I know I should have been paying attention to the mainstream post-mortems on the Trump election, but I just didn’t have the energy. Not after watching all of that business yesterday, which is the biggest dose of electoral politics I’ve suffered since I went to the RNC in Cleveland.
My brother texted me last night, asking me, ” RU watching the election results or do you care, lol?” I responded that I was interested, and was streaming Democracy Now’s coverage. Notice that I did not address the part of his question regarding “caring.” Caring would require me to invest some part of myself in the result, and that I cannot do. But I am definitely interested.
I expected much wailing and hair pulling and gnashing of teeth. Some of that would be coming from my liberal and Democrat friends, and I didn’t have the heart to watch that tragedy of belief play out, so I stayed away from social media entirely. But I did dip into the financial websites some, and I found the same grief there among the mainstream outlets, and particularly among the European neoliberals who had invested their fortunes and their ideological worldviews in the American globalist regime. As reported by Julian Borger, World Affairs editor for the Guardian, the French ambassador to the U.S., Gérard Araud, tweeted, “It is the end of an era, that of neoliberalism.” “It remains to be seen what will succeed it,” [he] added. “After Brexit and this election, everything is now possible. A world is collapsing before our eyes.”
The profoundly tragic thing is that his last sentence is completely accurate, but he is speaking from an extremely egocentric conception of that world, one in which neoliberalism=the World. But that is just his world, and the world of the governments and multinational corporations which, for now, continue to siphon incalculable shares of global production into their own pockets, through predatory stripping of the planet’s resources, and war and chaos. What the good ambassador meant is that Donald J. Trump will now be disrupting all of the global order he and the other globalists in the club (like Hillary Clinton) have built. That may be so, and I sincerely hope he is right, but I have my doubts.
Borger goes on to wring his hands that Trump has “said he would tear up and renegotiate trade treaties, and he has even called into question America’s commitment to the Nato alliance. ” Borger veritably quivers with trepidation, writing that Trump has also threatened to terminate “[l]ong-negotiated multilateral trade deals, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with Europe.” To all of this, we should be celebrating if it actually transpires. (I do share Borger’s concern with Trump reneging on the so-called nuclear deal with Iran.) But Borger is bereft of any understanding why any of this would be desirable, because he is himself a neoliberal, and as such, he quickly devolves into the propagandistic pseudo-world erected by Clinton and the Obama administration and their predecessors.
Borger repeats the nauseatingly false meme that Putin and Trump have “showered the other with praise,” a statement that is demonstrably false, but one of the duplicitous talking points concocted by the HRC operatives. He references Trump’s refusal (his word) “to criticise Russian expansionist foreign policy in Ukraine and Syria,” without any reference to the fact that it was the United States who toppled the legitimately elected government in Kiev, and installed, literally, Nazis as their replacement government. Borger utterly fails to note that it is well established that the Syrian conflict was started by the United States, that the U.S. has (itself or through proxies) supplied ISIS with the arms it has used to devastate Syrian secular government and society, or that the chemical weapons used by Washington’s terrorists (which they attempted to blame on Assad) were supplied through the ratline through Benghazi, Libya, into Syria. It was Qaddafi’s sarin gas, but after Clinton killed him, it became hers and she put it to use.
Borger seals his status as pathetically dishonest when he states that “there is clear evidence that Moscow intervened in the US election with the intention of steering it in Trump’s favour.” The link he offers in the quoted text refers to another Guardian article in which it was reported that the Obama administration “accused” Russia of hacking the DNC emails, a claim that has been thoroughly debunked (here, here, here). There is no such evidence, and if Borger knows of such evidence, I challenge him to make it public. Neither Clinton, Obama, nor the “seventeen intelligence agencies” Clinton was caught out lying about have produced any such evidence.
Now, the whole point of all this, I assure you, is not to defend Trump. Trump is a scumbag that would not be permitted near me nor anyone I care about. I think Trump presents some very real, very critical, and imminent dangers to our society and to our Earth, not to mention any woman, person of color, child, or dissenter that comes within “grabbing” distance. I’m just saying that a lot of what Trump has stated as policy positions are rational positions to take. I would try to reduce or dissolve NATO. I would repair our relationships with not only Russia, but China, Iran, Cuba, and all of Latin America. Hell yeah, I would sit down with Putin, and the Syrian war would be over quick. So would the war in Yemen, to the extent these shattered societies can ever avoid it going forward. The TPP and TTIP treaties are monstrously inequitable, and will result in the evisceration of public policy and regulation against corporate polluters and extractors. (And yes, they are also bad for employment.) So that makes sense, too. But Trump and I diverge, I think, where the definition of human comes in. Human, as in, not sociopath. Now let me outline where I think Trump will be taking us.
Trump doesn’t give a fuck about the environment. He also doesn’t give a fuck about any oppressed, poor, colored communities burdened by the detritus of industrial civilization, like undrinkable water and unsafe food. So Black Lives Matter, it gets worse for you folks. Standing Rock? Much worse. LGBTQ? Immigrants? Muslims? Trump likes the Bundy’s. He likes oil and coal a lot more than people.
Trump says he’s going to bring our troops home from overseas. That, too, is rational. But our economy is collapsing. He can’t have all those soldiers unemployed and on the streets, right? So, yeah, they’re coming home, but they’re coming home because this crazy bastard wants to build a wall on our southern border, end all protests, and ram oil pipelines anywhere he pleases. Those troops are for us. You will see increasing militarization of the police, and increasing use of militarized police, under Trump.
I should note that I think Trump’s infrastructure grandiosity is going to be frustrated. Completely. I think they will lose control fairly quickly, as crises erupt and magnify. Weather, transportation, and markets will all play big roles. Civil unrest will play a big role, and I do not see much reason to think Trump will present less state violence against the domestic population than Obama did. I think it will be much worse.
Trump can do nothing about the imminent economic collapse. Anyone notice that the Nasdaq and S&P (and almost the Dow) went “limit down” as the election returns came in? It raised Euro-sqwawks comparing it to Brexit among the EU elite. The oil industry is crumpling into its own footprint. The pipeline projects underway are not to move oil, which we presently have an enormous glut of, but to provide financing vehicles for the banks to extract additional money. It is a subprime Ponzi scheme in flames, and it is coming down.
This, by the way, would have happened if Clinton had been elected, too. Which finally brings me around to my point, which is this: Don’t cry about this election. It would have been very bad either way. These two were both ugly as murder, but their stewardship over our final years would only have been flavored somewhat differently. BUT TELL THE TRUTH!
Quit lying to each other. Quit producing and believing propaganda. This piece of Borger’s is precisely why I didn’t have the stomach for this today. It’s hack, it’s not credible. It’s annoying, because it intentionally disregards the truth to submit a meme intended to keep things running as they are, and that is a really terrible idea.
If we – any of us – are going to ride this down with dignity, we have to do it by finding people who we can trust to be rational and truthful to us. To care if we need water, or food, or comfort. We cannot do that if we’re divided over false narratives of purely ideological utility.