Back in March of 2016, I knew something had changed and that this election would be different. In a previous blog, America's Quiet Revolution, I wrote:
By now you probably noticed that things are not quite right in the land of Uncle Sam. A lot of people are angry and "they ain't gonna take it any more". So much so that the financial-media-congressional complex is losing control of the country. In short, the dispossessed underclass from across the political spectrum are refusing to follow their marching orders handed down by the ruling elite of both the Democrats and the Republicans. Imagine the Republicans choosing Donald Trump as their candidate for the presidency and the Democrats choosing Bernie Sanders. The former is a demagogue while the latter is a self-declared democratic socialist. What's up with that?
I think that the majority of Americans have finally woken up to the fact that they have been exploited mercilessly for the last forty years. They now know that the economy is rigged for the benefit of the super rich, the .01% of the population. For the great many, the economic recovery from the Great Recession has brought little if any relief, while the top of the top have received 80% of the newly created wealth. Now the shit has hit the fan, and the underclass is about to take matters into their own hands. . . .
How this is all going to turn out is anybody's guess. One thing is for sure, however, the USA is presently morphing into something new. Traditional constituencies are breaking apart and a new order is on the horizon.After seeing and having read about what happened surrounding the surprise result of the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom, I couldn't help but connect the dots. In June of 2016, I published another blog, The Decline of the Anglo-American Empire, in which I explored what seemed to be a common thread:
The revolt of the elites in the West and most notably in the English-speaking nations has been going on now for the last thirty-five years. Essentially, the members of the moneyed class have decoupled their futures from those with whom they share a geographic and political community.
In short, the Washington-Westminster consensus entails a neo-liberal agenda of cutting corporate and personal income tax, deregulating financial markets, reducing investments in social programs, moving manufacturing to where labor and environmental laws are lax, encouraging predatory lending to the disadvantaged, and extracting wealth from the real economy to be re-invested in off shore tax havens.
In doing so, the elites have left the common folk in the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) behind to fend for themselves in a beleaguered society that no longer has the sufficient resources and economic opportunities to maintain the quality of life that previous generations enjoyed. . . .
Before, throughout the post war period, there existed an inclusive social contract that embodied the belief "that we (those of Anglo-Saxon descent and their close cousins) were in this together." No longer. Now, there exists a "sink or swim" worldview in which those with the good luck of being born into well-off families are gliding quite well through the turbulence that incessant globalization has brought about, a middle-class struggling to keep their heads above water, while the poor are drowning in hopeless despair.
What has changed is that the callous treatment previously reserved for members of visible minorities has now been expanded to be applied to the vast majority of those who represent the racial bedrock from which the Anglo-American Empire drew its strength -- the English in the UK and white Americans in the US. Both groups, having grown accustomed to preferential treatment, resent the decline in their living standards and are now pushing back, refusing to follow the leadership of their ruling elites. . . .
The tectonic plates are also shifting is the US as the two-party political system seems to be coming to an end. Most notably, in the run-up to the Presidential elections, white Americans have abandoned the leadership of the Republican Party to nominate the xenophobic, trash-talking, demagogue Donald Trump. In doing so, they have repudiated the economic program that has left them behind as compared to the very well off, the upper 1% of the population. Instead, they have embraced the vilification of those of different skin color, in particular Mexicans and Arab Muslims, who, apparently, are responsible for the hard times that many Americans are now experiencing as a result of the stealing jobs from white Americans by immigrants.By the end of July 2016, once both parties had nominated their candidates, I started to sense that things might not unfold the way the mainstream media was scripting the campaign. In my blog with the foreshadowing title, The U.S. Presidential Election: A Drowning Man Will Clutch at a Dragon, I wrote:
Well, it's done. The Republican and Democratic Parties have nominated their candidates to become President of the United States of America, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Really? These are the choices? The sociopath who can do the least harm? . .
In offering these two candidates to the electorate, both parties have shown very clearly the failings of the two-party political system. Moving forward to November, the media will focus its attention on what promises to be a campaign filled with personal attacks, a veritable tele-reality affair, which might play in Trump's favor, but in the end, regardless of the outcome, the real losers will be the vast majority of Americans.Finally, during the last weekend of the campaign I saw what I thought was an absolutely brilliant video that addressed what I thought what had been the ballot box question all along. If you want to understand why Trump won the election, you should view: Donald Trump's Argument For America.
Not that I was absolutely certain that he would win, but I thought he had a good chance despite all of the propaganda polls that were circulating days before the election. In my final blog of the campaign, Choosing Between Donald the Vile or Crooked Hillary: The Absurdity of It All, published on November 7, 2016, the day before Americans would prove the pundits wrong, I wrote:
I understand how it all came about. Let's face it. The majority of Americans have been screwed over royally by a ruling elite that cares more about their stock options and speaking fees than the well-being of the population. Over the last ten years the meme of the top 1% has penetrated the national psyche. To secure Clinton's nomination all that was needed was to control the Democratic primaries, which as it turned out proved relatively easy to do. Seeing how her nomination turned out to be an unpopular choice -- no other politician symbolizes the politics of privilege better than Hillary -- the task for the media was to focus the electorate's attention on perhaps the only other candidate who could be even more repugnant than Hillary, Donald Trump. The thinking was that the American electorate would never be that stupid as to elect a man who proclaimed that he would build a wall to keep out illegal Mexican immigrants and that he would get the Mexicans to pay for it.
But the choice for many Americans is not a rational one. In fact, for many the decision is fraught with emotion. Dare I say that the decision to vote for Trump, aside from fascists and xenophobic racists, is simply a grand gesture of saying "fuck you" to America's ruling liberal elite. In living memory, Americans can remember earning $80,000 a year from a single job that had benefits and a decent pension. Now, millions toil for paltry wages: two jobs to earn $30,000, and a whole generation is stuck with mountains of student loan debt of which many will work a lifetime without ever paying off the debt.
I can see the twisted logic. It's payback time. Force those who have the most to lose by America running of the rails to have to deal with the antics of Donald Trump. It's like someone who lives in an all white enclave accepting a lower offer to buy his or her house in order to sell to an African-American family just to piss his or her neighbours off.
I guess desperate times cry out for desperate measures and I think electing Trump would unquestionably be a wake up call for America's ruling elite who thought overwhelming advantage in campaign spending and media coverage would be enough to have their candidate elected.
Yet, things may not turn out as planned. The unthinkable may come about. Seeing through the charade of an election designed to place yet another millionaire into the highest office in the land and to do likewise with Congress, more than half its members are also millionaires, ordinary Americans just might serve notice that they are no longer to follow the script laid out for them, thinking that if the top 1% has, in effect, abandoned the population, in having to deal with a Trump as President at long last they will be in the same boat as their fellow citizens.
Misery loves company.So, there you have it, my take on the Presidential campaign. Without question, Trump winning the election represents a significant rupture from the past. Was it a total surprize? I don't think so. But to see it coming, you had to discard the opinions and the analysis from the mainstream American media and read the reports of those who were travelling through the USA during the campaign and capturing what they experienced. It was all captured by the written word, but you had to search for the reports and resist the spoon feeding provided by those who had way too much invested with maintaining the status quo.