It’s hard to say how much of the spectacle is real and how much of it is merely theater. Having said that, the mainstream media assure us that Hillary won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College. The whole scenario seems inverse from just about everyone’s projections, regardless of their leanings, with very few exceptions. The outcome doesn’t make any sense at first glance. Clinton was guaranteed all of the support from all of the major players; all of the industrial and corporate heads, all of the big banks – even the fucking Bush family were on her side! The wikileaks revelations confirmed that Trump wouldn’t be allowed to win. It was game, set and match.
Then again, this is the country that placed actors Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger into ceremonial positions of artificial power. Actors on a stage. Masks in a play. Let’s try to remember that Trump is still just a figurehead, and so too would Hillary have been.
So who will fill the positions of the upcoming administration? It’s hard to say. Once again, there is a lot misinformation and disinformation polluting the airwaves. One headline claimed that Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan/Chase (one of the key players of the financial meltdown in 2009) was propositioned to serve as Trump’s secretary of Treasury, but turned it down. But upon closer examination that scenario doesn’t make any sense, since Trump isn’t the kind of guy to go around asking people if they want to be on his team. Trump’s entire TV show hinged on people coming to him for a job and turning most of them away. “You’re fired!”
Then there were headlines that Ben Carson, a creationist and retired neurosurgeon, was tapped as a potential secretary of education; that Myron Ebell—a longtime skeptic of climate change—is a likely choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
The New York Times reported:
Jeffrey Eisenach, a consultant who has worked for years on behalf of Verizon and other telecommunications clients, is the head of the team that is helping to pick staff members at the Federal Communications Commission.
Michael Catanzaro, a lobbyist whose clients include Devon Energy and Encana Oil and Gas, holds the “energy independence” portfolio.
Michael Torrey, a lobbyist who runs a firm that has earned millions of dollars helping food industry players such as the American Beverage Association and the dairy giant Dean Foods, is helping set up the new team at the Department of Agriculture.
There were reports that other potential appointees included oil-tycoon Forrest Lucas, venture capitalist Robert Grady, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross and oil company CEO Harold Hamm.Then rumors circulated that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was being considered as a potential attorney general. But none of these appointments were announced by Trump’s transition team, and there seems to be reason to believe that these rumors were created Giuliani and others as a sly means of applying for cabinet positions.
But even if Donald is considering these aforementioned names to fill his cabinet positions, that too is of little surprise. Despite Trump’s promises to “drain the swamp,” the alligators are the only ones who know where the drain plug is.
After several decades of super-concentrated Wall Street cabinets I would be earnestly surprised if Mr. Trump – who is himself in league with the Wall Street gangsters – decides to counter the will of the banks and fill his cabinet positions with anything other than finance oligarchs, just as every other administration since Carter has done.
We know from the wikileaks cables that Citibank’s “recommendations” for Obama’s cabinet 8 years ago were almost entirely on the money – long before Obama was confirmed as president. The reality is that said list was not full of recommendations. That cable was a direct order from the real power structures. And I am sure that in time, the same will be revealed about this moment as well.
But pay no attention to these men’s administrations. Get mad at the figurehead, minions! That is, after all, what they’re there for. And keeping our focus trained on the figurehead is a sure fire way to maintain our societal ignorance about what is actually going on in political life.
So what changed this week? How did we suddenly end up here? And what difference – if any – does it really make?
Here are some of the more distinct possibilities:
- The FBI may be seeking indictments due to the wikileaks cables that confirm the crimes of the Clintons – which include but are not limited to solid confirmation of their involvement in pedophilia organizations and human trafficking vis-à-vis Pizzagate – but it would appear that the FBI are holding off on said indictments until after Obama steps down so that Barack cannot pardon the Clintons when charges are pressed – a legal situation that the major players may have seen as a bad investment for the future, especially if impeachment proceedings were to follow.
- There is the possibility that Team Clinton’s incessant and unnecessary antagonism of Russia, in addition to their repeated threatening of a no-fly-zone over Syria (which, by the way, constitutes a declaration of war) made the military a bit nervous, especially since the American Empire bloated beyond a stable carrying capacity long ago.
- Perhaps the investment class have doubts about the longevity of Hillary’s ability to command a presidential administration in the most stressful chapters of the American Empire, because, as once again confirmed by much of what wikileaks has revealed in the weeks and months leading up to this moment, Hillary isn’t exactly in the best health of her life.
- Or perhaps team Trump out-maneuvered the vote-rigging software in key states – a possibility now corroborated by investigative reporter Greg Palast.
It could be a mix of several of these reasons. Maybe there’s something even bigger going on that none of us can see. But at the end of the day, all I can say with absolute certainty is that Trump’s victory made absolutely no sense given what we knew – or what we thought we knew – leading up to election day.
But what is perhaps even more interesting than the result of Celebrity Deathmatch 2016, is liberal America’s reaction to it. Why are so many people so unbelievably depressed? Why do so many allow inconsequential politicians to govern over their emotional state? Why give so much personal power away like that? Why allow what goes on outside of you to govern over our peace of mind? This was just a reality TV show, after all. So what if the season finale didn’t turn out the way you wanted or expected? Does that really warrant temper tantrums and sobbing fits?
No one shed a tear when the city of Damascus was reduced to rubble, along with tens-of-thousands of innocent lives. But a sporting event like the presidential reality show tosses in a surprise ending and everyone loses their fragile minds? It’s just sports. It’s like the Cowboys won and now everyone is walking around with a frown on their face and a slump in their posture. Why?
Let’s remember that what happens in Washington is only a symptom of the real power structures. I find it amusing that people who allow hatred of ceremonial figureheads like Trump and Clinton into their hearts have no idea who Zbigniew Brzezinski is; they usually have no idea of the depth and breadth of the crimes against humanity committed by Henry Kissinger (who enthusiastically endorsed Hillary); they have no idea who Jamie Diamond is; who Lloyd Blankfein is; who David Rockefeller is.
I think what so many people’s rage and sorrow is really about is the fact that our collective denial of what America has become is now finally ending. A lot of people started waking up after Bush’s illegal wars and the formation of the Patriot Act. But the a savior came onto the stage. When Barack Obama was placed into the White House liberal America went back to bed. Barack’s slick, charismatic, articulate salesmanship did not stop the crimes of the American Empire, but those crimes became easier to ignore because this salesman made us feel better about those crimes, and convinced the dim and naive that those crimes weren’t even happening (or that they were happening, but they weren’t crimes).
Never mind that Guantanamo Bay remains open to this very day. Never mind that torture, extraordinary rendition and the unconstitutional assassination of American citizens continues to this very hour. Never mind that not only was the Patriot Act continued under the Obama administration, but the even more draconian Freedom Act that places all of the burdens of proof for illegal surveillance in the private hands of Internet Service Providers, was approved and signed into law by the same, so-called “progressive” administration. Never mind that the drone murders of hundreds of children and thousands of adult civilians continues. Never mind that the illegal bombings and troop deployments in Syria, Libya and Africa happened under the Obama Administration. Never mind the AFRICOM program. Never mind the frack attack that continues permanently poisoning watersheds from sea to polluted sea – a situation championed more fervently by Hillary Clinton than any other DC politician I am aware of. Never mind the Dakota Access Pipeline situation, which continues to grow scarier by the day. And of course, never mind the Banker Bailouts that delivered the final death blow to the US manufacturing sector while the investment class laughed all the way to the bank and created the very situation that made Trump’s popularity inevitable.
Does anyone actually think that fascism isn’t already here?
We have more people locked up in America’s prison system today than Stalin had locked up in the infamous Gulag Archipelago at the height of his reign of terror. More black men today are imprisoned today than were enslaved in the 1850’s. Police murders of unarmed civilians continue with unceasing repetition. All of this was allowed to take place under the auspices of America’s first – and perhaps last – African American president.
Obama’s calm, rational, likeable demeanor – his expert salesmanship – allowed Americans the luxury of ignoring reality behind a veil of innocuous jargon. That luxury is gone now. Americans finally have to start facing the music. The problem is, Americans have been ignoring it for so long, it seems rather overwhelming now. 8 years of Obama was the equivalent 8 years of a Prozac prescription. We didn’t deal with the reasons for our depression. We simply took a drug so that we might feel a lot better about those reasons. This slaughterhouse of a world sure was getting us down before our doctors at Citibank and Goldman Sachs recommended 8 years of Obama. But now that our prescription is ending, we’re finally left with a stark reality we’ve consciously chosen to ignore. It’s like our lollypop has been stripped from our grasp, so we’re left with no alternative but to sob angry tears of deluded disappointment.
Fascism isn’t on the horizon and Trump is not going to bring it about. He might make it worse, but it’s already here. It’s just beyond your front door. And with Trump as commander in chief, complacent Americans can no longer dismiss the obvious realities swarming around them.
Had Hillary won, would any of us really have any cause for celebration? What bizarre turn of events led us to wish for the ascension of someone who once described Black children as “super-predators,” who voted for the Iraq War, who sings the praises of fracking and “free” trade agreements – how did it come to this? We know now, from the Podesta emails, that Hillary was well aware that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the main funders of ISIS and were at the time she was meeting with their heads of state and accepting huge sums of money from their governments on behalf of her foundation. What do you call someone who meets with people known to be financing terrorists?
While the mainstream pundits were shocked by the rejection of the candidate they had convinced themselves was the only rational choice, those of us who live a little closer to her so-called “deplorables” – who have been left behind by the Democratic strategy of Wall Street and Identity Politics – we were less surprised by this outcome. The disenfranchised, having endured a relentless economic beat-down over the past two generations, coupled with incessant slander against them by supposedly enlightened liberals, when offered a choice between the old boss and something different, not surprisingly, opted for something different.
And it’s not as black-and-white as anyone might think. What happened this election is very difficult to quantify because our limited human perceptions are ill-equipped to make sense of the staggering complexities of the increasingly confounding world around us. For example, I spoke to a maintenance worker this week who admitted to having voted for Trump, but told me that he felt ashamed to have done so. He said he was worried about what Trump might try to do as president, but he was more worried about what Clinton would do given her clear track record. But the media’s hate-filled narrative paints such people as rabid, mouth-breathing, homophobic racists. That kind of image branding doesn’t leave a lot of room for a conflicted working class desperate to break the cycles of globalization and poverty.
The media has doubled down, attributing [Trump’s] win to the notion that there are just more “racist white people” in the country than they originally thought. Which is fine so long as you can ignore the fact that Trump actually performed 8-points better with Hispanics than Mitt Romney did in 2012. But that fact doesn’t fit the mainstream narrative that now eggs on the behavior that many lefties claimed to be appalled by but are now succumbing to – that behavior being protests that unfortunately turned violent on Thursday night, characterized by bricks through windows, smashed cars, and fires lit in the street.
No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, most Americans would agree that violence and property destruction are counterproductive and should be condemned. That said, we’ve noticed that all the “Better Together” campaign rhetoric of the left that was so prevalent just a few days ago, has now completely vanished. Perhaps “Better Together – But Only If Democrats Win” would have been a more accurate slogan, no?
But a closer examination of the violent protests reveals a darker truth. Thousands of these protesters were recruited and are being paid by Billionaire globalist financier George Soros’ MoveOn.org. While the dimwitted may be joining in, the foundation of these riots are not organic crowds of concerned Americans, but paid protesters responding to Craigslist ads. Whether this is an attempt by the Banking elite to intimidate Trump into following their age-old status quo agenda, or to provoke a color revolution in America by stoking the flames of ethnic tribalism remains to be seen.
But nuance rarely finds a home in the mainstream media and I fear that many well-meaning, highly-educated, fellow human beings, have been infected by the fear-mongering of polarity consciousness.
Meanwhile, as anti-Trump protesters in Portland apparently “smashed shop and car windows, threw firecrackers and set rubbish alight…chanting “We reject the president-elect!”, the president-elect has announced his intentions to pursue progressive financial policies that sound as if they could have come from Bernie Sanders, including a “21st century” version of the 1933 Glass-Steagall law that required the separation of commercial and investment banks. Then again, what politician hasn’t told us exactly what we wanted to hear? Rhetoric aside, we’ll see what actually happens.
But the reason that large numbers of people – especially poor white people – voted for Trump is not because they are fascists, it’s not because they’re racists, it’s not even because they’re homophobic. It’s simply because their lives have disappeared, due in large part to neoLiberal Democratic policies (such as NAFTA). The way they see it, any change is worth a shot as long as it’s actually real. The liberal elitists have had nothing to offer poor people, apart from pious and asinine suggestions that they “get a degree” or “move to where the jobs are.” When the backbone of America is labeled as unnecessary racists because they cared more about their lost jobs, plundered communities, and diminished prospects, do not be surprised when they act in the interests of survival. Civilization and anarchy are only seven meals apart, and desperate people can not be blamed for their behavior, especially if the conditions that brought about their desperation could have been avoided but were not avoided because it was more convenient to ignore them.
As Pulizter Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges wrote yesterday:
In presidential election after presidential election, especially after Nader’s success in 2000, so-called progressives succumbed to the idiotic mantra of the least worst. Those who should have been the natural allies of third parties and dissident movements abjectly surrendered to the Democratic Party that, like the Republican Party, serves the beast of imperialism… The cowardice of the liberal class meant it lost all credibility, much as Bernie Sanders did when he sold his soul to the Clinton campaign. The liberal class proved it would stand and fight for nothing. It mouthed words and ideas it did not truly believe. It bears significant responsibility for the phenomena that created Trump. It should have had the foresight to abandon the Democratic Party after President Bill Clinton passed the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, to build parties and institutions that defended the interests of the working class. If it had stood up for working men and women, it might have prevented [this outcome].
Many liberals are choosing to blame this outcome on simple racism. They say that Trump won because America is simply more racist than we thought. But you can’t claim that race is a social construct and then go around blaming everything on white people; you can’t have it both ways.
This hypocrisy is obvious to people who do not fit any of the demographic categories that modern neoliberalism has canonized as being worthy of having their pain acknowledged. And while the result of this was a win for Trump on the presidential ballot, please take notice that 7 of 9 Marijuana initiatives passed, as well as 4 of 5 minimum wage initiatives and 3 of 4 firearm initiatives. The people who voted for Trump are probably not who you and I have been led to believe they are. You have more in common with Trump’s supporters than you may suspect.
One upshot of all this is that it’s now conservatives’ turn to go through the same process of disenchantment that many lefties did during the Obama administration when liberal America began to realize who Obama’s funders were in 2008 and who filled the ranks of his entire administration. However, the desire for real change will remain a driving force for those who voted for Trump as well as those who voted for anyone else, and that is where our opportunities lie. If we can find it within ourselves to focus on all that we have in common, and not on what separates us, we just might be able to join forces with Hillary’s so-called “deplorables” for the benefit of everyone. Divide and Conquer is the name of THEIR game, and while I hate to be the bearer of bad news, if you’re one of the people who is playing into that Divide-and-Conquer game by focusing on what makes you different from your neighbors instead of what makes you the same as them, you’re part of the problem. Do we value a diversity of ideas or not? Do we value the freedom of speech or don’t we?
Learning is not about agreement. If we all had to agree about everything all the time none of us would ever learn anything. And now that I think about it, if we all had to agree about everything all of the time, that’s the central ruling edict for just about every dystopian novel and film I’ve ever seen or read. If we can actually be okay with people having different ideas than we do, we might just be able to work with them, and working together is the only thing that will build real solidarity and create real solutions. We’ve all heard it before but I’ll say it again – united we stand, divided we fall. Hard truths like this take a minute to learn but a lifetime to master.
It’s easy to sit in our posh coffee bars with our chic laptops and trendy ideas and philosophize about the world out there. It’s easy for us to talk about how open minded and forgiving we are. But unless and until we’re willing to talk with people who hold very different perspectives than us – perspectives, I remind you, that were garnered through a very different experience of reality than our own – and substantively demonstrate our tolerance, patience and compassion, then what good is any of our political theory? What good are ideas if they’re never implemented?
I ask you to look inside of your heart and consider what kind of world you really want to live in. Do you want to build a just world for everybody, or just for your friends? Do you truly care about what happens to other human beings on this planet, or just about what happens to people who hold the same ideas as you do? How big is your heart? How open is your mind? Is there room in there for the toothless redneck? For the heroin junkie? How about the homeless vagrant? If we really do claim to care about everyone, then shouldn’t we be expressing that by reaching out instead of recoiling in horror from imaginary demons of our own creation? You can’t call somebody bad and expect them to be good, after all. We talk a good game about inclusiveness and compassion, but it doesn’t mean a damn thing if we can’t put those tools to use when it isn’t easy, or comfortable, or convenient to do so. How you act in conditions of adversity is what defines you as a person.
Perhaps people will once again, out of disgust or apathy or laziness, unplug from political life until the next election when the whole, sad spectacle is doomed repeat all over again. But perhaps not. Trump’s inauguration might be just what it takes to finally shake Americans out of their ignorance, out of their complacence, and out of their slumber.
Then again, does any of it really matter? In the ultimate scheme of things, we’re on a rock, floating in space. There are 400 million known galaxies in our universe. The dimension of Samsara does not represent the highest dimension of existence . This is not heaven. This is not the only vibrational reality in the universe. This life does not represent the panacea. Let’s get real about where we are and what we’re meant to do while we’re here; this fleetingly short period of time that represents the lives we take for granted and waste on the most trivial and vacuous of obsessions. Ask yourself: What’s really important? What really matters?
When our brief, bright lives begin to flicker out, are we going to lament the most common regrets that people repent on their deathbeds? I wish I had been more loving to the people who matter the most to me; I wish I had been a better spouse; I wish I hadn’t spent so much time working; I wish I had taken more risks; I wish I had lived my own dream; I wish I had taken better care of myself; I wish I had done more for others. It’s only fear that keeps us from doing these things. So let’s try to remember how to forget that fear.