Donald Trump as a monkey wrench

The ugly lava of the American political culture is now spewing out of its inner guts for the whole world to see.

by
    Donald Trump as a monkey wrench
    What other choice did the legitimate grievances of the poor, the disenfranchised, the denigrated, the humiliated and the ignored Americans have other than Trump, asks Dabashi [AP]

    "The Rage of White, Christian America": that phrase has now become the mantra of the disheartened liberals in America trying to figure out what has befallen them with the fair and square defeat of their favourite Hillary Clinton, and the victory of a blatant tax-evading, white-supremacist sex-offender as the next president of the United States.

    The argument runs like this: "Between Barack Obama's 2008 election and 2016, America has transformed from being a majority white Christian nation (54 percent) to a minority white Christian nation (43 percent). But on election day, paradoxically, this anxious minority swarmed to the polls to elect as president the candidate who promised to 'make America great again' and warned that he was its 'last chance' to turn back the tide of cultural and economic change."

    As everything else that is now coming out of the mournful and vindicate US liberals, this line of argument is only partially true - and to the degree that the equally white American liberalism keeps repeating this mantra it is deluding itself, and wishes to pull just one factor in Donald Trump's victory to cover up other equally important factors.

    Black and Latino men and women did not vote for Hillary Clinton as much as these white liberal prognosticators had hoped and falsely forecasted.

    So the assumption that the "white working class" handed this victory to Trump at once racializes and demonizes the working class, which has all but disappeared from the Democratic Party radar.

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    Multiple factors

    For people at the receiving end of institutional, systemic, and historically entrenched racism in the United States (Native-Americans, African-Americans, Latinos, Jews, and now Muslims, etc), they need no preaching from the liberal flank of the self-same elitist constituency that there is systematic racism in the US.

    No doubt a significant component of Trump's supporters is indeed racist misogynist xenophobes. There is also little doubt that Trump himself is a white supremacist incarnate, having just appointed two notorious Zionists: the alleged anti-Semite Steve Bannon and Islamophobic conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney as his chief consigliere at the white House.

    But no single explanation can exhaust the meaning of Trump's cataclysmic electoral success. The Democratic Party apparatchiks and their liberal punditry are categorically disqualified to pull one comfortable security blanket over their anger for having lost this election.

    Suppose you are fed up with this militant, cheating, conniving, corrupt, arrogance that thinks it owns the world and the US together. Suppose you are not a racist bigot, but just disgusted with this liberal arrogance. What then? Well, you have a deeply corrupt system on one side and a monkey wrench called Trump on the other. What would you do?

     

    Trump's liberal detractors such as Michael Moore now keep repeating that a very slight popular vote differential between himself and Hillary means that people are not really for him and it's all the fault of the Electoral College system.

    This is self-delusional, militant liberalism failing to face facts. Trump did not invent the Electoral College system, and Michael Moore would not have raised it if his favourite liberal imperialist Hillary Clinton had won the election.

    The vociferous protest against the election of Trump by militant liberals is predicated on the fact that they do not wish to be quiet for a minute and consider a little self-inspection for the flawed, warmongering Wall Street candidate they had put forward as his rival.

    The critical task facing the rest of us is entirely against the grain of the self-delusional recriminations of the defeated liberals.

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    For us no single explanation will suffice in understanding what calamity has happened in this election. This is a calamity of colossal proportions both in and out of the US and it therefore needs a sustained, careful, and above all multifaceted set of explanations.

    These explanations are necessary not to incriminate or to find fault, but to level the field so we can see the path ahead more clearly.

    Clinton was a weak and flawed candidate; Trump tapped into an ideologically bankrupt white supremacist constituency; the liberal elite systematically insulted the intelligence of American voters by disregarding Clinton's flaws and laser beaming on the easy task of Trump's atrocities. All these factors are valid but not sufficient.

    Can we perhaps think of some additional, not alternative, explanations? Could Trump's spectacular electoral victory - particularly in the three crucial states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin - also be read as a twisted subversive banter in which a significant segment of the US population sought to throw a "monkey wrench" into an elitist liberal system they legitimately despise?

    What's a monkey wrench?

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    People don't get to choose what twisted turns their anger and frustrations assume. What other choice did the legitimate grievances of the poor, the disenfranchised, the denigrated, the humiliated and the ignored Americans have other than Trump? Oh yes, of course they did have a legitimate, honest, principled and learned statesman who offered a decent way out? Bernie Sanders was his name.

    But what did the corrupt leadership of the Democratic Party and their respective allies in the dominant liberal media do to Sanders? How many rings did Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the head of the Democratic National Convention, her successor Donna Brazile and even Barack Obama himself draw around Sanders?

    They scandalised, ridiculed, dismissed, and publicly sabotaged his campaign and chased even his most humble proposals out of the DNC platform committee.

    Well the Democratic Party and their liberal propaganda machinery got what they wanted. They crowned their beloved Clinton - perhaps the most despised politician in recent US history and they placed their well-oiled propaganda machinery, from the New York Times and Washington Post to CNN, at her disposal.

    In 16 hours, the Washington Post ran 16 pieces against Sanders. The New York Times' systematic anti-Bernie Sanders biases have also been documented, including "slyly" editing an article "to smear Sanders".

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    Suppose you are fed up with this militant, cheating, conniving, corrupt, arrogance that thinks it owns the world and the US together. Suppose you are not a racist bigot, but just disgusted with this liberal arrogance. What then? Well, you have a deeply corrupt system on one side and a monkey wrench called Trump on the other. What would you do?

    Do you remember when an Iraqi journalist threw his dirty shoe at George W Bush? At the time born-again anthropologists were coming up with all sorts of nonsensical explanations about the significance of such a display of  "Arab culture", and at the time I wrote, sometimes a shoe is just a shoe, and the only thing you have to throw at a cruel fate. In the same way, sometimes a Trump is all you have at your disposal to throw at a rotten system.

    Whoever threw this monkey wrench, whatever the cause of this calamity, and however we may interpret the culprits, the ugly, vicious, rude, illiterate and barbaric lava of the American political culture is now spewing out of its inner guts for the whole world to see.

    And neither the imperial feminism of Hillary Clinton - as the distinguished American feminist Zillah Eisenstein has aptly termed it - nor the Rudolph Valentino sunglass-cool militarism of Zionist-in-Chief Barack Obama is any longer offering a lovely liberal camouflage for that vulgarity.

    Hamid Dabashi is Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York.

    The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policies.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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