ELECTION 2016: AMERICA AT ITS CROSSROADS
July 29, 2016
Almost 50 years ago, Professor Carroll Quigley of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Services wrote the following, which I regard as the most significant political quote of the last century:
"The chief problem of American political life for a long time has been how to make the two Congressional parties more national and international. The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can 'throw the rascals out' at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy.... [E]ither party in office becomes in time corrupt, tired, unenterprising, and vigorless. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of those things but will still pursue, with a new vigor, approximately the same basic policies." ~Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time, pp. 1247-48.
It sounds like a cliché to say that Election 2016 is turning out to be the most important election in over 50 years! But for the past half century, every election without exception has fit Quigley’s pattern – except this one!
Election 2016 threatens to upend globalism at its core!
Donald J. Trump is proving to be the mouthpiece of a rebellion that has been brewing ever since millions of ordinary people began to participate in the Internet Reformation, some call it, going online, reading uncensored news, and realized that much of the official history and economics they have been fed is a tissue of lies, and have voted to support the one person who promises to change the country’s direction before globalism and political correctness finish running it completely into the ground.
I have gone from being skeptical of the Trump revolution to realizing that Trump really is the last hope of turning the U.S. back from the cliff it is rapidly approaching.
That will mean breaking Anglo-European power elite control over the political process (the “rigged system,” both Trump and Bernie Sanders call it), over U.S. foreign policy, and over the economy.
It will mean putting an end to the situation Professor Quigley, an Insider’s Insider, described in the opening quote.
This is thus the first election in my adult life where Americans have a real choice between competing political and economic philosophies! (I am more than happy, incidentally, to have had my fears of a last-minute anti-Trump coup at the GOP Convention proven groundless – !) although the danger is far from over
A vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton is a vote for the Establishment – for globalism and all its trappings – because as Trump noted in his speech, the Anglo-European power elite (my phrase, not his) owns her. When Goldman Sachs, one of the power elite’s main financial corporations, pays her over half a million dollars per speech, common sense informs us that the globalists have an enormous investment in her.
She would further their goals, which include more foreign wars, continued open borders and more cultural mayhem, more political correctness, and a country in ruins – a country suffering as parts of Europe are suffering now in the aftermath of terror attacks and floods of refugees.
Imagine, too, more ZIRP, more QE, a national debt skyrocketing ever higher. A second Clinton presidency would mask its enormous problems the same way the first one did – with a soaring stock market, ensuring that the rich are getting richer, on paper anyway. The largest financial bubble in history will continue inflating – for a time! The middle class will continue shrinking and the working class, especially whites, will continue dying of treatable illnesses. The suicide rate among the latter will continue climbing.
A vote for Donald J. Trump is a vote for a turn away from this cliff!
Trump is the biggest Black Swan the Anglo-European power elite has seen in our lifetimes! He came nearly out of nowhere, a little over 13 months ago. At first no one took him seriously, myself included. He went on to garner a record number of primary votes which stopped just short of 14 million. Now, in the present, his acceptance speech may go down in history as a major declaration of our intent to turn back from the brink!
Trump is the only candidate in my lifetime who has stated openly, “Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo!”
Those whose power and gravy trains he threatens are absolutely livid!
I expect Trump will face truly vicious attacks in the weeks to come: attacks on his past businesses where he’s had both successes and failures, having made the same mistakes as others have made; attacks we’ve already seen on his character and personal psychology will intensify; they will be joined by attacks on the proposals he laid before the American people the other night. He will be dismissed as a dangerous economic illiterate, because he cares about the American people instead of “macroeconomic” abstractions.
These attacks will reach such feverish pitches that their authors will not notice the irony of their charges that he is the one appealing to fear and insecurity. Obama has riposted. Clinton herself has counterattacked. Elizabeth Warren shrieked that his speech sounded like that of “a two-bit dictator.” Bill Mahar made the truly stupid comment that it could have been lifted from a Saw movie! Other fifth rate comedians of the present Age of Decadence (see below) are chiming in with the childish attempts at humor so popular today. European controlled media has weighed in. If you want hysterics, scroll down the main page of hard-left Salon.com where every other article is anti-Trump (most of the rest are about aspiring celebrities, which speaks volumes about the juvenile mentality of sites like that). If you want to read truly silly stuff, illustrating the impoverishment of academia, go here instead. Scroll to comments 27, 30, 38, 41, 47, 50. Hold your gag reflex if you’re shelling out money for kids to attend these universities where these people profess to dispense wisdom.
Are there a few things that still bother me? Of course there are.
I would want Trump’s appeal to “law and order” and his support for law enforcement to be tempered by a call to demilitarize the police, and end the flow of battlefield-ready weapons to police departments from the Department of Homeland Security over the past 15 years. Militarizing law enforcement with battlefield-ready weaponry was a mistake of ghastly proportions! There is now huge distrust between law enforcement and segments of the public because the killings of unarmed citizens by police vastly exceed those of every other advanced nation, many times over. This needs to end, or there will never be peaceful relations between police and the communities they once served and protected – no matter who wins this election.
A few things are out of Trump’s hands, at least initially. The financial bubble I mentioned is going to pop, almost assuredly between now and 2020, again no matter who enters the White House in 2017. How Trump handles the situation will be absolutely crucial, as doubtless he will be blamed for any economic calamity to come along! What I would hope for: (1) no bailouts of power elite controlled banks this time around; (2) abolition of the Federal Reserve System, which enabled power elite control of the economy; (3) creation of a public banking system capable of issuing debt free money. This would destroy power elite control over our money system. I do not know if Trump is thinking in these terms. One can only hope he is surrounding himself with people who are.
Trump is, I am confident, serious about ridding the world of ISIS. Given how ISIS has spread during the disastrous Obama-Clinton years, eliminating them will prove to be a gargantuan undertaking.
My hope is that Muslims the world over will see the need to repudiate ISIS and speak with a single voice, as Christians repudiate the Westboro Baptist Church: “These lunatics do not speak for us!” There are around 2.08 billion Muslims in the world. The vast majority just want to live in peace. ISIS has brutalized many of them, no less than it has brutalized Christians. If one reads what Trump actually said, he was not calling for a permanent ban on Muslims entering the U.S. Rather, he was calling for a ban that stays in place until this threat can be eliminated to the greatest extent possible.
I doubt that putting ISIS out of commission will be possible without the support of Muslims of good will, who realize that peace is better than violence.
And I must add my hope that Shiite and Sunni Muslims can be motivated to talk to one another instead of killing one another, that they will work together to rid their nations of corruption. This is also very much in their best interests. They shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking globalists care about them. There is some evidence that globalists are trying to orchestrate internecine war between Shiites and Sunnis. Such a war would span the Middle East and could last decades. It would kill millions of innocent people – those in the way of what the Anglo-European power elite wants: total control over the region’s oil, to be extracted as cheaply as possible without local interference.
One hopes that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, hated by neocons but who continues to conduct himself as an adult, can work together to rid the region of ISIS. Both have more to gain from cooperation than from the present neocon-led saber-rattling which is sure to continue under a Hillary Clinton administration, likely leading to a war which could turn nuclear.
Yes, between Donald J. Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton, the latter, not the former, is the one who should be kept away from nuclear codes. She, not Trump, has a well-documented volatile temper, in addition to the policies she is likely to further in regions close to Russia’s borders, e.g., in Ukraine, where the Establishment brought down the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovich and instilled a dictatorship. His is not the only democratically elected government Hillary Clinton was instrumental in destroyed. Ask the Hondurans.
Lastly, a Trump Administration might help answer a question I confess has plagued me for years. Having written about the trajectory of empires ([here], [here], and [here]), the question is: can an empire, in its Age of Decadence as the U.S. clearly is, turn itself around?
Remember what an Age of Decadence is: an empire’s final stage prior to collapse or dissolution. Roughly: (a) religion and transcendent values are weakened and replaced by materialism; love of money reigns supreme; (b) the culture’s moral compass is lost; its masses pursue frivolity and hedonism as they “eat, drink, and be merry”; (c) cultural heroes are sports stars and celebrities instead of people with real leadership abilities; (d) border controls are lost; influxes of immigrants fill major cities and unlike previous generations of immigrants, they do not learn the dominant language and assimilate, meaning that public institutions are overwhelmed; (e) more and more people seek to live at the expense of a bloated state bureaucracy; (f) an obsession with sex permeates everything, as families disintegrate, traditional marriage declines, the number of singles grows rapidly, and sex-related scandals end careers; (g) because of widening cultural and economic fault lines, no longer is there any sense of the common good.
Other characteristics of empires in decline include military aggression against threats that do not exist (think of Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction”), irrational monetary policy to keep the masses spending so that a dysfunctional economy stays afloat (think of ZIRP and QE), a widening gulf between rich and poor with reduced social mobility except downwards, increasing cynicism and a withdrawal of people into their own private affairs, and pessimism among professional intellectuals. Attempts at a national conversation are strained and fractured by distrust, often ending with unproductive recrimination, juvenile name-calling, or worse.
For this last, just think of the relationship between Trump’s supporters, many of them victims of globalism who know they have no “privileges,” and his mainstream center-left critics. The latter accuse Trump of lying while they present utterly misleading statistics about unemployment (real unemployment is much higher than 4.9%). They accuse Trump of presenting a dark view of America even as they pretend that the Federal Reserve money creation spigot can continue forever.
Can this be reversed? Or is an empire, once mired in its Age of Decadence, doomed?
It hasn’t happened before. Each previous Age of Decadence presaged collapse or breakup.
But I’ve not encountered iron laws of history, analogous to those of physics, that tell me it can’t happen!
We certainly have the technology to make the attempt! That, too, has not occurred before! The question is not over means, but over our wills and convictions.
Could Donald J. Trump, by leading a revival of American manufacturing, energy production, and infrastructural rebuilding, be the key to something genuinely new?
Look at it this way. Everything that’s been said about the man by pundits has been proven wrong. The pundits, instead of learning from their mistakes, have redoubled their efforts. A lot of economists are very worried, I think, that given the opportunity Trump might succeed, which will force them to throw out the neoliberalism they’ve imbibed for the past half century, including everything they thought they knew about “free trade” – just as neocons will be forced to scrap their insanity about nation building in the Middle East.
The U.S. had a chance to become a beacon to the rest of the world following the end of the Soviet Union and the rise of a unipolar world. Beginning with the election of the first of the Clinton Crime Family, the signing of trade deals like NAFTA, actually a product of the Bush Crime Family, and then electing another Bush whose response to 9/11 was to attack Iraq and destabilize the Middle East, we blew it. Then we blew it worse by putting President Community Organizer in there. He pushed even worse trade deals like the TPP when not injecting himself into and enflaming every racial incident.
Now the other half of the Clinton Crime Family wants the helm of state back.
Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Trump is indeed Americans’ last chance to pull their country back from the brink. Elect Hillary Rodham Clinton, and it won’t happen! Remember, the financial bubble will pop anyway, and Hillary will give you more of the same. After eight years of Bush the Younger and eight years of President Community Organizer, America will not survive eight years of its First Woman President! You might not survive four years!
With Trump at the helm, America may begin to rebuild. It won’t be easy. It won’t be a paradise. There is much to undo, and many bridges that need to be rebuilt, or sometimes just built. And this, again, will be possible only if he is allowed to do so — if his enemies do not attempt the ultimate insanity that would destroy the country permanently.
It is time to begin some new conversations – again if we are allowed to do it.
By the 2020s, those of us who identify with ideas that originally made America great may be in a position to help create a more serious and humane internationalism. Technology also makes this possible. It will take cultural differences seriously and learn from them; it will stress localism and not globalism; it will base itself on acceptance of the faiths of others to the extent those faiths promote peace and not violence; it will not seek to impose a centralized, materialist, mass-consumption monoculture on the world. Try to envision an international mindset based on ethics, peace, local control, mutual respect, open communication, voluntary trade that meets real and not manufactured needs, a conviction that all lives matter, and a devotion to peaceful resolutions where we disagree – and to elections that offer a people genuine and not sham choices.
What this novel internationalism will shun like the plague is the ethos of political and economic centralization, calls for domination, and all else that characterizes present-day globalism.
© 2016 Steven Yates - All Rights Reserved
Steven Yates has a Ph.D. in philosophy and is the author of Four Cardinal Errors: Reason for the Decline of the American Republic (2011) and Philosophy Is Not Dead: A Vision of the Discipline’s Future (ebook, 2014). He blogs occasionally at WorldPress.com. He lives in Santiago, Chile with his wife and two spoiled cats, and is working on his own online education project, the New Lyceum Academy for Philosophical Studies (website forthcoming).