…heeeree comes the donald…Posted: 2015-12-15
…amid rending of raiment, wailing and gnashing of teeth…
Nothing like saying what so many millions of US citizens want to hear, and in plain English – no ‘dog whistle’, no language of pc. A crusade against Muslims (and their resources), and the refugees created by US policy are unwanted in the US – even if neighbour Canada, a bit player in such wars, has started on its goal of graciously accepting 25,000 Syrians. And with that Donald Trump has the US political and other predatory groups in a tizzy. How so? Let us count the ways.
In a recent cross-post at common dreams, Is Corporate Media a Danger to Society? Coverage of Trump v. Sanders, Prof Juan Cole observes,
ABC World News has given one minute to Bernie Sanders this year (actually, it is just 20 seconds). It has given 81 minutes to Donald Trump.
Bernie is taking on corporations, and it is the corporations that are reporting on him, or rather blacking him out.
Trump is a corporation, and is a true American fascist. Moreover, his rhetorical bomb-throwing attracts eyeballs, which lets Disney Corp. charge more money for commercials aired during ABC World News.
That Bernie Sanders is the US presidential candidate who has identified the social and economic challenges of the country that must be urgently addressed, and is quite unlike the others whose tried and true gimmick is the ever new but perpetual enemy (now of Muslim faith), however insignificant or non-existent, from which US citizens must be protected as the cynical game of rapid and substantial personal self-enrichment continues apace.
More to the point is that, missing in the observation is the time that the same network had lavished on the media- and pundit-‘anointed’ Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, and her own and her minions’ utterances relative to those of Trump (or Sanders for that matter). But more anon.
That the two US political parties, public personalities, the corporate media should combine to attack The Donald with such hysterical vitriol is suggestive of a truth that they all would like to conceal, a truth with which very many of the ‘great unwashed’ have long been familiar. Deidre Fulton of the same US common dreams blog does an examination in Channeling Nation’s Ugliness, Trump More American Than You Think. A sample of key points,
Trump is “definitely not an outlier,” Erika Lee, director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota, told The Hill. “We always have this undercurrent of xenophobia that can burst at the seams. This might be the match that turns something that was simmering into a boil.”
“No good can come when we lie to ourselves,” added Chauncey DeVega at Salon on Friday. “Donald Trump’s racism, nativism, and bigotry are as American as apple pie.”
Citing the “racist immigration and naturalization laws” the U.S. used for decades to “maintain its status as a majority ‘white’ country,” DeVega continued: “Nativism and xenophobia are not limited to the demagoguery of Republican carnival-show barker professional wrestling wannabe reality TV show hosts who want to be president of the United States.”
That any should think that the rank hypocrisy, the ‘wink and the nod’ racism would pass unnoticed amid the glossy packaging of images and words borders on the insulting to other than the intended gullible. With so many US TV shows from ’24 hours,’Homeland’ on and US newscasts with the doom and gloom of the ‘Muslim terrorists at the borders!’even as innocent Muslims are being slaughtered, dispossessed or displaced, paranoia and hate should be automatic to the unthinking, the credulous, where both are easy to evoke, in Pavolovian instantaneousness.
Professor Hamid Dabashi of Columbia University touches on what is key to the country’s DNA, Trump Is a Symptom Not the Disease. And his example shows the The Donald to be not such a one-off flaming fascist,
On the same day that the depth of Donald Trump’s racist bigotry hit a new low by calling for a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the United States, another news item emerged that was overshadowed by the circus surrounding Trump: Candice Miller, a US Congresswoman, introduced a bill, the Visa Waiver Program Improvement Act of 2015.
If passed, the bill will suddenly cast US citizens of Arab, Iranian, and Muslim descent as second-class citizens in their own country – a “legislation that will effectively create two classes of Americans – Americans with Middle Eastern or Muslim background, and Americans without that background”.
“If you thought Donald Trump’s divisive, bigoted and blatantly racist rhetoric was just a reflection of the silliness we always face during primary campaigns”, as one observer rightly put it, “think again”.
And, yes, that neglected mention of the presumptive Democrat candidate for the Presidency, once addressed, shows Mr Trump to be in good company – the difference is the US corporate media and the image makers and other accomplices have overlooked the close similarities of position of these two. Of course, in the case of Mr Trump he needs no financial political contributions from military and financial special interest groups – the man is a billionaire. And here again, common dreams with Sarah Lazare and, straight to the point, Hillary Clinton Called Out for Hypocrisy on Islamophobia.
Eleven advocacy organizations on Thursday accused former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of sending “mixed messages” on Islamophobia by denouncing fellow 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric, yet retaining retired general Wesley Clark as a campaign surrogate—despite his previous call to intern some Muslim-Americans.
Clark, a longtime ally to Clinton, recently spoke in Iowa on her behalf for Veteran’s Day.
This is the same retired general who, in a July interview with MSNBC, called for “disloyal Americans” to be placed in internment camps in the style of the World War II era.
And these are US advocacy organisations that have drawn attention to an issue of serious concern that the US corporate media have steadfastly chosen to overlook. The ‘anointed’ Democratic candidate: Libya, Honduras, Venezuela, Haiti? The highly lucrative speech-making circuit and the audiences?
Yes, The Donald’s ascendance is a natural evolution of the political direction of the country, of the outcome of the Presidential stewardship of Barack Obama. Rob Urie in his post, The Donald, Ascendant, at the counterpunch blog makes several key points of which, a sample,
Much of current anti-immigrant sentiment grew from trade policies that put the poor and working classes in direct competition with low-wage labor overseas for the benefit of corporate executives who pay themselves more by paying workers less. Anger is deflected from where it belongs through nativist demagoguery.
And how does the incumbent President fit in the political theatre,
…In Democrat apparatchik fashion it quickly became apparent that Mr. Obama had been properly vetted by the powers that be and that he clearly understood his role as restorer-in-chief of the predatory, dysfunctional order that had led to crisis. With the same ambition of ‘resume-enhancement’ that Donald Trump now pursues the Presidency; Mr. Obama is of the insular and well-insulated order that considers self-interest first and perceives the public interest as a public relations problem.
So what sets Donald Trump apart? Donald Trump is far less beholden to special interests, and his national credentials need no PR machinery to spin the illusion of accomplishment, experience or substance. And he has laid bare to the world the dark soul of a nation – to the consternation of the privileged class. As for Bernie, he is a more worthy Democratic candidate, yet unworthy of nomination by dint of being worthy.
All this as US elections are almost one year away, but in the interim lots and lots of revenue to the corporate media. And lots of time for good old fashioned panic and hysteria; but none for addressing real challenges to the US – as Bernie Sanders has been discovering.
…end-times for us politics of ‘smoke and mirrors’?…