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 November 23, 2016  Posted by at 4:24 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,


W. Eugene Smith Orson Welles 1942

 

Ever since the November 8 election, it’s been hard to write anything that makes actual sense, as evidenced by just about everything I’ve read in the past two weeks, little of which was particularly elevating, because just like before the vote, and just like in pre- and post-Brexit Britain, all there is left in the US are deeply dug-in heels.

Everything and everyone is standing still; dug-in heels do that for you. Problem is, of course, that standing still doesn’t get you anywhere. You’re going to have to move or you’ll be left behind. Somehow it’s wonderfully ironic that Donald Trump is the only main character in this play who’s moving, and he does so in more ways than one. It’s like he’s going head first against the latest braindead internet craze, mannequin. If he does it on purpose, I commend him for it.

Sure, one might say Obama has moved a little too, suggesting that a smooth transition of power is paramount, talking a whole different book from what he said about the Donald before November 8. But then Obama doesn’t have many other options. His job requires him to do it, and say it. Over the past few months, the impression has crept upon me that Obama is a mannequin, though not still and silent, but one machine-trained to say the perfect thing at the perfect moment. And then still lost.

 

As predicted pre-election by the precious few willing to ponder a view that’s not entirely partisan or one-sided, Trump now rolls back his most extreme views, and is not afraid to revisit climate change, or a potential Hillary investigation, nor does he shy away from denouncing the most outrageous right wing movements and viewpoints among his voters and supporters.

Not even if every single person he talks to as he builds his administration is automatically labeled a racist, or worse, by US media, politicians and others that have gotten lost in their anti-Trump trenches.

Donald Trump will keep doing what he’s always done: throw ideas out there, see where they land and show that he’s flexible about them. In the process he will make many of his supporters more flexible too. He is the leader, he is their leader. When he reconsiders his views of issues, he ‘invites’ them to do the same. As we move forward, we’ll see this attitude shave off a lot of the sharp edges. It’s all entirely predictable, it’s almost a better story than the Pied Piper.

Of course you san say that some of the views expressed by Trump voters, and the acts committed, don’t belong in America. You would be right. But what you can’t say is that Trump is the source of these acts and views. They were there already. They were ignored and left to fester for years, however, and because of that grew sharper and more pronounced as time went on, until someone finally came along and did not ignore them. Talk about predictable.

 

But without an actual conversation taking place, without people from both sides, gaping as their differences may seem, willing to leave their trenches and talk to Donald Trump, and about him, from something other than the moral heights they have convinced each other and themselves were theirs and theirs alone, without that conversation there’s only so much he can do. They have to move; he already does.

Mind you, he’s got plenty room to maneuver in what he does, because he won the election, and nobody else. He can fill his government with a bunch of weirdos and radicals, he’s got the mandate. But that’s not what he wants. Trump meant it when he said he wants to be a president for all Americans.

The last thing Donald Trump wants is to fail as president. he instead wants to be the best. That requires motion from all sides, though. What Trump wants and needs right now is for people to reach out to him, to tell him they’re willing to talk, that they’re willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, and work with him.

Don’t forget, he has to take on his own right wing camp -which will be a hard enough fight- as much as all those who see themselves as more liberal than he is (liberal is just a word in a country in which there is no left left). While at the same time those ‘liberals’ seem to spend all their waking hours exclusively trying to agree on what to call the people they see as America’s worst: are they neo-nazi’s, racists, white supremacists, bigots?

And as if that is not enough, all this comes with an outspoken implication that Trump is as bad as the worst of his voters. The anti-Trump camp are so busy with this that they fail to see the president-elect has long since moved away from what they thought his position was (was it ever?), and that they are the ones unwilling to talk, not him.

 

Mind you, this is as true for the right wing as for the left. Trump risks facing a lot of backlash from the right for not investigating Hillary, for softening his climate change view, for keeping some aspects of Obamacare, or some parts of the trade deals he has previously dismissed. He knows the risks.

The extreme right has misunderstood him as much as the ‘extreme liberal’ (a.k.a. the Hillary camp including the media). And if Britain is any guide, where 5 months after Brexit the main dish served is still made up of name calling and various other civilized pastimes, Trump has a long, windy and especially bumpy road ahead of him. America should perhaps count itself lucky that he’s a whole lot more flexible than the clowns performing on all sides of the aisles in the UK.

He’s willing to adapt, but that won’t do a lot of good if the other players are not. People may try to mock him for first bashing the New York Times and then, within 24 hours, calling it “a great great American jewel – world jewel”, but that’s only bad or inconsistent if you refuse to try and think like him.

Of course the New York Times, through history, has been a jewel of global media; it just didn’t act like one in the run-up to November 8. Pointing that out is not inconsistent from Trump’s angle: instead, it’s not difficult to make the case that it’s the New York Times that has been inconsistent, by leaving its journalistic standards -i.e. objectivity- behind to go after Trump.

After all, it’s hard to argue that the New York Times was NOT a partisan channel in the election. That so many other news media took the same position may have made it seem normal, but that doesn’t make it so.

Americans from all corners will have to come down from their morally righteous and politically correct mountains. They will then find that Donald Trump was way ahead of them.

 

And no, I am not a Trump supporter. But given the alternatives presented, I do find myself wondering if there was a single one amongst them more fit for the job than the Donald. Not that it matters anymore, the election is over and he won, recounts and discussions about electoral collages or not.

Is that really such a bad thing? Trump won. Which means the Democrats and Republicans did not. The Bush dynasty and Clinton dynasty did not. The incumbent elites did not. That is quite the clean up job. Does anyone want to argue such a clean up was not needed? Donald Trump is shaking up a world in which too many people and institutions across the political scene have been able to gain too much power and influence and wealth for too long, and it’s hard to see that as a big negative.

Besides, whether you like it or not, he’s your president. May I humbly suggest y’all make the best of what you got? Perhaps, and I must say perhaps because I should learn more about this, Trump’s talk Monday with Bernie Sanders-territory left-wing Democrat -and Hindu- Tulsi Gabbard, which may well land her a cabinet post, is indicative of what we may expect. So you got someone who’s left-wing, a woman, and very much not Christian. How many prejudices is that?

Gabbard wants the US to stop killing people in Syria. Is that a bad thing, anyone? She broke with the DNC when she figured out then-Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was favoring Hillary and working against Bernie.

If Gabbard’s move is not enough to make you move and un-dig your heels, how about Bernie Sanders himself taking a seat in the Trump government? Would that do the trick? The Donald would love it. Bernie would be told he’s betraying his party, for sure, but we all know the party betrayed him first. He’s either got a few years left to do something real, or he can see himself be betrayed all over again in 2020.

By now, it’s not beyond the realm of possibilities. A National Government is something many nations have tried through history. It might not be a bad idea for the US, because the future sure is not made exclusively of moonshine and roses.

The keyword is flexibility, guys. You have a president-to-be who gets that. How about you?

 

 


JavierJuén 2016

 

 

Home Forums Trump Moves as America Stands Still

This topic contains 11 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  oldwood 2 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #31459

    W. Eugene Smith Orson Welles 1942   Ever since the November 8 election, it’s been hard to write anything that makes actual sense, as evidenced by
    [See the full post at: Trump Moves as America Stands Still]

    #31460

    Birdshak
    Participant

    After election, Donald Trump immediately betrayed the people and principles he championed during the campaign, from the Alt-right to climate change to jailing his opponent. For this perfidy he garners the praise of The Automatic Earth. I had considered The Automatic Earth an advocate for honesty, kindness, and fair play. Please forgive my naivete.

    #31461

    regionswork
    Participant

    Good analysis. Trump demonstrated that the politically-correct policies of both Republican and Democrat parties had not worked for most Americans. Why should the people expect more of the same to work? I did not expect him to win, but am not disappointed. Perhaps a real estate developer is more alert to the damage war does to public infrastructure and private property. Would a Trump condo turnaround/save East Allepo? Might it be better to build golf courses than military bases? Instead of a “green zone” approach to security, how about City-regions where local production and consumption operates without need of worldwide supply chains enabled by cheap fuel, labor and border-free capital? All stuck in their particular idealism will not understand that this is part of the winning formula the Trump voters and non-voters. Those who stayed home, voted as well.

    #31462

    XYZ
    Participant

    Hello All,

    Don’t you love it when you write a post, lay out your case and the first person to respond completely misses the point, not only that, they continue to spew the same bile that the post was intended to mitigate.

    This is going to take some time, I guess. But truly, how much time do we have?

    #31463

    Patricia
    Participant

    It works!!
    From far away New Zealand – thank god – the whole world looks like a boiling cauldron. Perhaps it is something in the air or perhaps there is the start of a world wide revolution. Personally I would not be surprised if it is the latter. The western world is used to their standard of living rising and rising but when the group of disadvantaged people gets bigger and bigger can we be surprised when the Trumps of this world get elected? No, he is not a particularly nice person but there was no box marked ‘nice’ to tick. He has been elected though. And even uncouth people can have some good ideas. And, most importantly, he is not afraid, to take on the oligarchs.

    #31464

    seychelles
    Participant

    I always viewed Trump as a shrewd third party candidate…or a second party candidate since the Democrats and Republicans had long become functionally identical puppet-parties giving Americans only a simulacrum of choice. I think he should be very cautious giving Bernie Sanders a position of power in his administration. After donating quite a bit to Sanders’ campaign early on, it was very disheartening to see him blatantly let down his people and support HRC. This indicated that if he had won the election, it would have only meant more of the same. He is as phony as Bush or Obama.
    In the world that’s evolving, flexibility=resilience=survival. So encouraging to have a leader who understands this.

    #31465

    rapier
    Participant

    The price for what may be more rational US economic and foreign policy is going to be the centralization of political power in the White House. The culmination of 70 years of power moving to the cente,r to let’s call it the Beltway, but now concentrating in the White House. I guess it is difficult for non Americans to grasp but Trumps ideas and most of his concepts of how they will be done are un or extra Constitutional.

    Don’t get me wrong I am no fetishist of the Constitution or one of the millions who thinks the Constitution means exactly what they want it to mean. I am fully aware too that the centralization of power in the US as the result of WWII and its outcome stripped much basic character of what had been American Constitutional governance before. I know too that our ‘elites’ have failed in many many ways. Throw in there was almost certainly no way that the entrenched governing elites were going to be ushered out the door by any incremental change. I know all that.

    What I also know which most all, alt economic denizens seem unable to grasp right now in their glee is that there is going to be no fundamental change from the centralization of economic power. None, nada, zilch. It’s going to be meet the new boss, same as the old. I also know that the fall of the ever more ridiculous cultural warriors is not going to be something better, some flowering of common sense, but something worse. That is the forces of right reaction coupled with police power, the ultimate state power over individuals is going to grow quickly. Throw in that if the Republican party has the will and I think they do, then America is going to be a one party state.

    If some short term improvements are evident to your or any eyes let me suggest that never ever has more centralized economic and political power lead to a better outcome over a longer term. I had always made the mistake of thinking the financial/economic dislocation would trigger the political one. Now however it seems the financial/economic dislocation may be put off by the political one. The result will be just as bad but in the meantime the pain is going to be imposed selectively, on the bottom by the political order, in order to maintain the system for those at the top.

    #31466

    Hotrod
    Participant

    I am somewhat surprised by the reaction to Trumps election among so-called independent thinkers. His nominations, so far, have been extreme right wing conservatives of the Pence mold. No new ideas or thinking among the lot of them. The same old Republican and New Democrat trickle down economic dogma, disguised as a new populism. No war with Russia is a positive, but we will need to attack somebody to keep the military machine well oiled and happy. Iran, perhaps North Korea?

    #31467

    oxymoron
    Participant

    Look Donald is gonna give it his best shot through the eyes with which he sees. He is a human being and a goal-oriented one. In the world of bodies and time and space what else have you got? By the time you get to 70 I imagine you have seen a great many ambivalent points of view and that has to soften your position – I mean just having less time left to be alive is humbling and I reckon the man is more humble than people realise – not that I give a shit. I think he has an ego – he wanted to be President – but if you woke up this morning breathing then so have you – the body being the symbol of individuality. Let us bring power back towards ourselves by taking a little more command over the necessities of our existence bit by bit and then or (hopefully during) bring peace to our mind by remembering that a whole lot of bad shit is going on all the time but what has it got to do with a mind that can simply look – wait and judge not? (well maybe a bit of judging….- who am I kidding a lot of judging).
    Thanks for a great post Raul.

    #31468

    Joe Clarkson
    Participant

    <i>Does anyone want to argue such a clean up was not needed?</i>

    You have always argued that a real “clean up” is not possible, that there is no way that the growth of the global market economy will continue forever, unconstrained by resource depletion and financial crises.

    I agree with your argument. Since Trump won’t really be able to do anything productive (nor would have Clinton), why do we need to be “flexible”. Is it just to make him feel presidential? Is it to hold hands with his supporters and sing kumbayah in perfect harmony? Sorry, but catering to Trump is a waste of time and energy. I’ll save what little extra I have (after my horticultural exertions) for expressions of contempt, not only for Trump but the people who have made us listen to him try to put a complete sentence together for the next four years.

    #31469

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    I’ll echo XYZ.
    Me? I’ll wait and watch how this all unfolds. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes.
    Will Trump be sworn in as president?
    We’ll see…

    #31476

    oldwood
    Participant

    First, Trump must actually take office and there are still considerable powers still aligned against him to prevent it.
    While we can have no real idea of what may come from Trump, the one thing I am positive about is that he is not part of the existing cabal of corruption. I can tolerate the inefficiencies and destruction of an all powerful government. What I cannot tolerate is the notion that it is deliberately destructive and wasteful or at the very least designed principally to transfer great wealth and power to a relative few…..and THAT is a current reality.

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