by Susanne Kemp
The right like to hold up the United States as the model capitalist democracy. Of course, it is no such thing. A third of the population in the southern states were slaves until only 150 years ago. Women had to struggle for 70 years to get the right to vote. When black males got the right to vote it was only after a brutal civil war and that right, along with many other rights, were lost within the several decades following that war and not regained until the 1950s and 1960s. And that took a mass political struggle too.
In January 2017 a man who came second in the presidential vote will be made president and a government appointed by him – and elected by no-one – will be sworn in. The margin by which Donald Trump was beaten by Hillary Clinton was, on election night, about 200,000. It is now about 1,100,000 and growing.
Clinton beat Trump by more votes than Kennedy beat Nixon in 1960 to become president. By more votes than Nixon beat Hubert Humphrey in 1968 to become president. Trump lost the vote, Clinton won. But Trump is the president-elect.
In the United States the president appoints the government and does so by appointing a raft of people who are not, and never have been, elected to either the House of Representatives (lower house) or the Senate (upper house). They come from corporations, think tanks, universities, the media and so on.
Trump is inaugurated on January 20. He moves into the White House later that day. On January 21 he formally takes up his duties as president in the Oval Office.
As of that date, the United States will have a government of people that no-one has ever elected to be their government.
It’s not democracy. But it is capitalism.