Every four years, Americans suspend disbelief, and pretend that there is some democratic process underway.
I've been asked to clarify where I stand on Trump vs. Clinton, and how the importance of this election lines up with my long-held analysis that the US is an oligarchical Republic but not the 'Democracy' it pretends to be.
Rather, the 'Optimates' on behalf of the Patricians (Oligarchs) choose the president, not the 'Populares' on behalf of the proletarians and plebians (the people).
Within the US establishment, there are many individuals, many geniuses, and many big egos. Power is created and recreated everyday. Power can change hands very quickly, within a limited sphere of action, normally among the Optimates.
How do we reconcile that the Optimates choose the president they want anyway, but that simultaneously, 'who' the president is will have some distinct and concrete ramifications that separate him or her from the other candidate?
It is complex, but can be explained in simple terms:
Whoever the establishment wants, they will get. But for the last year, they have been trying to sort out which way they will go forward.
If they choose Clinton, it is because they think they can maintain the same model they have been using, based on a particular type of Empire building on the neo-liberal model. It means they have some confidence in the efficacy of militarism, war, and adventurism. For this to be effective on a broader scale than under Bush, and more towards the very very scary direction we've seen under Obama the left must be tied to the power institution (see Wilson, Roosevelt, Johnson etc. etc.).
If they choose Trump, it is because they do not think they can maintain the same model they have been using, and will draw themselves in, and do some time saving or re-configuring of the US economy and its power mechanisms, which takes into account of the US's diminished role in the world. This 'America First' is also called isolationism or non-interventionism. This is because the US is broke. It would want to hide its weakness and bankruptcy under the authoritarian-ish guise of a somewhat comical made for reality TV 'Strongman'. Americans could feel either very good or very scared about their president, instead of feeling either very good or very scared about the failing empire.
Unless this will be a Trump or Clinton upset beyond recognition, this will be a "51-49" race (actually, 47-48). That means that Diebold will come into play and perhaps be used to see the victory of the candidate which represents the 4-8 year plan.
So it is not a question of who we vote for, but who they want for us. But even 'they' do not know who they want for us, and 'they' are divided.
It's clear that there is a serious contradiction: Clinton represents the party of war, imperialism, murder, and a wanton disrespect for civilized norms and the future of existence on the planet earth; but those Americans focused purely on America's navel-gazing internal boring drama crap, the stuff policy wonks get boners for, believe she is more 'peace like' in the sense that she nominally makes more well publicized nods at things which, symbolically, 'feel' like something 'progressive'. At any rate, poverty and the incarceration of 'minorities', and as well the deportations of 1st peoples and indigenous peoples from their own historic migratory lands, increased under Obama and will increase under Clinton
Trump, contradictorally, represents a coup within a republican party which no longer has a central loci of power in neo-conservatism, as these neo-conservatives, like the parasites they are, migrated into the Democratic Party where they are surely entrenched for the coming decade or half decade. While breaking all of the internal american rules of 'convention' and 'offending those with sensitive ears', riling up the dangerous-because-still-uncivilized plebian populists, Trump is positioned to roll back US adventurism.
I have forecasted that since Sept 2013, the US lost its claim to empire. In a way, we can thank an unpresuming but finally larger than life person, Mother Superior Agnes Mariam de la Croix in Syria, who exposed the chemical weapons lie. England could not be moved to bomb Syria, and the US pretended that Congress had to vote on such a matter.
Therefore, I would like to see a Trump win not because 'we' are going to have that call to make, but because of what it probably represents on the institutional level.
By Joaquin Flores