The Local Lens: Will This DNC Lead to the “New World Order?”
When the DNC comes to Philadelphia, we can expect crowds, a cacophony of different accents filling the city’s hotel lobbies, more taxis and limos on the street than we’ve seen in a long time, and bands of politicos decked out in campaign buttons and hats crowding city sidewalks.
Bars, restaurants and clubs in Center City will be packed to the gills. Well connected political operatives, aka “the Philadelphia Democratic Machine,” as represented by Bob Brady, will be in their processional glory. As a friend of mine put it, “This will be peacock strut time.”
The city is expecting some 6,000 delegates and 15,000 members of the media, including, of course, Spirit News (I’ll be there too, getting my stories for The Local Lens). 30,000 protestors are also expected to attend, however they will be confined to the official protest area, FDR Park, dubbed the “free speech zone.” There will also be a few organized protest marches in and around the City Hall area.
Mayor Kenney promised that the DNC would be a user friendly event and encouraged Philadelphians to stick around and enjoy the city while the convention was going on. Unlike the time when the pope was in town, Kenney said there’s no need to run away to the shore or to the mountains. But like the Pope’s visit, the city will still have secure perimeter boundaries around the Wells Fargo area.
This got me thinking of Chicago’s 1968 DNC when protestors, all 10,000 of them, were vastly outnumbered by the 22,500 men in uniform. Although the 1968 Chicago protestors gathered in that city’s Lincoln Park, many protested outside the Airport Amphitheatre, where the convention was being held. By the convention’s end, 11,000 people had been injured and 36 journalists, including one from The Philadelphia Bulletin, were beaten up by police.
The Chicago convention was one with actual purpose, occurring as it did right after the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Eugene McCarthy, the peace candidate at that time, picked up a lot of support after Kennedy’s death but it still wasn’t enough to prevent his loss to Hubert Humphrey, who became the Democratic nominee. An untoward tinkering of numbers by President Lyndon Johnson and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley made sure that McCarthy’s candidacy went nowhere.
The 2016 DNC will not be a convention as much as a coronation of Hillary Clinton. While we might see Bernie Sanders go through the motions of “The Still Viable Candidate”, it will only be a puppet show. The powers that be long ago decided that Hillary was the anointed one. The corporate media agreed and the race was over. There never was any contest. Hillary will be charioted into the Wells Fargo arena like an empress to thunderous applause while Sanders prepares his formal concession speech, his glasses riding down the bridge of his nose.
Sanders supporters and other protestors will clamor and ring cow bells, shout objections, frown, and maybe give a thumbs down when Queen Hillary mounts the podium. There will be a show of unrest and dissatisfaction as assorted radical groups try to get TV airtime by shutting down the city. There will be pandemonium and noise and segments on the evening news as well as interviews with protest “leaders,” but in the end life will return to normal. Hillary will get elected, she will be inaugurated, and the Sanderites will reinvent themselves, forming another political base that in four or eight years will also fail to send one of their own to the White House.
This is the way it was with Eugene McCarthy in 1968. Democratic primary voters then voted in huge 80 per cent majority squalls in favor of peace over war before President Johnson and Mayor Daley overturned that and installed war candidate, Hubert Humphrey. Although McCarthy’s star rose right after RFK’s murder, in the end it collapsed.
George McGovern, the Democratic Party’s 1972 peace candidate, was often referred to as “an exemplar of modern American liberalism.” McGovern’s peace policies so enraged Southern Democrat hawks that they began a campaign called Anybody but McGovern. McGovern was another Bernie Sanders-type who was eventually swallowed up and sidelined.
When Bernie Sanders is relegated to the dustbin of George McGoverism, Queen Hillary will be holding court in Washington. I can see it now: After a marvelous inauguration ceremony with flags flying high and speeches praising the wonderfulness of having the first woman president, there will be a brief honeymoon phase in which it appears that Hillary can do no wrong. But after the luster has turned into a grayish patina, the queen’s authentic colors will surface: her allegiance to the corrupt big pharma/health industry and her long-running connection to Goldman-Sachs. And who knows, she may even revert to her embarrassing habit of adopting fake accents to match that of the region she is speaking in.
Hillary may feel a need to prove her presidential might so that she doesn’t appear inferior or weaker than a male president, so she’s apt to deliver a double or triple power punch — harder than any man’s — if she has problems with upstart internationals like Vladimir Putin of Russia, with whom she’s not on good terms. Should she start a war with Russia, we all know what that will bring: You might as well stop your career planning now, because by the end of that struggle, it won’t matter.
But let’s cut back to the 2016 Philadelphia convention. After Hillary’s acceptance speech, a million balloons will fall from the Wells Fargo ceiling as a favorite rock song echoes throughout the arena. Hillary, Bill, daughter Chelsea and family will stand with the Obama’s in a hand holding extravaganza. They will blow kisses, smile and dance. Hillary will be in a blue pants suit as Bill shuffles this way to a casino luncheon buffet. The people will rejoice and try to relive that magical 2008 Obama moment, anticipating Utopian change and progress.
As for Donald Trump, following a loss in November, I imagine he will retire like Howard Hughes to a penthouse suit atop a large Las Vegas casino. There never will be a wall separating Mexico and the United States. For a time it will appear as if the nation had been spared a great calamity, that being the election of The Donald, but very soon and in short order Hillary’s personal dragons will be so ensconced in the life of the nation that very few will be counting their political blessings.