The following are transcribed excerpts of Tariq Ali’s commentary of the elections.
“If Sanders had been the candidate of the democratic party he would have won. Trump is not beholden either to the Wall Street or to the establishment (to the Republican party to which he nominally belongs, or to the Democrats).
This notion that Trump represents a danger, he’s unpredictable and slightly crazy: We’ve had presidents like this before (Ronald Reagan is but one example).
Trump is not Reagan, Trump is more contrarian than that. He said that the US should avoid unnecessary conflict. He said he would end trade agreements (NAFTA, TPP). Trump, even though from the right, was ahead of Hillary in all of that.
Trump has also a serious side, if we can call it that. He has often attacked Clinton’s dependence on Wall Street, he has attacked NAFTA and trade agreements, he’s defended the interests of the poor white sector of the working class, he said that he will re-industrialize the United States.
Whether he will push toward these measures remains to be seen, as he has his responsibilities toward the Imperial system, the US establishment.
On shock, horror, grief (found in NYT or The Guardian articles, of Friedman, Krugman, or Friedland): Friedland said “Trump’s selection has made the US a very dangerous State.” What do they think the USA was before Trump? Not dangerous for large parts of the world, or its own people, who have been crushed and repressed before? How was the empire built anyway. This notion that Trump is worse than anything that happened before does not ring true.
Why the shock and horror? Because it hits the liberal establishment put in place after WWII in Europe and the US, which embraced policies such as the ones of Thatcher and Reagan. Liberals are in accord with the Neoliberals, and are both a certain “extreme center”, applying the same policies domestically and abroad. Both are fundamentally the same. Obama has waged 7 wars during his presidency! In terms of politics he has been a disaster. He was the first president who arrogated to himself, and which no other president is likely to give up, the fact that he can order the execution of an American citizen without any trial, once a committee has decided someone is likely to be dangerous for the security of the United States.
No. This is not a triumph of American Fascism.
It is a huge defeat for the old way of doing politics and the liberal establishment supported by the mainstream media.
Everyone forgot Hillary’s appalling record in terms of corruption and in terms of wars: Everyone forgot “We came, we saw, he died” in a misty haze of “We will have our first woman president!” But as Susan Sarandon said: “We’ve had women leading countries before.” So the notion that gender transcends all, is a dangerous notion, in terms of politics, not in terms of identity politics… But then identity politics has no solution to the problem of class, as we saw with the result of the elections.
If you want to blame someone blame yourselves and don’t blame the mirror if your own face is ugly.
Progressives have to learn the lessons of Trump’s victory, and not say: “We should all have supported Hillary.” There is an absolute need for a third party.”