US neoliberal and neoconservative elite are going through the stages of grief in the wake of the election of Donald Trump.
Judging by the recent McCarthy-style smear campaign in the Washington Post, they’re still stuck at anger.
On Thursday, the Post published a new article by Craig Timberg complaining of a “flood” of so-called fake news supported by “a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy,” To advance this conclusion, Timberg points to PropOrNot, an organization of anonymous individuals formed this year, as having identified “more than 200 websites as routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season.”
Ironically, the Washington Post, along with the New York Times, published the ultimate “fake news story”–Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction—justifying the invasion of Iraq.
The real crime of those on the list is challenging the Washington consensus, where neoliberal economic and neoconservative foreign policies are sacrosanct. According to new McCarthyism–either you must accept everything the US government says and does at face value, believe it implicitly and support it whole-heartedly, or else you’re a Russian dupe.
Damn, they’re on to me.
The fundamental source of the Post’s hysterical accusations is that our ruling elite has lost control of the narrative. Hence the anger, and hysterical and frantic efforts to marginalize and discredit any dissenting narratives that undermine or question the power of our corrupted, self-serving ruling elite.
The neocons who supported Hillary are especially butt-hurt. After all, just last month they were preparing for a much more muscular foreign policy when Hillary assumed the presidency, as this article at The Washington Post, in October, made clear.
“In the rarefied world of the Washington foreign policy establishment, President Obama’s departure from the White House — and the possible return of a more conventional and hawkish Hillary Clinton — is being met with quiet relief.
The Republicans and Democrats who make up the foreign policy elite are laying the groundwork for a more assertive American foreign policy via a flurry of reports shaped by officials who are likely to play senior roles in a potential Clinton White House.
It is not unusual for Washington’s establishment to launch major studies in the final months of an administration to correct the perceived mistakes of a president or influence his successor. But the bipartisan nature of the recent recommendations, coming at a time when the country has never been more polarized, reflect a remarkable consensus among the foreign policy elite.”
The neocons dream of a more assertive foreign policy (read: more war) under a Clinton presidency is not to be.
If Trump can break with the neocons on the idea of endless war it would go a long way towards helping make his presidency bearable.
The US neoliberal economic consensus, embraced by Clinton and other prominent Democrats, has also taken a hit, and they have reason to be angry. The election of Trump has thrown a wrench into the reliable neoliberal economic policies that our bi-partisan elite have pursued for the last 40 years.
Sanjay Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research, argues that the election of Trump, “promises to reshape the entire global order, and the complaisant forms of thought that accompanied it.” Reddy is especially critical of economists who pushed neoliberal economic policies, even as they have been repeatedly demonstrated as ruinous for most of the worlds population.
“Mainstream economics championed corporate-friendly trade and investment agreements to increase prosperity, and provided the intellectual framework for multilateral trade agreements. Economics made the case for such agreements, generally rejecting concerns over labor and environmental standards and giving short shrift to the effects of globalization in weakening the bargaining power of workers or altogether displacing them; to the need for compensatory measures to aid those displaced; and more generally to measures to ensure that the benefits of growth were shared. For the most part, economists casually waved aside such concerns, both in their theories and in their policy recommendations, treating these matters as either insignificant or as being in the jurisdiction of politicians. Still less attention was paid to crafting an alternate form of globalization, or to identifying bases for national economic policies taking a less passive view of comparative advantage and instead aiming to create it.”
Reddy says, that, rather than being neutral observers, neoliberal economists, “actively provided rationales for financialization, in the form of the efficient-markets hypothesis and related ideas; for concentration of capital through mergers and acquisitions in the form of contestable-markets theory; for the gentrification of the city through attacks on rent control and other urban policies; for remaking of labor markets through the idea that unemployment was primarily a reflection of voluntary leisure preferences, etc.”
The election of Trump is a repudiation to the elite ruling orthodoxy in America. The American people voted for a change from the destructive neoliberal and neoconservative policies our elite have insisted on following.
The bi-partisan ruling elite hate the idea of their loss of power, prestige, and most of all their control. So they’re lashing out in anger.
As George Orwell predicted, telling the truth is now regarded as a hostile act.
Update: Under attack.
“Over Thanksgiving weekend, the Washington Post legitimated a thin, amateurish site whose principals have libeled not only Naked Capitalism but also Ron Paul’s institute, former Reagan Administration officials David Stockman and Paul Craig Roberts, well-respected progressive stalwarts, such as Counterpunch, Truthout, TruthDig, and Black Agenda Report, as supposed Russian propaganda outlets with foreign “coordinators.” Moreover, with no supporting evidence whatsoever, this site called for everyone on its list to be investigated by the FBI and DoJ for Espionage Act violations.
The common denominator for all these websites seems to be skepticism about the failed Clinton coronation.”