Oh, what a tangled web we weave
When first we practise to deceive!
– from Marmion by Sir Walter Scott
The political reality show in the US becomes more and more insane as time goes by. I have some more thoughts to share about what might really be going on, especially as it pertains to what I like to call the Trumpacolypse.
There are several possible scenarios that can overlap:
1 – The US ruling class is bitterly divided between far right business nationalists who backed Trump, and the traditionally dominant business multi-nationalists who backed Hillary and lost.
2 – The US ruling class is NOT divided (or not seriously) and Trump is, despite all the drama, the choice of a clear majority or consensus elite opinion.
3 – Russia is involved at some level in influencing public opinion and may even have worked out a deal with the far right business nationalists.
4 – Trump is a patsy of some kind, set up to fail, in an attempt to draw Russia into a trap and/or to discredit and further marginalize and falsely conflate the far left and far right who flocked to Trump for one reason or another, but resist ruling class efforts to bring them into the moribund political “center.” (Yes, some leftists fell for Trump’s “anti-establishment” pitch!)
5 – If there is a division among the US ruling classes then it has to do with long-term strategy and tactics vis-à-vis Russia and China.
6 – There could be collusion between the biz nationalists and multi-nationalists, who at this stage of the development of US capitalist imperialism, have largely coalesced into one united ruling class power elite and are playing a twisted game of good cop-bad cop to keep America’s enemies off-balance and continually guessing at US intentions (kind of like Nixon’s strategy of wishing to appear crazy and unpredictable as a psychological warfare tactic against the communists).
The situation becomes all the more tangled and complicated as it is fluid and dynamic and the capitalist power elite are compelled to change tactics and focus from time to time in response to countermoves by Russia, China, Iran and other international players. The great game has become one enormous complicated and increasingly dangerous clusterfuck.
Contrary to all appearances, I have a nagging suspicion that the US ruling class is not nearly as divided as the rest of the population, and this is by their will and design. If a dominant faction of the ruling class (which crosses party lines) decides that it really wants Trump gone, then he won’t finish out the year. That’s how you’ll really know how much they are against him and how much of this media hoopla is real or just for show.
Without getting too carried away, I think we need to consider all these possibilities and especially those that differ from the prevailing narratives being trotted out. As I said, Trump could be a patsy of some kind, set up to fail, and/or he could be what the CIA call a “dangle” used to lure Putin into a trap. It could very well be a carrot and stick overture toward the Russian opposition (the liberal parties in Russia). This “dangle” attempt could also be used to tear Russia away from China and Iran. It is entirely possible that the Trump campaign met with Russian officials and made some sort of a deal (which they may not intend to keep) to withdraw the sanctions and reduce the military presence on Russia’s borders.
It is painfully obvious that the Russian government strongly favored Trump over Hillary. This is the real source of the Russian “active measures” and “meddling in our democracy” rhetoric we are getting from the recent Congressional show hearings. No thinking person really believes that Russia hacked the DNC or the voting machines; far right Republican dirty tricksters or the CIA itself probably did that. To the extent that there might really be infighting going on within the US ruling class, it is probably similar to the Watergate affair during Nixon’s tenure – a far right faction breaks the gentlemans’ rules of fair play, inter-party collaboration and class solidarity, and has to be brought to heel.
One way or another, for whatever nefarious end, Trump was undoubtedly thoroughly vetted. The ruling class conflict may itself be “fake news” or, again, its scope is greatly exaggerated. What I find most difficult to believe is that Trump was elected by “the people.” Rather, he was appointed through consensus of the ruling class or one of two (or more) factions won out, but things could have changed between the beginning of Trump’s campaign and now; could some of them be having buyers remorse? Lots of contradictions will certainly abound as the empire goes through prolonged death throes – like an enormous dragon flailing around causing tremendous damage on its way out.
Trump was probably employed to serve multiple purposes. One of these that seems most obvious was that he was put out there as the far right polar opposite of Bernie – to bring the fringes back to the center and back into the two party trap.
It is a terrible mistake of genuine leftists to fall into the other trap set by ruling class operators of singling Trump out for demonization while remaining silent or demurring when it comes to the crimes of Obama, Hillary and the Democrats. Obama prepared the way for Trump – or someone like Trump – regardless of intentions or the presence or absence of insidious machinations. The important thing to remember is that we must not fixate on personalities, but rather the social and economic forces behind them.
Trump is a weapon of mass distraction; he serves as a figurehead, both king and jester, while the real powers behind the throne – the capitalist oligarchs of the military-industrial-complex, big oil, big pharma and all the rest are running the show, as usual.
I think that there are several very important points to take away from this:
1 – NOTHING has fundamentally changed in American politics. These events are not entirely unprecedented.
2 – There is no popular uprising underway that can seriously challenge the system at this point or in the foreseeable future, unfortunately. The American people are not “waking up.” The USRC (US ruling class) is dealing with serious challenges to its empire and its fanatic crusade to conquer the globe, but at least at home they are firmly in the driver’s seat and they still enjoy a commanding position on the global stage, although it is in decline.
3 – There is an effort to conflate all non-mainstream “extremist/fringe” views, whether on the far left or far right, together in the same “basket of deplorables” to use Hillary’s language. Given the choice, of course, the USRC would much, much prefer to steer the population further rightward despite the risks and special challenges this entails; this will hurt the feelings of some liberal elites, but they’ll get over it – they always do.
4 – This Trumpacolypse mania has a lot to do with Russia, there can be no doubt about that. Trump’s overtures to Russia I believe are bogus. The USRC has nearly lost its mind with rage and hysteria because Russia (and China) and others are beginning to successfully, at least in part, push back against US imperialism. There may have been a faction of the USRC, the far (alt) right who thought they could or should try to unite all the white people against the brown and yellow commies and muslims, but it appears that Russia is not going to throw its Chinese, Iranian and Syrian allies under the bus (fingers crossed!).
And, finally, if all this sounds way too convoluted, conspiratorial or depressingly cynical regarding our precious “democracy,” you should always remember that when it comes to American politics, however cynical you are, you can’t possibly be cynical enough!