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After Trump December 2, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Jason O’Toole had two very interesting points in this slightly tongue in cheek column on Trump. Firstly that ‘He unintentionally held a mirror up to the American way of life in a way that made it look a much nastier place than the one we Irish love to idolise’. This resonates, certainly just as Brexit made many on this island take a rather cooler and critical view of our nearest neighbour – albeit nowhere near the extent the likes of Eoghan Harris and others have been saying about anti-Britishness – similarly Trump I suspect forced some to consider certain aspects of the experience in the United States that have been sometimes ignored. For one example consider not just the emptiness of Trump’s rhetoric about the working class, but how the broader political systems in the US had for decades ignored the working class under various administrations of whatever stripe. How indeed structurally the US had tilted sharply away even from a rhetorical egalitarianism in that regard.

Another point was that we cannot be too self-regarding either. As O’Toole notes:

We argue it could never happen here – but three Dragons’ Den stars ran for the Aras last time. I shudder to think who’ll throw their hat into the ring next.

Comments»

1. oliverbohs - December 3, 2020

A point to be made here is the separation between being head of state and being head of government, making the former attractive to randomers and publicity seekers not needing the conduits of political parties, while ensuring that the latter wd remain off limits to them. In the USA it is both roles combined into one, leading to unrealistic expectations running parallel to down and dirty politics, including vested interests, lobby groups, military industrial complex, blah blah

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2. CL - December 3, 2020

Its OK. Biden is appointing some very nice people to positions of power, and the neolib, neocon restoration is underway.

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WorldbyStorm - December 3, 2020

Not sure it ever really went away under Trump.

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CL - December 3, 2020

” The emergence in recent weeks of this coalition of neocon Republicans and former national security officials is troubling. That they have thrown their support behind the candidacy of Joe Biden is an ominous development, particularly for those who believe that U.S. foreign policy should be guided by the principles of realism and military restraint, rather than perpetual wars of choice…
The neocons had been signaling their intention to flee the GOP as early as 2016 when Robert Kagan, alongside other national security fixtures worried about the alleged isolationist drift within the Republican Party decided to endorse Hillary Clinton and speak at a Washington, D.C. fundraiser. Indeed, the Democrats welcomed figures like Kagan and his fellow neocon extremist Max Boot with open arms, setting the stage for where we are today: A Democratic nominee running to the right of the Republican nominee on foreign policy…..

“There has been considerable pushback to economic neoliberalism within the Democratic Party in recent years, thanks mainly to the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, the advocacy of reformers like Elizabeth Warren, and the increasing popularity of economists like Stephanie Kelton”
https://publicseminar.org/essays/the-rotten-alliance-of-liberals-and-neocons-will-likely-shape-u-s-foreign-policy-for-years-to-come-biden-kagan/

Biden’s selection of neoliberals for the principal economic positions shows how unsuccessful the pushback against neoliberalism has been.

Neoliberal economics received a major blow with the financial collapse.
The tragic debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan undermine neoconervatism. But they haven’t gone away.

The neocons and neolibs manured the ground for the rise of Trump. Biden’s reassertion of these regressive ideologies augurs ill for his administration.

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Pasionario - December 3, 2020

The neo-cons started out in the Democratic Party. Senator Scoop Jackson was a key figure for them during the 60s and 70s, also Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

And some — like Irving Kristol — even migrated from youthful Trotskyism.

The Republicans traditionally had a strongly isolationist tilt and so were not an ideal vessel for their ideas until the 80s.

I think it’s unlikely that a Biden presidency will see the neo-cons restored to the commanding position they held under Bush junior.

But they might be able to push policy towards Russia and North Korea in a more confrontational direction.

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3. WorldbyStorm - December 3, 2020

Completely agree OB, the functional elision of the US as state with the President is a huge error IMO.

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4. CL - December 3, 2020

“Now he has one big lie reduced to an easily digested but entirely bogus claim that he actually won the election…..
It relies not on evidence but on emotion. It fortifies intuition, clears out possible doubt, and explains what seems inexplicable. It also works. Polls show that 70 percent and 80 percent of Republicans believe the election was rigged….
almost half of Republicans expect Trump to be inaugurated in January….
That is what the big lie does. It turns wishful thinking into radical reality.”
https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/528417-the-big-lie-from-donald-trump

” Fascist political power was significantly derived from the cooptation of truth and the widespread promulgation of lies.”

Trump and Bolsonaro “channel the same political impulse to place themselves above science and expertise, exalting their own gut instincts and justifying their decisions with faith and myth…. both share a fascist historical background, which centers around the cult of a leader and the myth of national greatness — a greatness that has supposedly been compromised by internationalism and liberalism (which fascists equate with communism)….
Around the world, far-right leaders’ responses to the pandemic feature key elements of fascist ideology. …
in fascist politics, reality is merely an instrument through which to propagate ideology and assert domination.”

“There are some good reasons for arguing that Trump represents a form of ‘American fascism’. The far-right fringe of Trump supporters can comfortably be called neo-fascist.”
https://publicseminar.org/essays/fascism-for-our-time/

“The idea that the U.S. military would oversee a new nationwide presidential election — ordered under martial law by President Donald Trump — is “insane in a year that we didn’t think could get anymore insane,” a defense official tells Military Times.
Yet retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn promoted that exact idea Tuesday evening when he tweeted a press release from an Ohio-based conservative political organization….
The concept of the military being involved in such a revote, and that Flynn and other once-respected military officials, including retired Air Force three-star Thomas McInerney, would advocate martial law, raises alarms for constitutional scholars and military-civilian experts.”
https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/12/02/calls-for-martial-law-and-us-military-oversight-of-new-presidential-elections-draws-criticism/

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CL - December 3, 2020

“Trump, in Video From White House, Delivers a 46-Minute Diatribe on the ‘Rigged’ Election
The president posted a recording on social media of what he said “may be the most important speech I’ve ever made.” It was filled with false allegations about voter fraud….
The same day, a Republican election official in Georgia blamed him for inciting violence and a wave of death threats….
But he retains the support of a core group of voters who quickly responded to his latest attack on the election. Within a few hours, his tweet had been “liked” by almost 134,000 Twitter users, and his Facebook video had been shared 93,000 times.” -NYT.

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WorldbyStorm - December 3, 2020

That report from Military Times is disturbing. Got to say McInerney and some of the others… sheesh.

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5. NFB - December 3, 2020

I;m not hugely concerned about the Irish Presidency. The vast majority of voters last time voted for left-wing candidates and Peter Casey rapidly became a political irrelevancy.

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