For the last 6 months I’ve watched with amazement as Donald Trump has filled the airwaves with ignorance, hatred, racism and misogyny all mixed together with a sprinkle of insecurity on top. Think of it as a Donald Trump cupcake…which is well suited to fit nicely into his little hands.
I’ve read dozens of articles and watched many videos which have analyzed Donald’s special brand of salesmanship and fascism. But don’t think for a minute that he’s unique in this approach to politics — it’s happening all over Europe. Right wing parties like the Danish People’s Party in Denmark, The Freedom Party in Austria and Marine Le Pen’s National Front Party in France are tapping into people’s frustration. Leaders are using an old formula of igniting nationalist pride with targeted racism towards immigrants as the basis for all of that ails them.
And it’s working, at least with a segment of the population.
People are fed up
But this is not irrational behaviour, people have the right to be angry, governments have failed them. People from around the world have been subjected to well-intended neo-liberalist policies during the last 40 years which have caused an implosion of the middle class and a redistribution of wealth and income to the top 1%. What intrigues me is the media’s complete inability to recognize (either intentionally or otherwise) and/or report on the root of the problem. It’s not Trump; he’s only a symptom of a much larger problem and if he’s defeated this fall, those problems won’t magically go away.
With Trump defeated:
- A media controlled by corporations will remain (ask yourself why Bernie Sanders was nearly shut out of mainstream media exposure in the last 6 months)
- Banks that are too big to fail and that can gamble with the world economy will remain
- Politicians that are owned by corporations or by billionaires will remain
- A shrinking middle class will remain
- If TPP goes through…environmental degradation will increase and downward pressure on wages will continue
- A revolving door for politicians and corporations will remain (Revolving Door at Goldman Sachs and the Federal Reserve)
- A failure of the US to deal with climate change in a meaningful way will remain
You get the idea.
Who can solve the problems?
In difficult times politicians who are short on ideas can always sell fear. In the near term it might appear to bring unity against a common enemy BUT history has proven this approach only ends one way — war, death and destruction. Let’s hope we don’t repeat our past mistakes.
Let’s assume that the American people vote wisely in November and someone other than Trump is elected and sitting in the White House. What will the world look like in 4 or 8 years under Hillary Clinton or another establishment Republican or perhaps, Bernie Sanders?
- Who will work for the 99%?
- Will our middle class be revived?
- Will corporations and billionaires begin to pay their fair share?
- Will incomes begin to rise?
- Will fracking be discontinued immediately?
- Will jobs begin to come back to North America?
- Will a $15 living wage become law?
- Will higher education become affordable for young people?
- Will “banksters” on Wall Street and other corporate executives be held to account for breaking the law?
- Who will refuse to sign the TPP free trade deal?
- Who will stop sending young Americans into endless wars while at the same time failing miserably to deal with injured soldiers who return — both physically and psychologically?
- Who will deal seriously with the biggest risk facing our species — Climate Change?
It might sound simple and cliché but follow the money to find your answers.
Another Donald Trump?
If you think that these problems will remain, then rest assured that another, better spoken and slicker politician with better hair will be waiting in the wings to complete what Donald Trump started. After all Donald Trump isn’t the problem — he’s only the symptom.