Strakon Lights Up, No. 84

Bush and the Suits


The Dark Suits have a good reason to desire the election of George W., according to a theory advanced by a friend of mine. Because of my strategic assumption that all the worst horrors must come to pass, I've been assuming that we'd better gird ourselves for the horror of Gorror. But if my buddy is right, the worse of the two evils may pass us by, for the Suits usually get what they want.

For the nonce I'm going to hold off on saying what the Suits' reason is and instead try to figure out whether they are, indeed, backing — or at least are refraining from sabotaging — Bush the Lesser. I think there's some evidence pointing in that direction.

Naturally, the established media are generally anti-Republican and anti-Bush. But that's just the general drift of things; it's political gravity at work. What we need to remember is that the Red Guards of the established media work for the Dark Suits, who, as the gods of our political-economic universe, have the power to fine-tune the force of gravity to suit themselves. In view of that fact, notice that Bush has gotten away virtually scot-free with touching the "third rail of American politics" — Social Security. Certainly Gore has criticized Bush's plan and criticized it harshly; but the media's own scaremongering machine seems to have fallen victim to a dead battery. The same is true with respect to attacking Dick Cheney. As I've written previously, the media Left's early attempts to demonize Cheney as a fever swamper from the far Right came off as half-hearted and confused. And the campaign didn't get very far before they just quit trying. Moreover, I expected the media to demonize Bush over capital punishment and gun control, and that hasn't happened, either.

By definition, if a ruling class exists, then every nominee of the two official duopoly parties will be acceptable to it. That doesn't mean, though, that our rulers won't prefer one hired hand over another. Most analysts agree that in 1996 the ruling class clearly preferred Bill Clinton over Bob Dole. For one thing, Clinton seemed to have a much easier time than Democrat candidates normally have in attracting campaign money from the largest banks and transnationals, while Dole seemed to have a much harder time than Republican candidates normally have.

I say "seemed" because as a result of the 1970s campaign-finance "reforms" it is vastly more difficult than it used to be to detect the pattern of corporate contributions. An overwhelming proportion of the hard money that candidates receive nowadays comes from so-called individual contributors, and you can well imagine what protracted, heavy-duty research would be necessary to account for each of their corporate and banking affiliations, before the analyst could even think about painting the big picture. The job is made even more difficult by the fact that some individual contributors disguise or effectively omit their affiliations. And many, of course, channel extra contributions through their spouse. (I speak from bitter experience in doing such research with regard to a Senate campaign.)

According to the FEC Info Website, Bush seems to be having much better luck than Gore in attracting hard money from "individuals." Through June 30, Bush's campaign had received $87,383,068, while Gore's had received only $33,812,199. Some of that money, certainly, came from individual donors reflecting the common stereotype of "Aunt Sally in Topeka," but we may rest assured that a high proportion of the bucks came from metropolitan folks who are much better networked than Aunt Sally and much more attentive to which candidate the CEO upstairs would like to see in the Presidential Palace.

According to Common Cause, both duopoly parties have done considerably better in raising soft money from business entities during the 1999-2000 election cycle than they did during the 1995-1996 cycle. With respect to contributions of $10,000 or more, the Democrats have increased their take from $48,542,649 to $81,336,142, which is a hike of more than 67 percent. Pretty impressive. But the Republicans have increased their take from $61,129,898 to $114,669,682 — a hike of more than 87 percent.


Let me give the Gore-style numerology a rest and finally explain my friend's theory. His idea is that, given the drastically and rapidly changing demographics in America, the 2000 election may well be the Republicans' last chance to ever elect a president. And if this is not its last chance, he'd like someone to tell him how many more chances the G.O.P. can possibly have.

Other observers have said as much, but my friend goes on to argue that the Dark Suits surely can't desire any such state of affairs to come to pass. For the foreseeable future, at least, our rulers and their Ministry of Truth have to be able to refer to a "two-party system" without generating instant guffaws from even the most credulous and ignorant of the sheeple. If a "major" party can't hope to elect a president, and that inability becomes obvious to everybody, the party is no longer very major, no matter how many statehouses it may hold. The states are at least halfway to becoming mere provinces of the Central Government, after all. The most recent evidence of that is the Central Government diktat Clinton signed the other day that requires the states to toughen their definition of drunk driving or lose Central Government highway funds.

My friend's theory strikes me as pretty provocative, so I'm going to take it and run with it and see where it leads.


The American empire has entered its mature phase, and the old republican institutions survive mostly as forms emptied of all republican substance; but empty forms can be useful to a ruling class for a long time. The Roman Senate still existed in the early 500s when Theodoric of the Ostrogoths ruled Italy. Although the Senate had been emptied of all republican significance centuries before, it was retained for a reason: the senators served as administrative officials, helping Theodoric rule.

So, too, does a "two-party system," however fraudulent, help the Dark Suits rule. The carefully manipulated tension of two-party competition works well in recruiting reliable new members of the political class and in testing their mettle against each other. Two-party competition also helps keep the higher circles' ruling hand invisible: the apparently authentic jostling and tugging and hard brokering between two competing parties help trick the people into believing that policies actually settled upon in private ruling-class councils are cobbled together piece by piece in official public forums by their official elected representatives, just as the civics books would have them believe.

Symbolism can be important, even for a debased and degraded population, and even when the symbolism is puzzlingly anachronistic. For example, George W. Bush takes pains to sound like a libertarian in one sentence, promising to leave money in the hands of the people who earned it and to keep bureaucrats from running people's lives, although everyone knows he is bound to revert to outright totalitarianism in the next sentence, promising to run leviathan efficiently with no thought whatever of trying to dismantle it wholesale. From that, I gather that the people who are psychic captives of the current System still need to hear traditional republican or libertarian chatter from time to time, even though they would run like mad from the reality. A formal one-party regime will probably be symbolically unsatisfactory in the view of the ruling class until a sufficient proportion of the American population hails from parts of the world — or from dark corners of America itself — that are untouched by traditional American republican or libertarian sentiments. That must happen in time; but the Republican Party must be preserved in the meantime.

Yet how long can it be preserved? What those who talk about the Republicans' "last chance" mean is that the 2000 election is the party's last chance to seize the Presidential Palace without attracting huge numbers of votes from non-Western minorities. That implies only a four-year reprieve for the ruling class before it faces the major embarrassment of having one of its official parties die in its arms — or at most an eight-year reprieve if Bush fully capitalizes on the advantages of incumbency. After four or eight years, the rising tide of color will inexorably elevate the Democrats to permanent and too, too obvious monopoly status.

The ruling class isn't likely to sit around and wait for that elevation to happen. We can't tell what else our permanent rulers may have up their sleeve, but it's plausible to assume that they have made it clear to their servants in the G.O.P. hierarchy that, if they wish to survive as major players in politics, Republicans must truckle and truckle hard to the colored minorities and other non-Western aliens who will dominate the population in the coming decades.

Already George W. Bush is doing his very best to truckle without alienating the traditional Republican core. And the pollsters say that he is having better luck keeping his party's core intact, despite his truckling, than Gore is having keeping his core intact. Even if Bush gets himself elected this time without winning considerable numbers of votes from non-Western minorities, it's clear that he and the Republican Party establishment already understand that success in truckling is going to be imperative in future campaigns.

That is the sense in which this year's "last chance" crisis is also an opportunity for Republicans. A Bush victory this year would give his party a chance to perfect and escalate its truckling, so it could win more minority votes next time. Or, rather, buy  minority votes in the same way the Democrats buy them when they're in control of the welfare and race-privilege apparatus.


I continue to think that the Clinton/Gore regime was just about perfect for the ruling class: it served the Dark Suits' material interests while simultaneously serving, or seeming to serve, or at least appease, a wide variety of Red Guard constituencies. However, conditions change, and ruling classes must change their tactics accordingly. Our ultimate rulers must expect to derive an overall profit, of some sort, from the ongoing demographic revolution, in light of their strenuous efforts to accelerate and exacerbate that revolution. But it is carrying them along as well as us, and it will present them with new challenges as well as rewards. If my friend is right, in helping Bush make it into the Palace the ruling class would be helping itself manage one big looming challenge.

There is one aspect of my friend's theory that's truly distressing. There's no way I can bring myself to root for Gore even if a Gore victory might inconvenience the ruling class. I wouldn't root for Gore if my feet were on fire and that was the only way to put them out. But the alternative isn't much more attractive: in rooting (sort of) for Bush the master truckler I'm going to be sitting on the same side of the gym as our rulers!

On the other hand, I guess that's not nearly as bad as actually going out and voting for someone.

October 28, 2000

© 2000 by WTM Enterprises. All rights reserved.

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