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Without ideology September 14, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Intriguing thought on the Politico Nerdcast which made the point that unlike previous administrations there’s actually no core ideology here.

Even by historic White House standards it’s remarkable how they operate, and it’s partly because there’s no ideological mooring, they don’t believe in anything and in many ways it’s what the anonymous contributor to the NYT wrote about, it’s an amoral presidency that doesn’t move according to any fixed principles and the result of that is the only thing that matters is reelection if he decides to run again…

When you don’t believe in anything to begin with all you have is political [political positioning – winning elections] and all you have is political motive and the political motive is motivating the base.

Of course those of us on the left would argue that simply because there’s a lack of an overt ideology that merely means that in many respects this administration is continuing the business of capital as usual. Which is not to deny that there are negative and possibly dangerous aspects to its approach, but simply that the continuity is strong in this one with previous administrations. So in a sense it merely is defaulting to a certain aspect of the status quo (for all Bannon’s rhetoric there’s no genuine aspect of radicalism, let alone revolution, but then why would anyone take Bannon at face value or expect anything like that?). But that said there is an odd carelessness which comes from the administration not being wedded to nostrums in quite the way those others were.


1. EWI - September 14, 2018

‘Ideology’ for these guys is just the justification, the excuse to keep dinner party invites and NYT op-eds flowing, for unabashed pursuit of self-interest. The Trumpists are just more honest.


2. CL - September 14, 2018

‘ Fascism is characterized by strong nationalism, an extreme level of authoritarianism, corporatism, militarization and hostility towards both liberalism and Marxism’

“But is it not premature or scare-mongering to think of Donald Trump as a tyrant? Yes, if Hitler’s final Holocaust is the measure. But the signs of a creeping dictatorship are clear and daily displayed. What else is government by constant rallies—with crowd size exaggerated by lies? By insulting tweets spewed out in a constant stream? By the co-option of the justice system? By declaring all major press outlets except the propaganda arm of the administration to be “enemies of the people”? By branding Muslims as “animals” as Hitler did the Jews?By the personal rescinding, achieved or attempted, of major pacts reached by national diplomacy—from the Paris Accords, to NATO, to NAFTA, to TPPA? By declaring all agencies of government not originated by the dear leader as remnants of a “deep state”? By threatening to use nuclear “rockets”? By advocating that critics of the dear leader be roughed up? By calling some self-proclaimed Nazis “good people”? By calling any opposition to the leader matters of “national security”—whether Canada’s managing of its own affairs, or The New York Times’s publishing an anonymous op-ed? By using the machinery of the state for enrichment of the leader and his family? By multiple steps to limit the ability to vote?”-Garry Wills

‘despite all the talk of Trump as an aberration in American politics, his rise reflects the longer-term trends that have shaped the modern Republican Party:…
Trump’s widely mocked “Make America Great Again” slogan brilliantly amalgamated these disparate elements of “populism, nationalism, nativism and protectionism.”


3. CL - September 16, 2018

‘Donald Trump’s critics… go on underestimating him almost two years after his victory….
Political commentators…do not see that they are dealing with an exceptionally skilled politician….
Trump is regarded with a peculiar mixture of fear and underestimation by opponents…
US presidents have invariably been frustrated by the sense that they reign but do not rule…
Trump is not “an isolationist” in the classic sense, but his instinct is to avoid wars or situations that might lead to one…
Trump is the worst thing to happen to the US since the Civil War, but miscalculating his strengths and weaknesses is not the way to deal with him.-Patrick Cockburn.


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