Month: October 2016

Beware he who follows the Donald

That Donald Trump has the American political establishment shaken is evident. He has the DNC throwing everything at him, calling him all sorts of (deserved) names, but he also has his own RNC that he is representing still not quite sure just how far to back this seemingly unstable man.

The majority of the American populace and the world for that matter frets continually about what a Trump presidency would bring. Fortunately we don’t really need to worry, because barring any catastrophe in the Clinton campaign, the Democratic party has this election in terms of demographics and electoral college votes. So all is well and the world will continue to spin on its correct axis, nothing to fear… but that’s not quite true.

Trump may be an ignorant buffoon, but he has given voice to millions of Americans (whether we agree or not with that voice is a different matter). The Trump message, I hate to break it to you, is not only resonating with with American but also with African Americans, Hispanic, Asian, men and women. And things get even scarier as you look deeper into the data.
Looking at areas where Trump has done well, you see that they are also coincidentally the exact places hollowed out by American ‘economic policy’ of outsourcing of manufacturing and globalisation. We see areas such as Detroit being hollowed out from a population of one million to an anemic half a million now. We see Appalachian areas where coal has been abandoned and nothing put in its place so communities are shattered.
Trump is not a one off, he is the voice of many Americans, the racist xenophobic lot as well as those disenfranchised by American economic policies.

It is no coincidence that Trump’s muddled economic message resonates with Sanders supporters more than the Clinton message, it is because she is a continuation of the same economic policies that have almost killed off the American middle class, proof of which can be seen in high ranking conservative agents, economic advisers and Republican members lining up behind her. The two major American parties are in short, sowing the seeds of there demise by continuing to peddle this garbage dressed up as economic policy (which is really just corporate interest achieved through the state).

While most parallels between Trump and Hitler are interesting, the one that should give us pause for thought is the role mainstream parties had in there rise. In the case of Hitler, he was viewed as simply a populist buffoon who stoked up xenophobia and antisemitism while ignoring the fact that the people flocked to Hitler because he refused to surrender like the ‘back stabbers of 1918’. The major parties in Wiemar Germany continued to ‘sellout’ German interests and that played into Hitler’s rise. The use of antisemitism by Hitler was no coincide either, this ugly expression of human emotion had been stoked for centuries and was now at its zenith with pseudo science to back it up and the Jews were mainly responsible for losing the war, another lie peddled by the major Wiemar parties.

We see parallels there in Trump and the rise of American fascism. Yes Trump is boorish, but he is answering a call being made by many Americans. We see mainly white people following Trump, but a closer inspection will unearth many African Americans, Hispanic Americans and everything else in between supporting Trump to varying degrees. Are these minorities who support Trump self hating persons? No, these are for the most part persons shafted by economic deals and policies designed to destroy them and enrich multinationals. These people are responding in the way that they usually respond in harsh times, a sharp shift to the right.

On race and xenophobia again we see mainly whites supporting Trump and his message. But again a closer view will show you a diverse group (racially speaking) who sing from his same ‘America for Americans’ hymnal (Americans in this sense being natural born Americans). History is replete with episodes of this in America, take for example the late nineteenth century, when white Scottish, Protestant immigrants (the type of person who made up the majority of America ethnically speaking at the time) were discriminated against in America because they were ‘foreigners’. We  also see this today, how many Haitian immigrants have been told to go back home by black Americans? How many third generation Cuban immigrants still harbour prejudice against the central American because he ‘jumped the line’? How many eastern Europeans, white as white, have been abused by white Americans?

The sense of ‘us Americans good’ and ‘dirty foreigners bad’ is as old as America itself, an evil remnant from the Puritan days. So that Mr Trump has found traction is not surprising, the anti immigrant rhetoric is also easy meat because rightly or wrongly they are seen by the thousands of newly un or underemployed as the cause of their pain.

Trumps muddled foreign policy also needs to be monitored closely as well, for any successor to him will speak in the same vein. For the two decades since the end of the cold war we have witnessed American foreign policy become the ‘new world order’ or in layman’s terms ‘Washington talks, everyone follows and dissenters be damned’, we have seen both Major parties in America spew the same ideology, from Bush Snr to Obama. We have seen needless wars and counterproductive ‘interventions’ that on the face of it makes no sense simply from a domestic point of view (corporations and powerful cliques are a different story).

Trump is simply doing what all populists have done, use foreign policy to  gin up the base. Grab Iraq’s oil as security payment (sounds good to the average man), stop cozying up to the Saudis (fundamentalist Christians are pleased), stop antagonizing Russia (doomsday preachers are placated) while bombing the middle east (Iran included) to the stone age (something many Americans view as the only solution to the regions problems). It is a policy deliberately all over the map so that it pleases everyone, and though Trump is articulating it poorly he is getting major traction and a more eloquent speaker would make hay as things stand.

The above-mentioned are but a few reasons for the rise of Trump, there are more but then I’d never finish writing. That we got a man like of Trump’s caliber is a blessing as a more sensible and eloquent person would have taken the white house. Good also because it gives America some time to both assess how the got so broken and  how they can fix themselves. Demonizing Trump supporters is not the answer because they are responding to real issues, neither is continuing down the same ideological path because to do so will cement the rise of American fascism.

 

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