2021 Lockdown – Day 13
It seems strange to us in the UK that the brand ‘Trump’ would be in any way attractive. To us in the UK it means to fart. It’s the euphemism we get our children to use because it sounds nicer. Many will be unaware that Donald’s fame was largely down to his starring role in the US version of The Apprentice. Unlike the UK version where the main guy, Alan Sugar, actually is a real entrepeneur. Donald Trump inherited wealth from his father and has made most of his money from dodgy real estate. He’s essentially a crook and a huckster.
For a crook to win the Republic nomination in 2016 the Republican party must have been either incredibly naive and incompetent or thoroughly corrupt. The truth is it was all three. And not only was the Republican Party corrupt, so were the Democratics. In 2015 the Democratic Party was on its uppers. There was no cash in the bank. So Hillary Clinton bailed it out and, in return, got to effectively run the 2016 presidential campaign for which she was a potential nominee.
Trump’s label of ‘Crooked Hillary’ is uncomfortably close to the truth. Together with the DNC (Democratic National Committee), she conspired to keep Bernie Sanders off the ballot. It should be noted that Barak Obama was also doing his damndest to ensure she became the nominee despite her being the second most hated presidential candidate in recent history. Not only were the Democrats conspiring to effectively make Trump electable, the Democratic leaning media were giving Trump millions of dollars worth of free airtime because he was a big pull.
It’s little wonder that the “Grab them by the pussy” contender did well. On top of this: when Bernie Sanders admitted defeat he lent his campaign team to Hillary giving her both boots on the ground and strategy advice. Her team arrogantly scorned advice that may well have won her the presidency. She fatally and arrogantly overlooked the Rust Belt (the industrial heartland of America). Though she won the popular vote that’s not how the elections work.
Know Your History
Yet the reason for Trump’s victory goes back further than 2015. You need to go back to the Bill Clinton presidency, NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) and deregulation of the banks. Free trade agreements are notoriously geared towards enriching corporations and the super rich and largely hurt the working class by driving down wages and moving jobs overseas. The deregulation of the banks was the chief driver for the 2008 financial crash.
One of Obama’s first acts as President was to bail out Wall Street. Unfortunately the funding behind Obama came from the banks. So when banks decided to foreclose on thousands of families Obama did nothing to help them. Additionally, the offshoring of jobs increased under Obama which disproportionally hurt white families in the Rust Belt. Despite Obama getting a Nobel Peace prize he was remarkably hawkish. He continued the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He sent troops to Syria and destroyed Libya and killed thousands of civilians with drones.
So when Trump ran on stopping the regime change wars (see notes), getting rid of FTA’s and bringing jobs back to America he was hitting all the right notes. Despite his misogyny, racism , bullying and dodgy history he was gaining the attention of many who felt neglected and betrayed by the Clintons and Obamas. With Hillary being so unlikeable its not surprising he managed to bag the White House. And one of his first acts was to trash the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership), a FTA that Obama was passionately for.
Trump is clearly a despicable person. Fortunately for America he’s also narcissistic, petulant, erratic and has a short attention span, so was unlikely to win a second term. But the clamour to get rid of him has been dreadfully myopic, personal and agenda driven. It’s fine to want someone out of office because they are horrible but that’s a terrible pretext for a campaign. Yet the entire Democratic push over the last 4 years has centred on who Trump is, not what that means in terms of the Presidency.
MSNBC, one of the US cable networks, was also struggling in 2015. If not for the Trump presidency it’s likely MSNBC would have folded. What kept it alive was the Russiagate conspiracy, a story kept alive to give Hillary Clinton credence and keep Trump as the bogeyman. Even when the Mueller Report presented no evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia it didn’t stop MSNBC and others keeping the myth going (see notes). Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris pushed the narrative in the election campaign even though it was pointless.
There’s no getting away from the truth that Donald Trump is a pretty nasty character. He steals from children’s charities, has a history of crooked dealings, is a racist, a misogynist and a pathological liar. His family is a nest of vipers and he’s not fit to run a jumble sale, let alone the most powerful country on earth. The problem though, is that this makes him the perfect fall guy for every sin America commits. If you look at Joe Biden’s political history he’s every bit as culpable as Trump for taking food out of children’s mouths and incarcerating the innocent and has a recorded history of lying.
Jackie Pullinger is an English missionary who believed God was calling her to Hong Kong to minister to drug addicts and prostitutes. Her first challenge was to win over the trust of the gangs and residents of Hong Kong’s Walled City. One of the ways she did this was to challenge false arrests. The police would regularly fit up known criminals for crimes they didn’t commit. Their rationale was that these people were almost certainly guilty of crimes that had gone unpunished so a trumped up charge was natural justice.
However all this did was to destroy all confidence in true justice and turn criminals into victims. She acted as an advocate for those arrested and insisted they be tried on the case, not on whether or not they could be classed as criminals. You cannot jail someone for being a criminal, only for committing a crime. Likewise it’s poor practice to condemn someone in political office for being a bad person. They should be judged on their record (which may or may not be reflected in what kind of person they are).
The sad truth is that the worst crime you can commit (though it’s technically not a crime), is to embarrass someone in a position of power. And my gut tells me that is ultimately what’s behind Trump’s impeachment.
- Chasing the Dragon refers to a technique for inhaling heroin or similar drugs
- Trump’s contention regarding regime change wars was that they hurt America and took money away from helping the working people of America. This was one of the planks of his MAGA (Make America Great Again) campaign
- The Mueller Report link is to Fox News because, in this case, it’s more reliable than most other sources, though I wouldn’t normally use it as a source