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Issue #1834      August 8, 2018

Culture & Life

Trump the traitor?

You have to feel sorry for Donald Trump, don’t you? There he is, a maverick property developer with enough nowse to make himself a billionaire who decides that he could make himself even more high-profile than he was already by running for President of the USA.

Politically he’s a fascist, so he sought the Republican nomination where his racism, misogyny and hostility towards climate science would be right at home. Capitalism’s leading role in the USA is not under any real threat at present, although China (in association with Russia) is steadily working to make US global economic dominance a thing of the past. Which is why China’s mammoth “Belt and Road” initiative has chilled Wall Street and the Pentagon equally.

But future worries aside, US capitalism is still securely in charge at home and although it is certainly in difficulties, it has no need at present to resort to its defence of last resort: fascism. That may change in the future if the Bernie Sanders “revolution” gathers strength, but for now corporate America feels perfectly secure under the protection of bourgeois democracy.

However, even though the Republican Party has no intention of imposing fascism on the USA at this time, the party nevertheless welcomed Trump’s candidacy, for despite the way capitalism’s spokespersons ballyhoo their much vaunted democracy, the powers-that-be in America are not at all pleased when the people’s democratic wishes begin to impinge on corporate profit making. Environmentally-driven regulations on the coal and oil industries were seen as undue government “interference” with business, and Trump was not only sympathetic but enthusiastic in his condemnation of such measures and his promises to “fix” them.

It probably did no harm that his run for the Presidency was not only backed by his personal fortune but also by some other billionaires with interests in coal and oil. Trump of course is totally in favour of expanding the fossil fuel industries (global warming is just a myth, after all, isn’t it?).

As we know, the election was a triumph for bourgeois democracy: Trump was elected President even though he actually got less votes than his main opponent, Hilary Clinton while a multitude of electors were struck off the rolls or otherwise prevented from voting and – as in previous elections – a huge number of people simply gave up and did not participate (after all, when your choice ultimately boils down to Trump or Clinton, what’s the point, eh? I mean, why bother?)

Once installed in the White House, Trump lost no time in enacting measures to appease his backers, expanding off-shore oil drilling and drilling in the Arctic as well as other attacks on the environment. He actually pulled America out of the Paris climate accords which the whole of the rest of the world had acclaimed as a triumph. He has demanded that his NATO allies all expand their arms budgets, boosting the arms race to the delight of US arms manufacturers who supply much of the world.

However, he seems to have no interest in the subtleties of international relations, preferring the kind of “deal-making” that he’s used to. But just because sections of big business are prepared to support you while your policies help make them richer does not mean that they will support you while you pursue your own concerns. As Trump has found in the wake of his summit in Helsinki with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Trump’s attempt to cut through the bullshit and reach an understanding with the Russian leader has outraged his advisers, the leaders of the Republican Party, and the US Intelligence industry, all of whom have a vested interest in promoting and sustaining a renewed Cold War.

For their part, the Democrats are equally bellicose, trying to out-do the Republicans in anti-Russian posturing. Prominent Democrat supporter and anti-Trump campaigner, TV personality Samantha Bee actually lowered herself to the level of trying to score laughs by sneering at Putin for being short! The world’s people may favour detente but the US political and media establishment clearly does not. Having a bogeyman to hate and fear makes their life a lot simpler and Vladimir Putin fills that bill at present.

As I have pointed out in previous posts, the US political establishment needs the American people to be more or less permanently embroiled in a state of paranoia: fear of Russia, fear of foreigners generally, fear of undocumented immigrants, fear of dark-skinned people, fear of Muslims, and above all Fear of Karmunists!

This prevailing paranoia explains why there are so many guns in so many American homes. The American people have had it drummed into them that having lots of nuclear weapons makes their country safe and having lots of hand guns and rifles in the house makes them safe at home. Both could not be further from the truth.

Trump’s conflicting strategy of coercing America’s NATO allies into boosting their “defence” spending (which of course takes some of the financial pressure off the US) while simultaneously presenting himself as a statesman building bridges with Russia has caused American patriots and war-hawks to denounce him as nothing short of a traitor.

The situation has been further confused and confounded by the continuing efforts of the Democrats to uncover evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during the Presidential election. Indictments have been issued against a whole raft of people identified as “Russian intelligence agents” (they must have lousy cover, is all I can say.)

It has been pointed out in a previous post that any hacking by Russians of the Democrats’ campaign was much more likely to be connected to the desire of Russia’s oligarchs and their criminal associates to see someone like them – an American oligarch (Trump) – in the Oval Office rather than a confirmed tool of Wall Street (Hilary Clinton).

Meanwhile poor old Trump blunders on treading on toes in all directions. How long will it be before they decide to remove him, I wonder?

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