Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Too close to call yet but it seems it's gonna be Trump

Well, not really surprising for me but seems that it was for most. Apparently a dull ultra-Zionist hawkish corporatist and right-leaning candidate presented to the left should have been able to beat a dynamic blunt provocative and somewhat anti-system far-right candidate presented to the right and whoever in the grey zone was tired of more of the same. Seems that the prognostic was not correct at all.

Clinton could not appeal to her supposed voters (too far to the right, too rich, too corporatist, too establishment, too hawkish and too Zionist), Sanders could have won (so said early polls) but the establishment was not willing to accept a self-proclaimed socialist as candidate (and I guess Sanders himself was not as good tactician as Trump, so he could not beat Clinton at her own game in the Democratic Party, while the madman did instead beat each of his opponents one by one in a masterful game of power).

So the devil won, the witch came close second but almost doesn't count. What now?

The truth is that nobody seems to know but here there is a clue, courtesy of The Real News: his vice president Pence wants to be like Dick Cheney:

And I guess that if Trump falls out of a balcony accidentally, he would like to be like Caligula, right?

Dick Cheney was not a bit less hawkish than Clinton, I'd say he was even more aggressive, and particularly creative at rallying the nation around the false flag attack of 9-11. Are we set for another Hollywoodian staged self-attack? One that will bring the USA against China after securing the neutrality of Russia? Just saying, I really don't know but I guess it fits with what Trump has mumbled so far: Russia cool, China bad, Mexico scum.

Over here a lot of left-leaning people (the right, the center and the center-left are all with Hillary) has been speculating about whether a Trump victory could be relatively "good" (maybe he dismantles NATO with his weird ideas about everybody paying their share, even those who are totally uninterested in NATO and are only in by inertia, maybe he makes friends with Putin delaying WWIII, it can't be worse than more-of-the-same-but-even-worse Hillary, right?) But I don't think it will be any good: it's debatable if he'd be worse than Rodham-Clinton but he's not clearly going to be any better at all. 

Maybe good for Syria and the real Ukraine, as he's said he will respect Putin's Russia. And that is also good for Europe in principle, at least for most of us (all those who are not crazy ultra-nationalist and ultra-catholic Poles or similar). But the dangers seem to lay everywhere else, particularly I would be quite unhappy in the position of China (although they will probably outsmart the New Yorker, they have done before). I would also be very unhappy in the position of the Eurocrats, who are just totally in the role of being self-interested subservient cogs of NATO, which he may well dismantle, almost accidentally, when he demands protection money to totally broken economies. And I would be absolutely unhappy in the shoes of Mexico, of course, because the colonial status quo forged by the Coca-Cola boy, Fox, is suddenly being questioned in its entirety. 

Actually the uncertainty is so extreme that Japan's Nikkei has collapsed and Mexico's financial bodies have called a press conference later today. The Mexican peso is sinking relative to the US dollar but the imperial currency is also falling severely relative to such a Frankenstein currency as is the euro. Good for US exports to Europe, I guess, bad for Gringo imports from places other than Mexico.
Currency falls, inflation, are bad for importers and consumers but good for exporters. 

Anyhow: will Trump victory be a brown shirts' march towards Washington, sort of, as many fear in the USA? I can't say but we know already that French fascist Marine Le Pen has been the first European leader to congratulate Donald Trump on his apparent victory, and also that the Canadian immigration service online page has collapsed tonight because of excess visitors. Canada is not far enough and anyhow you can't really run away from the main global superpower, with military bases and occupation contingents all over the World, with the NSA so actively spying the Internet and with laws that allow the Government to assassinate anyone anywhere, including of course US citizens. Look at the difficult situation of several better known US and allies' dissidents: Manning in jail and apparently attempting suicide once and again, Assange for several years refuged in the Ecuador Embassy in London, Snowden fled to Moscow, Meissan (French investigative journalist) had to find refuge in Syria, Assata Shakur has been refuged in Cuba since the 70s, etc. Maybe rather than looking for refuge in Canada, you should consider places like North Korea, really - at least they have nukes and a crazy chubby leader mad enough to threaten the USA itself, he may like you, who knows?

Well, so far my improvised opinions. Which are yours?


  1. I am still a little lost/ stunned by the outcome. I feared and loathed Trump a lot more than Clinton, although that doesn't say much. How the US Senator from Wall Street became the left of center candidate is a mystery. The Ds had no wind in their sails at all. But Trump does not respect or even understand our constitutional system. He is an avowed enemy of free speech, immigrants, Muslims, etc. A budding fascist. The most hopeful thing I can suggest is that no one knows what the future will bring. Maybe he doesn't care at all about religion and so will greatly disappoint the religious fundamentalists who backed him. We can always hope.

    By the way I wondered why you have not commented on Trump until now.

    1. "I wondered why you have not commented on Trump until now".

      I was much more scared of Rodham-Clinton, to be honest, whose extremist Zionism would probably bring war and destruction, particularly in West Asia, much closer to where I live than Washington. For what we know of international politics' agenda, Trump should be much better than Clinton: the more I read/listen, the more he has promised all the right things in that aspect, including apparently lowering the US military budget because it's just not profitable be waging wars and power-projecting every day.

      Also I felt I didn't really know enough, it's only now when I'm learning. My candidate was Jill Stein, I would have (if allowed) voted maybe for Sanders but never ever ever for Hillary Rodham Clinton, Warlady of Hell. I remember too well her first campaign, her time as Secretary of State and what (mostly her camp in) Obama's administration has done in Ucraine and Syria, Venezuela and Brazil.

      Trump would probably be more popular if he was not so exposed on what he said on Mexicans and women. The latter is his personal weak spot, the former probably just something he had to say to rally the far right, but also all those harmed by globalization, around him.

      It seems to be this last bit what won him the presidency: that he did appeal, from a free market but somewhat anti-globalist or protectionist perspective, to the (white) workers of the industrial mid-North.

      Now, I'm still extremely worried about what he or those around him might do, particularly inside the USA. What we know about Trump is that nobody seems to know much about what he will actually do once in power. But well, what did Obama do of all his promises: almost nothing, even when he had a blue House, he did not push for them with much energy, and in the international arena, where really does matter who is the US President, he did all the wrong things most of the time (in the last months he may have reoriented a bit his Syrian politics, after so many PR and on-the-ground failures, but that's about it: all the rest is just evil). So can Trump be worse in this aspect? Hardly, and particularly hardly worse at all than Hillary Rodham Clinton.

      Inside, Hillary also didn't seem able or willing to appeal to the working class, she was mostly interested on getting Sanders out of the rally and almost considered Trump a guarantee for her victory somehow. It's a clear demonstration of how the "extreme center" establishment (in the West in general) is failing to even grasp the severity of the situation they have brought us all into with their pretend-and-extend and loot-while-you-can policies.


    2. ...

      As I say in the other entry on this matter, the real problem is that the Extreme Center is broken: their "extend and pretend" and "plunder while you can" tactics are exhausted, so people is: (1) not too willing to back them anymore and (2) quite too willing to try anything else, as it can hardly be worse, right?

      This is an end of cycle: the end of the first part of the Mega-Crisis, the part where most imagined things would just get better automatically, without any effort other than some "austerity". The negation part: "no, there is no problem", "all is OK, just wait and see how it gets straight without any proactive effort". It seems we have got into the danger-and-depression intermediate phase, hopefully some day (it may well take another decade in most cases, I fear) we will get to the realistic acceptance-and-confrontation phase: "the system is truly broken, it has to be radically changed". There's no guarantee that it will reach that stage in time to avoid many dire issues and an inverted demographic pyramid, with lots of elderly voters, doesn't help change at all.

      But what really doesn't help is the lack of a credible alternative. In this sense Trump represents in many aspects also the denial phase: "heroin is good" would say the addict, "there's no such thing as addiction or drug-caused damage"; Trump's denial of global warming is similar, but in other aspects he's at least saying: globalization can be a problem, warmongering can be dangerous and wasteful, etc., what does appeal to workers who know too well it is true.

      I'm scared of Trump but not a bit more scared than I would be of Rodham-Clinton. Different shades of fear only. Once Sanders was out and Stein did not look like she could rally the "Sanderist" vote (the system is so anti-representative, so rigged!), I really lost most of my interest in US presidential elections, much as I am not really interested in the upcoming French presidential elections because, really, what's the difference between Le Pen and Juppé (or Sarkozy)? There is one interesting leftist candidate, Melanchon, but he won't make it to the second round no matter what, so whatever...

      IMO we are in a very deep long cycle systemic crisis in which the necessary reforms are aborted by the ruling oligarchy (extremely selfish and short-sighted). This mini-cycle has dangerous parallels to the 1930s but in general the crisis is much more similar to that of the late 18th century (all the burden is put on the working classes, all the profits and privileges go to the elites, "there is no alternative" is the only slogan) which spawned the French Revolution and a bunch of other related ones, included the one that formed the USA.

      I don't really know how it will pave out in the fine detail but clearly just doing the same and pretending it's alright is not working at all, and the patience of the downtrodden workers is running extremely thin. In the worst case it will end with a very painful demonstration of the stupidity and undeserved arrogance of Humankind: extinction by ecological catastrophe or nuclear war, hopefully it will end instead in a radical transformation into a better, reasonably balanced and sustainable, socialist World (no way out in capitalist terms, nope).

      This radical change has to be built piece by piece, step by step, it won't just come on its own by mere inertia. But first of all we have to think "out of the box" of the Extreme Center, of more of the same.

  2. I wrote something earlier but lost it trying to post. Maybe it will make better sense the second time.

    Yes, the Extreme Center, the status quo, was played out. If you followed the primary elections, you saw people like Clinton and Jeb Bush struggling and Sanders and Trump doing well. Something was happening.

    Many, many articles have been written in the US press over the last 18 months about this, so my thoughts are not original. But this is what I think. A lot of people, especially culturally Christian, white working class people who live in the interior of the country, gave a big "fuck you" to the elites. But it was equally cultural as it was economic. Free trade and economic globalism are one side of a coin, and the cosmopolitan world view of the highly educated liberals, with its multi-culturalism and support for minority communities, is the other side. That's why immigration, Black Lives Matter, and Islam, for example, struck such a deep chord with Trump voters. Trump's campaign often ran ads or posted online images which played off immigrants against US veterans. As if helping refugees took money directly out of the pockets of disabled veterans. Images of young black people against police officers, as if we were all at war with each other. Images of protesters burning flags.

    In rural Indiana where I grew up (a depressed area), almost all of my high school friends still live there, and they overwhelmingly love Trump. My friends in Washington state, where I live, are all highly educated liberals doing well financially, many of us have state jobs, and none of us can stand Trump. It is like two different worlds. In my current world, free trade, immigration, multiculturalism, individual rights, minority advancement, etc. are all good things. I walk down the street and there are restaurants and food trucks run by immigrant families from all over the world, tattoo parlors, local book stores, nightclubs that host drag shows, theatres, all sorts of things. We look forward to the future. In my old world back home, they revere police, veterans, church, the American flag, traditional sports and hunting, the English language, and look back to the past. It's not my imagination. All my high school friends and my extended family post these things on Facebook.

    It was odd to me, although perfectly valid, that you saw this choice through the prism of US involvement throughout the world. I experienced it mostly as cultural, even economics playing a secondary role. Although the people in Ohio, Michigan, etc., who voted for Trump undoubtedly experienced it as economic. To me, the best view is that US whites rejected globalism both as free trade and as the cosmopolitan, multi-cultural world view of the major cities and the coasts.

    As everyone says, no one knows how Trump will actually try to govern. We can only wait to see.

    1. I'm somewhat familiar with that rural USA you mention, I studied a year as exchange student near Lynchburg, Virginia, a place rather infamous for their influential tele-preacher Jerry Falwell. I remember calling him "a fascist" in Sociology class and how everybody else looked at me shocked. On the other hand, I was quite popular in History class, where I was in charge of setting history and common sense straight against a very reactionary vaguely pro-segregation old teacher, who confused the Hansa and the Holy League. What surprised me most was to what extent racial segregation (after school) was still a very real thing, as it probably is even today. I was aware that US-Americans were very religious people (my favorite uncle, a mathematician, atheist and socialist, worked in the USA for decades and he was very tired of that, among other things: lack of proper social security for instance, extreme individualism, etc.) but I was not aware of all the other things that come with that, really.

      I'm learning about Trump and his camp almost as we speak but also about why he could win being so outrageous in so many aspects (a calculated stand no doubt to rally the far right, much stronger than most hoped for quite apparently, except for the misogyny scandal) and one of the places I'm finding interesting debates and interviews is at The Real News Network, particularly regarding the division and almost desperation among unionized white workers, which was no doubt key to his victory. Probably Trump's most important message has been that he will bring back industry and economic prosperity to the USA, something that is hardly going to happen at all, particularly with a policy of low taxes for the rich, but that he knew too well was critical to his victory ("it's the economy, stupid!") The day after is another story, as he's bound to stay put for the next four years, because his vice president is no doubt much worse, and anyhow Congress and the Supreme Court are all in the hands of the (far or further) right.

      One thing I watched today at TRN was an appeal to fight for state and local power, because it is very apparent that a lot stems from those levels. Particularly a warning about right-wingers being close to be able to call a constituent convention.

      Another detail is the low attendance to voting, not much discussed but the participation figure seems to be between 48% and 51%, what is ridiculously low and basically delegitimizes either candidate and even Congress altogether. Another key issue, which is also fought at state level, is voter rights, which are being eroded dramatically. It's impossible to understand how the Deep South could elect republicans, particularly someone like Trump, when a very sizable fraction of the electorate are Blacks. And the obvious answer is that these are not voting, either because they are extremely alienated from politics or because they are being prevented from voting (both are true AFAIK). This is not only happening in the South, states like Wisconsin are doing exactly the same and in general it is clear that difficulties for voting increase massively if you're black, poor or both. Those Blacks who voted massively did against Trump, being the only segment of the US citizenry to do so.


    2. ...

      This is another aspect in which Trump's victory evidences that the system us utterly broken, illegitimate in way too many ways, and that's why, I guess, so many people feel legitimate to protest against Trump's victory, even if it is pointless from the legal point of view (even if impeached, the outcome would be even worse with Pence).

      If there is a good side to all this is to bring forth the brokenness, the utterly obsolete nature of the US political system (winner takes all, gerrymandering, states deciding who can or cannot vote, unlimited corporate power in elections, etc.), almost unreformed in more than two centuries. However the challenge is that the ones who want to reform the system more are the far right, and obviously they want to do that to make it worse, not better.

      On the other hand the USA is growingly mature in objective terms (not in subjective ones though probably) for a revolutionary process, much as Europe is too: the endless crisis has totally disenfranchised the masses and voting for Trump (some) or just not voting for Clinton (most) is the way they are saying "no" to this hopeless situation. It is clearly in need of a true empowering for the real people, many of which chose not to vote at all or were not allowed to. These processes have budded once and again in the last years: Obama's "Change" grassroots campaing, Occupy Wall Street, Sanders' campaign, etc. But change is not going to happen from top down: these are clear symptoms and ones that have lot of traction among the youth (a characteristic of today's Western neo-fascism is that it's incredibly old, so they can't really even rally the brown shirts because they are too old for that in most cases, they can only rely on police and mercenaries, not enough at all), change must happen from bottom down and winning local and state elections, organizing a real party from the grassroots level, etc. is key to that potential success (which IMO is enormously likely in the mid run). It's not going to happen overnight and almost certainly it won't happen via the rotten Democratic Party either. That's why I advocated for Jill Stein but it's clear that she and her party are not capable to organize the disenfranchised masses, much less in such a polarized contest as this one was.


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