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writing for godot

Trumped, by Himself?

Written by Steven Jonas   
Thursday, 29 August 2019 15:21

By Steven Jonas, M.D., M.P.H.

“If this nation does not kill racism, racism will kill this nation.” (S. Jonas, August, 2018)


In terms of its control of the State Apparatus the Owning Group in the United States has two major problems facing it. One is long term, the other short term. The long-term one is that, as is well-known, the demographics of the country are gradually shifting. By mid-century or so it will be majority non-"white." The short-term one, which has just become apparent to it, is Donald Trump.

The Owning Group has clearly been aware of its long-term problem for quite some time. Although there are no guarantees in this regard, the chances that such a population would, through the electoral process, turn the nation back towards a 21stcentury version of the last "liberal" type of national government, a combination of the New Deal and the Great Society, would certainly increase. That would mean, among other things, that profits would go down, the ridiculous concentration of wealth in the "One Percent" would be somewhat diminished, government regulation of the economy and the environment would be increased, global warming would receive serious attention (seriously affecting the fossil fuel industry) --- that is if it would not already be too late in that regard --- the military-industrial complex would be scaled back, labor unions would be strengthened, "public spending" on a variety of programs that benefit significant sectors of the population would be undertaken, the massive, ultra-necessary investment in the national infrastructure would be undertaken, there would be some kind of national system for funding health care services, and so on and so forth.

Nothing revolutionary here, but certainly very threatening to the Owning Group and the control that have had over the state apparatus at the Federal level and its current policies which include virtually none of the above since the time of Ronald Reagan. They have done this through the Republican Party of course. But with, to a greater or lesser extent, they have had the cooperation of the Democratic Party, taken to the Center-Right, beginning in the mid-1980s, by the Democratic Leadership Council under the leadership of Bill Clinton and Al Gore. As I pointed out some time ago, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, Barack Obama was a DLC-er . As was, of course, Joe Biden. Their legislative record which reflects that association is well-known.

But, as noted above, down the road, with the coming change in the national demographic mix, that could change, significantly. And so, the Owning Group began planning to deal with this prospect back in the 1990s. As is well-known, through organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council, heavily funded by the Koch Brothers, they took over many state legislatures in time for the 2010 re-districting, leading to wide-spread gerrymandering in favor the Republicans, operational at both the Federal and state levels. They have managed for the most part to keep control of the United States Senate, through the Obama Administration, by heavy spending in those contests an using the legacy-of-slavery advantage that the small-population states have in that body. And they also set their eyes on the Federal Courts.

And so came Donald Trump. A boor, ill-educated, ignorant, and an open xenophobe, racist and white-supremacist who was able to take the racism that the Republicans had been relatively quietly running on since the time of Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy and begin broadcasting it through a bull-horn. And for a variety of reasons --- a terrible Democratic candidateRussian interference , and Jim Comey , he won. And he did what the Owning Group wanted him to do: cut taxes for the rich, undertake a major dismantlement of the Federal government and its regulatory apparatus --- what Steve Bannon called the "Deconstruction of the Administrative State" --- and widely seed the Federal judiciary with right-wingers. The trade war, the tariffs, the partial deconstruction of the "Western Alliance," they don't like so much. But they have put up with it because their major goals have been met. And of course the electoral Republican Party has become the Trumpublican (tm) Party.

So Trump has served them very well. Until now. With his response to the massacres in El Paso and Dayton, particularly to the former, in which the shooter was clearly aiming to murder Latinos, whether from the U.S. or Mexico, reflecting in his pre-rampage statement much Trumpian language about that ethnic group, Trump may be fast becoming a liability. Why? Because all by himself, because he is a bigot, a racist, and a White Supremacist --- that is he really believes the hate he spouts, just as Hitler really hated Jews, Slavs and the Romany people --- he may well have moved up the uniting of the Latino population in the United States against him and his party by several decades. He may well have also moved up the potential for the development of a strong, national, non-white poltical alliance between the Latinos, the African-Americans, and the Native Americans (small in number but concentrated in low-population States where, if they voted, their votes could make a big difference).

So Trump presents an immediate problem. And when Shep Smith, a major Fox"News" newsman since its founding, goes after him (and Chris Wallace surely will, again), when Joe Biden, a classic neo-liberal, DLC Democrat, delivers a no-holds barred speech slamming Trump for his racism and belief in the Doctrine of White Supremacy, when the far-right Michael Savage says he really shouldn't be doing what he is doing because it will turn some of his supporters off and when Tucker Carlson, a major Fox"News" right-wing talker is reduced to defending Trump by claiming that white supremacy --- a doctrine that has infected this country since the 17th century --- is a "hoax," the Owning Group, or at least some of them, know they have a problem. The Anti-Trump movement will now begin to grow well beyond the traditional Left and the current elected members of the Democratic Party. The meaningless Center-right Democratic dogma of "reaching across the aisle," which really means giving the Repubs. what they want with some sugar-coating on it, is going to disappear.

Trump is increasingly being characterized as a fascist, even by people like Joe Scarborough of MSNBC, no radical he, as well as by Paul Krugman and Michelle Goldberg of The New York Times, no radicals they. But now, all of a sudden, because of this own hateful, always-attack-never-defend nature, the nature of a life-long loser, he could well be vastly accelerating the formation of a progressive (in the capitalist sense --- see Elizabeth Warren) coalition of non-whites and liberal/progressive whites that could not only unseat him 2020 but which could lead to many years in the political wilderness, as the Trumpublican© Party reverts back to being the Republican Party. At the same time, it appears that a national movement to boycott corporations that supports Trump with campaign contributions may be forming. That would hit the line they value the most, the bottom one. Of course, most importantly it could move up the major political challenge for the Owning Group of dealing with the major coming demographic change by many years.

And these are the reasons why significant sectors of the Owning Group could turn against him, and very quickly. Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But if our side --- and there does have to be a national Popular Front forming against him --- can keep it together, what Trump is doing right now to further stoke racism/White Supremacy could mark the beginning of the end of some portions of major Owning Group support for him.

Finally, let us not forget that even if racism/White Supremacy were not buried deep in Donald Trump's soul, he cannot possibly turn his back on those doctrines, not only with words but also with actions. For his use of them is why he won in 2016 and he cannot possibly win in 2020 without them. So any Owning Group members who support him will have that label firmly pasted on their proverbial forehead.

Indeed, Trump may finally have been trumped, by himself.


This column was previously published at:  Trump's personal behavior, as well as his wildly swinging decision-making process, have gotten worse (see his performance at the G-7 and it's "Doral Club" follow-up) since this column was originally published on August 8 of this year.  Therefore in certain sectors of the Owning Group concern must be increasing. your social media marketing partner
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