I am extremely busy at present, but politics always comes first. The entire world was taken aback by the Trump victory, and we must therefore discuss it.
In this first part, I will respond to those who seek to place the blame for the election of Donald Trump as CEO of the United States on the people and their stupidity. People’s War, as expected, has sought to blame Jill Stein for the victory. This is a tremendous exercise in missing the point: Firstly, in the states identified, votes “to the right” robbed Trump of more votes than Stein supposedly stole from Clinton. In other words, the trend of rebelling against the system’s binary choice of two unpopular candidates was far more pronounced in camps who appear to have helped Clinton than the camp which likely hurt her. If these people who rejected the choice between the status quo and a fascist answer could be convinced to embrace the binary option, Trump would likely still have won.
Now, it might be protested that we don’t need to single out Stein: Many people voted for Johnson who likely would have preferred a Clinton status quo to the more rapid acceleration of fascistic trends in the US represented by Trump. But even if this is true, how does it help? Either Trump was able to mobilise more than Clinton in spite of losing more votes to ALL “third parties”, in which case he plainly was the most inspiring candidate; or else Clinton was so uninspiring that she lost votes to various third parties of various ideological commitments who may or may not prefer her to Trump. Either way, it seems clear: Clinton was such a garbage status quo candidate that she threw away an election in which all the forces of Wall Street had conspired to hand her victory. She is a tremendous loser who deserved to lose. She is worse than Stein, who at least can protest that the system is rigged against her!
And why was Trump so inspiring? Few (and certainly not People’s War) would deny that Sanders could have won back those Stein votes, and many Johnson and Trump votes too. These votes reflect a lack of confidence in the system, the only thing which distinguishes Stein from the others such that People’s War blames her (and not Clinton!) for Clinton’s loss is that Stein’s dissatisfied voters came attached to some actual progressive policies, albeit clumsily cobbled together in a hippie fashion. People’s War assumes then that all of those Stein votes and none of those Johnson, Trump, or Castle (!) votes belonged to Clinton because… Clinton is a progressive? Far from it. Trump being a more dangerous reaction does not make Clinton a progressive!
What Clinton is is a candidate of the status quo. The people, lacking a progressive vanguard, will turn to dangerous voices of reaction and regression if it challenges a status quo that they find unacceptable. Ever since the 2008 crisis, the masses, “the 99%” in US parlance, are feeling the pressure of capitalism in a visceral way. Yes, even the oppressor nation in the US now feels that the status quo is unacceptable, and so Trump’s empty promises seem appealing, in a very similar way to how Sander’s more meaningful rhetoric seemed appealing months before, and to a very similar audience against the exact same enemy. How did Marx put it? “First as tragedy, then as farce”.
The farce applies to Trump as well as to Stein: If Stein was the farcical reflection of Sanders’s failure to defeat Clinton, then Trump was the farcical return of the mass rejection of Clinton in the Democratic primary. In this sense, if you blame Stein for costing Clinton the election, you can also blame Sanders for doing so, since he implicitly exposed her and the Democratic Party as frauds and elitists before the peoples of the United States, which Trump followed through on by explicitly finishing Clinton off!
The reason why we don’t blame Sanders for this is because of course, Trump and Sanders are right. Whether Stein, Trump, Sanders, or I say it, no one can deny that the Democrats are allow millions to go unemployed even among their own citizenry (because they believe it’s “impossible” to employ their people), the Democrats are waging the same wars as Bush did (and lying and deceiving the people about their foreign dealings), the Democrats do make deals with and protect the Trumps of the world (just as Trump pointed out when his corruption was brought up in the debate), the Democrats are willing to go to war with Russia for imperialist dominance (whether in Syria or Ukraine, can not the US be satisfied with its level of imperialist dominance, which extends over most of the globe? why must Russia be fought?).
Pointing this out is considered “unhelpful” and “nitpicking”, but it is not nitpicking for my Afghanistani comrades, who every day have to live with the consequences of the Bush-Obama-Clinton/Trump order. Trump’s answer is a false answer, but the question is not a false question: How can these Wall Street warmongering imperialists be gotten rid of?
Any way you slice it, this election reflected popular dissatisfaction with the status quo, even among the oppressor nation, and the left’s inability to seize control of that narrative (in the end even opposing it and cheering for Clinton and the status quo) left it wide open for the right. A classic victory for fascism: The left wastes it’s time intellectually explaining how much smarter it is to do whatever it is we want, and the masses follow whoever promises them answers.