But it seems the baton is set to be passed to someone new, and the question – as pressing as ever for any American – comes down to this: what flavor of sweet, sickly, fizzy poison do you want to spend the next four years drinking: Coke or Pepsi?
I see so-called elections as public festivals, choreographed charades where masquerade combines with burlesque in a meaningless – though well-attended – pageant. They are theater, WWE wrestling with a very short multiple-choice question at the end – one in which there is no real choice.
An election is a public relations stunt to keep people convinced that they have a real say in things, and it serves to train them like Pavlov’s dogs to begin salivating – yet again – at the prospect of things being different this time, when only an idiot doesn’t know that things will be exactly as they have been up to now – only worse.
The other great thing about elections – besides the spectacle and distraction they provide – is that they generate a lot of money.
In the 2012 elections, a total of $1,325.4 billion was received in contributions, with the Democrats sucking in $722.4 million and the Republicans $598.3 million.
To better understand exactly how much money that is, consider this: You could make the four most expensive Hollywood films of all time (the two costliest Pirates of the Caribbean, plus Avengers: Age of Ultron, and John Carter) and still have enough left over for a good slice of Tangled. All those films – with the exception of John Carter – went on to make a robust profit.
Obama is responsible for more debt in dollar terms than any previous president, adding $6.167 trillion to the deficit – a 53 percent increase. George W. Bush managed $5.849 trillion.
This is excellent news for the so-called Federal Reserve and the secret cabal which runs it since it creates this ‘money’ out of thin air and charges the US taxpayer interest on it.
But it is tragic for everyone else.
And rather than call time on the highly questionable Federal Reserve Act that allowed the creation of the so-called Federal Reserve under Woodrow Wilson, new presidents do nothing about the financial tyranny under which the people who think they elect them live.
Quite the reverse.
Marc Rich – a financial fraudster who was on the lam in the face of 300 years in prison was pardoned by Bill Clinton in the final hours of his presidency. Rich died in 2013 in Switzerland and is now buried in Israel. Obama went into office after the 2008 election owing $778,642,962 worth of favors. It may not be surprising, therefore, that since Goldman Sachs was Obama’s largest single contributor, it was never prosecuted for its part in the financial crash.
The fact is that by the time presidents get to sit their posteriors behind the desk in the Oval Office, that part of them is owned lock, stock and barrel.
One of the key actors in the charade this time round in the role of Judy – I mean the Democrats – is Hillary Clinton. Clinton would be a strong choice since she withdrew her candidacy in favor of Obama during the last charade – and that move will have come at a price. And since she has made it clear to the Council on Foreign Relations (which she admits tells her what to do) that she will continue to support the military industrial complex, Halliburton stock will do well on her watch.
So far as I can work out, the producers of the soap opera known as Party Politics both sides of the Atlantic have decided to chuck in an echo from the days when the US and the UK had people living in them with solid jobs and who made actual stuff.
The UK got Jeremy Corbyn – a man who looks like a geography teacher on a field trip the purpose of which he has forgotten – and the US got Bernie Sanders. These dramatis personae are supposed to appeal to those who are disillusioned with the more polished and glitzy parade of falsity and special interests, and to inject some street-level authenticity into the mix.
In the US, it seems Sanders has been given some time on the pitch in case anyone asks why it is that two key contenders – Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush – are close relatives of previous presidents.
As a key representative for Punch this time we have Donald Trump. Like the career politicians, he says what he thinks people want to hear. Unlike them, he doesn’t practice his lines in front of the mirror first.
Trump is considered a renegade. Something like Ross Perot back in 1992, he is self-made and not shy of telling it like he sees it. His lack of political polish is something that also plays well to the spin-weary masses.
Unlike most the competition, Trump is already mega-rich – he has around 4.5 billion dollars. The implication is supposed to be that because he is mega-rich, he is incorruptible. That’s a nice idea, except for the fact that 3.5 billion clearly wasn’t enough for him or he would have stopped there, so there’s little reason to believe 4.5 billion will do it for him, either.
But he’s not averse to sticking his neck out. Trump told Republican Jews that they wouldn’t support him because he "didn’t want their money" – a fact which given the traditional full-body prostrations by presidential hopefuls before the altar of AIPAC might lead one to conclude that he’s dead in the political waters. However, he can cite a wealth of pro-Israeli credentials, including a Jewish daughter and two Jewish grandchildren. The Times of Israel quotes him as saying: “We love Israel. We will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1,000 percent. It will be there forever.”
It remains to be seen if such protestations of undying loyalty to this other country will be enough to save his bacon, so to speak.
So why do it to yourself? Why waste any more of your life falling for this nonsense? Go and find a really old person – the oldest person you can find – and ask them if voting ever made a difference. We all know the answer: of course it didn’t. The rich and the powerful ran roughshod over everyone else and the controlled media spouted a fantasy version of reality then just as it does now.
But the tax drones still think they live in a free country and if they just vote hard enough and long enough everything – one day – will be great.
You believe it if you want to. I don’t.