Friday, August 26, 2016

Never Hillary/Trump? Johnson, not McMullin

I don’t know when it happened.  Maybe it was 8 years ago when Obama won his first presidential election.  Maybe it was when Bill Clinton was in the Whitehouse.  Maybe it was right after the last election.  Whenever it happened our shadow government, “the owners” as Carlin called them, decided that Hillary Clinton was going to be the president of the United States.  Full stop.  Maybe the decision was made at each of these time points, but just with more resolution as to the timing and method.  The back room details can’t be known, but the public process can be observed and all the folks with money and power are working together to anoint her.

After looking at the process and outcome of the Democratic primary, I think most people have accepted that to be the case, at least as far as the Democratic Party was concerned.  What some people might not realize is that the Republicans, particularly in the person of Mitt Romney have been working towards the same goal.   This may seem like an odd thing to say, but let me lay out the story for you that started to form in my mind when the Republicans were down to three quasi-viable candidates, but became absolutely clear when Romney gave his speech rejecting Donald Trump. 
Since the true origins of this sort of thing are never visible to schmoes dependent on internet news stories, one of the earlier parts of this story was Romney’s decision to have one of his campaign funding summits to cultivate contacts between GOP presidential hopefuls, party officials, and funders.  It was a sort of like he was playing match-maker for a political party that didn’t have a strong personality that could rally the voters and remain in the party mainstream.  Romney and the RNC gave no serious effort to narrowing the field and the result was a long list of possible, but unsatisfactory candidates, each with a hodge podge of strengths and drawbacks so as to thoroughly divide the voters.  Whatever was going on in the secret meetings, the most abecedarian of mistakes had been made.  Everyone knows that you divide then conquer, and yet here the Republican leadership had successfully divided the party themselves. 
Somewhere in the midst of all this Donald Trump joined the panel and began flexing his reality T. V. muscles in the debates to draw the media’s shocked attention.  This of course won him tremendous free campaigning, while the more reasonable candidates with greater potential to attract the growing number of independent voters quietly dropped out of the race one-by-one.  A telling event regarding the strategy was Bill Clinton’s conversation with Stephen Colbert on Late Night where he suggested that Trump’s run would be a strategic boon for Hillary’s campaign.  Here was a candidate that could stir up enough interest to take the primary, but would be too scandalous to win the final.

With the increasing absurdity and scariness of Trump’s antics and popularity, Mitt Romney called a press conference to put a stop to this evil candidate once and for all.  However, in his speech he did very much the opposite.  Romney’s failure to endorse another candidate guaranteed that the voters for Trump’s competition would remain divided among themselves.  Thus by rejecting Trump with his words, Romney guaranteed him the nomination with his actions.  Round two: divide and conquer. (One of the relevant bits comes up at around 5:22.)

Without getting into the details of the shadiness, the manufactured consent, that got Hillary the Democrat nomination, voters in both parties have been clearly left terribly unsatisfied with the candidates they’ve been gifted, except for of course a few radical weirdos.  So where can the Bernie-bots go to get their peace-mongering candidate?  Where can conservatives go that at least tries to pretend to be mentally balanced?  Gary Johnson, we turn our lonely eyes to you. 
Socially liberal, fiscally conservative: this is a platform that, in spite of the way it irritates many philosophically pure libertarians (those folks can never be satisfied), it is in fact a much better match for the actual views of real live Americans than the “major party” contenders offer, and the Libertarians are already on the ballot in all 50 states.  Not only that, the polling numbers appear to be creeping towards qualifying the candidate for the major election debates, the real chance to show the American people how much he agrees with them.  As it is, a growing number of GOP politicians are coming to endorse Johnson’s candidacy.

The chance of a win is still low, but a lot of people are counting on the possibility of pushing the election onto Congress as a way of protesting the corruption of our system.  It is in this context that for the third time we get to see the political right divide and conquer its voters to ensure Hillary her presidency, and again with close connections to Mitt Romney.  This third division depends on the peculiarities of the Mormon voting bloc. 
Aside from the state where he was governor, Utah is one of the few places where Johnson has a strong chance of capturing the electoral votes.  Between Romney’s anti-endorsement, Trump’s crass behavior, and the vague threat Trump presents to religious freedom in the U.S., Mormons are largely in the lurch, looking for a third party option.  Johnson offers a good option for the staunchly red state due to his fiscal conservatism, small-government mind-set, and respect for the Constitution.  According to Mormonism, the Constitution is a divinely inspired document, not quite scripture, but more than a merely human product.  As it turns out this respect for the Constitution is an important part of the context that is being leveraged by Romney affiliates to cut Johnson’s chances of threatening a Hillary win. 
There’s a prophecy among Mormons that a time would come when the Constitution will “hang from a thread” and that it will only be supported by Mormon Elders.  Because of this prophecy there is a large number of Mormons who, given the chance, will always vote for a Mormon candidate.  Throughout the primary campaigns such people regularly made Facebook posts expressing their hopes that Romney would change his mind and run.  Of course a Romney run seems ridiculously improbable now, but such voters have received their Mormon candidate anyway.

Evan McMullin, whose exact ties to Romney aren’t totally clear from the information I’ve gathered, is at the very least being funded by some of the same groups that funded Romney’s campaign.  In any case, he’s got the squeaky clean Mormon image, and makes his talking points hitting all the right tone to sound like a moderate Republican / local Mormon church leader, so his appeal to the Mormon voter is totally predictable.  But for the most part, as a candidate, he came pretty much out of nowhere.  His particular “nowhere” should, with about two seconds of reasonable thought, send up about a hundred red flags in the minds of anyone who wants to vote against the kind of governmental corruption that Hillary represents. 

Specifically, his primary claim to qualification for the presidency is his work in the CIA and later as a policy director for House Republicans.  This is clearly a guy who is enmeshed in the military industrial complex that is working so fervently to ensure that the U.S. is never not at war again, and that the Middle-east will never become stable enough for self-determination and peace.  And to add icing to this he also spent some time working for the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs, so you can add that to his probable entaglements.  In essence, except for something like Obamacare, you can pretty well imagine the far-fetched presidency of Evan McMullin would be the same thing as a Clinton presidency in terms of policy.  And of course the press seem to be on board, because whenever they talk about McMullin they magically forget that there are already two third-party candidates with much higher chances for challenging the Hillary-Trump matrix and pretend Gary Johnson doesn’t exist.  “Look here disaffected Republicans!  This is your only guy!”

Whether he knows it or not, and I imagine he does, McMullin’s only job is to divide voters and make sure Hillary wins.