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Trump as a Logical Outcome

Trump as a Logical Outcome

By Dennis Loo (8/4/18)

There are certain processes that are salient at work that Trump’s attitude towards truth – that is, absolutely no regard at all – that not only isn’t it mainly his doing or his fault, though he clearly benefits from it, but the outcome of neoliberal policies that abandon the vast majority of people:

Since the basis for people to cooperate, to behave normatively (for example, to abide by the law) is constantly being constantly and relentlessly undermined by neoliberal regimes, and since, for the dispossessed, even less of what was available to them under welfare states with Keynesian policies is now available to them, governments must rely more heavily on coercive means with spending on ‘security’ (law enforcement, military, immigration control, prisons, and so on) rising inexorably.[1]

Trump himself, in part because he is such an ignorant simpleton, does not understand this and thinks he can get away with “zero tolerance,” but is finding himself constantly facing blowback and reactions to these orders. In part, however, anyone in his position would face negative blowback to these measures, and no matter how you dress it and no matter how smart you are, these policies inevitably produce consequences since they leave most people out. This bears repeating: while Trump is definitely a moron, and his rigid and extreme attitudes present an opening to the real workings of this system, he is more the result of disengaging empirical reality from its moorings in fact than he is a causal factor because both major parties have been moving in this direction for nearly forty years.

There is a tendency for people to see this as a contest between spin versus spin, but it’s really a question of whether science and reason will prevail over ignorance and bigotry. There is no guarantee that the former will eventually win over the latter. The earth may be made hard to live in for humans given neoliberal policies and the global warming deniers may triumph and get their way. There is no guarantee either way, but what is at stake is reason itself.

People tend to cite the Trump "base" and throw up their hands. It's true that many of his followers can't think straight to save their life, and I would estimate that the social base for authoritarianism in this country runs around 20%, so there are many people who will go down with the ship. But the probability is that the system itself and representatives of it (e.g., Mueller), will eventually reveal the evidence that sinks Trump's ship. For one thing, he cannot completely erase the steps he took to collude with Putin and the Russian oligarchs. No billionaire (if he is indeed very rich) worth his salt as a rich person now could completely avoid Russia in their money-making. He and his sons in the past made this clear and on the record. Trump grows more desperate by the day.

The other matter once Trump and Pence are indeed gone is what will happen to US imperialism. That part is not clear and depends on a number of factors, many of which are muddy to see right now. 

 


[1] Loo, Dennis, Globalization and the Demolition of Society, Glendale: Larkmead Press, 2011, p. 53.

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