In a rather odd corner of philosophy lives a strange creature of the mind. We call him, “the Ghost Within the Machine.” The idea has been around for ages (since Descartes), and in many different forms. Now, we usually use the words to refer to how computers seem to sometimes do unexpected things, that the designers and planners, or users, never imagined.

One aspect of the “ghost” is that human beings, whenever we touch data, leave a trail, almost a signature. In other words, you can determine the identity of a user by examining the way that he or she interacts with the data. Some people, and some computers, using advanced pattern-matching skills, are able to ascertain pattern matches, even when there are only two matching occurrences in billions of pieces of data. I, for instance, could scan a couple of usage logs and tell you, from nothing but their interactions, who, what, and why someone interacted with the data.

Yesterday, when I was reading about Tom Perez’ committee appointments, a close friend chimed in and said: “That’s another “why”. Strangely, what I heard instead of his voice, was the voice of a dear friend who died in Vietnam saying: “In my family, which is the Cosa Nostra, no one ever asks the question, “Why?” Because there is only one answer: “The deal was made.”

So I started looking at stuff; you know, to test the theory. To look for more matches between Republican and Democratic behaviour. And, I saw something interesting right away!

In the aftermath of the 2000 presidential election, when the Mafia thugs turned over the counting tables in Miami, chits and all, they had to be acting under orders. But, who could give such an order? Whoever did was in lockstep with the Supreme Court, and the Justice Department, and especially the Attorney General of the State of Florida. There was every reason to think that they were acting in concert – following one plan. When the count was stopped in Florida, it was the most outrageous act of political chicanery in our history. But, no one was surprised. The Supreme Court’s insane and illegal act was ignored by the press. Gore quietly stepped aside, allowing us to be cheated. Without a fight. Like Hillary didn’t fight. Too damn many coincidences!

In a recent post, I wrote about the nine big ways in which our government severely limits democracy, if indeed we have a democracy at all. Look at it this way: each limiting factor is a lever. Press this one, and pull those two, and you influence one presidential election. Manipulate a different set of levers next time – and on and on.

The more that I looked, the more matches I found! Every move by one side was mirrored by the other. And then several professional newsblog posts converged, with stories that make it abundantly clear that the same parties are apparently acting in concert now. As though they are all on the same page. And, then I read the attached story about Tom Perez. And it hit me. The same people who make the decisions for the Republican Party about long-term strategies, make the same kind of decisions for the Democratic Party. They had to be working together, and they had to have the same coordination.

My conclusion: Since 1986, there has effectively been only one political party. In secret, the deal was made, almost a half-century ago: to pass the Presidency back and forth, from political party to political party. We don’t have to worry about “why’s” anymore. Forget about elections. The deal was made uptown.

Al Gore was the “fly in the ointment;” he wasn’t part of the deal. He couldn’t be allowed to be President. Bill Clinton was a huge concession, or so it seemed. But, he was one of the parties to the deal. Mr. Smooth.

The Bush years were too important to leave to an amateur, so a team of specialists ran the White House.

President Obama was a phenomenon because he was supposed to be. Not that he had to have known. He satisfied the terms of the deal, but he had a dead hand. And a completely ossified Congress.

I was up all night on election eve 2016, digging into tons of raw data. Before the sun came up, I knew that Trump had won. In their world, there was never any doubt that Trump would win, no matter what it took. That was the deal.

This is the only conclusion that answers all the “whys.”

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Air Force brat. My dad was shepherd to a bunch of B-52's; the GI's called that place "20 Minutes From Armageddon;" because a missile launched in East Germany would pop over our heads twenty minutes later. That put me in some of the best schools anywhere. I wrote in the Press Office of a powerful, charismatic Midwestern Governor. I dabble in graphic arts. My 50+ entertainment sites get a few million visits, and I have stopped counting the fans, likes, and shares, per year. I've rambled the world, hitched around the continent (counter-clockwise). Climbed a couple of teeners, been to a couple of thousand rock, blues, and jazz concerts. I was at a free concert on Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, CA with about 350,000 freaks and hippies; and other festivals. I won a writing contest when I was six. It was a Poe-like horror story taken from an account of a mining disaster. I had already been reading Edgar Allan Poe (which may explain a lot). I could read before I could talk. I implemented some of the first client/server, TCP-IP networks (the Internet) at many of the world's largest corporations. I know a half-dozen programming languages, and have implemented and administered many network operating systems. Right now I build ebikes, and lithium batteries from scratch. I was taught that race and ethnicity don't set us apart. I think that the best thing that could happen in this country would be if a woman were to be elected President of the United States. I admire President Obama more than any man in history, save one.

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And the alternative is what? I could have written much the same.