George Clooney presidency save America?”

Why would anyone think Clooney is, in any respect, qualified for high office?

The guy acts in Hollywood movies and makes tuxedo appearances at cocktail parties.

He has absolutely no experience leading anything.

He has absolutely no experience in real politics.

He has absolutely no experience in working hard and seriously towards solving any problems.

He has never even held a real job.

He dabbles in causes.

Save America?

Good God, that sounds silly.

I’m afraid too many of the writers at The Guardian have little understanding of what America is today.

It is not the dear old sentimental place from Jimmy Stewart movies being temporarily held prisoner by a barbarian. That is a child’s image.

No, America is, in the words of Tennessee Williams’ character Big Daddy, “a pounding fist.”

It is a vast brutal world empire with a monstrous military and equally monstrous security services who prowl the planet to keep folks in line and eliminate those who do not fall into line.

When it does manage to elect someone to office who appears to have even some potential to change anything – Obama, for example with his sandals and Peace Prize and daring to originally campaign without a ridiculous American flag pin always stuck on his lapel – that person is quickly and quietly turned around and made to appreciate what his real options are.

Obama went on to bomb every day of his administration, create a massive extra-judicial killing machine, and foment coups and troubles in many places. Talk about interfering in elections, the guy with the big boyish smile left at least half a million dead.

And the same is true for Trump. An unpleasant man in many ways, but one who offered what seemed a strong man’s maverick promise for some real changes in America’s deliberately-created hell abroad. Instead, he behaves indistinguishably from what Hillary’s behavior would have been. Interfering in people’s affairs all over the planet, threatening nations, bombing, fomenting coups.

Do we see a pattern here?

Who is elected in America’s political system today can make little if any change, just tweaking this or that, just adjusting this or that domestic program that the establishment has no interest in anyway. The unjustified wars, the coups, the assassinations, the trillions of dollars squandered on the military and the security state, the corruption – none of that can be adjusted anywhere but upward.

Not only is the election system pretty well stacked to start with – two official parties with similar tight hierarchies, big money everywhere, and all kinds of anti-democratic practices: there’s absolutely no room ever for a Mr. Smith goes to Washington – but should anyone unexpected and unwanted somehow squeak through the layers of filters and barriers set by the establishment, he will immediately face the kind of reception experienced by Obama and Trump.

And anyone who really tried to make serious changes has the chilling reminder of John Kennedy’s head smashed like a pumpkin on the streets of Dallas.

As I’ve said a number of times, you can have either a world empire or a decent country, but you cannot have both. America’s establishment made its choice long ago, and it wasn’t for a decent country. Given how pervasive the state apparatchiks now are and how unbelievably well-funded they are and given the immensely wealthy and privileged establishment they serve, an establishment just as lopsided as the Dukes and Bishops of France in the mid-18th century, it is hard to imagine that anything short of catastrophe, either an economic collapse or something similar to what overtook the old Soviet empire, can alter what America has become.

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