US government is unaccountable, released from constitutional and legal constraints

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Image Credits: Vox Efx, Flickr

If you require more evidence that the United States is a dysfunctional society, observe American elections.

Election season is slander season. Each party’s attack teams focus on misrepresenting, defaming, and ridiculing the opposing party’s candidates. Attack ads have replaced debates and any discussion of what the issues are, or should be, and how candidates perceive the public’s interest. Each attack team tells lies designed to enrage various voters about the other team’s candidate.

Whoever is elected is indebted not to voters but to the special interests that provided the campaign money. Once elected the official serves the private interest groups that put the official in office. In America the government can be bought and sold just like everything else. In its Citizens United ruling, a Republican Supreme Court put its stamp of approval on the right of corporations to purchase the US government.

Each state has its own dominant interest groups that win every election. In Florida real estate developers routinely defeat the environment and local communities. Developers have even been known to form organizations that pose as conservation supporters in order to misrepresent and defeat conservation measures.

Yet, despite their long string of losses to special interests, voters still participate in elections. I once read a theory that elections are a form of entertainment. President Clinton’s encounter with the young woman on MTV–”boxers or briefs”–is one indication of the lack of seriousness that Americans bring to politics.

Perhaps the lighter moment of a young woman’s interest in the president’s underwear should be cherished. The Clinton years will be remembered as scandal after scandal with dark events unresolved and covered up. The Clinton years were transformative. For those who don’t remember and those too young at the time to be aware, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s book, The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories (1997), will be an eye-opener. Perhaps the Democrats should read the book before nominating Hillary as the party’s presidential candidate.

Evans-Pritchard was Washington bureau chief for the Sunday Telegraph, one of the main British newspapers. He was stunned by how the American media ceased to function during the Clinton years. The Clinton years gave us such events as the federal government’s murder of the Branch Davidians in their Waco compound and subsequent coverup, the Oklahoma City bombing and coverup, and the coverup of the apparent murder of White House counsel Vincent Foster.

Written by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS 
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