Watching media outlets close ranks around Hillary to shield her from all these allegations had a familiar ring to it. There was a historical parallel that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
Evidence against Hillary that would land anyone but the most politically connected into an orange jumpsuit for the foreseeable future is being dismissed out-of-hand by her boosters.
Closing ranks …? Shielded…? Of course! That’s it! We are looking at the American version of the Praetorian Guard! If you don’t listen to history podcasts for fun, the name “Praetorian Guard” may not mean very much to you. Even those who remember that it was Caesar’s personal bodyguard might be wondering… “so what?” What’s that got to do with America?
I’ll explain. But first, some context. The reason for the Guard existing in the first place is obvious. When people want you dead, armed men are a helpful deterrent to those who would kill you.
Pretty soon, the Guard to realized they held a lot of power in just a few hands. By law, the only other armed group — the military — remained outside the capital.
Other groups held their influence through traditional methods. Money, political connection, family name, etc. The Praetorian Guard – the only significant armed group in town, with unique access to the Emperor – had a different kind of influence: brute force.
At different points in history, they used it to achieve political ends. They allowed for the deaths of some leaders. They overthrew or assassinated others. They declared men of their own choosing as Emperor, often someone from within their own ranks. To Hades with due process, they’re playing to win!
We would never do anything like that today, would we? We’re far too civilized now, right?
If you mean murder people and take their jobs? We haven’t sunk quite that low in politics just yet (although the number of former Clinton bodyguards that have died might raise some eyebrows). No, we do our dirty work in different ways.
The obvious “to Hades with due process, we’re advancing our own choice” organization would be traditional media outlets, whether in print or television. (Remembering that we have only a 2-party system, a 2014 article indicates only 7% of journalists are Republican.) Is it any wonder that stories harmful to the Democratic narrative get deep-sixed, while those harmful to the Republican one get endless attention on TV, print and the numerous left-of-center blogs?
That’s her guard hard at work defending her against the kind of attack that can do real harm: negative press. We don’t murder people in our “civilized” society; we “Bork” them.
But her guard wears many different faces. We see it when wealthy foreigners funnel money into her campaign. (eg. Soros) We see it when Loretta Lynch meets privately with the husband of someone currently under investigation. We see it when government agencies are used to prop up groups and ideologies the administration favors, and harass or obstruct those it doesn’t. We see it in organized labour. In the various SJW movements. And we even see it in the court systems.
With a system that so brazenly favors the elite, is it any wonder that movements on both sides of the political spectrum have adopted the “burn it down” attitude to status quo politics? Whichever candidate it was you preferred, it’s hard not to have at least some sympathy with the sentiment.