Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

I’ve not wasted a lot of time watching the conventions, for conventions are essentially – well – conventional.

Politicians make promises that they have no intention of keeping, and do so with earnest smiles; even tears, if need be.

Today’s conventions are the creation less of political parties than of corporate paymasters (called “sponsors” in news speak).

The sites, provisions, transportation and hotel accommodations are often corporate gifts; the ‘better to bribe you with, my dears!’

With the possible exception of Massachusetts senatorial candidate, Elizabeth Warren (who made her name criticizing the bank bailouts), few speakers held my interest, even if Michelle was a beautiful sight to see.

What I found most remarkable was the presentation of ex-President, Bill Clinton, and his oratory about jobs and the economy.

Clinton, easily the most masterful politician of his generation, is so distinguished precisely because he’s also probably the smartest.

What Clinton knows is that no matter who gets the nod in November, jobs – good-paying, manufacturing gigs – are gone for good, thanks in large part to his gift to the business and financial bigwigs in 1994: NAFTA.

NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) opened the doors abroad for business flight to countries with lower labor costs, dooming millions of American jobs, forever.

I bet, even if you watched every moment of every convention – you didn’t hear the acronym NAFTA once.

I betcha.

For NAFTA, which also affected tariffs, textiles, and loosened controls on banks and high finance, it too put a barrier on high, working-class manufacturing wages – by giving businesses a way out – abroad.

Clinton not only signed it, he campaigned for it.

He represents the party politics of betrayal that is at the very heart of the corporatist electoral machinery.

To have Bill Clinton talk about jobs is a lot like Dracula giving advice on blood banks (he knows a lot about it, but from the wrong end).

That’s today’s political system, and why so many are so turned off.