A Machine For The Production Of Politics

David Brooks speculates on why Hillary Clinton will do anything to win the Democratic nomination:

Clinton’s long rear-guard action is the logical extension of her relentlessly political life.

For nearly 20 years, she has been encased in the apparatus of political celebrity. Look at her schedule as first lady and ever since. Think of the thousands of staged events, the tens of thousands of times she has pretended to be delighted to see someone she doesn’t know, the hundreds of thousands times she has recited empty clichés and exhortatory banalities, the millions of photos she has posed for in which she is supposed to appear empathetic or tough, the billions of politically opportune half-truths that have bounced around her head.

No wonder the Clinton campaign feels impersonal. It’s like a machine for the production of politics.

The Clintons epitomize this machinery, but come now, isn’t this what all politics is about? As I never tire of saying, politics is not about public service, but about power; most politicians enter politics not to change the world but to rule over as big a part of it as they can; they will do whatever it takes to get power, for otherwise they wouldn’t have entered politics; and as we are a species hardwired by evolution for self-delusion, it is natural, after a point, for us to start believing in the lies we are living.

I have no doubt that Clinton is not a cynical woman trying to get to power at all costs. She really believes that America needs her. She really believes that she alone deserves to get the Democratic Party’s nomination. She really believes whatever she needs to. But that process, that level of delusion, is not unique to Clinton, or to her party, or her country.

Also see: Don Boudreaux’s post, How Dare She.


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