In this article I’m breaking a personal vow. It is a vow that I never made publicly but kept internally for a decade or more, probably since around 9/11. Anyone who has followed my writing over the years may have noticed that I rarely comment on American politics. While I have written widely on US foreign policy, I almost never write or talk about US internal or domestic politics.
I have long understood the US administration(s)—with the exception of JFK’s brief tenure—to be a puppet show that is two-parts smoke screen, one-part entertainment and one-part distraction from the neo-con, war mongering, globalist deep state that actually calls the shots. This is so true for me that when other people talk about US politics with deep seriousness—i.e., as if political candidates, parties, democracy, a free press, etc., actually matter or exist in the US—I almost automatically tune out. While all politics is theatre to a certain extent, the US is exceptional in this regard. And the notion that there is much that is real, authentic or autonomous in US government and politics is so foreign to me that I cannot connect to it, or respond to it, with much seriousness.
With all that said, today I break my silence, in order to comment briefly on the 2016 US presidential election in the aftermath of Trump’s victory. At the beginning of this presidential campaign, I thought Donald Trump’s candidacy might be a publicity stunt; like a bombastic prime time reality show. But I was aware that the hard-core neocon, war mongering Hilary Clinton was the real danger, in terms of foreign policy and international politics. Her policies and past crimes are completely in-line with the current US-imperial agenda of endless war and military might, and this makes her far far more dangerous than Trump. It also made her far more likely to win the election, I presumed.
His extreme outrageousness and egomania aside, I felt from the outset that Trump is perceived as a threat to the global corporate, militarized establishment and its political allies, and that this is the real reason he has been demonized adhominem by the political establishment and the media in the US, across party lines. Most democratic and republican politicians and media pundits are part of the global establishment machine. Trump’s greatest crime seemed to be his unwillingness to acquiesce to the global establishment. His views on foreign policy, military spending and economic and trade policy demonstrate this. Because of his apparent threat to the global military industrial, US-led, global banking/war empire, I was certain that the deep state and global elites simply would not allow him to win. Even if they had to rig the elections in an already rigged political system, I was certain they would not “let him” win.
Now that he has, I’m not sure what to think, especially considering FBI director Comey’s sudden flip flop and condemnation of Clinton, reopening the investigation into the Clinton email (email Gate) scandal, in the eleventh hour. Does the FBI wish to see Trump in office? If so, what does that mean about his threat to the establishment? Is Trump the beginning of the end of the global establishment or is he just a revision, a new direction, a preparation for a new iteration of the status quo? Of course, Trump is part of the elite given his immense wealth and corporate muscle. But as the Centre for Research on Globalization explains, the elites are not a monolith , and there may be divisions and factions within the global elite that do indeed oppose the present and historical direction of the global establishment. Is that what Trump represents, the division within the global power structure? Does he have friends in high places that wish to revamp the current global militarized corporate and banking oligarchy? Or, is he but its latest iteration of it? Is he a gateway to what is to come–Martial Law, etc ? It remains to be seen.
For now, I’m guardedly optimistic about the new direction that economic policy and US foreign policy could take under his presidency. If he is willing (and able) to rein in either, then he will have surpassed the broken promises of the previous US administration. He has stated numerous times that he opposes many elements of the war on terror (the invasion of Libya, current US operations in Syria and attempts to oust the existing regime, covert support of ISIS by the US, etc) and the military industrial complex. And while he is no doubt a capitalist, he is more of the old-school nationalist capitalist or protectionist-isolationist kind, not the neoliberal global capitalism that has put everyone out of work. This alone made Trump better than Hilary, so to speak. But the fact that he is no doubt part of the economic elite and that he was able to win at all, despite resistance from all sides of the political and media spectrum (both democratic and republican), raises questions.