Since I have entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in commerce and manufacture are afraid of somebody, afraid of something. They know there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when the speak in condemnation of it. (Woodrow Wilson, circa 1912)
I have grown more detached and distant from partisan politics since I began to understand it better – a mere distraction. This is not to say that the offices held by various officials are not important, but rather that our selections usually guarantee that no true outsider ever makes his or her way in. Further, office holders are usually corrupt – in fact, corruption is a qualification for office, as it makes a person easier to control.
So I imagine that even relatively decent people who make their way of high office, if not compromised beforehand, are after. Washington is a world of eavesdropping, easy sex and bribes, and two-way mirrors. And if no controversy exists, one can be manufactured.
So I don’t think voting matters. Any way we look at it, we lose.
The office of president is not cast to the wind, however – it is too powerful, too important, to be left in the hands of amateurs. The people who happen to grace that office can be highly astute or very dumb, from Rhodes Scholars and professors to mere caretaker generals to very dumb men like George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. The dumb ones don’t actually take part in policy discussions – in fact, Reagan was shunted to the side and ignored after his attempted assassination right after taking office. We really had twelve years of George H.W. Bush.
It’s all interesting, however, and I’ve stumbled across this before … that Theodore Roosevelt, trust buster, was actually a JP Morgan man, and was persuaded to run as an independent in 1912 to weaken Howard Taft and clear the way for Wall Street’s preferred candidate, Woodrow Wilson.
It makes me reflect on my own ill-considered support for Ralph Nader in 2000, whose only impact was to weaken Al Gore. I don’t care about Gore, just another phony, but I wonder about Nader’s genuineness creds, and of course feel abused and ashamed at being played so easily.
We’ve had a string of interesting men in office, however, and Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are not fools – I imagine each is (was) actively involved in formulating and carrying out mischievous US policy, always subject to oversight, of course,
Which leads me to something that just floors me, it is so intriguing. I don’t know what it means. I believe in coincidence – it has deeply affected my own life. But this is so strange …
Hale Boggs, father of NPR correspondent Cokie Roberts, was a member of the Warren Commission, but a disgruntled one. He only signed on to the final report reluctantly and under pressure. He later became an open critic of the report, wanting a new and better investigation of the JFK murder …
…except, he died in a plane crash in Alaska, his body never recovered. That’s very fishy, and sounds like murder, but without a body, there is no crime to investigate. That event is not uncommon in American politics where small planes are deadly for dissidents of all stripes. The Kennedy family alone has lost three members to small planes, almost a fourth.
Here’s what is so intriguing: Boggs was driven to the airport that morning, October 16, 1972, by a young man whose name we all recognize … William Jefferson Clinton.