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Distorting reality

Published: 
Sunday, November 13, 2016

“Donald Trump…personifies the non-acceptance by critical and large elements of white America of an ethic of fairness, equity, justice, a movement away from racism, and the freeing of the world of the ethic of political, economic and military domination.

“He (Trump) needs to be defined more clearly as representative of a bigoted and racist portion of white America that perceives itself as being under attack from the unwashed: those of pagan beliefs (Muslims) attempting to take over (white) American civilisation.”—Tony Rakhal-Fraser—October 23, 2016, Trinidad Guardian

Having benefited over a few centuries from the pillage of the resources and the domination of the peoples of the non-European world, significant parts of what Lloyd Best called the Atlantic Civilization have persuaded and been persuaded by their tribal leaders of the need for withdrawal from globalization—a trading and social system evolved by the West that is now supposed to be disadvantaging the US and Britain. 

Already, the success of Trump has given impetus to the attempt by the far-right Front National of Marine Le Pen to succeed in France’s 2017 presidential election. If that were to be achieved, it would spread the right-wing coalition—Brexit and Trump’s USA—which is emerging organically across the United States and Europe.

As articulated by Trump, the US needs to excuse itself from free-trade arrangements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement—the Free Trade Area of the Americas which was scuttled when countries such as Brazil fought against efforts by the US to prise open procurement systems in the developing world while maintaining protective barriers erected around their home market against agricultural exports from open competition. 

When interpreted, the outstanding slogan of Trump’s campaign, Make America Great Again, advocates that the US should withdraw from international trade agreements and find ways to demonstrate its military might against those it considers “rogue states,” and re-establish the white culture of the Pilgrims and founding fathers. 

In identifying the Make America Great Again elements of the Trump campaign, we must not forget that tens of millions of whites voted for the far less domineering Democratic option, Hillary Clinton, in the expectation that she would continue the democratisation of world economics and politics. A New York Times table illustrates the demographics of Tuesday’s vote.

That reality of progressive elements in the white population is reflected in post-election protests by thousands of young people who have been exposed to and informed by the cultures of other people in the urban centres of the north-eastern seaboard and the far south-western corner of the US.

Ironically though, while young university-educated whites, a large percentage of them female, voted for Hillary and to stay with the transformation process, 29 per cent of Latinos, 29 per cent Asians and others clung to Trump and his protectionist programmes to return white American society to its dominance of world civilisation. 

It is anyone’s guess as to how a President Trump, when he occupies the White House backed by a supportive Congress, is going to achieve the promises he made while campaigning: construction of the Mexican Wall (and making the Mexicans pay for it); easing the US out of regional trade agreements; restricting Muslims from entering the US; creating new jobs in the Rust Belt.

That raises another major issue that has been stark in the US election campaign and imbedded in election campaigns all over the world. Trump, and to a far less dramatic extent Hillary Clinton, got on stage and distorted the reality of the society and their opponents. Trump specialised in inflammatory language to mis-characterise his opponent and to distort completely Obama’s achievements and legacy. He made promises without outlining policies and programmes to achieve the populist objectives he promoted. He told horrible lies against Clinton and Obama—even in the face of the fact checker at television stations. Ultimately, he distorted reality.

Having been voted into office on absolutely false premises, President-elect Trump, when he takes office, could find himself incapable of fulfilling the expectations he created in the minds, hearts and souls of electors. In such a circumstance, it is entirely on the cards that halfway through his electoral term, those who voted him into office based on the distortion of reality during the election campaign, will realise they have been taken for a ride.

For instance, will President Trump establish the special legal team to prosecute and jail “crooked Hillary” for her email transgressions, and for the alleged corrupt and criminal operations of the Clinton Foundation?

Are charges to be brought against Trump, notwithstanding his being surrounded by the apparatus of the presidency, for alleged sexual assaults against women, reported tax evasion, crooked deals he is supposed to have made; non-payment for goods and services contracted over a few decades?

Based on the false picture painted, nearly 60 million electors bought into Trump’s ideology to Make America Great Again.

One possible result of Trump's distortions and hate peddled against Muslims and immigrants could be white racist sections of the population feeling free to act out their hate.

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