We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Post election observations by various people

I am posting links to various articles from those I consider more astute observers of American politics who offer their immediate reactions to the election of Donald Trump, followed by my own comments. I will quote the most interesting comments from each of them.

Trump elected as President – risks and opportunities by "The Saker".

The author is a Russian born blogger who resides in Florida. He is clearly loyal to Russia in his daily commentaries, and is a Russian booster. I only mention this because he views Trump as more likely to reach a peaceful accommodation with Russia and China instead of the more war mongering Hillary Clinton.
The worst case?  Trump could turn out to be a total fraud.  I personally very much doubt it, but I admit that this is possible.  More likely is that he just won’t have the foresight and courage to crush the Neocons and that he will try to placate them.  If he does so, they will instead crush him.  It is a fact that while administrations have changed every 4 or 8 years, the regime in power has not, and that US internal and foreign policies have been amazingly consistent since the end of WWII.  Will Trump finally bring not just a new administration but real “regime change”?  I don’t know. [my emphasis]
Later he writes the following hopeful statement which I believe contradicts the above emphasized statement:
...whether the US elites can accept this or not, the US Empire is coming to an end.  Trump, however, might use the remaining power of the USA to negotiate the US global draw-down thereby getting the best possible conditions for his country.  Frankly, I am pretty sure that all the key world leaders realize that it is in their interest to make as many (reasonable) concessions to Trump as possible and work with him, rather than to deal with the people whom he just removed from power.
Why Trump Won; Why Clinton Lost by Robert Parry from Consortium News.
...American voters chose him in part because they felt they needed a blunt instrument to smash the Establishment that has ruled and mis-ruled America for at least the past several decades. It is an Establishment that not only has grabbed for itself almost all the new wealth that the country has produced but has casually sent the U.S. military into wars of choice, as if the lives of working-class soldiers are of little value.

On foreign policy, the Establishment had turned decision-making over to the neoconservatives and their liberal-interventionist sidekicks, a collection of haughty elitists who often subordinated American interests to those of Israel and Saudi Arabia, for political or financial advantage.

The war choices of the neocon/liberal-hawk coalition have been disastrous....
What Does Trump Victory Mean for Asia? Nothing New from The New Atlas.
With the victory of Donald Trump during the 2016 US presidential elections, many commentators, analysts and academics have "predicted" a more isolationist America. For Asia specifically, particularly those in need of US intervention to prop up their unpopular, impotent political causes, they fear an ebbing of US support.

However, as history has shown, the whims of US voters rarely has an impact on US foreign policy, particularly amidst the more subtle use of US "soft power."
Congratulations America: Have You Just Been Trumped? by Colin Todhunter (British) from his blog East by Northwest.
I watched Donald Trump’s presidential victory speech. He spoke a lot about unity, the potential of ordinary, marginalised people and about making the US great again. He spoke about rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, creating jobs and about finding common ground with other nations. He can be quite charismatic and, taken at face value, quite convincing. His victory was, to a large extent, achieved because many (white) working class folk could identify with much of his rhetoric.

After watching his speech, I was immediately reminded of something I wrote back in 2012 about Donald Trump and his actions in Scotland. The piece is presented below because it is a timely reminder of what the Trumps of this world are capable of and ultimately just who and what they represent.
He continues on by describing a documentary film which depicted Trump's crass investment activities in Scotland.

American liberals unleashed the Trump monster
American liberals unleashed the Trump monster
Making Sense of the 2016 Election: 11 Immediate Take-homes  by Kim Petersen from Dissident Voice.

I think the first one is total nonsense as will become clear after reading my comments following these posts. The rest have varying merits.

Trump set to win the election by Will Denayer from Flassbeck Economics (Germany).
The socially and democratically inclined electorate is sick and tired of the dysfunction, the corruption, the lying, the hypocrisy, the cheating, the impotent speeches, the wars, the militarism, the hunger, the homelessness, the incarceration, the police brutality, the tax evasion, the cost for health care, the cost of education, the unemployment, the wages that do not go up or barely so, the pathetic state of the infrastructure, the super rich which have never been richer than today and have never been getting richer any faster, the anti syndicalism, the disrespect for civil rights, the disrespect for human rights, the fracking, the lack of support for climate change and some more. About all of the above, and more, these voters did not believe that Clinton would make a difference for the better. Sadly, there is no reason to doubt their judgement.

Trump will be president. His cabinet will consist of people from the coal lobby, Wall Street, the defence lobby and with deregulation and other fanatics. It really does look bad. But everything is relative. As Clinton said ‘My top priority will be to accomplish regime change in Syria.’ No one knows what Trump will do.
President-Elect Trump: Hillary Lost because Power Brokers decided She was Damaged Goods by Stephen Lendman from Global Research.
My assessment of the outcome is as follows. Hillary, the establishment candidate, was chosen to succeed Obama last year, likely before she announced her candidacy.

Trump, an anti-establishment sounding candidate, unexpectedly emerged last man standing in a field of 17 GOP aspirants.

Deep state power brokers decide who holds high-level elected and appointed positions. Elections are easily rigged with electronic ease, voter-role stripping and other dirty tricks.

In my judgment, Hillary lost because power brokers decided she was damaged goods, too contentious to lead. They cut a deal with Trump, assuring he’ll continue dirty business as usual, perhaps cutting him a little slack – letting him win by fair or foul means, in his case likely fair because Hillary is so overwhelmingly reviled.
Comments from the blogger of Surviving Capitalism:

What most of these authors ignore is the capitalist deep state, which consists mostly of financial and some industrial elites, behind which all important actions are determined. "The Saker" briefly alluded to this by stating "It is a fact that while administrations have changed every 4 or 8 years, the regime in power has not, and that US internal and foreign policies have been amazingly consistent since the end of WWII." This statement implies the existence of the deep state whose interests and policies remain rather consistent over time in order to increase their wealth and power. This means in our current period that they intend to pursue policies of neoliberalism, subversion, and domination over the entire world regardless of who occupies the formal offices of government.

Trump impresses me as a very wealthy outsider (of the capitalist deep state) whose fortune was built on his father's relatively small success in business. On his way to super wealth he has had to deal with all kinds of powerful figures, including, I believe, organized crime. So he respects power and is perfectly willing to make deals with powerful people in order to enhance his wealth and power. His perspective is very nationalist as opposed to the global outlook of the existing deep state.  

Therefore Lendman's suspicion that the directors of the ruling capitalist class "cut a deal with Trump" is, in my opinion, likely true. This would explain the late reopening of the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails which I think was the decisive factor in her failure to be elected. In any case, should Trump refuse to reach a major agreeable arrangement with the deep state, he will be removed by the latter from office one way or another. The first indications that should be carefully watched to learn about Trump's real policies and this accommodation with the deep state will be the kind of people who are appointed to his cabinet.