Once upon a time, there was a man called James Buchanan. He was a Democrat, a Secretary of State and then the President of the United States. A good friend of mine, a historian, told me about him.
Buchanan was the last U.S. President who previously served as Secretary of State. He was a Pennsylvania native, and he took his place in the Oval Office in 1857.
Now, more than 150 years later, Hilary Clinton may be about to follow in his footsteps. And some footsteps they were!
Before serving as Secretary of State (in the administration of President James K. Polk), James Buchanan was a Senator, elected as a Democrat, same as Ms. Clinton.
While heading the State Department, the future President did some nasty, really nasty things, like provoking a war with Mexico and defining Washington’s colonialist policy towards Cuba and the Caribbean basin. Elected President at a time of growing animosity between the industrial anti-slavery North and agrarian pro-slavery South, he was unable to calm the passions of the opposing sides and to find a political solution to the crises. He committed some of the most outrageous errors, and to this day is remembered as one of the worst leaders in American history, being held responsible for the Civil War, which started just a few months after he retired. Before stepping down as a President, Buchanan’s only suggestion for averting the disaster was issuing “an explanatory amendment” reaffirming the constitutionality of slavery in the states, the fugitive slave laws, and popular sovereignty in the territories.
The National Intelligencer, then a leading opposition newspaper, published a biting, sarcastic piece about Buchanan’s adventurism and expansionism:
We must retrench the extravagant list of magnificent schemes which received the sanction of the Executive … the great Napoleon himself, with all the resources of an empire at his sole command, never ventured the simultaneous accomplishments of so many daring projects. The acquisition of Cuba … ; the construction of a Pacific Railroad … ; a Mexican protectorate, the international preponderance in Central America, in spite of all the powers of Europe; the submission of distant South American states; … the enlargement of the Navy; a largely increased standing Army … what government on earth could possibly meet all the exigencies of such a flood of innovations?
Hillary Clinton, also a former Senator for the Democratic Party, also used her time at the State Department in the most ‘effective way’: she initiated a war in Libya, provoked a devastating civil war in Syria and masterminded coup in Honduras, while provoking and antagonizing left wing governments in virtually all parts of Latin America.
Running for President of the United States at a time of growing social tension and what is often described as ‘popular outrage’, Ms. Clinton, just like Mr. Buchanan, is now offering absolutely no new, progressive and effective solutions or reforms that could prevent the situation from slipping into a shattering social disaster. She is fighting for the status quo, and in the process eliminating her political opponents in the most Machiavellian fashion.
Many now predict that if Hillary Clinton is elected, her reign may lead into a real tragedy similar to the one that occurred in the United States a little over 150 years ago.
Unlike James Buchanan, she also sits on a pile of nuclear weapons, while doing her absolute best to antagonize and provoke two powerful and independent-minded nations: China and Russia. Her policies could easily lead to the most destructive international conflict, or even a series of conflicts. But it does not seem to distress her. She is on her ego trip, and on a crusade!
While history judges Mr. Buchanan simply as an inept, bigoted and trigger-happy imperialist and supremacist, Ms. Clinton also shares all those characteristics of her predecessor, but with her own unique touch: she is also in possession of those grotesque and deadly “qualities” of Dr. Strangelove.
Human beings are not as complex as we often think they are, and history tends to repeat itself.
Both of this year’s US Presidential candidates have, undoubtedly, their doubles in the not so distant past. While Donald Trump’s ones lived in the 20th Century in Germany and Italy, Hilary Clinton had a homegrown predecessor; a man who was defending slavery and the status quo and who, most importantly, turned the United States into an aggressive imperialist and neo-colonialist power.
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”. Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. Point of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his websiteor his Twitter.