By Jeff J. Brown
Pictured above: Ramin Mazaheri easily ranks as one of the best English-language, anti-imperialist, anti-global capitalist journalists and writers alive today.
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Sixteen years on the streets, living and working with the people of China, Jeff
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Ramin Mazaheri is not only a good friend and a great comrade, but he easily ranks as one of the best English-language, anti-imperialist, anti-global capitalist journalists and writers alive today. He’s been all over China Rising Radio Sinoland (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/search/?q=mazaheri), as well as his two books (https://www.amazon.com/Socialisms-Ignored-Success-Iranian-Socialism/dp/6239364460/ and https://www.amazon.com/Ill-Ruin-Everything-You-Are/dp/6025095434/.
Enjoy a superb, truth-telling analysis.
It’s Day 3 of the US Election Debacle and – as we’re still mid-debacle – it’s very possible that Donald Trump will be the only conservative casualty, because it’s already certain the US election was an undeniable disaster for Democrats.
The Democrats had everything on their side in 2020: the mainstream media, the Deep State, the (self-proclaimed) moral high ground, more campaign money than ever, a hysterically-motivated base – and yet if Trump does end up winning Democrats will have nothing to show for all that. [Note: At this writing, Friday 10:06 AM, various reports are proclaiming Biden the winner on account of Pennsylvania vote tilting decisively to Biden.—Ed)
That should be stunning news. Here is the roundup of the non-presidential elections:
Republicans now hold 60% of state legislatures (where the most far-reaching policies are decided in this extremely decentralised, pioneer-influenced system), half of all state governorships, they’ll almost certainly keep a majority in the Senate, they shockingly reduced the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, conservatives just got a 6-3 majority in the Supreme Court, and at the local judicial level Americans judges are already so conservative that it’s infamously said that they “never see corruption” (In the United States “corruption”, much like “propaganda”, is something only found in other countries, of course.)
So if Democratic leadership (dominated by the Clintonista faction) is not corrupt then they surely are incompetent. Despite every cultural, political and financial advantage – truly an unprecedented situation – they might walk away with only decapitating the figurehead of Trumpism.
It’s a second consecutive enormous failure by whoever is planning Democratic Party strategy – they now have two black eyes, even if they oust Trump. That’s good news for the Sandernista faction, but their blacklist of Iranian media shows how fake-leftist they really are.
The American commentariat is admitting the major Democratic defeat, but it’s being currently obscured by the presidential vote debacle, which is so far turning out like we all expected: judges will decide and not voters.
The US, it must be remembered, has always been a lawyer-dominated system. That is what “rule of law” really means in the West: domination by aristocratic lawyers, as opposed to worker domination, God domination, vanguard party domination, elder domination and all the other available options. The outsider Trump threatened this domination, and thus the US political elite seemingly did all they could to ensure that the presidential vote would be disputed in order to ensure control by this societal sector which they mostly came from, control and rewrite at will.
Kill a snake’s head and the snake dies, but 70+ million Trump voters are not snakes but humans
Putting aside the uncertain fate of Trump himself, the 2020 election results already objectively insist that main failure of Democrats was due to their insistence that Trumpism was merely a cult of personality.
This allowed them to not seriously evaluate the true democratic electability of their policies, personalities, principles and job performance: they refused to admit that Trump incarnated actual political ideas and that he genuinely reflected some authentic cultural ideas and trends. By failing to understand that Trumpism was a democratic force which must be accounted for, the electoral reckoning was emphatically anti-Democratic Party in spite of their unprecedented advantages.
The Democrats chose to rely on sensationalistic fear-mongering: Trumpism was based on White supremacy; White militias are about to shoot up Main Street.
Oh really? I think they failed to understand that both of these hysterical assertions were always going to be easily provable no later than November 4, 2020:
So Trump’s increased 2020 vote totals in Black and Latino communities – they are White supremacists too? Of course not – there is something deeper than what Democrats claim. Since election day American cities are mostly ghost towns – maybe 1,000 anti-Trumpers marched in Chicago, even smaller numbers of pro-Trumpers rallied at voting booths, but the mainstream media warned for months that semi-automatic fire was actually going to be seen beyond the governmentally-abandoned African-American ghetto for the first time ever… so where is it?
This was always absurd, stupid, lazy, hysterical thinking, and it was exactly like what they did in France to their Yellow Vests, whom I covered more than probably any other reporter working in either English or French: accusing these movements of White supremacism and anti-Semitism was always a way to discredit and ultimately suppress the political analyses of the lower classes, and especially of those whom Americans descriptively call “White Trash”.
But Trump supporters are not all White, nor does their poverty or lack of a vastly overrated college degree make them human “trash”; French Arabs supported the Yellow Vests as much as any other Frenchman. Sadly, this is all something the corporate media cannot allow to be said openly, so there is widespread misunderstanding.
We must ask why that is?
The answer lies in the domination of democratic structures in the West by their 1%. The backbone of the Western system is not lower-middle class mullahs, nor cobblers-turned-parlimentarians in Cuba, nor a communist party whose acceptance rate is on par with the American “Ivy League” of universities – the backbone of the Western system is exactly like shah-era Iran: a tiny coterie of a few dozen rich families, and then a small percentage of the population who are handed some of the wealth and stability produced by the toil of the nation’s masses in exchange for defending the few dozen gangster families.
And the backbone is also something else, which like “propaganda” and “corruption”, is never discussed in the US mainstream: duopoly. But this is the subject for Part Two – let’s wrap up the reality of Trumpism’s victory even amid a possible defeat by Trump.
Many of the newly-elected Republicans are widely called “Trumpian” – this does not mean they are parading around with gilt-framed pictures of The Donald but that they have adopted many of his policies, such as anti-globalisation, anti-censorship, economic patriotism, sovereignty and – crucially for the world – a reluctance for more endless imperialist wars.
The adjective “Trumpian” does imply negative policies: a hard line on immigration, a sinful and useless arrogance that America is the greatest country in the history of mankind (that is a direct quote – you hear it all the time in public over here) and a Red Scare-like hysteria against the socialist-inspired ideas of a strong central government and economic redistribution.
(What’s so telling about the US is that the word “socialism” is never uttered by their alleged left wing – even the Bernie Sanders-linked Democratic Socialists of America are so timid and so propagandised that they absurdly and incorrectly added the adjective “Democratic” in front of socialism. “Socialism” in the United States is a word only heard when hysterically screamed by the right-wing, and it is hysterically screamed by them all the time, I can report.)
But the election confirms that Trumpism is an ideology and not merely a one-time cult of personality.
Trump the man is unpleasant (to be polite) but that personal judgment is far, far less relevant than the cultural-political ideas it is now clear that he – for better or for worse – genuinely reflected and clearly fostered. My point here is not to condone nor condemn these cultural-political ideas – I am merely saying: there are genuine ideas here which are authentically championed by a very large part of the US public. It is bad journalism to ignore this and scream “White supremacism!”
But the US media and chattering class is another huge election night loser along with the Democratic Party – both were totally wrong about a non-existent “Blue Wave” and the denial of Trump’s grassroots appeal.
Their only hope is Trump loses and they keep chattering uselessly about that to deflect attention from that submerged part of the iceberg which they got all wrong journalistically. All I can say as a journalist is: you get it wrong, you get demoted – you lose your twice-weekly editorial spot, you no longer are on the editorial board, etc. Back to the street for you. At least ideally.
Will there be consequences for getting it wrong for the failed Democratic elite or the US mainstream media? They have merited such reproachful dismissiveness that I’ll direct towards them only what I think is the laziest journalistic phrase: It remains to be seen.
Part Two —BELOW—addresses how Trumpism related to the world’s most powerful and longest-running duopoly.
by Ramin Mazaheri
For Americans who believe that their system is actually capable of reform it would be nice if Trumpism was merely a cult of personality, but the 2020 non-presidential election results prove it truly is more than that. I think non-Americans grasp this even if Americans do not, as they are so effectively propagandised by an intensely corrupt Washington elite and their media sycophants.
That last declaration was my attempt to sum up the true motivation of roughly 50% of the American population: Trump was elected by addressing not White supremacists who feel they have lost out in a new world they are (it is derisively implied) too stupid to compete in, but by addressing those who feel scammed and disgusted by the decisions of the political and cultural elite over the past 30 years.
There’s a huge, huge national problem when such a feeling motivates half a nation inside the polling booth, no?
And the biggest problem is something PressTV tried to address in our coverage of the election from the start: the refusal of the world’s oldest and strongest duopoly to allow third party, alternative voices to be heard, much less have some political or cultural power.
The duopoly will never enact the one change which would immediately improve American political culture for the better – ending their hugely divisive “winner take all/first past the post” system. Far more than their Electoral College, this explains the intense division and animosity over here.
The “only one or the other has a real chance” duopoly means roughly 50% of Americans will soon feel that their vote was worthless… which it will be. But moving to a coalition-type system would instantly mean a reduction in the power and privileges of the duopoly, which is why they so shamelessly enact obstacles for third parties that it renders the US election system not free nor fair.
“Democracy with American characteristics” in the 21st century means a never-ending duopoly, where citizens go to boarded up polling places on streets emptied of civilians but full of security forces, as if they are going to war and not just to vote like a normal person.
Because Trump posed a threat to the duopoly, they and their 1% allies absolutely freaked out in 2016 and spent four years throwing everything they had at him to boot him out by any means necessary. The cost was absolutely enormous on a cultural level.
Trump used and joined the duopoly – Trumpism inherently resists it.
Part 1 described the basic ideology of Trumpism, but to recap: not mere White supremacism but anti-globalism, pro-national sovereignty, anti-censorship and anti-foreign wars, but also being hysterically anti-government and anti-social safety net. [The usual echoes of libertarian/ Tea Party ideology].
But more time was spent relating how the MSM’s so-called “Blue Wave” was a huge failure – it’s like American conservatives fended off the Tet Offensive. Trump the man seems on course to lose, yet Trumpism helped the new so-called “Trumpian Republicans” sweep to dominance.
Call it the Flatworm Phenomenon: Democrats may succeed in chopping off the head but the body will undoubtedly live, election results prove.
Mother nature is a mad scientist, but do realise that we are examining a phenomenon which exists in the world’s most effective duopoly: What has been verified this week is that the Republican Swamp has so very effectively absorbed the blow of Trumpism, which should have been enough to create a new third party.
This will allow the Republican elite and establishment to eventually dilute and soften “Trumpism”, rather than giving America a truly new start and somewhat revolutionary clean break. This is how extremely effective the duopoly is when confronted with any grassroots movement. The only winners in the American duopoly are the richest 1%, of course, not ever a grassroots anything.
The Republican side of the duopoly did this with the post-Great Recession Tea Party, and they have long co-opted Libertarian ideas while still keeping that party perpetually under the key 5% vote mark, but neither ever had the widespread appeal of Donald Trump.
On the other side, this absorption allows the other side of the duopoly to not be shaken by the end of the duopoly. A Trump presidential loss will mean the Clintonista faction (the far right) of the Democratic Party – which has ruled since 1992, the end of the Soviet Union – has cover to not make any changes either. They lost everything else, but they beat Trump – they can crow about this endlessly, as the duopoly controls the media here.
So the greatest domestic significance of a loss by Trump the man is the victory of the duopoly. Personally, I find a “victory for the duopoly” nothing to celebrate.
I think Trumpers may not voice these views specifically with great regularity, these analyses would be accepted by them? However, even pro-Trump forces are nominally pro-duopoly in their essential conservatism. Trumpism is not revolutionary – I am not asserting that, but I am asserting it is fundamentally anti-duopoly (without really knowing it, because “duopoly” is so rarely spoken aloud here) because Trumpism is so anti-Washington Swamp corruption.
Of course, Trump himself is not Lenin – Trump has not the intellectual capacity nor the ideological rigour to form a new party. Trump the man has no ideology except “I am the best”, but that doesn’t mean his followers are all pure narcissists as well. This is another reason a Trumpist third party did not emerge to stop the duopoly’s destruction of their charismatic, essentially apolitical leader.
Trump changed his party affiliation five times – if anything he fits in another duopoly-suppressed category of American voter: the independent. We must remember that the Republican half of the duopoly resisted Trump until as late as possible: it was not until May of 2016, when he was voted in via the grassroots Republican primaries, that the Republican establishment finally accepted him. But that’s the party elite – 2020’s widespread victories of “Trumpian Republicans” proves that Trumpism won despite an unprecedented four-year mobilisation of the massive forces of 1% and the Democratic Party.
Trump might have been able to take on the duopoly, but not in 1 term
Trump might have been able to take on the duopoly in 2016, but the most common thing I’ve heard from pro-Trumpers is that, “They didn’t let him drain the swamp”. And that’s true: from the immediate Department of Justice’s veritable entrapment (they dropped the original charges) of his original National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, to a “Mueller Report” which did not even indict (much less convict) a single American on charges of election conspiracy or collusion, to a three-year Russophobia campaign, to a totally partisan impeachment campaign – Trump spent four years obstructed and hobbled by nonsense.
Of course, Trump was obstructed by his own nonsense: his desire to be loved by all, and that included a duopoly which hates him, and his lack of any real political ideology beyond narcissism. That is why Trump was always a mere figurehead. If Trump finagles a second term the widespread hope in America and beyond is that he would finally ignore the duopoly’s efforts and really do something which breaks from 30 years of Washington’s anti-99% corruption.
But back in 2016 despite his undeniably immense appeal the US duopoly was so strong that Trump simply could not have been elected without joining one of them – he used the duopoly, and has rather significantly transformed both sides. The Republican elite hated him, and then merely tolerated him, but Trump had astoundingly high approval ratings among Republican Party members, and they have responded: Trumpism has changed the Republican Party at the grassroots. The short-term vision of future America must include this new reality, but also combine it with the Democrat’s near-total 2020 failure, which makes them now hobbled to achieve much-needed and much-wanted improvements in the social safety net, health care, the environment etc. and etc. and etc. The Democrats will shift to the right, yet again.
As I wrote: the duopoly’s rabid anti-Trumpism has cost this country’s 99% a great deal, sadly.
I am not writing in favor of Trumpism nor in condemnation of it – I am trying to do something rare: give objective journalism about America in November 2020. Trumpism was, like the Yellow Vests, slandered and distorted because it reflected the political ideas of so-called “White Trash”, but class analysis insists that they are not trash, and good reporting of the election results prove that a racial analyst is woefully inadequate (as usual).
You can dislike it all you want, but Trumpism is obviously a genuine, authentic movement, and 2020 confirms it was even a successful one.
But we should expect that the duopoly swamp has done what it always does: swallow up, dilute and suck out any of the ideas which could create actual reforms to the nation’s aristocratic, privilege-protecting, 18th century-based, hysterically evangelical, capitalist-imperialist duopoly.
It’s hard for me to say, “Yay Trumpism!” but it’s also hard to say, “Yay, the duopoly survived Trump!”
The latter is what the global corporate media is insisting we do, certainly, but many Trumpers are going to be inflamed that the duopoly combined its forces to defeat their candidate at only one level – the chief executive.
This feeling will only increase as long as people continue to arrogantly demonise Trumpism and refuse to look at this political movement with logic, dispassion and a feeling of patriotism or human warmth. The only thing I will absolutely promise is that the cultural division wreaked to suppress Trumpism will continue to have have hugely debilitating and polarising domestic affects for the rest of this decade.
If Trump loses the American duopoly stands – shakier than in recent memory, yes, but it stands. I think many Trumpers understood that and that helps explain their vote, but rabid anti-Trumpers are too propagandised to allow Trump to continue his insolent and inherent questioning of the integrity of the US system.
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