How did a monster like Trump win?
The short answer is that Hillary was a uniquely horrible candidate, as I detail here. She was also the establishment candidate in an anti-establishment election. The Democratic Party also bears a large part of the blame by sabotaging Bernie Sanders, the Democratic candidate who offered populist economic policies instead of identity politics, and could have beaten Trump, as polling data bears out.
The longer answer is historical, and may shock and surprise many of you. After all, you didn’t learn what I’m about to detail in school.
Since the early 1930’s powerful Republican elite have committed crimes against our republic, while Democrat elite have largely refused to investigate or hold them responsible. The rationalization for this was that the exposure of these crimes would be divisive, so these crimes were kept secret, for the good of the country.
Essentially, the conservative ruling elite has been protected from the destructive consequences of its predatory dominance by a serial failure to hold them accountable.
More importantly, along the way a false narrative and history has been established.
The election of FDR and the implementation of the New Deal was a shocking development to the ruling elite of America. This loss of power and prestige was so traumatic that many of them contemplated changes to our representative system of governance. Gazing at Europe for inspiration, Mussolini and Hitler, came in for special praise. Now, here were leaders who understood how to mesh government and big business together with minimal interference from pesky workers.
The Republican elite also attempted a coup against their nemesis, FDR.
Like I said before, they don’t teach this in school.
The coup never progressed very far and the plotters weren’t all that clever. The Marine Corps general they tapped to lead their coup–Smedley Butler–was a true patriot, and promptly informed the Roosevelt administration of the nefarious plan. FDR, for the good of the country, kept this plot a secret and went about the business of helping America recover from the Great Depression.
The corporations that had helped foment the coup showed their gratitude by withholding investments in the US, while aiding in the rearmament of Nazi Germany. One of the darkest secrets of the pre-war era, was that US corporations and banks financed German reconstruction under the Nazis, especially their rapidly expanding armaments industries, in exchange for priceless industrial patents. This funding of German industry continued through World War II and involved some of the most powerful and well known US corporations, such as GM, Ford, and IBM. It also involved powerful US banks and investment houses, and influential Republicans, like George W.’s grandfather, Prescott Bush, and the Dulles brothers, Allan and John Foster.
After the war Democrats failed to hold these Republican officials and the banks and corporations accountable for this treason. For the good of the country, of course.
Did Republicans appreciate this gesture?
Emboldened Republicans responded by playing the hardest of hardball. After Truman’s surprise victory over Dewey, bitter Republicans attacked the Truman administration over supposed communists infiltrating government at all levels, with the insinuation that the New Deal was basically a communist front. The House Un-American Activities Committee, with Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon playing key roles, led the way in using the Red Scare to pummel the Truman administration as being weak and overrun with communists. The effect was to seriously weaken and discredit the New Deal reforms and turn the American people against them.
In my opinion, this Cold War hysteria never would have gotten the traction it did if the Democrats had exposed the connection between the Republicans and the Nazis. With passions against the Nazis running high after the war with the revelations of the Holocaust, there would have been scorn and revulsion at the treason of these men and institutions.
Jumping ahead to to 1968, Democratic president LBJ had announced that he would not run again for president, and was working to end the Vietnam war by negotiating with the North and South Vietnamese governments. Richard Nixon, the Republican, was running for president against Democrat Hurbert Humphrey, after the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. According to investigative reporter Robert Parry, in his book, America’s Stolen Narrative, there exists strong evidence that Nixon’s campaign secretly sabotaged the peace talks in an October surprise as a way of ensuring Nixon’s victory. LBJ learned of this treason through NSA intercepts but was convinced to keep quiet after Nixon’s victory, for the good of the country.
Again, in 1980, according to America’s Stolen Narrative, there is strong evidence that Ronald Reagan’s campaign officials carried out their own October surprise by meeting with Iranian officials and sabotaging the negotiations that the Carter administration was engaged in to return for the hostages seized by the Iranian Guards when the Shah was allowed into the US for medical treatment. Even though Carter and many other Democrats suspected this treason, there never was an investigation. Again, for the good of the country.
In the wake of 9/11, Bush administration officials, led by Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, attacked Democrats for being weak on terror and engaging in moral equivalence with a hostile enemy. However, recent history shows these very same Al Qaeda terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center were created and sustained by Republican national security officials and deployed as a means of foreign policy to this day. But of course, timid Democrats did not challenge this false narrative after 9/11 because it might distract from the War on Terror and wouldn’t be good for the country.
In 2008, after eight catastrophic years of Bush, Obama was elected on a pledge of “Hope and Change.” Immediately Obama announced that he would look “forward and not backward.” For the good of the country, of course. A lot of good Obama’s magnanimity got him. As soon as Republicans saw they were in the clear, they turned around and repaid him by obstructing everything he tried to accomplish. From the moment Obama entered office, right-wing conservatives embraced the posture of hell-bent opposition. Recall, in Jan. 2009, hate radio host Rush Limbaugh expressed his hope that Obama fails. One month later, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell proudly embraced Limbaugh at a conservative conference. The fringe rhetoric of far right activists had quickly become the de facto governing strategy of the Republican leadership, as they adopted a posture of obstructionism.
As you can see from these numerous examples, there is a clear pattern of Republican crimes, followed by Democratic timidity and failure of accountability. The Republicans have learned that they can get away with it, and emboldened have turned around and projected these crimes onto the Democrats. The result has been a triumph of conservatism, where the left spends all of its time fighting off these faux scandals while the right goes on the offensive, cheered on by a media that’s learned where its career advancement lies.
All done, for the good of the country.
I’ve used the phrase, for the good of the country, throughout the essay, and I’m sure many of you understand that I’m being facetious, so let’s unpack it shall we? For the good of the country is a phrase our ruling elite likes to toss about, but it hardly means for the good of the country. I suspect that, for the good of the country, really means, for the good of the deep state. And, the deep state is made up of: the military/industrial complex, Wall Street, the oil and gas industry, and powerful corporations. In my opinion, the rise of the deep state in America traces directly back to the collusion between our conservative elite and the Nazis. The secretive nature, reliance on violence, and belief in a corporate/state fusion are all hallmarks of fascism.
The result of these crimes and lack of accountability has been the creation of a false and misleading narrative and history. Americans don’t know where to place the blame for the shit-circus their life has become. They may not understand the details, but they know that something has gone tragically wrong, and that all the elite institutions, including corporations, the government, and the media have been complicit.
This election was an anti-establishment election with the American people essentially offering up the one finger salute.
Come on down, President Trump.
Update: Matt Taibbi, reprising Hunter S. Thompson, at Rolling Stone, puts the blame where it belongs.
“Trump made idiots of us all. From the end of primary season onward, I felt sure Trump was en route to ruining, perhaps forever, the Republican Party as a force in modern American life. Now the Republicans are more dominant than ever, and it is the Democratic Party that is shattered and faces an uncertain future.
And they deserve it. The Democratic Party’s failure to keep Donald Trump out of the White House in 2016 will go down as one of the all-time examples of insular arrogance. The party not only spent most of the past two years ignoring the warning signs of the Trump rebellion, but vilifying anyone who tried to point them out. It denounced all rumors of its creeping unpopularity as vulgar lies and bullied anyone who dared question its campaign strategy by calling them racists, sexists and agents of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”