Monday, November 21, 2016

No One Escapes Blame: A Guest Post

In this guest post, my good friend Dom offers a point of view well-worth serious consideration. In contrast to my post yesterday, in which \i heaped scorn on those who either voted for Donald Trump or absented themselves from the electoral process, Dom argues that there is plenty of blame to be borne by everyone, included the progressives.

In the spirit of a good rant:

If Americans want to take a long hard look at the reason why Donald Trump won the election, I would suggest the left and centre in the US get a mirror. Have a good look. They are the reason that a pussy-grabbing, tax-dodging, bankruptcy-profiteering, climate-denier, war-monger, white-supremacy-supporter, health-care-abolisher, demagogue, and narcissist won the presidency of the United States. That’s right. The left is responsible. Why?

Because of their arrogance. Because of their sanctimonious dismissiveness of the right. Because of their seemingly cultural superiority of the right. Because of their unwillingness to have meaningful conversation with the right. Because of their constant insults of the right. Because of their “club-left” and exclusionary attitudes the right. That’s why.

How can any rational person think that the US democrats were going to win an election when their platform was to insult the right? “Trump”et across the country that the only answer was theirs. Remind right wing voters on a daily basis that the Washington Elite is the only answer and that their concerns are secondary to those of every other special interest group on the planet. Divide and leave out of the equation. That was the platform Hillary Clinton and her democratic party put forward.

Hillary Clinton: a corporate supporting elite that pretends to have the interest of the working class. That is the leader the democrats choose to represent the middle and working class? The US citizens are supposed to go to the polls and chant, “well at least she’s not Trump.” This is what the “the land of the free and the brave” boldly offers its citizens: a woman who stands for nothing, and a man who stands for the 15th century. But I digress…the right put forth the man that represents their interests. Yes, a fearful to your bones interest, but never the less a clear choice. What the hell did Hillary stand for? You would never know, for it was buried so deep, I doubt she would be able to find it with a soul searching GPS.

And don’t even think of getting me started on the protesting abstainers. Their arrogance and narcissism is beyond anything I have witnessed of Donald Trump. To think that abdicating responsibility of voting makes a statement is beyond comprehension. Votes “count”. “Count.” Arithmetic, simple arithmetic. When you don’t vote, you don’t count! There is no greater cause in abstaining a vote. There is no point to be made in choosing not to vote. The only point you are making is that you are a narcissist. You choose not to participate because you believe you’re special and your sacred vote should not be tainted. What you are is irresponsible and self-indulgent.

Trump was elected by the left. He was rocketed to power because of an unwillingness to adopt inclusiveness of the right by the left. There is no doubt in my mind that the US has been put on a path toward oligarchy and it has the majority of its people to blame. There can only be one thing left to say, “You get the government you deserve.”


  1. I read your friend Dom's remarks (which no longer seem to be on your blog). He becomes unconvincing when he treats "the left" and "the right" in America as two amorphous entities. The American Right is deeply divided between moderates and genuine radicals. The American Left is largely made up of the centre-right with a dabbling of the Kucinich/Sanders Left, a rump movement. I'd suggest your friend, Dom, read Nancy Isenberg's "White Trash" The 400 Year Old History of Class in America" to recalibrate his notions of the American electorate.

    "In “White Trash” Isenberg takes a very particular look at class in the United States, examining the white rural outcasts whom politicians from Andrew Jackson to Donald Trump have sought to rally, but who otherwise have remained vilified, shunned, targeted and kept apart, both physically — in poorhouses and trailer parks, through eugenic science and discriminatory public policy — and in the nation’s cultural imagination, where they have inspired mockery, kitsch and unceasing grimaces."

    I got the book when it came out this summer and it helped me grasp what I was seeing at Trump rallies. Since Nixon and Lee Atwater tapped into this cesspit of racists, xenophobes, misogynists and bigots, the Republican Party always thought they could serve as useful idiots, convinced they could always control them. This time around the Republicans came to realize they were wrong and yielded the GOP to the White Trash voters.

    You can't blame the Dems for the Republican establishment's gross stupidity. That's not to say the Dems are blameless, far from it, but there are more than a few groups that are contributorily culpable

    1. Thank you Mound for your comments. I am not familiar with "White Trash", no pun intended. I will hunt it down and no doubt enjoy the read.

      I agree that there are subsets within any group, however, my point is made based on the game played. As G.W. Bush said, "you're either with us or against us." It is that spirit which unites the voters with either the right or the -loosely disguised as - the left.

      And within the context of the last election, or blood sport game, their are fundamentally two sided to consider. The dems and the reps are the two teams and they align their supporters with a never ending campaign.

      It is under this premise that I built my rant, and attempted to categorize the voters as such. May have been a simplistic view on my part, but it did touch a nerve within me, and I felt the desire to get in onto paper.

      Thank you again, Mound

    2. Hi Dom. You'll enjoy Isenberg's book. When I finished it my reaction was to be endlessly grateful that the French occupied Canada first, blocking Britain from extending its "labour camp colonialism" beyond the original 13 states.

      What a mess. Trump's victory is the result of years of misjudgment by factions across America's political spectrum. The two-party state leaves those striving for the restoration of progressive democracy sidelined. It has for decades. I'm with Robert Reich. Now, even before Trump's inauguration, it's time for Americans to coalesce around a new, progressive party in the hope of wresting, not power but the balance of power, in the next Congress.

    3. Just yesterday Trump repeated his support for restarting America's "clean coal" industry. Big Fossil is safe in the arms of the giant orange behemoth. Meanwhile, north of the line, the Conservatives are mocking Trudeau for not falling into lockstep with Trump. The Dauphin has repeatedly shown himself pretty spineless in standing up to anyone - Saudi Arabia, Israel and such. Economic and environmental anschluss? We've already brought our foreign and military policy into full compliance with American diktats so why not?

  2. Thanks, Mound, for you perspective. I will leave it to Dom to respond.

  3. Replace left with cities, and right with rural, and I'd probably agree with much of that assessment.

    I live in a small city here in Canada, and I can see why those Yanks are pissed. Small towns and cities basically live off one or two industries. The farming industry's been corporatized. There's not much living to be had on a small farm, anymore, either.

    My little city is basically kept alive by one industry: forestry. If it goes belly up for whatever reason, so too goes the town. Not too many people notice, but if one's so inclined to observe, there's always little aftershocks when a mill closes permanently around here. I don't know what the multiplier effect is for good paying job, but generally, when they disappear, so too do the little industries dependent upon it. Little gears, little levers no one really ever thinks about.

    I can't imagine what life is like in those small cities down south where entire industries were ripped out of the soil, and transplanted in China, wholesale.

    But I can try:

    Somehow, the people in power expect workers who'd been doing one singular particular job for their entire working lives to somehow learn new skills doing who knows what? It'd only take ten months of training!

    Except, you know, the power bill's been due for the past three months, and they're threatening to turn it off any minute, now.

    They say, Move to the city. But the city's expensive. And for the average Joe's who's only got a few skills for work no longer available, and negative savings, where's there to go? The street?

    No thanks. Kids and a wife. Mum's in and out of the hospital. All the family's in the country. And if it's a choice between being miserable here, or being miserable and lonely in the city, then what's the choice?

    And besides, y'know, it didn't used to be this way. Man could have a little pride. He did his thing, and went home to a nice meal. Hot bath. Kids were free to do as they pleased.

    There never used to be all these choices. Kids or the heat. Meals or gas for the car. Health insurance or rent.

    1. Thanks for your response, Troy. Your comment surely captures the human element that so many seem content to leave out of the equation.

  4. Troy's comment on how life in small town USA has changed reminds me of nothing more than Morneau's capitulation, warning Canadians they'll have to accept endless "job churn." Admission is free to the Precariat in either country and neoliberalism has ensured its continuing spread in both lands.

    1. As I think I mentioned before, Morneau's extolment of precarious work was an absolute disgrace. We all deserve much, much better from our political 'leaders.'