Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Crystal Ball Clouded, But I Think We Know What Comes Next ... by gimleteye

The rise of authoritarianism -- as evidenced by Trump's electoral college victory to be the next president of the United States -- is the result of one well-established historical fact: using media to feed the public's anxieties and fears.

Trump's is a reckless gamble to "make America great again" by retreating behind walls. America will not be the shining city on the hill, we will be the gilded kingdom with soldiers on the rampart walls.

The nations of the world around us have perked up their ears. The immigration crisis in Europe, triggered by mideast turmoil fomented to a large degree by Putin, is having a predictable effect.

Since World War II, the United States has not only been the world's policeman but also, by far, the world's largest supplier of military gear; all organized to reinforce a status quo that has kept war from erupting in Europe, to spread outside national borders in Latin and South America, and to keep a fragile peace in Asia.

Trump's election has scrambled international order as it has domestically, where racism and religious intolerance is bubbling, fed by the extremist right's efforts to control messaging through social media.

Over the weekend, the government of Turkey announced its willingness to consider withdrawal from the orbit of the European Union. Turkey is considering aligning with Russia and China on trade issues and why wouldn't it? Russia and China both have huge Muslim populations, mostly quiescent, and have brutally suppressed challenges to authority wherever they arise.

Turkey's move suggests that if democracy is a paper-tiger (ie. aspirational only) then it will align with what works: authoritarianism.

Americans have an exceedingly short memory, exacerbated by the internet. World War II was successfully prosecuted to end authoritarianism, fascism, and to contain the Soviet menace. Trump's "America First" doctrine has already ceded ground to the world's despots. Roosevelt's call for "freedoms for all" -- is in full retreat. Then there is climate change.

Trump's public view of the issue -- that there is nothing the federal government can do about climate change -- reinforce his commitment to isolationist policies driving the rest of the world into their corners.

Today Donald Trump is tweeting, working "18 hours a day" to staff thousands of jobs suddenly under his command, as if he were creating the world for the first time. Of course he is not. He has no choice but to rely on the same forces that created the swamp in the first place; government-designed-to-fail. One feels, reading the news, a little like the gentle people of Washington DC on July 21, 1861 who could afford the time and transportation to take horse and carriage to watch the Battle of Bull Run. It didn't turn out well for the Union, then, and will not now.


Anonymous said...

Well, may be he will succeed, with his big hands, to hold down Gubment in the bathtub and drown it. In his gold rimmed bathtub of course. I can see Repugnicants dancing and cheering already.

Anonymous said...

The Bush clan were the inspiration for authoritarianism and Trump is only a front for another round of lies and unprecedented theft under the guise of patriotism and the nation.