The Devil You Know or the Greater Evil? That, I was convinced, was the choice America – and by extension the world – was faced with.
But revulsion gave way to reassessment following the debates. How could this be? Trump was saying (well, just about) many the criticisms the hard left have been trying and failing to get into the mainstream. No, the United States government does not work for its people, the Democratic Party cares not a jot, and sorry, Clinton II won’t change that. At one point or another he brought up the following about the establishment candidate:
1) Hillary Clinton categorically broke the law. She stored confedential State Department emails onto a private server (many related to shady deals in Central Asia), and then attempted to delete the evidence prior to a FBI investigation
2) She colluded with the DNC as it undermined Bernie Sanders. Debbie Schultz, her personal friend and head of the DNC, made life difficult for Sanders’ delegates, diverted party money Hillary’s way, and planned to use his faith – or lack of – against him in the American South
3) She attacks Trump for using the very tax loopholes her biggest donors exploit
3b) That she has done zilch to attempt to close such loop holes, and in fact has supported legislation beneficial to tax evaders
4) Hillary used the race card against Barack Obama in 2008, employing that lackey Sidney Blumenthal to dig up dirt from his past in “ethnic” Chicago
5) She and her husband used that same scoundrel to slander some of Bill’s victims in the media (this episode is what led to Christopher Hitchens’ famous falling out with Blumenthal)
6) Her on-going support of disastrous trade policies, notably NAFTA. The North Atlantic Free Trade Association has done more than any single other factor – excluding the Drug War – to force un-unionized and deprived Mexicans north of the border (into those lands which were once theirs)
7) Hillary’s horrendous foreign policy record. Libya and Iraq are obvious, but also her support of a coup in Honduras which saw the ousting of a progressive president and the installation of a Catholic fundamentalist regime
(I’ve most likely forget something.)
You could’ve heard the same at a Spartacus meeting.
At about one hour and a half into the debate, Trump asked Clinton why, considering the millions (250 according to him) she made during her time in office, has she decided not to put any of her own money toward her campaign? Depending instead on corporate and DNC subsidy.
Her glary eyed response went, “I respect the 2nd Amendment… but I believe there should be comprehensive [talking point twaddle continues].” People, evidently many Americans, have had rather enough of being spoken to like that.
A rare upside to this election race is the effect of having “an outsider” feature so prominently. Finally someone can lay bare the hideousies of the American system without administering self-inflicted wounds. It becomes rather difficult to denounce the dialectal nature of corporate welfare when your third house and pension are guaranteed by it.
Trump has been open about the relationship from his side – “when they [politicians] come asking for money, I give” – and in doing so did us a great service.
He has also attacked the shoddy state of the corporate media.
So all-in-all, it’s confusing. Trump is truly, absolutely, incontrovertibly, simply awful, he has shown that in his comments about Latinos and Muslims. But his criticisms of the system and of Hillary have been made plenty of times by plenty of radicals, me included. And I know I’m not the only leftist left scratching my head as a result.
Perhaps though, we should do something our enemies don’t and learn from history. In the early 20th century, the greatest polemics against capitalism and imperialism came, as you might expect, from the Left – Rosa Luxemburg, James Connolly, George Orwell – but occasionally one would find traces of these arguments in the fumings of fascists. Yes, the likes of Mussolini, Hitler and Metaxas weren’t shy of co-opting socialist and syndicalist rhetoric for their own means.
No self-respecting socialist would now suggest that because of an agreeable phrase here and there about ending financial exploitation, the Brownshirts must’ve been on to something. We know it was either posturing or deflection, and even if they meant it, the cost. Some Marxists at the time did see this far-Right thievery as a sure sign that History was on their side – that even the barbarians could not deny “their way”. Even when they were losing they convinced themselves they were well on the way to winning.
They were the first into the camps, the first to be culled.
Trotsky kept a clear head, and I’ve been using his to help keep mine. Trump may seek to change the status quo as much as we but, again, at what cost?
Hitler has been widely regarded as a demagogue, a hysterical person, and a comedian. Such opinions are the reflections of a diplomacy incapable of vision or understanding save in the most ordinary routine matters. To attempt to appraise the present German political revolution with the rule-of-thumb methods of diplomacy is not only ludicrous; it is fraught with peril. It takes more than hysteria to seize power, and method there must be in the Nazi madness. Woe to those who do not awaken to this fact in time! The leaders of German labor refused to take Hitler seriously, they dismissed his program as an impossible blend of reaction and utopia. Today, as a result of their ghastly mistake, their organizations have been shattered to bits.