Election Reflections 2016: Health Matters, Are Clinton and Trump Fit for Office? Failed Policies and the Socialist Imperative

In-depth Report:

Clinton and Trump represent the same class interests diametrically opposed to the majority. 

It has been a decade-and-a-half since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Consequently, the corporate media was filled over the weekend with numerous documentaries, interviews with those on the scene at the time as well as tributes to the armed forces of the United States which have been strengthened enormously in the midst of what some describe as a “permanent war.”

Almost nothing was said over the multinational-controlled networks about the toll that the increased imperialist militarism has leveled against the working people in the U.S. and the world through the process of deployment to unjust and illegal wars of regime-change, the loss of millions of lives in the impacted states and the burgeoning humanitarian crises leaving 60-75 million displaced both domestically and internationally. Looking at the situations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia and Yemen, to name some of the most egregious, any objective observer could by no means conclude that the so-called “war on terrorism” has been a success even in Pentagon and State Department terms.

Inside the U.S. itself, the social conditions have worsened immensely since 2001. There has been a further militarism of law-enforcement leading to thousands of killings by the police of civilians. Racism and national oppression have intensified with the expansion of low-wage labor, the rise in structural unemployment, the continuing deterioration of the public education system, the collapse of municipal and rural infrastructure and unacceptable environmental degradation.

These issues are barely mentioned in the general discussions surrounding the political race between the Democrats and Republicans. More emphasis is placed on issues that are secondary to addressing the real needs of people inside the U.S. and those around the world which Washington and Wall Street have kept imperiled through massive bombing operations, military occupations, intelligence subversion, economic sanctions and psychological demoralization.

Health Matters: Are Clinton and Trump Fit for Office?

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared to have fainted while attending an official ceremony held to commemorate the September 11 attacks in New York City. With the media spectacle that the national presidential elections have become, it was inevitable that the Clinton campaign’s concealment of serious health problems would eventually be broken open.

Clinton’s physician later issues a statement saying the Democratic candidate had been diagnosed with pneumonia just two days before and was put on antibiotics. If this is true then it demonstrates a degree of irresponsibility on the part of the campaign since people with such a serious ailment should be confined to rest for a number of weeks. Yet it would have been quite damaging for Clinton not to attend such a public event in which the entire imperialist project has been based upon ideologically for the last fifteen years.

Despite the pledge by both Clinton and Trump to release their medical records in a few days, the real sick people in the U.S. and internationally are those who have been subjected to the policies of successive U.S. administrations which promote war and escalating capitalist exploitation. These people numbering in the billions are not ever taken into consideration by the ruling class and those politicians who serve their interests in Congress, the Judiciary and the White House.

A poignant example of this disregard for the peoples of the world was reflected in statements by Clinton saying that “no Americans were lost in the Libya war.” Of course the corporate media quickly quoted officials who recalled the attacks of four years ago (2012) in Benghazi where Ambassador and high-ranking Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer Christopher Stevens along with four other intelligence operatives died in an attack on two American compounds in the city in eastern Libya which served as the cradle of the U.S.-backed counter-revolution against the Jamahiriya system led by Col. Muammar Gaddafi. However, what of the tens of thousands of Libyans, Africans and foreign nationals who died as a direct result of the rebel ground war and Pentagon-NATO led aerial bombardment of the North African state over a period of seven months during 2011? The millions of Libyans who were displaced in the war losing their livelihood and homes are not even considered by the Clinton campaign.

Libya today has become a major source of instability throughout North and West Africa leading across the Mediterranean into Southern, Central and Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, not a single gesture of regret or contrition has been uttered by former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Clinton.

Trump as well in a September 12 address in Baltimore continued his utterances related to rebuilding the Pentagon and empowering the Generals to destroy ISIS. The reality is that the wars of regime-change and neo-colonial dominance which characterizes Washington’s foreign policy is at the root cause of the founding and proliferation of ISIS.

The Pentagon and the intelligence agencies already captures at least one trillion dollars annually in working people’s tax dollars to maintain the policies of permanent war. These resources could be utilized to rebuild the infrastructure and services of the U.S. There needs to be guaranteed national health insurance, free education, cleaning of the waterways, and mandatory full-employment as well as a living wage for those who work and the disabled.

This of course cannot be done as long as the Pentagon budget is considered sacrosanct along with the well-being and profitability of the financial institutions. The banks have been bailed out to the tune of trillions since 2008 with no end in sight. Nonetheless, the people who were victimized by the financial crisis such as homeowners, renters, students, teachers, civil servants and industrial workers have yet to receive any meaningful compensation for the crimes of capital.

The Imperatives of Socialist Construction

This raises the question of what a just and equal society would look like in the U.S. It would have to be a society governed by a system that would place the interests of the working people and nationally oppressed as being paramount.  The militarism which is such a cornerstone of the exploitative structures would have to be eliminated in order for any true picture of world events to come into view.

The advent of socialism in the U.S. would make a monumental contribution to the struggle against exploitation and oppression internationally. Much of the suffering and hunger in the world today stems directly from the policies of Washington and its financial backers in New York and other imperialist capitals around the globe.

Socialism cannot be built without socialists. Therefore, those committed to fundamental change from the capitalist relations of production to a genuinely egalitarian society must be involved in the socialist movement. The workers and nationally oppressed must be organized into a revolutionary party which could focus on the actual source of the contemporary crisis of inequality and super-exploitation. Alliances are required among the proletariat with the farmers and youth. Policy decisions would be seriously formulated and debated among the people insuring maximum participation in the political system. Everyone seeking justice would have an incentive to take ownership in the process of transforming their present situation leading to a socialist future.

These matters require serious thought and action. Only the masses and their organizations operating outside the established ruling class and it surrogates can bring these necessities into reality. This is the major challenge facing not only the people of the U.S. but indeed those around the world.

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Articles by: Abayomi Azikiwe

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