Thursday, September 17, 2015

Trump's Populism Is Really Racism and Classism

Donald Trump. (photo: AP)
Donald Trump. (photo: AP)

By John Kiriakou, Reader Supported News
13 September 15

he word “populist” is so overused in American politics. It used to describe a politician who stood with working people or who talked on the stump about inconvenient truths. Now it just means blowhards like Donald Trump, who can’t help but humiliate themselves by pandering to the lowest common denominator among American voters. Trump’s phony populism is really nothing but racism, classism, and what has become of the conservative movement in this country.

Trump is crushing his Republican opponents in early primary and caucus states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina and in nationwide polls. That tells me a lot of Republican primary voters are easily duped at best, and racist idiots at worst.

Trump can’t even keep his own positions on the issues straight. The September 5 issue of The Economist notes that Trump has claimed to be “very pro-choice” and “pro-life.” On guns, he has claimed to support taking all guns off the streets and to “fully support the Second Amendment.” A few years ago he called for a single-payer health system; now he says he opposes Obamacare and will replace it with “something terrific.”

Trump told reporters recently that he wants to build a wall along the border with Mexico, force the Mexicans to pay for it, and expel not only the estimated 11 million undocumented workers in the United States, but also their children who were born here and who are, whether Trump likes it or not, American citizens. Trump obviously doesn’t know history. This is exactly how other fascist governments have gotten started in the past: Expel the “foreigners” and purify the country.

It is Trump’s foreign and military policy ideas (and utter lack of credentials) that frighten me the most.

Last week, the New York Times reported that Trump confused Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force with Iraq’s Kurds. Trump didn’t know who heads the Quds Force. Well, he said he did, and then he told the reporter, “Go ahead, give me a little, go ahead, tell me.” He finally admitted that he didn’t know the players among the world’s various terrorist groups, but he said that wasn’t important. “You know, I’ll tell you honestly, I think by the time we get to office, they’ll all be changed. They’ll be all gone.” We should be so lucky.

Nobody seems to know who, if anybody, is advising Trump on foreign policy. He told NBC’s Chuck Todd that his “go-to” person on foreign policy is former Bush-era ambassador to the UN John Bolton. This is the same neo-con John Bolton who claimed in 2002 that Cuba was selling biological weapons to rogue states and that Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger, neither of which were true.

Trump’s military qualifications are even more frightening. It’s not just that he doesn’t have any. It’s that he pretends he does, and he appears to have convinced himself that he knows what he’s talking about. Trump attended a military academy in upstate New York, from which he graduated in 1964. He told a biographer, with whom he later cut all ties, that he “always felt that I was in the military” because of his education at the military school. “I had more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.”

The draft dodger Trump famously criticized Senator John McCain earlier in the campaign, earning the consternation of many mainstream conservatives but no apparent punishment in the polls. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said of the decorated war hero who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in a Vietnamese prison camp. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

So who is advising Trump on military issues? According to Trump, it’s “Jacobs,” apparently referring to retired colonel Jack Jacobs. Jacobs, however, said that although he has met Trump, he has never advised him in any way.

My own belief is that Trump is so arrogant, that he believes himself such a genius, that he has no advisors. He doesn’t think he needs them. He’s just winging it. Do Americans really want a president who describes trade with China as “the greatest theft in the history of the country” and who says that “every single country that does business with us is ripping America off?” Do Americans really want a president who has repeatedly filed for bankruptcy, yet still declares that he’s the “greatest businessman in America?” Do we want a president whose knee-jerk reaction to criticism is to launch personal attacks against the person making the criticism, even when he comes off as an unhinged maniac? Apparently some of them do.

MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber took a lot of heat in 2014 for saying that American voters are essentially stupid. The sad truth is that he’s right. At least, the 28 percent of Republicans polled who think Donald Trump ought to be the next president are.


+37 # REDPILLED 2015-09-13 09:24
Trump is the latest buffoon to pander to ignorance and racism, distracting many, with the greedy complicity of corporate media, from real threats to us such as climate disaster and nuclear holocaust.

Coverage of this clown, to the exclusion of important issues, is further confirmation of the failure of the U.S. republic.
+25 # Barbara K 2015-09-13 09:36
You are so correct! The ideas he does come up with are so bizarre and just plain stupid, like having Mexico pay for a wall along our border, and going to another country and just "take their oil". What an idiot! He knows nothing about running a government or much else for that matter. He hires people to design and build his hotels and casinos, etc. He doesn't do those on his own. He just hires people to do his thinking. He knows nothing about foreign policy, and tries to fool the religious people into thinking he is so religious, but that isn't true either. He couldn't recite any verse from his "favorite book, the Bible". He is just loaded down with BS and false ideas. It is a shame that he gets so much media attention that he doesn't deserve.

+17 # CL38 2015-09-13 10:10
The companies he hires to build for him hire illegals who often don't get paid and are forced to work overtime without overtime pay. He hires the work out to be able to claim that he didn't know the company hired illegals! How's that for 'business practices'?

+10 # MainStreetMentor 2015-09-13 11:42
It isn’t the hollowness of Donald Trump’s persona that should be of concern to Americans, but rather the collective mindset of his support group which seems to be the pervasive majority of Republicans and one hundred percent of the “T-Party”. The apparent thought processes of these Trump-supportin g sections of the voting public reflect a negative knee-jerk reaction to any topic or issue they don’t like or understand, (which is nearly every topic of concern before the general populace). Trump himself is of the same ilk – he vocalizes whatever springs into his mind, without regard to consequence or impact, often without any support facts – just opinions. Trump is single-handedly dismantling the very political party whose ticket he is running on, and the Democrats should thank him for those destructive efforts.
+13 # Carol R 2015-09-13 09:36
"MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber took a lot of heat in 2014 for saying that American voters are essentially stupid. The sad truth is that he’s right"

This is frightening:
Donald Trump now running neck-and-neck with Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are separated by a narrow three points in a potential 2016 match-up, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, with 46 percent of registered voters choosing Clinton to 43 percent picking Trump.

The picture is a bit different among the wider field of all adults, where Clinton has a significant 51-39 advantage.
+17 # Luckyenough 2015-09-13 09:41
He certainly has the mainstream media pandering to his every utterance and treating it as gospel. If he didn't have the constant media strokes, perhaps people would be less inclined to take him seriously. Thanks to this author for so clearly summarizing what makes this farce so frightening.
+26 # JSRaleigh 2015-09-13 09:54
I wonder why the media are so afraid to label Trump what he truly is, a demagogue?
-6 # Inspired Citizen 2015-09-13 10:21
Sanders' supporters should hope for Trump and criticize Clinton.
+5 # Bruce Gruber 2015-09-13 10:54
This Sanders supporter considers Trump a Trojan Horse demonstrating the variety of authoritarian, bigoted, misogynist, homophobic, uneducated, anti-democratic defenders of supremacy over equality that Atwater and Rove could possibly have dreamed.

The embarrassment of mirror reflecting these attributes in re-dividing Republicans could prove the most effective rebirth of evaluating the relative value of accumulated wealth over societal function imaginable.

However, I must concur that Trump exhibits no tendencies toward philosophic or idealistic outcomes. The narcissistic egomania is too real for his level of acting skill, as I see it. It has to be an accident ... or intervention ...perhaps on a cosmic scale.

No comments: