The US Politician Who Could Become Second Abraham Lincoln

The US Politician Who Could Become Second Abraham Lincoln
ERIC ZUESSE | 31.01.2017 | WORLD

The US Politician Who Could Become Second Abraham Lincoln

There are several reasons why the progressive Tulsi Gabbard stands an extraordinarily good likelihood of repeating the extraordinary achievement of the progressive Abraham Lincoln.

The electoral defeat of a liberal Hillary Clinton in 2016, and the widespread recognition of the fact that a progressive Bernie Sanders as the Democratic candidate would have stood a far higher probability of beating Donald Trump than Clinton did, combines with an equally widespread recognition that the Democratic Party’s corrupted leadership by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton brought enormous harm to the Democratic Party by actually cheating the stronger and more progressive candidate Sanders out of the Party’s nomination, so that competition has already begun within the Democratic Party, to determine whom the Party should nominate in 2020 to run against President Donald Trump. There is no longer an incumbent (such as Obama), nor his chosen successor (such as was the former Secretary of State, Clinton), to dominate the Democratic field in 2020 (as was the case in 2016); and yet even Sanders himself — who in 2016 was more preferred to become President than was any other of the twenty major-Party candidates — would likely be too old for some of his 2016 voters to support again in 2020. Many Democratic voters will be looking for «new blood» — a progressive like Sanders, but one whose remaining life-expectancy will extend well beyond two terms as the U.S. President.

Clinton is simply out of the running because of her failure and because of the clear harms that she has already done to the Party (losing across-the-board: Presidency, Senate, House, governorships, and state houses); and yet Sanders is still considered as a possibility, although he would be 79 years old in 2020 and is therefore unlikely to be chosen. The field is wide open this time around, not at all like it was in 2016.

Attention thus has begun to be focused upon the young progressive who nominated Sanders at the Democratic National Convention on 26 July 2016: U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. One of the chief arguments that are presented against her as being a Presidential candidate in 2020 (if she won’t already by that time have become a U.S. Senator) is that she is «only» a member of the large U.S. House of Representatives, and not a member of the far smaller, and yet more powerful, U.S. Senate — nor is she a state governor (which post, along with that of being a Senator, have traditionally been the two preferred springboards into the White House). But her being «only» a Representative is not actually a disqualifier.

There were two U.S. Representatives who ran for the White House and who won, and one of those two was possibly the greatest U.S. President ever: the progressive Abraham Lincoln in 1860. (The other was James Garfield, 20 years later.) Also like Lincoln, who staked out and led a stunningly courageous progressive political position on the central political issue of his time, Tulsi Gabbard has staked out and led a stunningly courageous progressive political position on what is perhaps the central political issue of our time.

This young progressive might therefore repeat what Lincoln did.

Abraham Lincoln went from being one of Illinois’ Representatives in Congress, directly to becoming (according to historians in our time) tied with the progressive Franklin Delano Roosevelt as having been the greatest American President.

The progressive Illinois Representative Lincoln became a U.S. President because he displayed the extraordinarily rare moral courage, as a U.S. Presidential candidate, to condemn the most evil conservative tradition in his time, slavery, that had been cursing this country for decades, ever since America’s founding in the Constitution of 1787 — the nation’s founding document that accepted slavery, and that thus granted slave-owners an additional three-fifths or 60% of representation in Congress, for each and every slave that they owned; or, as wikipedia describes the net impact of the Constitution’s Three-Fifths Clause, «The effect was to give the southern states a third more seats in Congress and a third more electoral votes than if slaves had been ignored, but fewer than if slaves and free persons had been counted equally, allowing the slaveholder interests [the slave-owners] to largely dominate the government of the United States until 1861». Lincoln broke the stranglehold that the slaveholding Southern aristocracy (and their backers amongst the northern aristocrats) had held, during the nation’s early decades, over the U.S. government. Lincoln broke the dictatorship of the slave-owners (and of their northern bankers and slave-merchants — after all, those suppliers to the slave-market had benefited considerably from the added clout that the Three-Fifths Clause was providing to their customers, and which had helped continue and even expand the slaving tradition: the buying of slaves, from those slavers).

The progressive Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard similarly displays extraordinarily rare moral courage, hers being to condemn the most evil conservative tradition of our time: she condemns the U.S. military-industrial complex’s decades-long stranglehold, ever since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, over the U.S. government — the dictatorship that the weapons-corporations such as Lockheed Martin have over the U.S. federal government after the Cold War had ended on the Russian side, in 1991, and after Russia’s communism had ended and its Warsaw Pact military alliance to defend against America’s NATO alliance, also both ended in 1991, on Russia’s side, but the Cold War did not really end on America’s side. The Cold War continues, even today, on the American side, because of the stranglehold of the U.S. military-industrial complex over our government, which expands (instead of ends) its anti-Russian military alliance, NATO, even after that alliance’s very reason-for-being — the communist threat — had ceased a full quarter-century ago.

As Gabbard has courageously expressed this matter, regarding specifically the very hot issue of America’s participation in the war in Syria, when speaking on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, on 8 December 2016:

Ms. GABBARD. Mr. Speaker, under U.S. law, it is illegal for you or me or any American to provide any type of assistance to al Qaeda, ISIS, or other terrorist groups. If we broke this law, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. Government has been violating this law for years, directly and indirectly supporting allies and partners of groups like al Qaeda and ISIS with money, weapons, intelligence, and other support in their fight to overthrow the Syrian Government.

A recent New York Times article confirmed that «rebel groups» supported by the U.S. «have entered into battlefield alliances with the affiliate of al Qaeda in Syria, formerly known as Al Nusra».

The Wall Street Journal reports that rebel grounds are «doubling down on their alliance» with al Qaeda. This alliance has rendered the phrase «moderate rebels» meaningless. We must stop this madness. We must stop arming terrorists.

I am introducing the Stop Arming Terrorists Act today to prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used to support terrorists.

She would refocus our military against jihadists, instead of against Russians.

Rather than asserting such a hateful conservative lie as «Russia, this is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe», Gabbard was saying that jihadists in all countries (and implicitly thereby, the aristocracies, such as the Sauds, that fund them) are that. (But, of course, America’s military-industrial complex sells lots more weapons if nuclear war is the goal than if killing terrorists is the goal — so, they can’t support a candidate such as Gabbard, who prefers to defend the American people, instead of to sell weapons.) And not only was she asserting that Russia’s ally Syria was defending itself against the jihadists, as the U.S. itself is, but she was asserting that our country, the United States, has actually been supporting those jihadists because they’re trying to overthrow Syria’s anti-jihadist government, which is supported by Russia. She was interviewed hostilely by both the liberal newsmedia and the conservative newsmedia — both Democrats and Republicans — and was condemned especially by the Democratic Party’s leadership — for her leading this anti-aristocratic position, and for her displaying this moral courage, even in the face of the aristocracy who buy ‘electoral’ wins, such as seats in Congress, and ultimately buy even America’s Presidencies, the people who occupy the U.S. White House.

(As regards Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s famous assertion that «Russia, this is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe», the only sense in which that statement is even conceivably realistic is that the settlement at the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 was for the U.S. and Russia to have a balanced level of mutual-deterrence nuclear forces: the concept of maintaining Mutually Assured Destruction, or «MAD», which had prevented another world war, was to continue, to the mutual benefits of both sides, and of the entire world. But that is very different from continued mutual hostility and a nuclear-arms race, such as the neoconservatives (all the way from John McCain to Hillary Clinton) want. After the end of the Soviet Union, that costly arms-race wasn’t supposed to continue. George Herbert Walker Bush and his agents all assured Mikhail Gorbachev that the Cold War would be over if communism ended and the Warsaw Pact ended. The U.S. aristocracy just doesn’t want to fulfill its side of that bargain — they lied; they want conquest.)

As I look at the viewer-comments that are posted on all of those videos of Gabbard presenting this position — a position which is rejected by all of the U.S. Establishment — I get the impression that her position wins such broad public support, that Representative Gabbard would, if she becomes the Democratic Party’s nominee for President in 2020, sweep the White House and the Senate and the House, and become, as Abraham Lincoln was in the 1860s, a President who would, temporarily, conquer America’s aristocracy, which this time owns the giant ‘defense’ oligopoly firms, instead of owns the most slaves.

Here, for example, was a typical statement from Lincoln — the first and only progressive Republican President (the only one, because his Party got taken over by the U.S. aristocracy immediately after he was shot dead in 1865); it’s dated 3 December 1861:

——

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital, producing mutual benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole labor of community exists within that relation. A few men own capital, and that few avoid labor themselves, and, with their capital, hire or buy another few to labor for them. A large majority belong to neither class — neither work for others, nor have others working for them. In most of the southern States, a majority of the whole people of all colors are neither slaves nor masters; while in the northern a large majority are neither hirers nor hired. Men with their families — wives, sons, and daughters — work for themselves, on their farms, in their houses, and in their shops, taking the whole product to themselves, and asking no favors of capital on the one hand, nor of hired laborers or slaves on the other. It is not forgotten that a considerable number of persons mingle their own labor with capital — that is, they labor with their own hands, and also buy or hire others to labor for them; but this is only a mixed, and not a distinct class. No principle stated is disturbed by the existence of this mixed class.

Again: as has already been said, there is not, of necessity, any such thing as the free hired laborer being fixed to that condition for life. Many independent men everywhere in these States, a few years back in their lives, were hired laborers. The prudent, penniless beginner in the world, labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself; then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This is the just, and generous, and prosperous system, which opens the way to all — gives hope to all, and consequent energy, and progress, and improvement of condition to all. No [Page  53] men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty — none less inclined to take, or touch, aught which they have not honestly earned. Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which, if surrendered, will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they, and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them, till all of liberty shall be lost.

——

Here was a typical statement from Gabbard, this one condemning the then Democratic President Barack Obama’s hyper-conservative (or extremely pro-aristocracy) proposed TPP commercial treaty with Pacific-Rim countries:

——

gabbard.house.gov

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: ITC’s Report Confirms TPP is A Bad Deal for the American People

May 20, 2016 Press Release

Washington, DC — Today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, released the following statement after the International Trade Commission (ITC) released a report on the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) projected impact on the U.S. economy:

«The International Trade Commission report confirms what we have known all along—the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement is a bad deal for the American people.  We’ve heard from TPP proponents how the TPP will boost our economy, help American workers, and set the standards for global trade.  The ITC’s report tells us the opposite is true. In exchange for just 0.15 percent boost in GDP by 2032, the TPP would decimate American manufacturing capacity, increase our trade deficit, ship American jobs overseas, and result in losses to 16 of the 25 U.S. economic sectors. These estimates don’t even account for the damaging effects of currency manipulation, which is not addressed in the deal, environmental impacts, and the agreement’s deeply flawed Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) process that empowers foreign corporations to supersede our sovereignty and domestic rule of law. This report further proves that the TPP is worse than we thought, and will benefit Wall Street banks and multinational corporations on the backs of hard-working Americans and our economy».

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard strongly opposed «fast-track» Trade Promotion Authority when it came before the House last year and has continued to speak out against the TPP.  Earlier this year, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, Rosa DeLauro and other lawmakers released a joint op-ed on why the American people deserve better than the TPP.

——

Gabbard’s anti-TPP position, and her anti anti-Russia position, happen actually to be intimately connected, because a major motivation for Obama’s geostrategy behind all three of his mega-‘trade’ deals — TPP, TTIP, and TISA, all three of which were greatly facilitated by Congress’s passage of «Fast Track» — had also been designing it so as to exclude both Russia and China (as well as the other BRICS countries) from belonging to any of these proposed huge trading-blocs. TPP, TTIP, and TISA, were thus intended actually as huge collective acts of «trade war». For example: «TISA involves 51 countries, including every advanced economy except the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa)». The U.S. aristocracy are like a giant boa-constrictor, with an unlimited appetite for conquest, and they cannot succeed without their alliances with the aristocracies of other nations. Gabbard repeatedly has said that she wants to do everything she can to help «ending our country’s interventionist regime-change war policies». A progressive believes that being more aggressive isn’t necessarily being stronger, but can (and often does) cause a nation to become weaker, and less prosperous — even if not for its aristocrats, who thrive by invading other lands.

Both Lincoln and Gabbard are Representatives (and, in Lincoln’s case, subsequently a President) who courageously waged ideological battle for the public, against the aristocracy — they were/are progressives. The main difference between them is that the aristocracy today wages its warfare against the public differently than it did in 1860. Whereas nowadays it derives the biggest source of its power from selling weaponry and energy and disease-care products and financial services (including to U.S. soldiers), in Lincoln’s time it was selling slaves and the products of slaves. So, today’s government has been designed for the ‘defense’ firms, whereas until 1860 it was designed for the slaving firms.

Though the times have changed, the basic ideological struggle remains basically the same as it always has been: the aristocracy versus the public. And, like Representative Abraham Lincoln did in the 1850s,  Representative Tulsi Gabbard in our time has been making very clear, by her courageous actions and statements, on which side of the ideological divide she stands. It’s the same side that Sanders himself stood on: the progressive side. He would be terrific — in her Cabinet, or in her White House: like William H. Seward was, to Abraham Lincoln.

Trump’s inaugural speech – promises, hopes and opportunities

January 21, 2017

This article was written for the Unz Review

Just hours ago Donald Trump was finally sworn in as the President of the United States. Considering all the threats hanging over this event, this is good news because at least for the time being, the Neocons have lost their control over the Executive Branch and Trump is now finally in a position to take action. The other good news is Trump’s inauguration speech which included this historical promise

We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow”.

Could that really mean that the USA has given up its role of World Hegemon? The mere fact of asking the question is already an immensely positive development as nobody would have asked it had Hillary Clinton been elected.

The other interesting feature of Trump’s speech is that it centered heavily on people power and on social justice. Again, the contrast with the ideological garbage from Clinton could not be greater. Still, this begs a much more puzzling question: how much can a multi-millionaire capitalist be trusted when he speaks of people power and social justice – not exactly what capitalists are known for, at least not amongst educated people. Furthermore, a Marxist reader would also remind us that imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism and that it makes no sense to expect a capitalist to suddenly renounce imperialism.

But what was generally true in 1916 is not necessarily true in 2017.

For one thing, let’s begin by stressing that the Trump Presidency was only made possible by the immense financial, economic, political, military and social crisis facing the USA today. Eight years of Clinton, followed by eight years of Bush Jr and eight years of Obama have seen a massive and full-spectrum decline in the strength of the United States which were sacrificed for the sake of the AngloZionist Empire. This crisis is as much internal as it is external and the election of Trump is a direct consequence of this crisis. In fact, Trump is the first one to admit that it is the terrible situation in which the USA find themselves today which brought him to power with a mandate of the regular American people (Hillary’s “deplorables”) to “drain the DC swamp” and “make America”, as opposed to the American plutocracy, “great again”. This might be somethhing crucial: I cannot imagine Trump trying to simply do “more of the same” like his predecessors did or trying to blindly double-down like the Neocons always try to.

I am willing to bet that Trump really and sincerely believes that the USA is in a deep crisis and that a new, different, sets of policies must be urgently implemented. If that assumption of mine proves to be correct, then this is by definition very good news for the entire planet because whatever Trump ends up doing (or not doing), he will at least not push his country into a nuclear confrontation with Russia. And yes, I think that it is possible that Trump has come to the conclusion that imperialism has stopped working for the USA, that far from being the solution to the contradictions of capitalism, imperialism might well have become its most self-defeating feature.

Is it possible for an ideological system to dump one of its core component after learning from past mistakes? I think it is, and a good example of that is 21st Century Socialism, which has completely dumped the kind of militant atheism which was so central to the 20th century Socialist movement. In fact, modern 21st Century Socialism is very pro-Christian. Could 21st century capitalism dump imperialism? Maybe.

Furthermore, Trump inaugurational speech did, according to RT commentators, sound in many aspects like the kind of speech Bernie Sanders could have made. And I think that they are right. Trump did sound like a paleo-liberal, something which we did not hear from him during the campaign. You could also say that Trump sounded very much like Putin. The question is will he now also act like Putin too?

There will be a great deal of expectations in Russia about how Trump will go about fulfilling his campaign promises to deal with other countries. Today, when Trump pronounced the followings words

We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world – but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first

He told the Russians exactly what they wanted to hear: Trump does not pretend to be a “friend” of Russia and Trump openly and unapologetically promises to care about his own people first, and that is exactly what Putin has been saying and doing since he came to power in Russia: caring for the Russian people first. After all, caring for your own first hardly implies being hostile or even indifferent to others. All it means is that your loyalty and your service is first and foremost to those who elected you to office. This refreshing patriotic honesty, combined with the prospect of friendship and goodwill will sound like music to the Russian ears.

Then there are Trump’s words about “forming new alliances” and uniting “the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth”. They will also be received with a great deal of hope by the Russian people. If the USA is finally serious about fighting terrorism and if they really wants to eradicate the likes of Daesh, then Russia will offer her full support to this effort, including her military, intelligence, police and diplomatic resources. After all, Russia has been advocating for “completely eradicating Radical Islamic Terrorism from the face of the Earth” for decades.

There is no doubt in my mind at all that an alliance between Russia and the USA, even if limited only to specific areas of converging or mutual interests, would be immensely beneficial for the entire planet, and not for just these two countries: right now all the worst international crises are a direct result from the “tepid war” the USA and Russia have been waging against each other. And just like any other war, this war has been a fantastic waste of resources. Of course, this war was started by the USA and it was maintained and fed by the Neocon’s messianic ideology. Now that a realist like Trump has come to power, we can finally hope for this dangerous and wasteful dynamic to be stopped.

The good news is that neither Trump nor Putin can afford to fail. Trump, because he has made an alliance with Russia the cornerstone of his foreign policy during his campaign, and Putin because he realizes that it is in the objective interests of Russia for Trump to succeed, lest the Neocon crazies crawl back out from their basement. So both sides will enter into negotiations with a strong desire to get things done and a willingness to make compromises as long as they do not affect crucial national security objectives. I think that the number of issues on which the USA and Russia can agree upon is much, much longer than the number of issues where irreconcilable differences remain.

So yes, today I am hopeful. More than anything else, I want to hope that Trump is “for real”, and that he will have the wisdom and courage to take strong action against his internal enemies. Because from now on, this is one other thing which Putin and Trump will have in common: their internal enemies are far more dangerous than any external foe. When I see rabid maniacs like David Horowitz declaring himself a supporter of Donald Trump, I get very, very concerned and I ask myself “what does Horowitz know which I am missing?”. What is certain is that in the near future one of us will soon become very disappointed. I just hope that this shall not be me.

The Saker

When Was America Great?

Donald Trump ran for President on the slogan “Make America Great Again,” implying that America had been great once, but no longer is.

True to form, Hillary Clinton’s rejoinder was clueless.  America is great now, she would insist every chance she got — indispensably great, “exceptional” even.

Could there be a more empty-headed exchange of views!

After all, Trump was neither asserting nor implying anything; he was pitching a line to a demographic that he, advertising himself, wanted to target.  Therefore, no rebuttal was called for; least of all, one as inane as Clinton’s.

But, of course, she was pitching a line too.

A cottage industry has lately sprung up analyzing the pathologies of Donald Trump’s personality.  His public persona is inscrutable, however; it defies analysis for the simple reason that there is no there there.

Trump is a con man for whom reasons and evidence matter only insofar as they serve his purposes.   He is whatever he needs to be at the moment.

Meanwhile, Clinton took her lead from the Ronald Reagan, “morning in America” playbook.  The Gipper sold his snake oil by projecting a shallow, but infectious, optimism.  However, for that to work, a sunny disposition is required.  Hillary isn’t a good enough actor to pull it off.

All she could do was scare a lot of voters – a majority of them, it turned out — with the specter of the orange haired monster.  As for promoting herself, she was hopeless.

Moreover, her take on the morning in America meme only fed the hostility of her detractors.   How could it not?  In their minds, she represented the “elites” behind the losses they felt.

They were right about that.

Meanwhile, Trump knew exactly how to play his marks by making them think that he could restore a past that they look back upon with nostalgia.

In reality, though, Trump cannot do anything of the sort, and wouldn’t if he could.

This is why, before long, “Make America Great Again” will stick in the craw of Trump voters in much the way that Obama’s “hope and change thingee,” as Sarah Palin called it, still plagues disillusioned Obamaphiles.

Obama was vague about what he wanted people to hope for, and what changes he saw coming.  Trump is vague as well.

But it is obvious enough what he wants people to hear when he speaks of making America great — again.

Since Trump’s target audience was comprised mainly of people who are at least middle aged, it would be fair to say that his goal was to get them to think of post-War America as their personal Paradise lost.

This is nonsense, of course; but, by now, the span of time between the late forties and early sixties is remote enough to be looked back upon in ways that Trump could and did successfully exploit.

***

The man is anything but subtle.

He wanted his marks to yearn for a Golden Age in which hard working white men could make a decent living doing honest, productive labor in jobs that were not about to go away; and in which everybody else knew his or her place: blacks in the back of the bus, women standing by their men, gays in the closet, Hispanics in Mexico or Central America.

The pundits tell us that “Make America Great Again” is a dog whistle slogan – meaning that its meaning is audible to Trump’s target audience and no one else.   Like so much else that liberal pundits tell us, this is nonsense.  What Trump wanted people to hear was audible to everybody.

It is a noxious message, and a false one: even white men didn’t have it so good back in the day.

Nevertheless, as with much else that Trump says, there is something to it – just not what he intended.

For one thing, the political scene really was better in the Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy years.  Republicans were pernicious, of course, but no worse than Democrats are today.  And the New Deal spirit still survived in sectors of the Democratic Party.

Democrats now, especially since Election Day, are many times worse than they used to be.  Cold War Democrats had at least some measure of common sense and proportionality; Democrats today, for no plausible reason whatsoever, are hell-bent on taking the world to the brink of destruction, or beyond.

Hillary lost, but, within the ranks of the party she led, her Russophobic, neoconservative warmongering has taken on a life of its own.   Can any sane person not be nostalgic for a time when Democrats were better than that?

It is all well and good to question the “legitimacy” of Trump’s presidency.   There are so many questions that could be raised about that: voter suppression topping the list.

But Democrats cannot find it in themselves to do anything more edifying than blame those damn Ruskies.

This is not only preposterous; it is criminally reckless because all it does is prepare the public for war.

On this, “progressive” Democrats are as bad as the others; as bad even as Republicans like that perennial miscreant John McCain and his sidekick, Lindsey Graham.

Shame especially on “civil rights icon” and Clinton stooge John Lewis.  The guardians of the status quo now find it useful to place him on a pedestal, just as they find it useful to de-radicalize and then venerate Martin Luther King.

In exchange for the honor, he does them yeoman service – as when he conflated still unanswered questions about Russian hackers with the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s election.

Civil rights icon indeed; the man belongs in a museum.  Along with most of the rest of the Congressional Black Caucus, and nearly the entire membership of the incongruously named Progressive Caucus, he should just get out of the way.

Cold War Democrats were anything but “great,” but at least they didn’t make starting World War III their life’s work.

Trump obviously has no interest in transforming the Democratic Party for the better, and neither did voters who thought that a Trump presidency would make America great again.

Nevertheless, along with all the really bad stuff that Trump, and many of his fans, actually did have in mind, the nostalgia for the fifties and early sixties that he churned up does suggest a thought that is well worth taking on board — that neither Republicans nor Democrats need be quite as awful as they actually are.

Ironically too, Trump’s implicit appeal to post-War American values and norms helps sustain (small-r) republican ways of thinking about politics that are generally progressive and diametrically opposed to all things Trumpian.

From the sixteenth century on, there have been political thinkers in Western countries for whom ancient Sparta and the Roman republic served as political models.  What they esteemed was their egalitarianism (applicable, however, only to free male citizens) and their ideal of civic virtue, according to which the public good takes precedence over individuals’ private interests.

In the ideal world envisioned by republicans, small, mainly rural, largely self-sufficient households prosper together – with no one rich, no one poor, and everyone happy.

America’s founders were influenced by republican thought – Thomas Jefferson, most famously – and, early on, strains of republican thinking found a welcome home in the collective consciousness of the American people.

The fortunes of republican thinking have waxed and waned in the years that ensued, as has the appeal of republican values – in part because republicanism’s fortunes and capitalism’s are thoroughly intertwined.

(Small-r) republican societies may not be full-fledged capitalist societies, according to one or another account of what capitalism involves, but they are relevantly like mature capitalist societies in supposing private ownership of major means of production and market relations.  They therefore give rise to concentrations of wealth that undo the conditions for their possibility.

In this sense, their vision of ideal political-economic arrangements is utopian, unrealizable in real world conditions.  Full-fledged capitalism, on the other hand, is astonishingly resilient; and, as everyone nowadays understands, it is capable of sustaining enormous levels of inequality.

In the years that people in Trump’s target audience look back upon yearningly, the inegalitarian tendencies inherent in the logic of capitalist development were effectively held in bounds by circumstances that cannot now be reproduced, and by the sustained efforts of a political class for whom memories of the Great Depression of the 1930s remained vivid.  Those days are long gone.

Moreover, for nearly the entire post-War period, rampant, corporate and state sponsored consumerism has been militating against republican notions of civic virtue.

Even so, vestigial republican attitudes survive in the deepest recesses of the American psyche.   In recent years, there has even been a revival of republican political philosophy in respectable academic precincts.

Therefore, one plausible understanding of “Make America Great Again” would be to see it as a call for America to recover its republican roots – by building a politics around the notions of freedom, equality, and virtue associated with the republican tradition.

Needless to say, this is not what Trump was promising.   He stands for everything republicanism rejects.

Trump voters are obviously capable of believing almost anything, but it would strain even their credulity to see Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan as a call for equality, virtue, and the simplicity of manners and morals inherent in the republican ideal.

Perhaps this is why, to hear Trump and his defenders tell it, what has been lost that is worth restoring is not exactly the ways that American society accorded a semblance of homage to what republicans care about but something more pedestrian associated with it: the economic security that existed when manufacturing jobs abounded. That is what he claims he can restore.

But, of course, he cannot – not with what he is peddling.  He can only do what mountebanks generally do: sell crap to the gullible and the desperate, counting on the power of suggestion to keep them on board long enough for him not to be run out of town.

This is all he can do for much the same reason that social democrats, these days, cannot hold back the neoliberal tide: because capitalism cannot be transformed or even tamed by government fiat alone.

Marxists were spot on right when they maintained that far-reaching changes of the kind that are desperately needed nowadays can only come about through class struggle.  This is why, in the absence of a collective agent, able and determined to transform the underlying structure of capitalism itself, the broad contours of the status quo are regretfully secure.

Because neoliberal economic realities, and neoliberal state policies, have effectively reduced the labor movement to a shadow of its former self, leaving no functional equivalent in its place, this is indeed the situation we now find ourselves in.

Therefore, even if Trump wasn’t just blowing air – even if he really did want to restore manufacturing jobs — he would be unable to do anything of the kind.

Being both an opportunist and a showman, he will likely collude with a few of his fellow capitalists for a while — making them offers, at the taxpayer’s expense, that they cannot refuse.  But without a counter-systemic social movement leading the way, he cannot defy the inherent logic of the system.   No one can.

At this point in its development, that system has two major requirements, both of which militate against restoring anything like the conditions that, decades ago, created a large and secure middle class.  It requires consumers able and willing to spend enough to keep aggregate demand at acceptable levels; and it requires a domestic work force that that is insecure and poorly paid, and therefore quiescent.   These exigencies are at odds; precarious work situations and depressed wages depress consumption.

Neoliberals square the circle by transferring manufacturing jobs to low wage countries and then flooding the domestic market with goods that are so cheap that most Americans can still afford them.

Obviously, this “solution” doesn’t address any of the fundamental contradictions of neoliberal capitalism.  If anything, it exacerbates them.

Trump owes his election, in part, to the discontents it generates.  If those discontents continue, or intensify, he will have hell to pay.

Barring a radical change of course, the day of reckoning is sure to come; the only question is when.

If, in a vain effort to keep his supporters on board for as long as he can, Trump ratchets up more of the same – and what else could he do with the cabinet of dunces he has appointed, and without being a traitor to his class and to his own venality? – it could well come on his watch.

This will be wondrous to behold.

Had the Democratic Party not rigged the nomination process against Bernie Sanders, he would probably now be President, and he would find his efforts to restore the gains of the New Deal – Great Society era, and then to move beyond them, thwarted not just by the obstacles that (big-R) Republicans and rightwing Democrats (is there any other kind?) would put in his way, but by the same fatal contradiction.

The problem with Sanders’ “political revolution” was not just that it wasn’t radical enough or that it was too empire friendly; it was that, after the neoliberal assault on what little (small-d) democracy we had, there can be no fundamental changes at the political level without taking on capitalism itself.

But since Sanders was denied the nomination, that is a problem for another day.  Trump is the problem now.

Surely, at some level, many, maybe most, Trump voters have known all along that there is nothing he could do that would restore the economic security they crave.  They voted for him anyway, however.  That is how desperate they were.

And so, he won; and, as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow, the shit will hit the fan.

Notwithstanding the willful blindness that is so rampant in liberal quarters, the problem now, had Hillary not flubbed so badly, would be to keep her and her fellow Russophobic neocons and “humanitarian” imperialists from vaporizing the world.

But because he is such a loose cannon, and in so far over his head, what lies ahead with Trump seems even scarier than that – even on matters of war and peace.  If he does derail the War Party, then more power to him.  But he is no more to be trusted to use the American juggernaut, nukes and all, wisely than any normally immature adolescent boy chosen at random.

Expect turbulence ahead!  The time when it is still possible to postpone the inevitable choice between socialism – not the social democratic – Sanders version, but the real deal — or barbarism is fading fast.  Thank Trump for that.

ANDREW LEVINE is a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What’s Wrong With the Opium of the People. He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park.  He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

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“Fake News” About Trump Continues Unabated

Fake News” About Trump Continues Unabated

Clinton makes some twenty different issues or person responsible for her loss – everyone and everything except the DNC, her staff or herself. But a campaign that did just enough to get the states it thought it needed and not one bit more was going to lose no matter how much money it would spend. Shunning progressives and implausibly blaming Russia for her own mistakes did not help either. Clinton failed as a politician and presidential candidate. She just isn’t good enough in those roles. It is as simple as that. But now another culprit responsible for her loss is rolled out. “Fake news” that somehow was not censored out of social networks.

But “fake news” was and is a daily occurrence even in major media. What were the “Saddam’s WMDs” stories if not fake news? The Clinton campaign spread fake news about Sanders. The news about Clinton’s email were (mostly) not fake even as she claimed otherwise.

My personal impression is that there was more fake news about Trump than about Clinton. The NYT, like most other mainstream media, was so much off from reality that its publisher now wrote a letter to request that staff “rededicate .. to the fundamental mission of .. journalism”. He thereby admits that the NYT had failed as a news organization.

But there is no rededication, neither in the NYT nor elsewhere, that I can see. The fairy tales about and around Trump seem not to stop for a minute. It will be claimed in top headlines that Trump will make John Bolton or Rudy Giuliani Secretary of State, lunatic Frank Gaffney will be his advisor. Trump wants security clearances for his children! Of course hardly any the active promoters of such nonsense will put the official denials of these lies on top of their pages or mention them at all. Poltico today told me that Wall Street is celebrating the Trump win, implying that Clinton would have been much better. Trump received some $5 million in donations from the finance sector, Clinton received $105 million – guess why.

Trump wants to abandon a No-First-Strike policy for U.S. nuclear weapons is one current scare (650 retweets!). That is a policy the U.S. never-ever had. Obama, like Clinton, rejected a NFS policy. How could Trump abandon it?

Trumps wants to register all Muslims? The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System was introduced in 2002 and only applied to visitors and residents from majority Muslim countries. In 2011 the system was phased out because it was “redundant” – some other system currently holds the data of mostly Muslim in the U.S.  The no-fly-lists are largely lists of Muslim – even four years old ones. Obama waged drone war in seven countries and bombed five. All were majority Muslim. So what please could Trump actually do to Muslim people that would be worse than what Bush or Obama have done?

Trump is a racist and his voters are white supremacists is a fake news claim that is still rolled out on a daily base. The facts do not support it. If they were true why did he get more votes from blacks and hispanics than Romney or McCain?

Why not take Trump for what he is? A fast talking salesman, born too rich, but politically a centrist who long supported Democrats and who will simply continue the political path Clinton, Bush and Obama created and walked before him. There is some hope that he will be less “globalist”, neoconned and belligerent in his foreign policy but that still needs to be proven. On many of his announced policies there will likely be more Democrats in Congress supporting him than Republicans.

The man should be attacked on his politics and policies whenever that is justified. There will plenty such opportunities, especially with his economic and tax plans. Instead we get a daily dose of fake news about Trump this or that and one scare story after the other.

Is it so difficult, or even impossible, for journalists and media to “rededicate” themselves from feverish pro-Clinton and anti-Trump advocates back to (semi-)serious reporting?

That would be bad news for everyone.

President-Elect Donald Trump and “The Deep State”: Vote Rigging by Both Sides… Key Appointments

Global Research, November 15, 2016
Trump élections

The elections may have been rigged, probably by both sides, as the elusive elite, or what’s also called the ’Deep State’, may be divided. It looks like the better ‘rigger’ emerged as the winner. The final popular vote count indicates a slight advantage of Hillary over Trump. Never mind, the system was purposefully designed un-democratically in the 18th Century by the Founding Fathers, who never really had the intention to create a truly democratic United States of America of equal rights for all.

The current electoral system favors vote manipulation especially in Swing States, where popular votes can relatively easily be suppressed or switched by an electronic ‘glitch’.

Such voter frauds, we now know, have happened in 2000, when George Bush ‘won’ in Florida over Al Gore – eventually through a Supreme Court decision – and the same in 2004 (Ohio), when again George Bush won over John Kerry, through electronic fraud and predominantly black voter suppression. After 8 years of Bush – enough was enough.

The deep state needed a new candidate – one that will have the trust of the American people, one who was smart and colored and had charisma – but no backbone. Never mind the latter point.

People didn’t know until it was too late. Obama’s mandate was enhanced by the award of the Nobel Peace Prize, before he even knew how many additional wars were already planned for him to carry out, aside from Afghanistan and Iraq. Today he literally boasts to be involved in seven wars around the globe and sold more weapons than any previous president to so-called allies and proxy fighters like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. More wars and conflicts are in the cooker, for sure. But will Trump abide by those plans?

The mainstream media are doing a terrific job in manipulating peoples’ minds with lies after lies after lies. The wars Washington is involved in are all ‘good’ for ‘national security’; they are diverting a threat to the US of A and defending American interests, whatever these are. Nobody asks. But if Washington, the NYT and the WashPost says so, it must be true.

The 2016 elections were rigged in favor of Donald Trump, as illustrated by Greg Palast, investigative reporter for Rolling Stone and BBC.().

On the other hand, election fraud took place by the Clinton clique against Sanders in the Democratic Primaries, to the point where the DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had to resign. Without that vote-swindle, Mr. Sanders would have been the Democratic candidate confronting Donald Trump. Among many assertions that the elections were rigged in  favor of Hillary is a Stanford University study.

But never mind election fraud, it has become a common game in our shamelessly corrupt western ‘system’, and it will stay that way, until ‘somebody’ will change it.

Since the system works in favor of the establishment, and more importantly in favor of the Deep State – there is little chance something significant will change, to make the USA a true democracy in the foreseeable future.

It is not only election fraud that has made Trump the winner. It is the people, who again are sick and tired of being lied to, of broken promises, of declining purchasing power of their paychecks, of unemployment which in reality is hovering around 22% – 25%, when official government’s statistics talk about 5%, of outsourcing American jobs, of spending their tax money on foreign wars instead of fixing the decaying US infrastructure, of bailing out big banks that have speculated themselves into bankruptcy thanks to Bill Clinton’s (Hillary’s husband) banking deregulation of the 1990s, of a fake health insurance, named Obama-Care after its creator that is unaffordable for about 40 million people and serves only the pharma and medical industry, and of ever-mounting unpaid student debt.

In addition they, the 99.99%, of which an ever growing majority of disenfranchised workers – are being told by the MSM that:

  • China and India are stealing their jobs, when in fact, US corporations are shamelessly increasing their profit margins by outsourcing American jobs to China and India – and many more places around the globe;
  • Russia and Venezuela are national security threats, therefore US involvement aiming at ‘regime change’ is necessary;
  • a costly build-up of NATO forces in Europe is necessary to confront the Russian menace – and-so-on.

Yes, security has a cost and you, the American people have to know this. NATO bases have doubled since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, despite US contrary promises to Russia in 1991, from 14 to 28 – and counting. Nobody talks about the unnecessity of NATO in Europe since the Cold War ended, also in 1991 – only your new President, Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump not only questioned US funding for NATO, but questioned the sense of NATO all together. Mr. Trump wants partners not enemies which Washington ‘has to’ fight for security reasons. Peace is the best security – and peace is also the best approach for international trade.

The President-elect talked about renegotiating or even ripping apart NAFTA, the nefarious US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement that was imposed by Bill Clinton in 1994 and made hundreds of thousands of Mexican farmers jobless, closing tens of thousands of small farms in Mexico, since they could no longer compete with highly subsidized corn, wheat and other agricultural crops from the US. But that’s not the reason why Trump wants to scrap the agreement. He has seen that Mexico adapted its economy around NAFTA with cheap manufacturing labor, presumably taking American jobs away.

The new President also vouched to step back from the trans-Atlantic (TTIP, TiSA), trans-Pacific (TPP) trade agreements. What a relief that would be for the hundreds of millions if not billions of people in the world, freeing themselves (for now) from the fangs of the globalized corporate and banking NWO octopus.

Of course, not for the unelected elite-vassal-dictators in Brussels. But who cares about them. This system will have to fall anyway, sooner or later. BREXIT maybe the trigger – and others may follow in the coming year, with elections in 2017 in France and Germany expected to bring radical changes; if they are not stolen by the new method of choice, a parliamentary coup, like the recent one in Spain. and earlier this year in Brazil.

Sovereignty of equal partners is prosperous for everybody, not just an elite. The new President wants to bring jobs back to America, putting the brakes on globalization. He wants to rebuild American infrastructure and create 25 million jobs in 10 years, and levy taxes on manufactured goods imported from abroad, when they could be produced internally.

Mr. Trump is also highly controversial when he talks about building a border wall between Mexico and the US to keep out ‘criminal illegal Hispanic immigrants’, when he projects transferring the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, or when he says he wants to keep Moslems out of the country. Many of his racist declarations put a spanner in his otherwise progressive wheels.

Nevertheless, Trump’s bold and fearless accusations of the deep state attract the average disillusioned citizen to vote for the changes he proclaims.

Is it perhaps possible that this strong language against a well-enshrined establishment was part of a ruse of the establishment, to trick people into believing ‘change is coming’?

(see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYozWHBIf8g)

“I pledge that I will be President for all Americans”, was Trump’s opening statement at his acceptance speech.

How hollow does it sound, when you remember that Obama said exactly the same thing in 2008. That’s not all of the campaign emptiness. Do you still remember the tens of millions of people crying for joy and hope for a better life and a better world (after the Bush disaster), when Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009 and proclaimed time and again, his campaign slogan, “Yes, We Can”? Today, it’s the same game. Yes, We Can, has become Trump’s “We will Make America Great Again”.

Both slogans are suggesting great but unspecified ‘changes’; the illusion that things may turn for the better. Is it imaginable that the same Masters of the Universe came up with a new slogan, also meaning unspecified change – and new illusions that things may change for the better, for all those people who are at the verge of giving up every tiny bit of hope? Is it conceivable that the same Deep State invented both slogans, so to renew the forgetful people’s faith in a better world, in a more responsive government, at least for the first two years or so, until reality kicks in again? Yes, it is entirely in the realm of the possible, actually, it is very probable.

And thus, the oligarchs have gained some more time towards reaching Full Spectrum Dominance of the world, as is so clearly pointed out in the highly active and current PNAC (Plan for a New American Century), which used to be called Pax Americana, named after Pax Romana, of which we know in retrospect that it spanned the 300 to 400 most bloody war years of the Roman Empire, before it collapsed from within.

The universal string-pullers, the Deep State, are just spreading new hope, new illusions for continuous fooling the people into believing what is not, while in parallel the fear-mongering by false flags and by the paid presstitute MSM continues. In reality, they, the ever-poorer common people, the growing number of victims of a neo-fascist economy, have to be kept dancing on their toes, between hope and despair. Was Hillary used as a public pulse-taker, as a mere make-believe puppet; make-believe that we are living in the greatest democracy money cannot buy?

Wait and see would normally be a safe omen. Give him, Mr. Trump, the benefit of the doubt, but stay alert. For now, let’s just have a look at what happened since the elections – concessions from Trump (keep part of Obamacare), as well as a long list of potential high level cabinet appointees and staff that may accompany his Presidency.

It doesn’t look promising.

His top choices for Treasurer are Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, or Steve Mnuchin, his finance chairman and former Goldman Sachs exec. They don’t bode well for moving away from the banking oligarchy, as Mr. Trump promised during his campaign.

Others of his top cabinet choices include ultra-neocon reactionaries, such as, for Secretary of State, Newt Gingrich, the neocon ex-House speaker who was even in Trump’s top choice as running mate; and John Bolton, Zionist and former United States ambassador to the United Nations under George W. Bush.

The former New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani, may be slanted for attorney general.

Here is the full list of Trump’s top position candidates, as published today by the New York Times –

White House Chief of Staff

The chief of staff manages the work and personnel of the West Wing, steering the president’s agenda and tending to important relationships. The role will take on outsize importance in a White House run by Mr. Trump, who has no experience in policy making and little in the way of connections to critical players in Washington.

Reince Priebus Mr. Trump announced on Sunday that he had chosen Mr. Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Chief Strategist

Stephen K. Bannon (right) was also considered for chief of staff, but Mr. Trump instead named him chief strategist and senior counselor in the White House, saying that he and Mr. Priebus would be “working as equal partners” in the administration.

Also on Sunday, Mr. Trump announced the appointment of Mr. Bannon, a right-wing media executive and the chairman of the president-elect’s campaign. Many have denounced the move, warning that Mr. Bannon represents racist views.

Secretary of State

Whether Mr. Trump picks an ideologue or a seasoned foreign policy hand from past Republican administrations, his challenge will be that the State Department is the centerpiece of the post-1945 experiment of alliance-building and globalism, which Mr. Trump said he would dismantle.

 John R. Bolton Former United States ambassador to the United Nations under George W. Bush

Bob Corker Senator from Tennessee and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Newt Gingrich Former House speaker

Rudolph W. Giuliani Former New York mayor

Zalmay Khalilzad Former United States ambassador to Afghanistan

Stanley A. McChrystal Former senior military commander in Afghanistan

Treasury Secretary

The secretary will be responsible for government borrowing in financial markets, assisting in any rewrite of the tax code and overseeing the Internal Revenue Service. The Treasury Department also carries out or lifts financial sanctions against foreign enemies — which are key to President Obama’s Iran deal and rapprochement with Cuba.

 Thomas Barrack Jr. Founder, chairman and executive chairman of Colony Capital; private equity and real estate investor

Jeb Hensarling Representative from Texas and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee

Steven Mnuchin Former Goldman Sachs executive and Mr. Trump’s campaign finance chairman

Tim Pawlenty Former Minnesota governor

Defense Secretary

The incoming secretary will shape the fight against the Islamic State while overseeing a military that is struggling to put in place two Obama-era initiatives: integrating women into combat roles and allowing transgender people to serve openly. Both could be rolled back.

 Kelly Ayotte Departing senator from New Hampshire and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee

Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn Former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (he would need a waiver from Congress because of a seven-year rule for retired officers)

Stephen J. Hadley National security adviser under George W. Bush

Jon Kyl Former senator from Arizona

Jeff Sessions Senator from Alabama

Attorney General

The nation’s top law enforcement official will have the authority for carrying out Mr. Trump’s “law and order” platform, including his threat to “jail” Hillary Clinton. The nominee can change how civil rights laws are enforced.

 Chris Christie New Jersey governor

Rudolph W. Giuliani Former New York mayor (right)

Jeff Sessions Senator from Alabama

Interior Secretary

The Interior Department manages the nation’s public lands and waters. The next secretary will decide the fate of Obama-era rules that stop public land development; curb the exploration of oil, coal and gas; and promote wind and solar power on public lands.

 Jan Brewer Former Arizona governor

Robert E. Grady Gryphon Investors partner

Harold G. Hamm Chief executive of Continental Resources, an oil and gas company

Forrest Lucas President of Lucas Oil Products, which manufactures automotive lubricants, additives and greases

 Sarah Palin Former Alaska governor

Agriculture Secretary

The agriculture secretary oversees America’s farming industry, inspects food quality and provides income-based food assistance. The department also helps develop international markets for American products, giving the next secretary partial responsibility to carry out Mr. Trump’s positions on trade.

 Sam Brownback Kansas governor

Chuck Conner Chief executive officer of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

Sid Miller Texas agricultural commissioner

Sonny Perdue Former Georgia governor

Commerce Secretary

The Commerce Department has been a perennial target for budget cuts, but the secretary oversees a diverse portfolio, including the Census, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

 Chris Christie New Jersey governor

Dan DiMicco Former chief executive of Nucor Corporation, a steel production company

Lewis M. Eisenberg Private equity chief for Granite Capital International Group

Labor Secretary

The Labor Department enforces rules that protect the nation’s workers, distributes benefits to the unemployed and publishes economic data like the monthly jobs report. The new secretary will be in charge of keeping Mr. Trump’s promise to dismantle many Obama-era rules covering the vast work force of federal contractors.

 Victoria A. Lipnic Equal Employment Opportunity commissioner and work force policy counsel to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce

Health and Human Services Secretary

The secretary will help Mr. Trump achieve one of his central campaign promises: to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The department approves new drugs, regulates the food supply, operates biomedical research, and runs Medicare and Medicaid, which insure more than 100 million people.

 Dr. Ben Carson Former neurosurgeon and 2016 presidential candidate

Mike Huckabee Former Arkansas governor and 2016 presidential candidate

Bobby Jindal Former Louisiana governor who served as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals

Rick Scott Florida governor and former chief executive of a large hospital chain

Energy Secretary

Despite its name, the primary purview of the Energy Department is to protect and manage the nation’s arsenal of nuclear weapons.

 James L. Connaughton Chief executive of Nautilus Data Technologies and former environmental adviser to President George W. Bush

Robert E. Grady Gryphon Investors partner

Harold G. Hamm Chief executive of Continental Resources, an oil and gas company

Education Secretary

Mr. Trump has said he wants to drastically shrink the Education Department and shift responsibilities for curriculum research, development and education aid to state and local governments.

 Dr. Ben Carson Former neurosurgeon and 2016 presidential candidate

Williamson M. Evers Education expert at the Hoover Institution, a think tank

Secretary of Veterans Affairs

The secretary will face the task of improving the image of a department Mr. Trump has widely criticized. Mr. Trump repeatedly argued that the Obama administration neglected the country’s veterans, and he said that improving their care was one of his top priorities.

 Jeff Miller Retired chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee

Homeland Security Secretary

The hodgepodge agency, formed after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has one key role in the Trump administration: guarding the United States’ borders. If Mr. Trump makes good on his promises of widespread deportations and building walls, this secretary will have to carry them out.

 Joe Arpaio Departing sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz.

David A. Clarke Jr. Milwaukee County sheriff

Rudolph W. Giuliani Former New York mayor

Michael McCaul Representative from Texas and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee

Jeff Sessions Senator from Alabama who is a prominent immigration opponent

E.P.A. Administrator

The Environmental Protection Agency, which issues and oversees environmental regulations, is under threat from the president-elect, who has vowed to dismantle the agency “in almost every form.”

 Myron Ebell A director at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a prominent climate change skeptic

Robert E. Grady Gryphon Investors partner who was involved in drafting the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990

Jeffrey R. Holmstead Lawyer with Bracewell L.L.P. and former deputy E.P.A. administrator in the George W. Bush administration

U.S. Trade Representative

The president’s chief trade negotiator will have the odd role of opposing new trade deals, trying to rewrite old ones and bolstering the enforcement of what Mr. Trump sees as unfair trade, especially with China.

 Dan DiMicco Former chief executive of Nucor Corporation, a steel production company, and a critic of Chinese trade practices

U.N. Ambassador

Second to the secretary of state, the United States ambassador to the United Nations will be the primary face of America to the world, representing the country’s interests at the Security Council on a host of issues, from Middle East peace to nuclear proliferation.

 Kelly Ayotte Departing senator from New Hampshire and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee

Richard Grenell Former spokesman for the United States ambassador to the United Nations during the George W. Bush administration

C.I.A. Director / Director of National Intelligence

Mr. Trump takes over at a time of diverse and complex threats to American security. The new C.I.A. director will have to decide whether to undo a C.I.A. “modernization” plan put in place this year by Director John O. Brennan, and how to proceed if the president-elect orders a resumption of harsh interrogation tactics — which critics have described as torture — for terrorism suspects.

 Michael T. Flynn Former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency

Peter Hoekstra Former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee

Mike Rogers Former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee

Frances Townsend Former homeland security adviser under George W. Bush

National Security Adviser

The national security adviser, although not a member of the cabinet, is a critical gatekeeper for policy proposals from the State Department, the Pentagon and other agencies, a function that takes on more importance given Mr. Trump’s lack of experience in elective office.

 Michael T. Flynn Former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency

Sourcee  New York Times 

What can we conclude regarding Trump’s List? 

Trump doesn’t seem to want to move away from neoliberals and Zionists, as he made people believe during his campaign.

Then comes the perceived bombshell, the earthquake, some even call it the Tsunami of Trumps election, against all expectations. The western intellectuals, or rather wannabe intellectuals – can’t get around to it, that ‘democracy’ may have won, against their deepest expectations, of course, bought MSM instilled expectations.

It played them a trick. How naughty. Did the left and the right ‘well-educated’, those living in their sanctuaries and soft cocoons, those that make it to the statistics and polls, really have no clue, how average Mr. and Mrs. Smith feel? How they make ends meet every day, every month? – There is no left or right anymore; the same as there is no real difference between republicans and democrats. They are all embedded under the umbrella of a globalized fascist economy.

Are the ‘surprised people’ so detached or naïve that they can’t see an increasingly non-silent majority, suffering year-in, year-out from the oligarchic supremacy, getting angry at the ‘system’ that keeps abusing them, for the best part of four decades now? – It’s the same people and media pundits, who appeared to having been surprised at BREXIT. For those who are still surprised about BREXIT, I highly recommend Ken Loach’s outstanding movie, I Daniel Blake , awarded with Canne’s ‘Palme d’Or’ 2016.

(trailer: https://www.theguardian.com/film/video/2016/jun/15/i-daniel-blake-trailer-ken-loach-palme-dor-winner-video)

It’s never too late to wake up and get involved.

Actually, that’s all that counts for people to step out of their comfort zone and fight alongside the 99.99%. We just might grow into a critical mass that can actually bring about a sea change for society and Mother Earth, with or without Mr. Trump.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media, TeleSUR, TruePublica, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance

Democrats Caused President Trump; They Caused His Victory

Democrats Caused President Trump; They Caused His Victory

ERIC ZUESSE | 14.11.2016 |

Democrats Caused President Trump; They Caused His Victory

Here’s a video where Carey Wedler explains in her own thoroughly truthful way in just four minutes, how and why Democratic Party voters for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party primaries did more than perhaps any other single political group of Americans to help make Donald Trump become America’s President. But here, in my own equally truthful way, which you can easily verify for yourself by simply clicking onto a link anywhere that you question a statement’s veracity (which, of course, can’t be done with any video), I’ll explain it, very differently:

Democratic voters during the Presidential primaries were given a clear choice, and blew it; they chose the by-far-weaker of the two candidates (Clinton instead of Sanders), weaker not only in all of the head-to-head matchups against each and every one of the possible Republican candidates, but weaker in the progressive ideology that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had brought to the Party and which had made the FDR-era (1932-1980) Democratic Party the engine of progressive change in America. Bill Clinton killed it, and Hillary Clinton’s election would have prevented the progressive Democratic Party from ever being resurrected again; and here’s how that happened:

Bill Clinton had come into office as the new anti-FDR, pro-unrestrained-capitalism, virtual founder of the Democratic Leadership Council, which repudiated not only the anti-Wall-Street tradition of FDR but all of FDR’s approaches and programs to achieve increased equality of economic opportunity in America. Not only did he do this by passing the Republican George Herbert Walker Bush’s NAFTA into law and by passing the Republicans’ deregulation (especially ending FDR’s Glass-Stegall regulation) of Wall Street into law, but Clinton and the DLC rebuilt the Democratic Party as being instead merely a less extreme version of the post-Richard-Nixon Republican Party: Republican-lite, running against Republican-extreme (which was the existing Republican Party). By doing this — moving the Democratic Party to the right— they moved the American political center substantially toward the right, because now, in Bill Clinton’s wake, any Republican incumbent who fails to move toward the right was being challenged in Republican Party primaries by ‘Tea Party Republicans’ who accused any such incumbent of being a Republican In Name Only, or RINO. Consequently: Congress and other political bodies did become more right-wing.

Voters for Hillary Clinton in the primaries were pushing that rightward movement of America’s political center even further. In fact, on many issues (such as her three policies for war to defeat Russia and its allies such as Syria) she was far to the right of Donald Trump — and she even had the nerve to criticise Trump for his opposition to her on that, calling him «Putin’s puppet». She was resurrecting, but now in the new post-1992 conservative Democratic Party, the hatred and lies from the Republican Party’s Cold War anti-communist Joseph R. McCarthy — and communism and the USSR and its Warsaw Pact had ended long before, in 1991! Hillary was in many respects the super-Republican and the leading neoconservative, and so Republican mega-donors flocked to her more than they did to Trump. (Of course, she swamped Trump even more among the Democratic Party’s billionaires, but Hillary broke all fundraising records for support among Republican mega-donors backing a Democratic Party candidate; she was The Establishment’s — the American aristocracy’s — candidate to an extent that none before her had ever been.)

Like Russ Belville headlined at Huffington Post on 29 February 2016, «The Problem With Hillary, Chez, Is I Don’t Vote Republican». He listed there 25 major stands of the Republican Party that Hillary stood for, and that Bernie stood against, and he concluded:

«Those are 25 pretty good reasons why we Democrats don’t vote for Republicans, don’t you think?

So why would we vote for Hillary Clinton, the Rockefeller Republican who exemplifies every one of those 25 statements?

If Donald Trump wins the presidency over Hillary Clinton, it’s not the fault of people like me who won’t vote for Republicans. It’s the fault of the Democratic Party for nominating a Republican. For me, the horror of a four-year Trump term is less frightening than cementing in the Far Right / Center Right corporate duopoly in American politics created since Hillary’s husband sold out Democratic principles on welfarecrime, racelabor, tradedrugs, and media».

He expressed my views perfectly. And he expressed the views of many other progressives (including Carey Wedler) who avoided voting for such a candidate: we either voted for Jill Stein, or for Donald Trump (who was actually far more progressive on many issues than Hillary was or than any of the other Republicans were — such as his constant repudiation of the Bush-Clintons’ NAFTA), or else we left a blank on the Presidential part of the ballot November 8th, or we just stayed home altogether. Turnout was the key, and the Republican-lite Hillary Clinton wasn’t able to match the turnout of the Trump-supporters in the battleground states. Trump got trounced like was expected in the heavily Democratic states, which are always Democratic in Presidential elections, but the Electoral College is won or lost in the battleground states, which is where the lack of passion for Hillary decided the election’s outcome.

By contrast, Trump generated real passion in the Republican base, and so they came out in droves on Election Day. And Trump’s focus on winning the votes of many disaffected Democrats who recognized that the Clinton-Obama mega-corporate politics are part of the reason why America is declining, also brought to the polls on Election Day millions of people who had never voted before for a Republican — including myself (for reasons that I have explained). Furthermore, because of the far higher intensity of support by Trump’s supporters than by Hillary’s, Trump brought into the voting-places far more Republicans than Hillary brought into the voting-places Democrats, and this depressed turnout by Democrats at the polls caused both a Republican Senate and a Republican Senate, and it also greatly boosted the numbers of Republican candidates who won local and state races.

Liberal voters (the pro-Hillary Democrats) have destoyed the Democratic Party; progressive voters (the pro-Bernie Democrats), the ones such as Bernie who want to restore the FDR Democratic Party, are the only people who can ever bring back progressive governance to the United States.

I won’t return to the Democratic Party until the Bernie-Sanders, Elizabeth-Warren, Sherrod-Brown, FDR, wing of the Party is back in control, as it was from 1932 to 1980. If one of those three individuals — people who have been consistent opponents of Obama’s ‘trade’ deals (which were actually proposed transfers of democratic national sovereignty over to international-corporate dictatorship, a higher world government by the world’s largest international corporations) — takes over the Party in 2020, then I shall again be a Democrat; but, otherwise, one of those three should create a new «Progressive Party» on the ballot in all fifty states with that person’s name on it as being the Presidential candidate, and that will be the end of the Democratic Party, just like Abraham Lincoln’s quitting the Whig Party and virtually starting the progressive Republican Party in 1860 (which lasted until he was assassinated in 1865, after which the northern aristocracy took control of it and turned it quickly conservative) ended the once-dominant Whigs.

Not only have the Clintons and Obama destroyed the Democratic Party by making it Republican-lite, but Hillary Clinton was actually the most dangerous major-Party Presidential nominee in American history — the only one whose policies were aimed straight at producing a nuclear war — and that can’t be forgiven, and won’t be forgotten.

Either the Clinton-Obama, pro-aristocracy, Democratic Party ends, or the Democratic Party itself will end.

Every nation that has a Presidential instead of a parliamentary political system alternates rule between a pro-aristocracy party and an anti-aristocracy party; and we can’t have two major parties both of which are pro-aristocracy. One of the two, in any authentic democracy, ispro-democracy. America needs to become an authentic democracy again. (We’re now ruled by the aristocracy, an «oligarchy».) If it doesn’t happen in 2020, then maybe it never will. But if Hillary had won, then the Democratic Party would surely soon thereafter be ended. Only by the dint of Donald Trump and lots of good luck will the Democratic Party be granted a reprieve: either to transform back to the FDR ideological model, or else to die. Her election would have meant certain death. (And not only for the Democratic Party.)

After the Election: Don’t Panic, Think!

NOVEMBER 14, 2016

In 2016, the fundamentally undemocratic U.S. two-party system presented the public with the two most hated candidates in history. The choice was so dismal that over forty three percent of the voters could not bring themselves to go to the polls.  Everyone hated one or the other of the candidates, or both. Whoever won was bound to face vehement opposition.

The unexpected shock of Donald Trump’s victory created mass hysteria, with crowds in tears going into the streets to protest – an unprecedented reaction to an uncontested election.

This hysterical opposition is not the best basis for building the new movement needed to oppose a widely rejected political establishment.

Most of the weeping and wailing comes not from Bernie Sanders supporters, who were prepared for the worst, but from those who believed the Clinton campaign claim that Trump represents nothing but various ways to “hate” other people: sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc.  The response is to hate Trump. This is sterile and gets nowhere politically.

Trump’s reputation as a racist fiend is largely based on excessive remarks such as his outrageous promise to build a wall to keep Mexican immigrants from entering the country – outrageous, in fact, because the wall already exists! Except that it is called a “fence”.

Washington is not about to be ruled by Nazis, but by reactionary Republicans, which are bad enough but nothing new.  If Trump is better than they are on some points, that should be noted and encouraged An effective opposition should know how to distinguish between hot air and real issues, and to judge issues on their own specific merits.

The Clinton campaign was based the “identity politics” claim to protect women and minorities from their enemy, Trump. An opposition movement based on perpetuating that claim, with emphasis on how horrible Trump must be personally, is also likely to swallow other aspects of the Clinton campaign line, notably its anti-Russian propaganda.  Incited by the mainstream media, the “left” opposition risks echoing the Clintonist accusation that “dictator” Trump is too friendly with “dictator” Putin.  And the hysterical opposition will oppose the one positive element in Trump’s campaign: the desire to make business rather than war with Russia.

It is significant that the German foreign minister Ursula von der Leyen wasted no time in demanding that Trump choose between friendship with Putin on the one hand or NATO and “our shared values” on the other.  This is a sign that not only the U.S. war party but also the European NATO machine will be putting pressure on Trump to pursue the very same warlike policies favored by Hillary Clinton.  And the disappointed Clintonite opposition is likely to be out in the streets not to oppose wars, but to oppose Trump’s opposition to wars, all in the name of our shared democratic humanitarian values and opposition to “dictators”.

This is the danger of hysterical opposition to Trump.  It would be a continuation of the worst aspects of this dreadful campaign, totally centered on denouncing individuals, and neglecting serious political questions.  A progressive opposition should leave Clintonism behind and develop its own positions, starting with opposition to regime change wars – even if Trump is also against regime change wars.  And indeed, it should push Trump to maintain that position, because he will be under strong pressure in Washington to give it up.  The opposition should demand that Trump make good on his promise to avoid war, while opposing his reactionary domestic policies.  Otherwise, we are heading for the worst of both worlds.

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