No one takes "democracy" seriously, and this is because, despite the pompous verbiage, democracy is about the bring to power of one’s favorite media image by any means necessary. Democracy is about manipulating enough people to vote for an image hundreds of times removed from reality. It is a pageant of power, of fund-raising and the manipulation of images. In short, it is alchemy: the manipulation of images to create a counter-reality, and this counter-reality is what is “voted” on. It is this counter-reality, which is filtered through hundreds of "image-makers," campaign staffers, major donors, major media, ad agencies, PR agencies, and dozens of other species of manipulation. It is not a part of reality.
Of course, everything in this fallen world is about power. Universal "ideals," such as “equality” or “liberty,” exist as another form of alchemy, the use of such images disguises the unchanged nature of being: that of force. The use of such mindless slogans are mere symbols for a faction who seeks power at the expense of another.
Of course, power is money and money is power. Modernity can be reduced to the alchemical alteration of all actual reality, i.e. Aristotle’s essences, into money. Everything has a monetary value, and this, for the nominalist, is the nature of all things. Hence, just for the McCain candidacy in 2008, here are the top donors to date (all figures from the FEC database):
- Merrill Lynch $284,610
- Citigroup Inc $252,801
- Morgan Stanley $211,821
- Goldman Sachs $198,045
- Blank Rome LLP $171,026
- AT&T Inc $169,613
- JPMorgan Chase & Co $165,275
- Greenberg Traurig LLP $152,687
- Credit Suisse Group $133,125
- UBS AG $127,315
- Bank of America $116,125
- US Government $114,176
- Lehman Brothers $112,700
- PricewaterhouseCoopers $111,070
- Wachovia Corp $111,046
- FedEx Corp $97,753
- Pinnacle West Capital $94,900
- Bear Stearns $90,100
- Blackstone Group $89,500
- Bank of New York Mellon $89,500
What is even more interesting is the fact that the above list is nearly identical to the list of Obama's top donors:
- Goldman Sachs $627,730
- University of California $523,120
- JPMorgan Chase & Co $398,021
- Citigroup Inc $393,899
- UBS AG $378,400
- Google Inc $373,212
- Harvard University $369,802
- Lehman Brothers $353,922
- National Amusements Inc $352,603
- George Soros $347,463
- Sidley Austin LLP $326,845
- Skadden, Arps et al $304,050
- Time Warner $298,972
- Morgan Stanley $291,388
- Microsoft Corp $276,925
- Jones Day $266,705
- Latham & Watkins $252,845
- University of Chicago $250,685
- Wilmerhale Llp $249,282
- Exelon Corp $239,061
In this case, finance capital still dominates, though with the university establishment and entertainment corporations adding their funds, making Obama a better fund-raiser than McCain. Goldman-Sachs, howeer, controls both campaigns. Even in Hilary's campaign,. Goldman-Sachs was the third largest donor, and the list was almost identical to Obama's and McCain's, with the exception of Harvard, who backed Obama from the beginning.
So far, Obama has raised $176 million dollars, while McCain has raised $105 million. Nearly $300 million dollars to convince Americans to vote for a media image. The reality is that finance capital, no matter what the candidate, party or issue, controls the debate. In overall giving, Finance has given $100 million in contributions to federal candidates this year alone, far outstripping any other sector. They are followed by the legal profession.
Contrary to myth, defense contractors have given to Obama more than McCain, the former with $410,000 to McCain's $393,000. While energy corporations, corporations in direct competition with Russian and Venezuelan capital, have given to McCain in far greater numbers than to anyone else. They have given to him $2.4 million, while to Obama, $1.3 million.
The oil and gas industry specifically, as a subset of energy, has backed McCain exclusively: $1.3 million to Obama's paltry $394,000. This is solely due to McCain's harsh stand on Russia and his continued commitment to Middle East war. It should be noted, however, as has been written elsewhere on this e-journal, that oil firms support domestic interests solely of the leftist variety, while bankrolling the neocons on foreign policy.
True to form, the entertainment industry is nearly a mirror image to oil and gas, giving Obama and Hilary a combined $8 million, while giving to McCain about $300,000, according to the FEC. Labor is irrelevant, as it gives only about 2% of campaign contributions. Big business provides well over 75% of all money to all campaigns nationwide. According to the invaluable site Open Secrets, law firms give almost exclusively to democrat candidates, while the major banks give equally to both. Real estate gives to candidates in a precise 50-50 split.
Of the top 10 donors for all candidates nationwide, and who, ipso facto, control the state, only one gives in any amount to republicans, and that is, AT&T (only 41% to democrats), though have a domestic record of supporting only liberal causes. Goldman-Sachs gives almost exclusively to democrats (with the exception of McCain), as does Citigroup, JP Morgan, General Electric, Lehman Brothers, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. George Soros, however, blows all other organizations away with $11 million in contributions to liberal candidates only. He functions, as always, through front groups, this time, a group called ActBlue.
Democracy is the alchemy of modernity: the final dissolution of truth into a haze of money, power and backroom deals, almost exclusively done in the interest of liberal/leftist candidates. Refusal to vote, and agitating to delegitimize the Regime, seems to be the only rational response to this System. Parliamentary systems are based on capital, on its victory. What has it been victorious over? The land, the ancient aristocracy, justice (conceived platonically), and natural hierarchy. There is no live without hierarchy, and the systems dedicated to equality normally create the most rigid of hierarchical systems, such as in the USSR. The hierarchy of republics are created by access to money, which, though it mystifies itself as productive and inventive, is in fact resolvable to finance capital: the production of credit, hence, the control of the society.
Monarchies reflect nature, while republics reflect the very images capital creates. Neither system is capable of creating anything, as governments are pale reflectives of society. Monarchy reflects agrarianism and aristocracy, since it is the oldest form of government. Monarchies reflect nature: hierarchy, unity, tradition and love of God, each notion as old as humanity. All of this exists according to natural law, while modern liberalism and nominalism exist as a matter of convention, i.e. power. Parliaments exist according to convention, specifically, the contract created by property owners to protect their interests. Parliaments, the creation of capital (in that there is no republic without a strong financial sector), exist solely for revolution; the continuing alterations of the life of people, continued innovation and debt, always in its train. The capital that places politicians in office is not “democratically elected,” (using the term in its normal, vulgar fashion) in reality, few know the true string pullers. Politicians are a reflection of a reflection: money, the center of all modern life, is a reflection of alchemy, or the constant innovation which transforms life, attitude and opinion, even the human sort itself. Politicians are a reflection of this money, itself a conventional idea that binds elites together. It is a lie which depends on many other lies to make the system operate.
Monarchy exists only because of nature, it is a reflection of the natural order. Man craves stability, not innovation; order, not transformation; nature, not convention. Few farmers are miserable due to the nature of their work. Modernity has created a drug dependent post-industrial class enslaved to the mindless routine of administration. Farmers exist, when financially stable, within a natural sphere which few suburbanites can comprehend. The work differs from day to day, season to season, as a part of the organic development of the natural world, and has thus, its own built-in rewards. Aristocracy is the cultural and religious center of a people, not necessarily its financial center. It is based on love of land, of a self-less fighting for country and the protection of the weak, this is the knights code of long standing. Aristocracy exists because it and it alone, is responsible for the “abstract” nature of political rule and law relative to the royal prerogative. It’s freedom is nearly non-existent, but its responsibilities never exhausted. Aristocracy, in order to truly be such, must maintain the highest standards of decorum, piety and philosophical depth. Modernity has not changed the order of being, but through rhetoric, has altered the nature of attitudes, hence the world of ideas in which the rabble live. Monarchy deals in stability and natural hierarchy, authority over domination. This natural hierarchy imitates the existence of nature: essence, species, genus, God. Reality as a series of spiritual moves leading to the most spiritual, thus, the most real. Capitalism, the creator of republics, deals in revolution, transformation and fraud. Capitalism can only function within a nominalist epistemology, and hence, seeks the transformation of all natural gradations into a single domination of money. Nature is a set of dollar values. Images can never tell of their source, while in monarchy, responsibility is solely due to the crown (not the state, which is another matter). Capitalism depends on constant revolution for the profit of a few. Monarchy is forced to defend the stable order of Plato's hierarchy and natural law (which are one in the same). Justice, love, dependency, stability, sin, devotion: these are things each man is born fully understanding intuitively. The symbol for modernity is alchemy, the symbol for monarchy is nature, of the essences which define created things.
Monarchy believes in a rationally grounded hierarchy. It believes in the agrarian life, and authority over domination. It holds that God can be found in nature, and hence, the spiritual life is the highest, but is never departed from the life of agriculture. They are distinctions of perspective only. The stability of the natural order is paramount, and the realization remains that all revolutionary forces exist to take power from the aristocracy to give it to the oligarchy. Hence, throughout history, and irrespective of race or religion, man has two options: the alchemical revolutionary statism and worship of matter, which traces its roots to ancient Babylon and Tyre, and finds its apogee in modern America and NATO, or the natural rule of Adam and Abel, manifest in Israel and reaching its apogee in Holy Russia. There is no third option.
1982: McCain, recently remarried to Arizona beer heiress Cindy Hensley, moves to Phoenix and wins a seat in the US House. He quickly forges a relationship with the Democratic House eminence from Tucson, Mo Udall, who although a strong progressive, has always welcomed the opportunity to work with Republicans.
1982-88: McCain takes over $100,000 in contributions from our well-remembered buddy from Lincoln S&L, Charles Keating, and his employees. McCain and Keating are very close, with McCain frequently joining Keating on outings to the Bahamas, on Keating's dime. Keating also has what Silverman calls a "business relationship" with Jim Hensley, Cindy Hensley's father, and with Cindy as well.
1986: During McCain's race for the Senate, Arizona Democrats ask the Udall staffers not to allow McCain to cling too closely to Udall, worrying that McCain is using Udall as a campaign tool. Udall aide Bob Neuman later says he tries to be subtle, but when McCain figures out what Neuman wants, he bawls Neuman out using words the aide refuses to repeat. Neuman later says McCain was so extreme in his reaction that, as Silverman writes, he thought "there was something really wrong with the guy." McCain is running for Barry Goldwater's seat, with Goldwater's endorsement. But after the Keating scandal, Goldwater loses much of his respect for McCain, and, Silverman writes, "soon found he had to stop McCain from using his good name."
1986: McCain jokes to an audience from the National League of Cities and Towns, asking if they've heard "the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly, and left to die?" The punch line: "When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, 'Where is that marvelous ape?'" Neuman later says, "John McCain is the Eddie Haskell of politics. You can attribute that to me, and he'll kill me for it."
1987-1988: McCain battles against campaign finance reform, in part on behalf of his pal Keating.
April 12, 1988: Governor Evan Mecham (R-Lunatic) has just been impeached, and Democrat Rose Mofford, the Secretary of State, takes over the position. Mofford, a kindly lady with an astonishing snow-white beehive bouffant, is as non-partisan as one can be and still belong to a political party, gracious and well-liked by just about everyone in the state government. But not by McCain and some of his buds. (Disclaimer: Mrs. Max, who describes herself as either a Goldwater Republican or a Reagan Democrat depending on the day of the week, knows Mofford, and likes her tremendously.) McCain and his pals want to eject Mofford using the same recall process that was launched to yank Mecham. Eight days into her tenure, Mofford goes to DC to take part in what one aide later calls the "perfunctory wet kiss" meeting with the Arizona congressional delegation. The meeting is strictly ceremonial, or so most people think. Mofford is quite conversant with her duties as secretary of state, primarily the elections department. She doesn't know a great deal about the Central Arizona Project (CAP) or the technical details of water provision in that dry state. And in eight days, she hasn't been able to learn a hell of a lot. She speaks before the Senate Energy and Water Subcommittee on Appropriations about CAP. McCain is not a member of that committee, but his Republican buddy from Idaho, James McClure, is. McClure asks Mofford, in Silverman's words,
a series of questions that would leave any water expert's mouth dry. Her staff jumped in to try to answer, but even so, ultimately they had to file an addendum to the testimony.
Sandbagged. The publisher of the Arizona Republic, Pat Murphy, who considers himself a friend of McCain's, is "crushed" by the incident. It is, Silverman writes, "the beginning of the end of his respect for and friendship with McCain." During lunch, a "mischievously glee[ful]" McCain brags about his setup of Mofford. As Murphy recalls, "he had slipped some highly technical questions to [McClure] to ask Mofford--questions she wouldn't be prepared to answer or expected to answer. Flabbergasted, I asked McCain why would he want to sabotage Mofford's testimony, when in fact the CAP was the nonpartisan pet of Republicans and Democrats--such as far-left Udall and far-right Goldwater--since its inception. His reply, as near as I remember, was, 'I'll embarrass a Democrat any time I get the chance.'" Murphy accompanies McCain back to his office, where reporters ask about a rumor that McCain had tried to sabotage Mofford's testimony. Murphy is floored to hear him answer, in classic straight-talk fashion, "I'd never do anything like that." Murphy later learns that McCain had even brought in a private film crew to film the testimony for use in embarrassing Moffatt in the recall election. The Arizona Supreme Court strikes down the recall effort, so McCain's gamesmanship did little except destroy his friendship with Murphy and embitter Mofford. While she doesn't talk much about the McCains, having known Cindy since she was little, she will tell Silverman, the CAP hearing, "hurt me more than anything ... to be set up like that." She also says that McCain is "certainly no Barry Goldwater or Mo Udall."
Late 1980s: McCain hosts an event ostensibly to honor Goldwater, but in reality to raise funds for his Senate campaign. Goldwater initially refuses to participate and tells McCain to give half of the proceeds to the Arizona Republican Party. McCain retools the event to honor Reagan instead. Goldwater does speak at the event, but later writes to McCain, "You will recall during my speech at the dinner for the president in Phoenix, I announced that you were going to give half of the funds you raised to the State Republican Party. I am told by the Party, that you still owe them $35,000, and unless you pay all of it, or most of it, they cannot meet their payroll next Wednesday." McCain will continue to use Goldwater, a legend in Arizona politics, as well as Udall as a campaign touchstone for himself.
1990: Facing criticism over his relationship with Keating and an upcoming re-election battle, McCain flip-flops and becomes a proponent of campaign finance reform and reducing government spending. Silverman calls McCain's efforts "a farce. McCain famously sponsored a law designed to control special interests' grip on Washington, but at the same time, he took money from those interests." She adds details and links that I won't go into here, but her summation of his efforts: "sadly cosmetic." What he has done is take such a shrill stance against certain types of earmarks--pork, in the vernacular--that Arizona has lost out on federal funding for, among other worthy projects, a program at a Scottsdale hospital that trains military medical personnel in trauma care. Some of that training has been used in Iraq and Afghanistan, for those who were lucky enough to receive it before the program lost much of its funding. Silverman notes:
Arizona's political forefathers--Mo Udall, Barry Goldwater, Carl Hayden - pushed through one of the biggest pork barrel projects in the history of the United States Congress: the Central Arizona [Water] Project. If they hadn't, there wouldn't be much of a state to represent. As a native Arizonan, those are the politicians I grew up learning about. McCain just doesn't compare.
1991 and After: When Udall leaves Congress, McCain, who had voted with Udall on some environmental issues, quits supporting those issues, and begins to rack up low marks from environmental groups. One of his most recent is a zero from the League of Conservation Voters. He has refused to oppose efforts to mine uranium from sites perilously near the Grand Canyon, and refuses to support proposed changes to the Mining Act of 1872, oblivious to the fact that Arizona is a testament to the environmental degradation that comes with strip mining and other practices. He is well remembered for threatening the job of a Forest Service official who disagreed with him on the topic of the endangered Mount Graham red squirrel. However, in campaign appearances, McCain regularly invokes the name and environmental passion of Udall. In April 2008, Newsweek writes, "He traces his environmental awareness to the sainted Rep. Mo Udall, an Arizona Democrat who took McCain as a young congressman under his tutelage ... To environmentalists, that's like saying you learned about civil rights by driving around Alabama with Martin Luther King Jr." It's doubtful that Newsweek bothered to find much on the other side of the story.
Spring 1994: Silverman begins hearing rumors of Cindy McCain's addiction to prescription drugs. She learns of Tom Gosinski, who had been fired from his position as director of government and international affairs for Cindy McCain's nonprofit charity, the American Voluntary Medical Team (AVMT), which provides medical relief to poor countries. Gosinski had gone to the DEA and told them that Cindy McCain was using an AVMT doctor to illegally prescribe her drugs in her employees' names. Gosinski was one of those employees, and he was worried that he might be culpable. Cindy McCain had had numerous prescriptions written for her, some with as many as 500 pills on a single refill. Dr. John Max Johnson, her AVMT drug connection, told the DEA that she kept them in her personal luggage. Gosinski had not just ratted her out, but filed a wrongful-termination suit against the charity. That alerted John McCain's lawyer, John Dowd, to the situation. Dowd charged Gosinski with extortion. The extortion investigation produded public records that Silverman finds and uses for her reporting. But the McCains learn of her records request, and try to inoculate themselves against her reports, acknowledging Cindy's prescription drug addictions and blaming it on her back surgeries and the stress from the Keating scandal. They also claim, falsely, that Gosinski is trying to blackmail them. In her September 8, 1994 story, Silverman prints the following excerpt from Gosinski's personal journal, an entry from July 1992: "I have always wondered why John McCain has done nothing to fix the problem. He must either not see that a problem exists or does not choose to do anything about it. It would seem that it would be in everyone's best interest to come to terms with the situation. And do whatever is necessary to fix it. There is so much at risk ... During my short tenure at AVMT, I have been surrounded by what on the surface appears to be the ultimate all-American family. In reality, I am working for a very sad, lonely woman whose marriage of convenience to a U.S. Senator has driven her to: distance herself from friends; cover feelings of despair with drugs; and replace lonely moments with self-indulgences." Cindy avoids criminal charges by going into a drug rehab program.
1997: McCain is a frequent and steady visitor to Mo Udall, who is slowly dying of Parkinson's disease. Neuman is pleased with McCain's loyalty, but he is stunned when McCain brings reporter Michael Lewis with him to Udall's hospital bedside. (McCain is unable to wake Udall during the visit. Udall will die in 1998.) Neuman later recalls, "That was devastating to me, that he brought in a reporter. I thought that was crossing the line, and it destroyed me." Silverman writes, "I'm sure I would have accepted the offer to go the hospital, as well. I can't blame Lewis, but maybe the sight of the legendary Mo Udall in his final, sad days wasn't McCain's to share."
2000: As the presidential primaries heat up, Silverman flies to Washington to be interviewed by 20/20's Sam Donaldson on McCain. After the interview, Donaldson decides he doesn't want to report anything negative about McCain, and cans the interview. The same thing happens when she helps put together background research for 60 Minutes, when Mike Wallace decides he wants to do a positive story on McCain.
Whee doggies. And there's plenty more in the article: this is just the highlights. Even better, there are links to other New Times stories on McCain. So get to reading, and share the wealth.