By Jason Michael
Trump was the unavoidable outcome of the US presidential race once Hillary Clinton succeeded in her project of derailing the Bernie train. Now that we have to live with the reality of “the Donald” in the Oval Office, we better know who’s to blame.
Almost a year ago this blog predicted that Trump would win the 2016 presidential election, and tonight the realisation of this grim prophecy gives me no reason for smugness or celebration. What we have witnessed, both with Brexit and now with the election of Donald Trump to the highest political office in the world, was always an inevitability; the result not so much of the rise in right-wing sentiment as it is of the complete and utter failure of governance and good government. Today the entire political and economic stability of the West is in jeopardy, and global peace and security are on a less firm footing, but we cannot say we never saw this coming. All the warning signs were there.
Let’s get rid of the idea that Donald Trump is the next Hitler. That is nothing more than the same language of blame and delegitimisation that brought us here in the first place. Donald Trump is not smart enough to be the next Adolf Hitler. He is a racist. This much we all know. He has inherited vast sums of money, lived an outrageously privileged life, treated the poor with indifference and women with contempt, but he is an outstanding business failure and under-educated and ill-informed to the point of mental retardation. At the very least he is a humiliation to the United States, and at most a threat to everything to which he turns his attention as president.
As the post-mortem begins, we had best say who is not to blame for this mess. Trump is not to blame for this, no matter what you think. “The Donald” is an opportunist who has a well-developed instinct for openings, and he went for it. The problem is that the opening was there in the first place. Those millions of Americans who voted for him are not to blame. Here we are talking about a population that has been ignored, neglected, bullied, and mocked for half a century and more. This “angry vote” has been simmering for decades and nothing was done to address it. The problem is that it was ignored. Those who voted for third parties are not to blame. People who voted according to their social, economic, and environmental principles have been derided for not setting down their principles for the common good. Yet the moment voters in any democracy set aside their principles we can all kiss the common good goodbye.
During the primaries an alternative was on the table. Bernie Sanders conducted a campaign appealing directly to the so-called angry vote, offering a programme of social and economic justice that would put the real needs of average Americans over the arrogance of domestic power politics and a hawkish, expansionistic foreign policy agenda. What Bernie got for his trouble was that the entire apparatus of the state and the Democratic Party’s multi-billion dollar war chest was arrayed against him. He was demonised and attacked relentlessly by his own side, and ultimately – knowing the power of the popular movement supporting him – the Clinton campaign resorted to cheating.
How on earth could Hillary Clinton rely on support from these Democrats she had swindled in her hopes of heading off Trump at the pass? She was delusional. The blame begins, but does not end, with Hillary. Yes she’s a woman, and we want to see more women in politics and political leadership, but not at any cost – and she would be any cost. She is a warmonger with a proven track record amounting to over 1.2 million dead civilians in the Middle East. In the State Department she has overseen the super-arming of Israel, the funding of Saudi Arabia in its genocidal rampage in Yemen, the destabilisation of Iraq and Syria through the creation of the Islamic State, and the support of Al-Qaeda militants in Syria.
At every turn she has worked to frustrate the efforts of Russia to restore peace to Syria, and all over another bloody pipeline. She has continued an overt and covert policy of hemming Russia inside the new Eurasian curtain by renewing nuclear missile installations in Eastern Europe and increasing US military support and funds to the states on the Baltic coast and Ukraine. Given the fact that her presidential campaign was amply pumped with arms industry money, a win for her last night was not going to see this trend towards a wider global conflict with Russia diminish.
Stateside, in her own backyard, Hillary has – backed to the hilt by the Wall Street billionaire establishment – followed to the letter the neoliberal model of disaster capitalism, ensuring that the wealth transfer from the poorest to the richest has accelerated. All the way back to Ronald Reagan one administration after another has worked hard to enrich the rich at the cost of the poor, and in this Obama and Hillary have been no exception. None of this could have gone on forever.
The natural response inside the US among the white working class population is anger, and the right-wing, corporately funded and irresponsible media has “answered” working people’s questions with the quick fixes and scapegoats of neoliberal fascism. They simultaneously despise the establishment and buy its glossy lapdog propaganda. This has exposed the true scale of poor government and the utter failure of governance that has ripped open the gap for a Trump messiah.
President Donald Trump
Author: Jason Michael (@Jeggit)