JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EXPECTATIONS FOR THE ELECTION AND AFTER – BIDEN’S STRATEGY SUMMARIZED – SOME OF AMERICA’S GRAVE PROBLEMS AT HOME AND ABROAD – THE PEOPLE WHO REALLY CONTROL BOTH MAJOR DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN POLICIES – RUSSIA, CHINA, IRAN – THERE IS A DEFINITE POSSIBILITY IF TRUMP IS DEFEATED, AS EXPECTED, THAT HIS CROWD WILL JOIN THE EXISTING TROUBLES ON THE STREETS, AND THEY ARE WELL-ARMED – THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RACISM AND GUNS IN AMERICA – GUNS A BIG ELEMENT IN TRUMP’S SUPPORT – THE COUNTRY’S GRAVE PROBLEMS OF DIVISION CANNOT BE HEALED WITHOUT TAXATION CHANGES AND SOCIAL POLICIES THAT ITS ESTABLISHMENT WILL NOT TOLERATE – POSSIBLE ROLE FOR KAMALA HARRIS – A WORD ABOUT CHANGES IN POLLING METHOD   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN PRESS T V

“3 in 4 Americans worried about violence following Election Day: Poll”

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Response to a comment:

The poor choice of candidates doesn’t represent so much a special dilemma as just a normal feature of American elections.

Many past elections offered such poor choices. America’s political system has managed to produce many scoundrels and failures but only a few great leaders over its entire history.

Because of the way the parties and governing system are set up, it is very difficult for genuine leaders to emerge. It’s not a nourishing environment for developing leadership talent, and I think for many reasons that is truer now than ever. The big, new disturbing element of the Dark State was added after WWII as part of trying to govern the globe. And we also have the terrible divisions and inequality in the society.

Powerful insider establishments are not keen on brash newcomers, as Trump himself learned.

And the truth is that the concept of democracy has never had a strong hold on Americans. They like to talk about it approvingly, even reverently, but it much resembles the way so many church members praise Christ’s words without ever actually applying them.

The political establishment’s senior leaders in Washington, all with decades of training and practice in “correct” thinking, decide on domestic policy, and the Dark State holds the reins in foreign affairs. They both have vast investments and interests that no mere elected official could be allowed to put at the slightest risk.

There is a little bit of leeway here or there to maintain appearances, but not a great deal.

The last President who was talented and who thought the elected President should actually chart the nation’s course was John Kennedy. And that’s why the right side of his head was splattered onto the streets of Dallas.

What makes this election exceedingly strange is Trump himself and the following he has fired up, a minority but a big one. The kind of people the establishment holds in little regard and indeed sniggers at. Part of what followers relish about Trump is his giving them the opportunity to display their contempt for those in the establishment. A dynamic of division in an already badly divided country.

There are definite echoes of 1920s fascism, but in this case the leader is an eccentric, obnoxious wealthy man who really has no sympathy for anyone. He is a man himself packed tightly with resentments and contempt. Trump also foolishly made his followers promises he could not possibly keep, as about jobs and magical new prosperity, raising expectations that can only end in disappointment.

His careless promises only add to the risk of serious unrest after the election, perhaps boiling over what already is going on in the streets over racism and police brutality and a sense of great unfairness in the society.

Trump had made a kind of peace with the establishment. He pursued goals they embrace, but he has done so in a bizarre spectacle that disturbs many, including allies. He has succeeded at almost nothing but put on a petulant, embarrassing show for the whole world. The establishment doesn’t like being laughed at.

No matter what goals of theirs he has pursued, he is so crude and so volatile, many, establishment and allies abroad, don’t trust him. Not a comfortable situation for a great power to be in.

The Democrats chose a bland candidate and an old familiar face just to be safe. A tried and tested establishment man, although one who can still mimic a bit the tones of ordinary working people. It has been part of his political shtick for fifty years.

Even his election strategy revolves around Trump’s excesses and absurdities. Biden has let Trump take center stage and perform his national sideshow act, believing he will only drive home to voters his erratic and volatile nature while Biden remains calm and relatively quiet.

Biden’s assumed role is the elder statesman in contemplative repose, waiting to come to the service of a desperate people. Here or there, he answers or challenges some of Trump’s more extreme nonsense.  Of course, this strategy also suits Biden’s age and declining capacities.

The Democrats had some far better people, but deliberately ignored them or suppressed their efforts, Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders. Both are anathema to the establishment and the Dark State.

From the polls, the Biden strategy appears to be working. Biden has a decisive lead in published polls, far more so than Clinton had in 2016, and the pollsters have made adjustments in their methods since 2016’s surprise result. They screen for education level now to make their sample more realistic.

The election should eliminate Trump’s obscenities and failures, and that is about all you can expect from an American election They are not about historic events or dramatic changes in policy, no matter what hyped-up rhetoric is used by the candidates and the press. If he goes, as seems likely, the establishment can again feel good about itself. A sense of respectability will return for a while – never mind the stinking corrupt carcass of the entire American political system and the violent empire it supports.

That is, if there is a peaceful transition of power, which is by no means certain, given Trump’s explosive temperament, the intense emotions of his most loyal, and the troubles already on the country’s streets.

Under Biden, there will be no dramatic domestic social programs, although things like Obamacare, which Trump is still hacking away at, will likely be preserved. But even that is not guaranteed with a conservative Supreme Court, Trump’s last appointment having questioned the program’s constitutionality in the past.

And, for sure, there will be no dramatic foreign policy changes. Biden may be willing to reinstate the JCPOA (Iran nuclear agreement), but I think only with demands for some change, and such demands are not acceptable to Iran, which met all its previous obligations faithfully and then had the rug suddenly pulled out from under it. They’ve already paid a heavy price for having done nothing wrong.  

Biden has totally surrendered to Israeli interests, blubbering on about his being a Zionist, and it would be surprising if anything creative happened.

Having also declared Russia a great threat to America, Biden will likely be in no position to improve that needlessly fractured relationship. And besides, it was under Obama that tanks were rolled up to the Russian border and a coup was arranged in Ukraine and Russia-gate was created to explain a lost election and hobble a new, unwanted President, and Obama was Biden’s boss for eight years.

Iran, despite being a huge, important, and ancient society, has no political constituency in America. Over forty years of American scorn and hate about losing its hold on the country in the Revolution have poisoned American public opinion, and Israel and the Israel lobby work tirelessly to keep that going. Israel hates Iran for being large and important and overshadowing its desire to be the central force in the Middle East. America’s establishment hates anyone who doesn’t follow orders.

Trump’s insane giveaways to Israel, all breaking international law, are probably locked into place. Biden will have no leeway. No genuine peace has been established anywhere by Trump, and that will likely not change. His “normalizations” of some Gulf States with Israel are the result of tremendous behind-the-scenes pressures and promises of big deals in weapon, just what a volatile region needs. The agreements only normalize tyranny, that of the Gulf States and that of Israel over the Palestinians

Those Gulf State Princes, with their 13th century authoritarian ways, will require extra care and feeding from the United States because the agreements they signed are completely out of line with the wishes of their people.

The unholy mess Trump has made of relations with China – laying illegitimate tariffs (as just ruled by the WTO), illegal sanctions, offering a proud country public insults, trying to hurt or steal some of its tech companies, and playing with fire in matters like Taiwan and Hong Kong – may be toned down, but America’s establishment and its Dark State are deeply troubled by China’s remarkable rise. They cannot compete with it in a great many matters and greatly fear losing their privileged place.

Trump’s malignant way of addressing China will almost certainly fade. It was in part an appeal to the intense prejudices of his political base, racial prejudice and jealousies over someone else’s success being integral parts of its psychology, just as all Trump’s filth about Muslims and migrants. There are a lot of hatreds in America, as you can plainly see from what is happening on its streets. But the American establishment’s fear of China will not go away, and China will continue being treated as an opponent rather than as a neighbor or partner.

America’s establishment is in a very dark mood with challenges abroad to its primacy and authority and the embarrassing massive demonstrations on its streets revealing to the world what a seamy underside side America society really has. Jimmy Stewart’s America no longer exists except in the dull imaginations of some of those who shuffle along, shopping at Walmart as a day’s big outing, proudly wearing their MAGA caps.

There are no easy answers to any of America’s problems and conflicts because the powerful in America are not going to relinquish any of their authority, and that is at the heart of so many matters requiring attention and resources.

It is essential to recognize how divided America is, the biggest division being that between the plutocrats and ordinary people. The only solutions for that are dramatic changes in taxation and social policy, changes that no one with power wants.

And besides, Biden already reassured big campaign donors, concerned about Leftish sounds coming from part of the Democratic Party, that the status quo will be maintained, just allowing a little wiggle room so he doesn’t look paralyzed.

I do think it possible Biden will retire before his term is out, and Kamala Harris will become President. She is bright and energetic and tough, but she is solid establishment, which is why she was selected.

A woman of color looks like big change, and American voters are mostly quite superficial in their political judgments and heavily influenced by advertising and slogans, otherwise they would never have tolerated all of America’s meaningless, destructive colonial wars and the fact that there isn’t even a national healthcare system in the world’s richest society.

Her identity might well be able to exert some influence on the crowds in the streets, long enough anyway for the whole business to blow over with things going back to normal.

There is at least a chance that the situation in the streets will grow worse with Trump’s defeat. His supporters include some of most aggressive and bellowing elements in the country, and they are well-armed, some of the intensity in support for Trump always being about the embrace of guns.

After all, early on he took out his own automatic pistol to show an audience, and some Democrats are favorable to new restrictions on the country’s vast private arsenal of over three hundred million guns. Gun sales have been brisk recently, too.

A lot of people outside the United States are not aware of the interplay in America between racism and gun rights. Jt goes back to the days on isolated plantations when owners slept with guns on a night table or under the pillow for fear of a slave revolt, even though there had only ever been one revolt, Nat Turner’s in 1831. It was a constant paralyzing fear in the Old South, as reading a little history will tell you. And many White suburban or working-class Americans today feel exactly the same way about Black urban neighborhoods.

The new “non-scalable” second fence now being erected around the White House in time for the election will provide a very appropriate symbol of what America has become.

Trump has succeeded in almost nothing but deepening divisions in the country with everything from ugly rhetoric to more unwarranted tax cuts and privileges for the already-privileged. A remarkable mess from the most incompetent and malicious man ever to hold his office.

Posted November 3, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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