Saturday, August 06, 2016
Trump's chaos theory, the media elite and the looming one-party system
Donald Trump's new economic team of 13 billionaires has been labeled as a potential threat to his populism. Of course, the corporate media has missed the point, as usual. His populism, a boxed-in mass of personality cultists, is secure, as far as it goes. The attempt to absorb the lower end of the middle class to form a Workers' Party, facing irrelevance in a stagnated global economy, is reminiscent of what dictators did in Russia, Germany and Italy during the 20th century.
What media has yet to realize is that the Trump 13 is yet another cabal of radical power brokers, all of whom have proven a mastery for coming out ahead when the economic foundations of society crumble. We are witnessing a dangerous con of epic proportions. With the likes of these, it barely matters if Trump wins or loses the election. He is a calculating, reckless bomb thrower stirring up racial hatred to suit his aims because he believes that when it all comes crashing down, he and his friends will be the scum that rises to the top.
That is the only way his Captain Chaos routine makes any sense. The social disease he has unleashed serves all purposes, as far as he's concerned. Is it about greed? Hardly. Team 13 is rich enough. You can already buy anything you want with a billion dollars, an example of how Caesar wept when all worlds were conquered. Is it about fanaticism? Surely. Is it about authoritarian control on an unprecedented scale? Bingo! The most chilling aspect of Trumpism is the idea of deportation forces for undocumented immigrants, a nightmare scenario conjuring images of the Nazi SS (Schutzstaffel), South American death squads, the Russian Red Brigades and myriad forms of ethnic cleansing.
The Trump campaign is merely a symptom of a groundswell of failures among the GOP leadership that have been going on for decades. His candidacy is a rejection of the Republican elite. Trump's ascendancy as presidential candidate occurred because the other candidates in the GOP primary, a group of anti-democratic opportunists, played the waiting game too long for the past eight years.
They were too easily tied to the failure of the Bush era, the disaster of the Iraq invasion, the discredited theory of trickle-down economics, deregulation of the banking industry and its disastrous corruption, too dialed in to big money campaign financing, all leading to the worst depression of our time. What we are witnessing right now is part of an organic process of a withering away of a ruling assembly who failed to show any willingness to legislate in the face of dire challenges facing the nation, from immigration reform to income inequality to the monstrosity of entrenched turbo capitalism.
In this demise many Republicans were left with nothing other than the desire for a dictatorial authoritarian type, since their own party leaders were dithering on the job. Trump is the chicken come home to roost after an era of obstructionism.
Unfortunately, if a splintering Republican party breaks up into two parties, a fringe-right and true conservative right-centrist holdouts, then the entire right is split into irrelevance. This would lead to a Democratic regime that would more or less lead as a one-party nationalist regime, since most likely it would pull the liberal movement further to the right as it absorbed marginalized ex-Republicans, only to alienate the millennials of the new left.
Could we see the emergence of a four-party system, as the Greens and Libertarians gain mainstream acceptance? Not likely, or, at least, that could take decades. You need a 15 percent share of the electorate to even get on the same stage for debates. And the Fourth Estate, the media, isn't going to throw its weight into covering a 15 percent market share. The media will continue to ignore such parties until the economics of journalistic coverage compels then to do so.
But dismissing third-party candidates is an affront to real democracy. When will the media oligarchs allow third-party candidates to debate on the same stage? Never. Or, if so, this could take more than decade. The positioning of the media elite depends on kissing up to those in power in order to gain access. It's a problem with the overculture. And Jesus, people who are insulting committed far-left dissenters because they don't like Clinton are just another face of Trumpism. But progressives won't be convinced by all-or-nothing group-think. The Democrats need to convince the left-wing fringe voter with something more than anti-Trump pragmatism, and meanwhile are playing a dangerous game by pandering to the disaffected right.
Independents, in the meantime, can only drift as homeless news junkies trying to find a place to belong. Every Sunday they can wake up each morning to watch "Meet the Press" and "Fox News Sunday." Not so much because these shows include good reporting or insightful chatter, but because viewers need to know what the lies are. And then they can wonder: Why?