Is Trump the best thing to happen to America, and the World?

This idea, like Trump himself, seems preposterous.

Here is a man who violates all form of political correctness, a racist, a misogynist, a racist, a pussy grabber….and the lost of deplorables goes on. As a result most people around the world, let alone Americans, woke up with the shit!-was-I-so-wasted-I-went-to-bed-with-THAT! expression the morning after the November 8 elections.

We blink, and hope that it was only a bad dream after all. But no such luck. Trump is now the President elect. We got screwed by Hideous and that’s a fact of life.

liberty

No point whining about it now, or be outraged by the electoral system or the type of people who voted him in.

There is a good reason why Trump won, and the sooner we all come to grips with it, the sooner we, the rest of the world (excluding the Brexit Brits, they too had already been screwed) would be able to avoid a similar fate.

Among everything Unspun has heard and read about this election and Brexit, I’ve found two articles to be particularly enlightening.

The first is an article by former Wall Street Journal reporter and co-founder of Muslim Reform Movement Asra Q. Nomani. She’s a Muslim, a woman, an immigrant and she voted Trump. Until now, she had been one of Trump’s silent supporters, because to declare her preference would have exposed her to all sorts of bullying by the more liberal members of America’s population.

Today she wrote an article for the Washington Post here. You could disagree with a lot of the things she said but what fascinated me is that for her and people like her, the possibility of Trump being an agent for change in the US’s policy on bread-and-butter issues and on the Islamic State was so important it overwhelms all this weaknesses. She also sees Clinton as a member of the establishment that will not change anything substantially.

Read Asra’s article together with George Monbiot‘s article Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems and an interesting picture develops. It is a long but thoughtful piece on how neoliberal we all – our governments, our businesses, our educated classes – have become without even realizing it.

So pervasive has neoliberalism become that we seldom even recognise it as an ideology. We appear to accept the proposition that this utopian, millenarian faith describes a neutral force; a kind of biological law, like Darwin’s theory of evolution. But the philosophy arose as a conscious attempt to reshape human life and shift the locus of power.

The bottom line of the article is that neoliberalism (no not the pejorative term in use today but the actual economic concept) has taken over most part of the world. As a result we have become a world in which the strongest (read: the cleverest, most educated and networked) thrive while the rest are not only left to languish but scolded for being unable to climb out of their gutter.

In this world, social and welfare safety nets have been dismantled, and – to simplify matters – the poor get poorer while the privileged jet around, attend Ted talks, do yoga, fashion themselves as entrepreneurs with their startups, networking sessions and get richer.

In any society you can’t have the relatively few eating richer cakes while the poor become more disenfranchised, find themselves deeper in depth and get angrier because even if they are willing to work hard and long there is simply no way out for them.

It is this anger that has propelled the need for change at any cost, and Trump and Brexit are the results.

The pertinent questions we should ask ourselves is what can we do to meet the challenges wrought on us by Neoliberalism. Trump/Brexit is a bit like Communism facing Capitalism. There was once a time when Capitalists looked on Communism as a threat as frightening as the Mongol Hordes. There was once a time when it seemed as if Communism would swallow up Capitalism.

Staring into that abyss, Capitalism changed from the raw Dickensian form of ruthless exploitation to a gentler and more caring form, and that eventually defeated Communism.

Today history may have come around to pitting the forces that ensued the success of Trump/Brexit against Neoliberalism. Can we change so that we embrace a liberalism that is more inclusive of all the segments in our society, so that the rich may have an opportunity to become richer, but only if they also help take care of the welfare and empower the less fortunate of sectors of society to become more prosperous as well. Call it Creating Shared Value if you would.

In a rising tide all ships rise, in an ebbing tide all ships fall.

If we are able to take Trump’s victory as a wake up call for us to address the deficiencies of neoliberalism we may yet catch that tide. In this sense, Trump may be the best thing to happen to us all, lest we descend uncomprehendingly in a falling tide.

Warren the Welch to Trump’s McCarthyism?

American politics is fascinating to watch. It can be depressing but it can also be so uplifting.

Depressing is when we see Donald Trump bluster his way to become the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, making him a very possible next president of the most powerful country in the world. Depressing is when you see him get away, even thrive, on racist, irrational attacks and bullying of others. Depressing is when you have his closest contender, the Democratic presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton not having the personality, the rhetoric or the ability to strip the Donald of his deceit and bluster.

Depressing it must have been for Americans when Senator McCarthy was on the ascendent with his with hunts in the 1950s. Like the Donald blustered, he lied, he bullied and he intimidated and instead of being called out his rise seemed unassailable. No one, it seemed could take him on and stop the juggernaut of hatred and spite.

 

But then it happened. In a congressional hearing into alleged Communist activities into the army, the army’s chief counsel stood up to McCarthy by delivering the now immortal lines: “Senator, may we not drop this? We know he belonged to the Lawyers Guild. Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

His missive hit the mark and all but stopped the McCarthy dominance on its tracks. All of a sudden, the Emperor had no clothes. McCarthy’s career collapsed soon after that.

Something similar to Welch’s deflation of McCarthy is now taking place in America to the Trump ascendency. Now, finally, there is someone with the conviction, the integrity and the rhetorical skills to deflate the Trump balloon.

It is a joy watching Senator Elisabeth Warren, who is likely to be Hillary’s running mate (just think of that a 2-woman ticket to the White House!) eviscerate Trump. Like the spoilt brat he is Trump has retaliated by calling Warren Pocahontas in reference to the native American ancestry she is supposed to have.

But you get the feeling that this time, against this particular person Trump has met his Welch. Unspun’s bet is that Warren will I’ve Trump a beating that his fat privileged ass won’t recover from.

A light seeming shines out of the depth of despair. And that’s why American politics is so fascinating and uplifting as well.

Watch Warren lace into Trump here and the parallels with Welch start to make sense: