After Trump, Global Liberalism Will Seek Revenge
On the morning of November 9th, 2016 as the sun rose over the White House, shock and disbelief began to turn into outright mourning for the members of President Obama’s staff. Donald Trump had won the election, a contingency for which they had not anticipated, no less planned for. All of their plans for the future now lay in tatters. The Affordable Care Act, the President’s signature achievement, would probably be repealed. Most of the President’s executive orders, especially those concerning the status of illegal immigrants, would be immediately revoked upon Trump taking office. Perhaps most importantly, the entirety of the Neoconservative establishment’s plans for continued U.S. Global Hegemony, including attacking the Syrian Government, to the benefit of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, and supplying weapons to the Ukrainian government to support its war on the people of the Donbass, were now destroyed.
For many this turn of events has been seen as a cause for celebration, and indeed, given the forces that were stacked against Trump and the profound dangers that a Clinton victory would represent, a celebration is certainly in order. But while Trump’s victory is certainly important for those opposed to Neoliberal Globalist Ideology, it by no means signals the end of the struggle. Rather it signals the beginning of a new, and far more dangerous phase of it.
While Clinton’s failure was, of course, a major blow to their aspirations, it is important to remember that the power and influence of Global Liberalism remains largely intact. While they may have lost control of the executive branch of the American Government, for now, their power is still close to absolute over other, arguably more important, institutions such as Academia, the Media, as well as the forces of International Finance and the various organs of the American Deep State. Therefore, Neo-Liberalism is still, de facto, the dominate Ideology of the World’s richest and most powerful nation: The United States.
The coming Trump administration will not change this in the least, as Trump himself has no real Ideology in any meaningful sense of the term. Rather he is a pragmatist with several, rather vague, principles which can be summed up in his campaign slogan of “America First”.
While this idea of “America First” is certainly at odds with Hegemonic NeoLiberalism, its temporary triumph represents, at most, a temporary setback for the NeoLiberal program of global hegemony.
Indeed, this is how NeoLiberals themselves have begun to interpret this event, as merely a speedbump on their inevitable march towards total victory. Such were the sentiments of President Obama when he said, in his first post-election speech that: “The path that this country has taken has never been a straight line. We zig and zag, and sometimes we move in ways that some people think is forward and others think is moving back. And that’s okay.”
It is instructive to note that this statement is in no way contradictory to Obama’s previous assertion that “The arch of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” “Justice” here, of course, being synonymous with Neoliberal conceptions of the good, such as the legitimization of sexual deviances, the atomization of society via the spread of Neoliberal economic systems, and the destruction of Traditional ways of life in the name of advancing so-called “human rights.”
Liberalism, in all of its forms, whether “Classical” or “Progressive” relies on a particular eschatology to retain its internal coherence. Like Marx, who foretold the coming of the final victory of the universal proletariat, Liberals, like Fukuyama, prophesize a similar victory, only instead of the universal proletariat working class, it is the bourgeois who finally triumph, establishing a universal middle class whose sole telos is the dogged pursuit of banal consumerism.
Trump’s victory merely delays the date of the fulfillment of what, for Liberals, represents a secular version of the Traditional Christian idea of the eschaton. The danger now lies in the inevitable backlash which is presently being engendered against those who are perceived to be responsible for this delay.
The Liberal intelligentsia has already identified several entities which it is now blaming for Trump’s election and the delay of the ultimate victory of Liberalism which it signifies.
The first of these being the American voters themselves, in particular, the White Working Class, whose support of Trump signifies to Liberal elites an obvious predilection for racism, misogyny, Islamophobia, etc.
The second comprises those dissenters within the Democratic party itself, many of whom chose to rather vote for a third party, or not to cast a ballot at all rather than vote for Hillary Clinton, a candidate many of them felt, not only didn’t represent their own views but whose remarkably hawkish foreign policy made her a uniquely dangerous figure. Both of the groups have been, and in all likelihood, will continue to be used as convenient scapegoats to help Clinton partisans rationalize the historic and humiliating defeat suffered by their candidate and, by extension, their own ideology.
The third group Clintonites (a group which includes, it should be noted, almost the entirety of U.S. media, business, academic and governmental elites) have blamed for Trump’s victory has been the entire Nation of Russia. Almost everyday it seems, in many of the nation’s most prestigious publications ( The New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, etc.) new stories emerge that implicate or even openly accuse Russia of somehow “stealing the election” for Trump.
This narrative, that of a Russian “manipulation” of the election, more than any other, has taken hold of the imaginations of U.S. elites. This belief runs much deeper than many outsider observers may realize. Although stoking fear of Russia was, from the beginning, a cynical ploy utilized by the Clinton campaign to distract attention away from Clinton’s own obvious malfeasance, many Liberals now genuinely believe that Russian intelligence somehow enabled Donald Trump to win the election.
American elites, it seems, have now become victims of their own propaganda efforts. Under different circumstances, this would be cause for amusement. However, the implications of this kind of thinking taking hold under current conditions should actually be troubling to all observers, as it will lead to a serious destabilization of the U.S.-Russia relationship when Liberals inevitably retake control of the White House.
For, like a wounded animal, the Ideology of Global Liberalism is most dangerous when wounded.
Under more favorable geopolitical conditions (such as the conditions which prevailed between 1990 to 2014) Liberals would be more likely to avoid high-risk strategies and, believing as they do, that history is on their side, instead exercise a kind of strategic patience. Under duress, however, with their entire project seemingly on the line, rash and dangerous decisions become significantly more likely.
With the election less than a month behind us, we can already see this dangerous tendency coming into view. Already Liberals have openly questioned the validity of the election, with some openly calling for the members of the Electoral College to disobey the mandate of the people, whose will they supposedly represent, and switch their votes, thus electing Hillary Clinton in place of Donald Trump.
While this is, thankfully, unlikely to happen the very fact that it has been forwarded by “respected” voices within the American Media establishment shows a troubling readiness on their part to contemplate undermining the legitimacy of their own constitutional system in order to pursue a short-term political goal.
As if this wasn’t troubling enough, Liberals have begun calling for a crackdown on so-called “fake news sites”, which are seen by Liberals as still another reason for Clinton’s defeat. Again, such accusations, coming as they do from the corporate run news media who not only openly collude with the Democratic party but also have been known to manufacture many “fake news” stories of their own, would be amusing if the implications weren’t so serious.
Under the pretense of combating “fake news” Liberals elites are openly attempting to suppress all points of view which deviate from the Liberal consensus. This sort of aggressive and open censorship is unprecedented in modern American political life and indicative of the increasing amount of desperation felt by the Liberal establishment, which is willing to go to extreme lengths in order to maintain its own power.
These are, of course, just recent events which have occurred in the short amount of time since the election. The next four years will surely see even more extreme actions from the Liberal power structure, as it flails violently against its many perceived enemies.
This animosity will reach its apex once the Democrats retake the White House, possibly in 2020, and are finally able to use the full power of the state to punish these enemies, including Russia itself.
One must remember the great difficulties which now face President Elect Trump are profound and run deep. Trump faces adversaries not only in the Liberal establishment, which still controls most important American institutions outside the executive and legislative branches of government, but also many within his own party, especially neoconservatives. These forces will be waiting for Trump’s first misstep, which they will then seek to capitalize on. A Misstep which, given the current state of the American Empire, is destined to occur. As America is currently engaged in at least seven separate military conflicts abroad and, more importantly, at least for American voters, will more than likely enter a new period of recession sometime within the next four years. A recession which, if in fact it does occur, Trump will surely be blamed for, thus ensuring a Democratic victory in the 2020 presidential race.
These potential problems pale in comparison, however, to the real problem Trump will face, namely, his movement’s aforementioned lack of Ideological coherence.
While Trump’s appeal certainly has much to do with the very real frustrations of regular Americans with the Neoliberal status quo, at the same time, his movement is also, in many ways largely a cult of Personality.
Trump has managed to galvanize, through the power of his own personality, many disparate political forces, from cultural Libertarians to Antiwar Paleoconservatives to dispossessed blue collar workers who otherwise would not be united into a stable political unit. While this coalition has managed to achieve a political upset which is unprecedented in Modern American history, it also is a coalition which is unlikely to remain coherent over the long term without Trump’s charismatic leadership.
Trump’s rhetoric of “America First” is a manifestation of certain Traditional American political tendencies, such as Non-Intervention in the affairs of foreign nations and distrust of the forces of Global capitalism.
However, it still is a movement defined primarily by what it is against (Foreign Wars, Globalization, Political Correctness, etc.) and not by what it is for. The Trump movement still has no positive understanding of what America’s role in the world should be, or a clear direction of where it wants to take the country domestically, beyond the vague slogan of “Make American Great Again”.
Unless a new American Ideology can be synthesized from the raw material of Trumpist populism, it is likely that the movement will eventually burn itself out once Trump himself is removed from the picture (either through natural death, assassination, impeachment, or defeat in the 2020 elections). The U.S. presidency will then slip back into the control of the Neoliberal establishment, an establishment which will be out to settle scores and seek revenge upon those it perceives to have wronged it, including Russia.
Until the rat’s nest of the American Liberal establish and its poisonous ideology are finally destroyed and replaced with a legitimate Ideological alternative, the proverbial sword of Damocles will continue to hang over the head of the multipolar world, a world which is till in the process of being born and thus especially vulnerable
The creation of this new Ideology is now our sole task, and under the present circumstances, failure is not an option.