John W. Whitehead: Politics Don’t Matter, but Your Actions Do
An interview with John W Whitehead.
John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. In 1982, he established The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties and human rights organization whose international headquarters are located in Charlottesville, Virginia (www.rutherford.org). Whitehead has won many honors as a result of his freedom-oriented writing and has participated in several Supreme Court cases. He gained international renown as a result of his role as co-counsel in Paula Jones’ sexual harassment lawsuit against President Clinton.
The Daily Bell: We read your article over at LewRockwell.com on US politics, “Reality Check: No Matter Who Wins the White House, the New Boss Will Be the Same as the Old Boss,” and were impressed by its realism. It pointed out the impossibility of political change in the US. Did you get positive feedback, or negative feedback or both.
John W. Whitehead: The response to my “Reality Check” article was overwhelmingly positive. Indeed, a meme that grew out of that article has gone viral. Its message – that America’s next president will inherit a shadow government, a permanent, corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country – has resonated with a lot of Americans who are waking up to the fact that no matter who wins this next presidential election, the new boss will be the same as the old boss.
The Daily Bell: You used to be a columnist for The Daily Bell. Why don’t you reintroduce yourself and The Rutherford Institute to our readers.
John W. Whitehead: I’m a constitutional attorney who believes in speaking truth to power. That really says it all. I started The Rutherford Institute in 1982 to be an organization that not only speaks truth to power but holds the government accountable to abiding by the rule of law, our U.S. Constitution. Readers can learn more about us at www.rutherford.org or follow us on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
The Daily Bell: You were fairly unforgiving in your article. You wrote, “Politics today is about one thing and one thing only: maintaining the status quo between the Controllers (the politicians, the bureaucrats, and the corporate elite) and the Controlled (the taxpayers).” Why do you think Trump is getting such a great response from Republicans?
John W. Whitehead: The American people remain eager to be persuaded that a new president in the White House can solve the problems that plague us. The want a political savior. This is not a sentiment shared only by Republicans. Time and again, Americans have turned to politics with an almost religious zeal as the answer to what ails the nation. “Change” and “Believe” campaign slogans have been trotted out, only to be eagerly picked up and chanted like religious mantras. However, we’d do well to remember that governmental bureaucracy is fervently anti-change. As for trusting or believing in a politician, James Madison put it best when he pointed out that “if men were angels, no government would be necessary.” If there is to be any real hope for change, it rests, as it always has, in “we the people” because while we may be a large part of the problem, we are also the solution. And there is great power in this.