Regardless who wins the presidential election of 2016, it is certain that insider dealings and conflicts of interest (or, in plain English, corruption) will remain integral components of the Washington political system.  Those who have been tasked with serving the people use their tenure in office to enrich themselves and their families, and care nothing about the fate of those they are supposed to be serving.

One needs only to glance at the revelations about the Clintons.  According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, former president Bill Clinton “earned” an incredible $105 million from giving speeches between the years 2001 and 2012.  And, of course, the checks were the largest during the time when his wife was Secretary of State.  He received, for example, between $500,000 to $1.4 million for various speaking engagements to foreign corporations.

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But of course, all of these engagements were cleared by ethics lawyers beforehand, so all is well.  Of course they were cleared.  The elites investigate themselves, and never find themselves wanting.  Of course the outcome would be far different if ordinary mortals were concerned.  The problem has been going on for some time.  Ronald Reagan accepted $2 million in 1989 for a speaking engagement in Japan.

Contrast this with the ethic of Harry Truman, who left the office of president with no house of his own and in near impoverishment; he spent the remainder of his days in Independence, Missouri, eating sardine sandwiches and playing cards.  Or consider Theodore Roosevelt, who nearly killed himself with exertions of all types after he left office, including the exploration of an Amazonian tributary.

Public officials are supposed to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.  And there is no doubt that when a company is paying a politician hundreds of thousands of dollars, that politician is going to treat the company and its country favorably.  If Hillary Clinton is elected president, control over the Clinton Foundation—which accepts contributions from foreign donors—will almost certainly pass to her daughter, thus ensuring that insider dealings with family members are added to the conflict of interest problems that already exist.

But this is how American politicians see themselves:  they are the new royalty, and they need answer to no one, least of all us insignificant peons.  Corruption has always existed and will always exist, but it is a matter of degree and scale.  As things are now, the scale has gotten so far out of hand that drastic reforms need to be undertaken.

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American politicians see the public as nothing but a source of contempt and derision.  Clinton recently called half of the supporters of her rival Donald Trump “deplorable.”  Which, of course, means that she views a large portion of the American public as “deplorable.”  I can’t recall any similar example of a candidate attacking the supporters of a rival candidate.  Attacking a rival candidate is one thing, and certainly expected, but attacking a huge segment of the population of one’s own country is something very different.

In the logic of the elites, there is one rule for them, and one rule for everyone else.  They are entitled to enrich themselves and their families, and the rest of us are entitled to nothing.

Meanwhile, military planners take things one step further by openly preparing for armed insurrections in the United States.  One of the most chilling articles to appear in recent memory in military circles—totally ignored by the mainstream press—was entitled Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland:  A “Vision” of the Future.  The article argues that in the near future, the military must be prepared to respond to domestic disturbances and civil insurrections.  The following hypothetical is proposed.  We may call it the “Darlington Scenario”:

The Great Recession of the early twenty-first century lasts far longer than anyone anticipated….The United States economy has flatlined, much like Japan’s in the 1990s, for the better part of a decade.  By 2016, the economy shows signs of reawakening, but the middle and lower-middle classes have yet to experience much in the way of job growth or pay raises.  Unemployment continues to hover perilously close to double digits, small businesses cannot meet bankers’ terms to borrow money, and taxes on the middle class remain relatively high.

A high-profile and vocal minority has directed the public’s fear and frustration at nonwhites and immigrants.  After almost ten years of race-baiting and immigrant-bashing by right-wing demagogues, nearly one in five Americans reports being vehemently opposed to immigration, legal or illegal, and even U.S.-born nonwhites have become occasional targets for mobs of angry whites.

In May 2016 an extremist militia motivated by the goals of the “tea party” movement takes over the government of Darlington, South Carolina, occupying City Hall, disbanding the city council, and placing the mayor under house arrest.  Activists remove the chief of police and either disarm local police and county sheriff departments or discourage them from interfering.  In truth, this is hardly necessary….The militia members are organized and have a relatively well thought-out plan of action.

With Darlington under their control, militia members quickly move beyond the city limits to establish “check points” – in reality, something more like choke points — on major transportation lines.  Traffic on I-95, the East Coast’s main north-south artery; I-20; and commercial and passenger rail lines are stopped and searched, allegedly for “illegal aliens.”  Citizens who complain are immediately detained.  Activists also collect “tolls” from drivers, ostensibly to maintain public schools and various city and county programs, but evidence suggests the money is actually going toward quickly increasing stores of heavy weapons and ammunition…

When the leaders of the group hold a press conference to announce their goals, they invoke the Declaration of Independence and argue that the current form of the federal government is not deriving its “just powers from the consent of the governed” but is actually “destructive to these ends.”  Therefore, they say, the people can alter or abolish the existing government and replace it with another that, in the words of the Declaration, “shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

While mainstream politicians and citizens react with alarm, the “tea party” insurrectionists in South Carolina enjoy a groundswell of support from other tea party groups, militias, racist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan, anti-immigrant associations such as the Minutemen, and other right-wing groups…

The mayor of Darlington calls the governor and his congressman.  He cannot act to counter the efforts of the local tea party because he is confined to his home and under guard.  The governor, who ran on a platform that professed sympathy with tea party goals, is reluctant to confront the militia directly.  He refuses to call out the National Guard…

The article goes on to suggest ways that the chief executive can make use of the Insurrection Act of 1807.  The Act has undergone some renewal and modification in recent years, and there is little doubt that this will be the choice legal mechanism to keep the restless masses under control when the expected civil disturbances begin in the near future. As the article explains, the Insurrection Act is so vaguely worded that almost anything can fall under the category of “insurrection.”

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What is interesting about the article is the choice of hypothetical used.  Official “enemies” are those who have been denied economic opportunity and jobs, rather than the plunderers and parasites at the top who enriched themselves at the expense of their fellow-citizens.  More than anything else, the Darlington Scenario provides a window into the mind of the elites:  we exist to serve them and cheer on their policies.

Any expression of dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs will be seen as “rebellion” or “insurrection” and will be dealt with accordingly.  Of course, certain protected classes and ideologies will not fall under such scrutiny.  One would be hard-pressed to find an article in a military journal about using force to contain riots or civil disturbances caused by violent social justice warriors, for example.  That would involve inquiry into forbidden areas of political correctness.

The message is clear:  there is one rule for elites, and another rule for the rest of us.  The function of the public is to accept its marginalization and impoverishment with cries of joy.  Where this will all lead, we will leave to the reader’s informed imagination.

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