In a time of Trump: A more optimistic view? November 16, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
So many words written about Trump that I’ve hardly any appetite to add many more to them. We are where we are. What happens next is difficult to judge and obviously all that occurs that is reactionary must be resisted – whether inside the US or here and in solidarity with workers there.
But be that as it may, and perhaps further down the line there’s more to say – a lot will depend on whether he cleaves closely or not to his words prior to the election (and curiously, rather like the fact Brexit hasn’t occurred but is going to so we are in a period where Trump hasn’t quite occurred, but is going to, in a few short weeks), oddly enough Tom McGurk in the SBP has some useful points. I’m not sure how accurate they will prove to be, but they’re certainly thought provoking.
He argues that Trump realised that US politics with candidates marketed like brands was not that much different to reality TV. Secondly that ‘he made discovery that would change his life and maybe ours too. it become his very own secret weapon of mass political destruction – the power to shock and outrage, to simply say the unsayable and still survive’.
That’s not a half bad point. Of course if all he has done is say the unsayable but not implement it, well the world may dodge a bullet but what of his support base? Will they stand it? And if they are let down yet again, do they go for a more extreme ‘brand’ next time out?
He’s right too that this saw of first his Republican rivals ‘timid’ as McGurk calls them, and then the Republican establishment. He ran against the party that was supposedly his support structure. And won. And that before he ran against Clinton. Warning signs there that most of us simply didn’t see. And McGurk suggests ‘he began to understand that bizarre law of counter-cultural movements: the more you attack, the more popular you become. So the fusillade of xenophobic, racist and homophobic accusations against Trump just bounced off’.
And he seems to me to be right that Clinton walked into a trap of focusing on what he was saying rather than offering anything of her own. He was the news. She was… well, what? No great vision there. None at all really. And continuity Obama wasn’t really going to cut it. And in a way her campaign was the real example of someone following someone who had campaigned in poetry with prose. I also think there are dynastic aspects that rubbed people up the wrong way, they certainly did me, the baggage brought to the feast by the original Clinton presidency, etc. And all this before we even get to ideology that for those on the left would be yet another massive problem. And, as we’ve discovered, not just for those on the left.
McGurk argues that:
Now for the good news folks, the fact that our hero has no political beliefs whatsoever should be hugely reassuring of those this weekend who, completely with family and armed with shovels, are busily digging a bunker at the end of the garden.
It means that once he’s safely installed in the White House, neither will walls be built, nor Muslims banned, nor any mass expulsion of illegals be attempted.
And he suggests that the idea he’d be pushing Saudi princes or whoever to the VIP lounge at Kennedy and out is absurd ‘they’re his neighbours in NY, for God’s sake!’. Well we’ll see. I’m not entirely convinced that we will see many ‘lesser’ measures implemented. And who knows how that will impact on the drift of US politics in the future.
There’s one final Trump doctrine to learn this weekend. It’s abidingly simple, like most of the great man’s philosophical opus: it says that when you are finally king of the castle, who wants all this trouble? It’s about knowing when you have won, and stopping digging.
We shall see. We shall see.