Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
No U.S. Presidential candidate since William McKinley in 1896 has received as nearly-unanimous financial backing from America’s wealthiest 0.01% as is Hillary Clinton.
What William Jennings Bryan was to them in 1896, is what Donald John Trump is to them 120 years later in 2016.
Eugene H. Roseboom’s essential 1957 masterpiece, A History of Presidential Elections, described (starting on page 315) the 1896 campaign, by saying:
“Men of wealth, alarmed at the enthusiasm aroused by Bryan and taking at face value the extreme utterances of populist orators, fought back with powerful economic weapons in an attempt to coerce, where persuasion might fail. Labor, the uncertain partner in Bryan’s poorly constructed farmer-labor coalition, was threatened with loss of employment in case Bryan won. Buyers gave orders for materials subject to cancellation if McKinley lost. In some cases, workers were told not to report Wednesday morning after election unless McKinley won. Such methods, coupled with the steady pounding-away at the workingman with the prosperity argument, made of little account the efforts fo those champions of the downtrodden, Governor Altgeld, Eugene V. Debs, and Henry George. … One of Bryan’s greatest handicaps was lack of newspaper support in the larger cities. The Republican press, the independent journals, the influential weeklies such as Harper’s Weekly, the Nation, and the Independent, and most of the larger Democratic papers in the metropolitan centers, were against him.”
Instead of “coercion” then, there is more deceit now, which I have previously described regarding this present campaign. As I noted there, “Sometimes, things in politics are the opposite of the way they seem. The Presidential contest between the ‘liberal’ Hillary Clinton’ and the ‘conservative’ Donald Trump is perhaps the most extreme example of this.”
Why, then, are the billionaires so overwhelmingly backing Hillary Clinton? There are many reasons (which I summarized in my article, just linked-to), but the main one is the proposed so-called ‘trade’ agreements, which are actually treaties that grant to international corporations the ability to sue for multi-billions of dollars any signatory nation that increases an existing regulation to make food or any other product safer for consumers, or to protect the environment, or to protect workers. International corporations say that setting a higher safety-standard comes out of their own hides, costs them profits. Furthermore, another enormous advantage that such treaties provide to the owners of international corporations is that these treaties would be adjudicated in any such case, not in a court of law in any given nation’s judicial system and according to any given nation’s Constitution, but instead by a mere three-person, corporate-attorney panel, of “arbitrators” in each case, whose ruling (regardless of any such Constitution or legal system) in any given case, would be final: non-appealable in any court of law anywhere. Any nation’s Constitution and laws can be ignored there. This will be an evolving international-corporate-sovereign world government, no democratic one at all. In other words: national sovereignty would be yielded up to international corporations, whose powers to add such lawsuits to their existing profit-base, by suing signatory nations for enormous fines for allegedly having reduced their stockholders’ ‘right’ to profit’ (a ‘right’ they hold to be higher than that of any citizen or mere voter) by having raised any such regulatory standard, is the ultimate gift that Hillary Clinton has done everything that she can throughout her career to provide to her financial backers — they want what is currently national sovereignty; they want to supersede it by their international-corporate sovereignty: rights of international corporations to sue nations, and no countervailing right of nations to sue those billionaires who own controlling blocs of stock in those corporations. To be a voter then will become to control nothing; to be a holder of controlling blocs of stock in international corporations will become to control not just this but many nations. That is the ultimate gift, and buying Hillary Clinton is the most important way for billionaires to win it. (Notwithstanding her campaign rhetoric that is designed to convey the opposite impression to the public.)
On September 30th, Britain’s Guardian headlined, “EU and US trade negotiators seek to get TTIP talks back on track”, and reported that, “Officials will rush to ‘lock in progress’ on controversial trade deal before Barack Obama leaves [the] White House in January. … Trade negotiators will meet in New York next week to search for common ground on the controversial EU-US trade deal, which has been buffeted by strong opposition on both sides of the Atlantic. A team of 90 EU negotiators will travel to New York for five days of talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), starting on Monday [October 3rd].”
They still haven’t given up on this dream of Obama and the Clintons — and they won’t. It’s practically the whole ballgame.
U.S. President Barack Obama had wanted his three proposed mega-‘trade’ deals — TTIP, TPP, and TISA — to become his legacy achievement for the aristocracy that has backed his entire political career, and Hillary Clinton is his big hope to get that done for him and for their backers; and, on the economic front (not to mention the national-sovereignty or democracy front) this is the biggest stake, the biggest real issue, of the current Presidential campaign. Donald Trump doesn’t talk about it in this light, but only about “shipping American jobs overseas” (which is actually just a part of this, another very profitable part of it for the owners of international corporations) and no one even asks him about it, but the billionaires seem to be persuaded, anyway, that he’s against their taking over the sovereignty of this and many other countries — against taking sovereignty for themselves, and so against ending democracy for all citizens in any signatory nations.
The only other issue that the international aristocracy are equally united about is their desire to conquer and take control of Russia (via conquering Russian’s few remaining allies, which were Saddam Hussein in 2003, Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, and Bashar al-Assad not yet overthrown and replaced — but aiming ultimately to replace Vladimir Putin in Russia itself). Apparently, the billionaires are also persuaded that a President Hillary Clinton will press forward for them on that “neoconservative” front too, and that a President Donald Trump won’t.
All the rest of the U.S. Presidential campaign is just rhetoric, to fool the masses on these and the other issues. (After all, it’s the way ‘democratic’ politics is done in any “oligarchy” — otherwise called aristocracy.)
The bottom line for the billionaires (both Democratic and Republican) is (and has been) (even before the primaries started) to ‘elect’ Hillary Clinton as the successor to Barack Obama. It’s a one-party government, with two competing segments, one of which is ‘liberal’ and the other of which is ‘conservative’, but both segments of which represent merely different segments of the billionaire-class (not at all the public) — and Donald Trump is winning the financial support of a minority even within his own Party’s segment of the U.S. aristocracy.
That too is similar to 1896. But the stakes this time are much bigger: world dictatorship, and even world war. (Trump seems to be strongly against both; Hillary is clearly pushing toward both, and is furthermore backed by the aristocracy that demands both.)
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.