Trump and the concept of an elite
One of the few consistent themes in Trump's rise to power has been his attack on the Washington elite. By this he appears to mean those who have the power to make policy, and those who profit from that policy. His promise to "drain the swamp" resonated with many voters who understand that their share of the US national wealth has been decreasing, while that of the elite has been increasing.
This analysis is valid, as far as it goes. No unbiased observer can doubt that globalisation, and the free trade agreements that have come with it, have severely impacted many American communities. Factories have shut down, real wages have dropped. Employment opportunities for unskilled or low skilled workers are in decline. People have every right to feel that they have been duped, and to resent those who have taken advantage of these changes to increase their already substantial wealth.
Trump's popularity, as far as it goes, rests on his promise to reverse these processes. The problem is that he won't. The first barrier to change would confront even the most genuine reformer. The economic power of globalisation has great momentum. Like one of those immense and grotesque cruise ships, it cannot easily be turned around and certainly not by a single nation, even one with the economic power of the US. To achieve the changes he talks about would take something he does not have, time. He has no time because he has raised expectations of immediate improvement. Failure to deliver will restrict him to a single term, or less.
The second barrier to change is his inclusion of another class in his definition of the elite; the public officials whose expertise allows the efficient implementation of government policy. There is no doubt that they can become as greedy and self-interested as their political masters, which is why changes of government are frequently used as an opportunity to prune excess, but no government can run without them. Trump has already dismissed too many significant figures, while others have chosen to leave in disgust rather than cooperate with the destruction of their work in fields such as health, education and the environment. Without these people his ability to achieve the changes he has promised is severely compromised.
Trump is right to see this class as an elite, but it is a different elite. It is an intellectual and educational elite. These are people with profound knowledge and skills built up over decades of study and work in specialist areas. It is one of the sadder aspects of US (and Australian!) culture that we are so uncomfortable with the notion of this elite. We have no problem with a sporting elite or an artistic elite whose skills and abilities are far beyond those of the wider community. It is only when we apply this same concept to intellectual and educational achievement that mockery and sarcasm outweigh appreciation. The notion that someone might be smarter than ourself is taken as an affack on our self esteem.
The third barrier is that his campaign, knowingly or not was built upon a lie. His government will entrench privelege and increase inequality. Through-out Obama's period in office Republicans consistently blocked legislation to raise minimum wages or provide greater support to struggling communities. Obama managed to get his health care package through and it is already being undone without a whisper of what might replace it. Even if Trump was genuine, which he clearly is not, he could not shift the Republican dominated congress. The consequences of this great betrayal will lead to unparalleled divisions in US society. Be glad you don't live there.
Best he doesn't even try then . Let's just shrug our shoulders and whine about the globalisation situation from our place in the sun as a baby boomer that was gifted every advantage to succeed.
Better to elect someone utterly complicit with the continuation of the furthering of the worlds inequality that is represented by Hilary Clinton.
You may guess as to Trumps intentions and assume all his stated aims are lies.
But you never had to guess with Clinton.
The speech to Goldman Sachs eliminates any doubt.
Be a shame to see Trump fail, I doubt he will succeed in establishing great change.
But at least the people have democratically chosen someone that has a stated goal of fighting for them.
Strange how some people can't accept the will of democracy when it doesn't go their way.
Pretty sure if some people had the power they'd disregard the will of the people and govern in a manner that THEY see fit . Standing in no doubt as to the righteousness of their ideology they'd pick and choose when to accept the concept of democracy.
Shame these people don't have the mental agility to recognise that this would in fact make them guilty of the tyranny that they so love to project onto others.
School teacher mentality.
PS I'm not a baby boomer myself.
For gods sake..... "Trump thread".....
"Trump and the risk of war" thread...
Trump "inauguration" thread.....
"Trump and the concept of an elite" thread......
BB...... How about a "Trump and is he a folder or scruncher" thread?
You're out of control, man!!!!!!!
Don't ever go full retard.
I will post what I like when I like. Feel free to ignore what doesn't interest you.
Yeah mate, just select an ideology then steel yourself against ever having to engage others in debate or submit your path to any form of self imposed scrutiny as the situation unfolds.
That old Northern staunchness....for better or worse.
Grounds keeper Blindboy.
Have at it then mate.
Seems you're actually even less the person that I thought.
Best of luck.
ha ha another Trump thread.......god you must be passionate about this blindboy.
Not really indo just the combination of a long term interest in US politics and a fascinating situation.
not as passionate as the womens support for the new president today!
I was trying for a restrained tone two rules.
what about when he turned on the tv to a reality of an empty field as fake news and then his estimate of the party!!!
He's a sad and pathetic individual who craves approval from wherever he can get it at whatever price. More later......maybe.
media shares must be good value
Catfish Coolie on Trump win : Youtube
so in his head....
Talks of objectivity and atheism, then goes all... demonic...good and evil .. right and wrong ...george bush style on us
'full tetard' is very apt
Don't worry blindboy you're not alone... you're in with plenty of hollywood hoes and washington hacks... the elites,...I believe they believe themselves to be...you're in good company
Company I'd personally rather not keep. In fact I'm most encouraged that hollywood only seems to have had waning influence in this election.
Inaugeration doesn't sound all bad and darkness to me, just sounds like someone - without their vested interest rose coloured glasses on - giving a fair appraisal without the mandatory political bullshit.
Hollywood influence waning, the usual nauseating political speak nowhere to be seen, WW111 on hold....again....it's all good so far
BTW. Speaking of celebrity's, did any of those celebrity's that said they would move from America if Trump was elected, actually move elsewhere?
I did get nervous when Madonna started preaching about blowing up the Whitehouse
maybe trump will put them on the bus with the other 11,000,000 headed for mexico.
I only reply to civil comments.
Fully retard may be a cheap shot, but I was thinking more along the lines that 'progressives' or whatever, cannot actually process what has just happened, their thought process is literally retarded. It's like they're stuck in an autistic style feedback loop, unable to take in new information, regressing to the familiar tics of comfort
I get it, it's the seven stages of dealing with disaster etc. But it seems way too much time is being wasted on blame and denial, and you'se kinda need to get on with it.
The democrat party is in all sorts of bother
A little self reflection would go a long way, instead of this self indulgent blamefest of denial, even if russia did meddle in the election...stiff shit...who cares...how many elections have the americans meddled in? This is the new game.
If trump is remotely successful, as he probably will be, until the negatives of his ridiculous economic plan kick in anyway, like guysmiley decribes. then the democrats are fucked, like really really fucked, like irrelevant for a decade or longer fucked.
I'm not here to taunt blindboy but your MO makes it almost impossible, not to mention you hurling insults when your rules of civility see fit. Seems to be the MO of the left, vehemently present your 'progressive' ideology, demonise any alternative viewpoints, then denigrate your opponent with name calling, while crying everyone that doesn't agree with you is a 'hater' or 'uneducated'. All a bit Alinksky 101.
The 1970s playbook doesn't fit in an internet world, and neither does the ideology. The world has changed dramatically blindboy. We need methods and plans for the next 40 years, not the last 40....plans that didn't go so well btw... for some observers
It's pretty funny to see some of you get your knickers in a twist over blindboy penning his thoughts on here. It's baffling to see him accused of hurling insults when so far he's actually been copping them rather than hurling any. It's also really bizarre to see him accused of trying to silence people with a different view when in fact he's started several threads with the very purpose of hearing from others.
If blowin wasn't stuck trying to convince himself and the world that he's #tooreal to buy into the whatever it is the wets are saying, he might have a leg to stand on but so far we haven't heard much beyond "You're a retard and your side lost. Stop whinging".
Trump is an awesomely interesting phenomenon and seriously worthy of a yarn. Wanting to analyse it all and voice a negative opinion of the bloke doesn't mean you don't accept the democratic process. That's like saying to climate change scientists, "the climate has always changed!" No shit sherlock, that's the starting point of climate science. Just as the election of Trump is the starting point of this discussion.
One of the reasons it's so incredibly interesting is because we in the west haven't usually rewarded people like Trump with elected power. Remember the time he mocked a reporter's disability because he didn't like what the guy had said? Trump started with, "You should see this guy" before impersonating someone with no control over their arms and a bent wrist at his chest "I don't know what I'm saying".
We in the west, don't normally reward someone who does that kind of thing with the highest office in the land. We've been trying to make life easier for people with a disability to be a part of society (we all love the disabled surfers association and probably got warm and fuzzy feelings from the bit in Step Into Liquid about Jessie surfing with Machado et al after his injury). But this time we were happy to excuse it, believe his line that he wasn't mocking his disability it's just a coincidence that the only person he impersonated that way happened to have a congenital curves in his wrist. I know we here didn't vote for him but plenty here are happy to ignore it and argue in his favour. The outcome that that guy won is interesting and worthy of discussion and scrutiny, because as you suggested sypkan, in the 1970s (or perhaps 1990s) playbook he probably would have lost.
The Russian stuff is interesting. Some of the stuff in that dossier seems pretty ridiculous but Trump's response was kind of funny. He said there's no way Russia could have something on him because he's too careful. Someone on Twitter pointed out that that's coming from a guy who confessed to sexual assault while wearing a lapel mic...
We don't normally reward people who confess to sexual assault either (or old men who confess to going backstage at beauty pageants to check out the women while they get into their bikinis, because he can as the owner). Yet the yanks did here, and that makes his character worthy of discussion. It doesn't stop being relevant because he won the election. If anything it became more relevant because it's no longer about whether he's got a better character than Hilary because she ain't under consideration any longer.
We're into a phase where everything he does and says will and should be scrutinised in and of itself, not in comparison to anyone else, and that's worth talking about. He doesn't like that and lashes out at inconsequential things (see the first presser from his press sec about inauguration numbers). It's going to be interesting to watch what happens when scrutiny comes about something that matters.
Anyway, maybe I'm a sappy lefty but, we've got a weird guy as the "leader of the free world". It's incredibly newsworthy all over the world so of course it creates discussion. Is that really so offensive?
He's got history benski,
And there is an element of humour....isn't there?...
It's more the way he engages,..or doesn't...after putting up some highly confoluted whatiffery, it's all very absolute
But apart from that I agree with you benski, most unfortunate that it's come to this. But it is what it is, and really isn't that surprising.
We've had twelve months or more of attacking the man, didn't quite work, four more years of that I fear will be disastatrous
I blame the internet, the simpsons, and the kardashians, not neccesarily in that order.
I don't blame trump
Sorry benski but when a blogger starts comparing Trump with Stalin or Hitler without any facts or evidence then its difficult to accept any further analysis or views. It does not take long to realise that there is no clear relevance to what the blogger says. Hence the obvious responses, as seen. Granted, Trump is 'weird' or whatever your interpretation of him is. He has presented himself in way not many politicians do. However, what BB does need to accept is that the American political system has delivered a president. So let Trump lead. Im sure the US has adequate protections or laws to manage any possible misbehaviour that may or may not arise. It is of concern, however, that many are just not willing to accept the result.
sypkan, definitely the Simpsons putting the idea in people's minds all those years ago! Actually it's not surprising it happened...this popped up in my reading of the internets the other day....6 seconds in Rudi Giuliani blocking Rage from playing on the steps of the NYSE and then at 1.04...Donald J Trump for pres. That was January 2000.
tonybarber, where does blindboy even suggest he doesn't accept the result? Let trump lead? Somehow I don't think blindboy is stopping him from doing that.
tb if you read the relevant section you will find I only made a comparison in leadership styles between Trump and the others. If you inferred more than that, you have misread the piece. Of course history might have been very different had the German people ignored advice such as yours in the 1930s and thrown Hitler out. Demagogues turn into dictators. Protest is essential.
I think it's probably safe to say that no one on any of these threads has ever defended Trump as a good bloke, but I can't help but think there's s huge population of people out there that would be happy to watch Hillary let the country burn to the ground whilst slapping each other on the back & saying "well at least we didn't let Trump do it".
These family dynasties that keep popping up in American politics make a mockery of democracy and Australia is no stranger to them either, and I believe Trump is absolutely right to shake things up. 300 mil Americans so for every bureaucrat that cracks it and leaves there's plenty more to fill the gap.
Perhaps at the next election they might put a few decent candidates in and actually remember that the working class are still there watching and they're really fucked off at the moment.
A lot of my American friends were heartbroken when they couldn't vote for Bernie Sanders. Hillary is that fucking bad people like Trump more.
I don't think anyone is under any illusions that either of these 2 pelicans could actually represent their constituents, but at least one had the brains to know what they were pissed about.
Trump refuses to play by anyone else's rules because he tends to run the show like a spoilt 2 year old with a shitty nappy but lets just see how it goes as there's no other option at the moment except sucking lemons and eating sour grapes.
My dispute with BB's analysis comes with his definition of the "elites".
By any notion Trump, his family and the cronies he has selected for his cabinet fall under that definition. They are the uber-elite, the scions of massive corporations; and it's these corporations that have offshored the jobs, massively appropriated the wealth of America, enjoyed the benefits of globalisation and seen such huge concentrations of wealth build in private hands while the middle class diminishes. These are people who have NEVER acted in the public interest, these are people who have fought tooth and nail for their own private interest, to enrich themselves at the expense of others. Now they have the keys to the most powerful country and the biggest economy on earth and we are expected to believe that they will now act in the interests of the common people?
Trumps claim that this is a government of the people is just one of the most patently ridiculous and untrue statements ever put forth in public. It's a Government of the uber-rich, a government of the scions of predatory capitalism. Unless these Captains of Industry completely and suddenly have a 180 degree change of life direction and heart this is going to be the biggest corporate arse raping of a country ever seen, or even ever imagined.
I don't doubt the motivations of the people who elected Trump but they've elected the biggest con man in history who is about to perpetrate the biggest global con in human history.
I'm struggling to see where you disagree with me freeride. I defined the elite as those with the power to make policy and those who benefit from the policy. I didn't specifically identify corporate parasites as being in that group as I thought it was obvious. Later I identify another kind of elite, the intellectual and educational elite, who also benefit but to a lesser degree and with less control.
Nice call Sypkan @ Monday 10.49am
Shame the reply doesn't go straight to the bottom of the relevant post.
Gaz if Hilary is a parasite then Trump is a potentially fatal disease. It's nice to get rid of parasites, but potentially fatal diseases come first.
"Demagogues turn into dictators".
I'm happy to be corrected if I've missed something Blindboy, but with the massive infrastructure below (or is it above) the POTUS, to claim that he might become a dictator seems ludicrous.
It'll be fascinating to see if Trump really does have any influence on U.S. foreign policy aka political, economic and military aggression.
Considering the framework and vested interests that've built up over 70 years or longer, I just don't see it.
I guess BB, that by not including the corporate in your definition of the elite that you have very much been ineffectual in defining it.
Corporate power and influence over American elites, whether that be in Govt, education etc etc is almost impossible to underestimate.
Trump has bypassed any pretence of distance between the corporations and the elected power vested in a democracy by handing power directly to the corporate heads he has installed in his cabinet.
He has drained the swamp by handing power directly to the people who benefit most; not the people but the corporations.
So who did you think I meant by "those who profit from that policy"? It is a pretty inclusive term.
Andy, not so long ago the idea of Trump becoming President was ludicrous. You may well be right in expecting congress and public officials to work against him, but the best way to make that happen is through widespread peaceful protest in the media as well as the streets. We want those in a position to oppose his policies to know that they have public support. In Australia, being vocal might prevent our spineless leaders from going along with his foreign policy and isolationist approach to trade.
Benski, what's offensive is when you state that Trump is planning on personally pushing drug dealers out of airbone helicopters based purely on your interpretation of his tone of voice.
That's where the full retard calls came from.
A reference, an apt reference , to a movie called " Tropic Thunder " whereby a scene discussed how unwise it was to over dramatise a situation as you would induce the opposite response to that which you desire - ie ridicule rather than sympathy.
Sure , Blindboy has his opinion, but it's farcical and overblown. He's obviously learnt to tone it down but now he is borderline misrepresenting himself. He does actually want to compare Trump to Hitler, pretty sure he has previously.
Anyway....I've put forward a few points of discussion but he refuses to engage due to his no platforming approach .
I believe Trump fancies himself as the people's champion and on the slight chance that he is even moderately successful in delivering a return to the days of US manufacturing then maybe he will actually fill the role.
Though I doubt it.
Too hard to please everyone and the sun is starting to set on the human role in manufacturing anyway. I'd hate to image what he will be like if his voting base scorns him....toys out of the pram stuff.
But....his isolationist economic and foreign policies theories may or may not improve the situation for US workers, but it's surely got to improve the lot of the umpteen nations that would have been invaded , destabilised or politically undermined had a leader continued on the present course.
And if you think responding to critique from a disabled person in a disgusting fashion is bad....how do you feel about someone threatening to bomb Iran into the Stone Age ?
Sorry Blindboy, I didn't make myself clear.
By infrastructure and framework surrounding the POTUS, I actually meant corporate and military power - my post can probably be read in conjunction with Freeride's.
I wasn't talking about Congress etc. working to restrain him.
Trump is part of the elite, part of those who benefit. Why would he need to become a dictator, if that were possible?
The framework is already in place to serve the interests of the elites in America's oligarchy, the horse has bolted quite some time ago.
As FR said, the pretence of separation between a democratically elected government and the corporations has evaporated further.
It was tenuous around WW1 and WW2, well and truly rotten by Iraq War 2 and now the charade is virtually up.
I would go so far as to say that the U.S. is a lost cause.
The question in my mind is, is Australia salvageable?
"But....his isolationist economic and foreign policies theories may or may not improve the situation for US workers, but it's surely got to improve the lot of the umpteen nations that would have been invaded , destabilised or politically undermined had a leader continued on the present course."
Blowin, how do you reconcile that with this from the inaugaration speech: “We’re going to unite against radical Islamic extremism which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.”
That, along with his stated aim to massively increase the US military. How exactly do you think he is going to eradicate islamic extremism without bombing the shitt out of the middle east?
Which, by the way, he is already committed to.
I know there are alot of people wishing and hoping Trump is going to be some force for peace but if he even does half of what he says he is then he's going to make Obama and Hillary look like the Dalai fucking lama.
Blowin, I don't read the script the script reads me.
I did, however, read freeride's comment directly above and found it rather convincing.
Good work benski. Your contributions are always well considered and to the point.
This comparison here between Trump & Hitler is interesting …… it also wasn't lost on others in the last week. A little digging online will find Hitler historians who are directly referencing how Trump sees himself as the "only answer" and treats the media, the elites (whatever that means) and his references to draining the swamp (i.e. established politicians in Congress & Senate) to how Hitler did exactly the same thing in dismissing criticism of his ideology and political rants from the German parliament leading up to him seizing control.
Same old shit FR, use a bogeyman or a false flag situation to justify business as usual for the real power brokers.
Guy Smiley, I think that power was seized quite a while ago.
"I'd hate to image what he will be like if his voting base scorns him.."
Hey Blowin, last month I took a trip to Pohnpei - I know you're aware of this but I also like reminding you - and as the FSM is an associated US state there's a few seppos on the ground. First night we were chatting to some good ole boys in a sushi bar and talk turned to politics. One of them announced Donald Trump as "the best president we've ever had!" All his pals nodded and approved.
Note the timing, Trump was president-elect, hadn't done a thing, yet they were already lining him up for a spot on Mount Rushmore.
My take home message? There'll be no scorn. If Trump fucks up then the fingers will be pointed elsewhere, because to accept Trump's failings is to admit you've been duped.
Trumps economic prescription: massive military build-up, deficit financed infrastructure spending , isolationism, protectionism or the the threat of protectionism is a word for word copy of national socialism.
Thats a fact.
Thing is, it is successful in it's stated aim of getting people back to work. Military buildups and massive infrastructure spending do put people back to work.
As for Trump dismantling globalisation. Very much doubt it. America IS Globalisation.
The biggest global companies, the tech titans: Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Uber, AirBnB etc etc whose market caps dwarf the rest of the economy are all american companies.
oh, sorry, forgot Exxon that other great global player (worlds 6th largest company) whose ex CEO Rex Tillerson just so happens to be secretary of state.
How do you feel about dismantling globalisation Rex?
Yeah, thought so.
Well Blind Boy your assessment is at odds with what the majority of the USA voting public has already decided. Trump likely will fail but Hillary never stood a chance because the majority already considered her a failure. Don't hate the players hate the game.
I can tell you are trying to pose a rational statement to kick off this thread but your bias is staggering. Your last paragraph in your initial posting contained the following:
"The consequences of this great betrayal will lead to unparalleled divisions in US society."
For someone who has an interest in the US and its politics you seem to have completely missed the fact that this is what swept Trump into power in the first place. Democrats lost millions of votes to Trump.
Your comments on comparing Hitler to Trump show a startling lack of foresight from someone with any interest in America. They can't discuss any kind of alterations to the system or constitution with out the whole country simultaneously reaching for their pitchforks and oiling up their rifles. And you're suggesting he's going to become a dictator?
There are 3 pillars of democracy and these are a separate Executive, Legislative & Judiciary. HINT: Trump is only on one of these. Just like Obama had to negotiate through two houses of Parliament Trump will be doing the same. No Nazi-style suspending parliament for the Trump party going on here.
And I see in a more recent comment you're now suggesting that the public officials should be allowed to protest against peacefully and free from any backlash. Are you suggesting some kind of coup? They already have public support. If they know they don't then yes they should absolutely resign. I wish they would here in Australia as bureaucrats are a dollar a dozen over here, although more like $100k a piece.
I think someone just needs to re-assure you that the sky is not going to fall, I repeat THE SKY IS NOT GOING TO FALL.
For sure Freeride.
It's going to be slice and dice....but it might be the US that benefits.
Remember that Trump only intends to govern for the benefit of the US. This intent differs from other presidents that only governed for corporate US.
Maybe it's possible to fuck the world over using US corporate strategy AND empower the US lower classes.
Or at least disempower them a little less. Even a small gasp of air tastes sweet after you've had a boot on your throat.
Why wouldn't the US pursue this policy ?
The deterioration of the lower classes bottom line will end up costing the corporations one way or another. Through lessening of domestic market consumer power or maybe even through the threat of civil unrest if the situation gets drastic enough.
There does appear to be a dim awakening to the potential hazards of a disregarded populace in the clamour for utter global domination by the transnational companies.
So reverting to overt nationalistic Darwinism could maybe work for the corporations and the US populace.
Wouldn't the resulting popularity make The Donald smile ?
PS - You went to P Pass , Stu ?
Surely if I'd known that I'd have been green with envy ....oh, wait a minute.
And maybe it would be a good idea to avoid talking politics with drunken marines on an overseas posting - remember what happened to Barton Lynch !
PPS Freeride - fucked if I know. Lots of shit talk going down . Some might be true , most probably won't be .
Let's not forget that Trump might not have been a politician a year ago, but he surely is by now and we all know how much politicians like a bit of licence with the truth especially around election time.
My point being. It's early days. Let's save the impeachment/ revolution / protest and hamper of the President till he actually does something worthy of refusal of recognising the democratic result of the election.
Fear mongering and shrill panic never improved a situation as far as I can tell.