Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Trump and Clinton -- much of a muchness

Fr. Raymond de Souza, whom I had the pleasure to drive to the train after he addressed our Ordinariate Clergy and Clergy wives Assembly in Niagara last month, has some insights into the political situation south of the border.
The following is excerpted from an article of his published this week by the NATIONAL POST:

One hundred years ago this month, after nearly 68 years as emperor of Austria-Hungary, Franz Joseph died, leaving the throne to his grandnephew Charles. The last ruler of the Hapsburg monarchy had a short reign, the liquidation of his empire and the abolition of his royal house being among the terms of peace that ended the First World War. Driven into exile, he died in Madeira before his 35th birthday.
Marriage in 1911 to Zita
Charles was a holy man who understood that he had a duty to serve his people and to work assiduously for peace. In 2004, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II. 
This election day in the U.S., the witness of Blessed Charles is a reminder that holiness and high office are not incompatible, and that great power can be a means of humble service. That he reigned a century ago is also a reminder that history is not a matter of progress, for the descent of man, and woman, from Blessed Charles to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, is steep and stomach-churning.
. . .  the service that Trump has rendered was to expose just how nasty the establishment culture of entitlement is in America, of which the Clintons are both exemplars and experts.
The Economist has spent the entirety of 2016 expressing the exasperation of the transatlantic establishment, which believes that Americans have been insufficiently appreciative of Clinton. After all, the “establishment politics that Mrs Clinton encapsulates almost to the point of parody” is what voices like The Economist think, on balance, is a good thing.
. . . it is also true that, in Hillary Clinton’s 40 years in public life, she has mastered the art of prevarication. Her husband, possessing greater charm, preferred the brazen lie. Nevertheless, despite the cataract of untruths that cascaded from Trump, he did tell one truth over and over again: America’s political establishment could be bought and sold. He knew this because he had bought and sold it himself, while attending to his celebrity properties.
Trump ran for president having held no public office. A lacuna to be sure, but surely as troubling is the permanent political class, which does nothing but trade public offices. The Clinton family business of personal enrichment through public office is odious, but by no means unique. It has become something of a norm, but no one has done it better, or for as long. To hear Clinton and her ilk speak of public service is nauseating, unless it is to be understood as the public servicing her family.
Yet this is the way the permanent political class operates. They decide who is in and who is out, and whatever arrangements need to be made to protect each other. When Trump blasted the Clintons last summer for having a man as repellent at Anthony Weiner in their inner circle, it was one of many ways in which the privileges of the political class were finally being called into question.
. . .  It took a wealthy man entirely outside the normal partisan apparatus to say what no one in the imperial court is permitted to say — namely, that the system is corrupt, and that the Clintons, seeking the White House a quarter-century apart, are this generation’s most corrupt couple.
Hillary Clinton, with the connivance of the partisan and media establishment, the co-operation of a politicized justice system and resources accrued from rapacious influence-peddling, will have heaved herself over the finish line for the presidency as she always has: within the rule, but just so. Trump changed the rules in 2016 . . . 

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