Hillary Clinton’s Emails and the Crisis of Legitimacy
Hillary Clinton has escaped indictment – as almost universally expected – for commingling her email communications as secretary of state with her personal business, including the global money laundering, bribery and extortion racket called the Clinton Foundation. The Clintons are capable of infinite corruption. That’s why they’re in politics: to protect the criminal enterprises of the truly rich people they serve, and to become rich, themselves. That is the nature of the system – and the system works; it provides impunity to the powerful.
FBI Director James Comey essentially admitted as much when he acknowledged that there was “evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information.” A reasonable person in Clinton’s position “should have known” that what she was doing was violating the law. But, he said, the FBI’s “judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” The public knows perfectly well that what Comey really means is that there’s no way he was going to keep the rulers of the United States from getting the president they want.
So, Hillary gets off, as did the warlord General David Petraeus and other insiders who were not fully prosecuted for clearly breaking the law. Yet, President Obama has shattered all historical records in treating whistleblowers as spies. Obama pushed for and got the power to detain people indefinitely without trial or charge, but is so tolerant of systemic criminality among Wall Street bankers that his own attorney general had to briefly admit that the Lords of Capital are “too big to jail.” So, on the one hand, the fundamental right to due process under the law has ceased to exist – yet, for the rich impunity has become all but absolute.
The rulers are caught in a crisis of legitimacy. Obscenely concentrated wealth has turned U.S. society into a Constitution-free zone for the wealthy, who behave as if they are a separate species. They have exhausted the tolerance even of white Americans, descendants of Europeans who came here hoping to become rich, but now despair of keeping their heads above water and are growing to despise the 1%.
Black folks are waking up – angry! – after two generations of relative quietude, pushing back against a police state that is coddled by Congress, upheld by the Supreme Court, and unchallenged by the executive branch. The system is leaking legitimacy like a sieve.
Donald Trump is seen as illegitimate by probably a majority of Americans, but so is Hillary Clinton. In some ways, Clinton is even more revolting. Most people that hate Trump can point to one or more of his specific policies or statements. However, people are just plain repulsed by Hillary Clinton. If pressed on why they find her so distasteful, folks say she is dishonest, not to be trusted – but usually offer no particulars. What they really feel, is that she is corrupt to the bone; that she personifies the Lie that the top of society tells to the bottom.
The crisis of legitimacy becomes acute when enough people say, “Who are you to hold power over me?”
Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.