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Missing the Point

Missing the Point

By Dennis Loo (10/28/18)

Those who think Trump and/or his famous “base” is/are to blame for the current state of affairs (by the way, these attacks such as the pipe bomber are going to get worse) need to step back a bit for some perspective. While it true – as I have written – that Trump is incredibly stupid and his hardcore supporters are also misinformed and too credulous, it is sheer fantasy believing that his removal will solve what ails us. While his removal from office, and in particular, the social movement that must arise to defeat him and his “administration” needs to happen and would be a good thing indeed, showing Trump and his ilk from the White House in and of itself and especially if he is ousted for narrow reasons would not by itself be all that productive and helpful. Everyday he demonstrates one new reason or more than one why he is unfit; the majority of people are outraged by his behavior. And outraged they are right to be! They expect someone who leads them to at least try to lead us and they expect that a person in that role will not make a habit, as he does, of breaking norms and further dividing us and enflaming tensions instead of trying to calm them and bridge them. Anyone who hopes for that now, however, has not been paying attention! Trump doesn’t choose to be a divider; he is just doing what comes naturally to him – he is being himself and what got him there in the first place!

Let us again imagine if Hillary Clinton were now president – in fact, let us consider why she lost the presidency to someone as incompetent as Trump. Some people who voted for him have come to regret that choice, enough to have altered the outcome, but most of Trump’s supporters remain in his camp. You no doubt have asked yourself why.

I would say that Trump’s appeal signals both naivete and sophistication at the same time. The naivete comes through in the majority worldwide thinking that merely by voting we can change basic outcomes that are systemic in nature. The sophistication comes in the various forms of hostility to neoliberal policies, of which Clinton is, and has come to stand for, its ultimate representative and leader. Her rejection at the polls was in substantial part an explicit rejection of neoliberal policies. Bigotry towards a woman was involved, it is true, but it’s not mainly that. Racism is also involved, but Hillary herself was not to blame for that, rather who the Democrats stand for.

Trump is the ultimate expression of all that is wrong and all that is shallow in neoliberalism. Both the Democrats (Obama himself) and the Republicans and even the faux “socialist” Bernie Sanders and copiers in the guise of social democracy are guilty of this: widening the gap between what the government says it is doing, and what it is actually doing, and thereby cheapening the meaning of truth and of the word. Neoliberal policies must by their very nature must do this. Trump’s attitude towards truth – as in he has no attitude, he will make any stuff up, if it suits him – is merely more extreme in him; it’s not unique to him alone.

Therefore, any hopes of blaming Trump alone or that of his followers, while understandable on some levels, is a grave mistake.

To be continued

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Elaine Brower 2

Elaine Brower of World Can't Wait speaking at the NYC Stop the War on Iran rally 2/4/12