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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED AT AN ARTICLE BY JOHN HARRIS IN THE GUARDIAN

 

You are right, John Harris.

The fact is that in our Western politics with political parties, choices are almost never simple, black or white, good or evil – although some people never stop pretending that they are so.

Voters are faced always with a choice between two or more highly complex bundles of goods.

No single leader’s positions on every issue that can satisfy all individual voters.

We all make (sometimes regrettable) choices in favor of this or that leading issue.

For working class Americans, this choice is going to be about a long period of decline in their opportunities.

For others, concerned about America’s having put itself into a perpetual state of war and descended into many horrors such as drone-murders, it is foreign affairs which matter.

Both of these matters, as well as a few others such as the financial crisis we have been in since 2008 leave a great cynicism and distrust of the ruling American establishment, who themselves do very well under all these conditions.

What Americans have been experiencing for decades now is a long, slow come-down from being the world’s only great manufacturer left standing after WWII to the birth of a multi-polar world where other countries can do many things as well or better than America.

Much of the world no longer buys America’s goods, choosing the products instead of other countries. America’s own great manufacturers have responded by themselves becoming firms which do much of their work abroad.

That is a set of realities that a single nation on its own cannot greatly alter, and I do not think Trump can do much about the working class situation although he sincerely believes he can, much like, say, Democrats of the 1960-70s.

But in foreign affairs, Trump offers a bit of genuine hope. He has made a number of encouraging statements which head in the direction of ending the long, bloody, pointless reign of the neo-cons. He doesn’t see why America should be in conflict with Russia and China. He doesn’t see why America busies itself in Syria, with Russia being quite capable of sorting the terrorists. He believes Israel should pay for its own defense, a stunning truth almost never heard in American politics.

The neo-cons in America have had a terrible war-inducing influence. Much of the Middle East is in flames thanks to them, and likely a million souls have been killed. The hordes of refugees in Europe are virtually completely the doing of neo-con policies. The needless, artificial hostilities deliberately re-kindled in Europe towards Russia are not only senselessly dangerous, they are costing everyone money and jobs.

Obama has proved a complete tool of the worst people guiding American policy. He is a disappointment from his hopeful start beyond describing, a smiling, baritone-voiced killer and devotee of American exceptionalism.

Here, Trump can really help, or at least stands a good chance of helping. In military and foreign affairs, Presidents have some real power.

And what is the alternative? Blood-drenched Hillary who oversaw the mess at Benghazi, approved shipments of arms (including Sarin poison gas stocks) from there to Turkey for insertion into the horrors of Syria, who never saw a war she did not support, and who has a long record of being caught lying and participating in screamingly blatant corruption.

Yes, in at least a few areas, Trump seems to have something to offer.

Readers may enjoy:

https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/john-chuckman-essay-what-is-really-at-stake-in-the-oddest-american-election-season-of-a-lifetime/

 

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