March 22, 2016
Trump the Ugly American Knight
by Eric S. Margolis
Readers keep asking me what I think of Trump. My view: he is the worst of the candidates – except all the others.– Eric S Margolis
HAVING an interesting dinner at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate and residence in Palm Beach, Florida – which may become the southern White House if fed-up American voters have their way. One feels an air of whispered importance and gravitas here.
After Trump’s smashing primary victories last week, there’s a growing sense that the Donald is headed for victory while his legions of bitter opponents are left wringing their hands.
In fact, Trump is fast emerging as an American version of the People’s Tribunes of ancient Rome, the important state officials who voiced the people’s anger and concerns.
As the Trump revolution spreads, his enemies are desperately seeking ways to stop the Donald’s Juggernaut. Cries go to the heavens, “save the Republican Party before Trump wrecks it.”
As a life-long (but now fallen away) Republican, I say “good riddance”. More power to Trump to blast apart this deeply corrupt, cynical party steeped in political payoffs and religious fanaticism, and run by former used-car dealers from Pocatello.
Many moons ago, I even began a run for Congress from my native New York City but was horrified to see the creatures that scuttled below the city’s political rocks. A senior party official who was also a prison guard advised me: “Son, only two types of people go into politics. Those with no money like me; and those from rich families who do it for their egos.”
The Clintons are a perfect example of the former, two local Arkansas politicians who made millions by peddling influence. Trump fits the second category. He is a rough, tough, uncultured but wealthy New Yorker whose family there dates from the 1880’s when the city was the third largest German city in the world after Berlin and Hamburg.
Readers keep asking me what I think of Trump. My view: he is the worst of the candidates – except all the others.
Trump’s vows to expel 11 million illegal aliens is likely unworkable; his Great Wall on the Mexican border sounds like Pharaonic madness – except that all of its critics have no problem with Israel walling itself off from the Arab world.
The proposed banning of Muslims from the US is a disgusting ploy that plays to America’s low IQ red necks and far right religious conservatives, and drags America’s name through the mud of bigotry and ignorance. Trump has much to learn about the Muslim world.
But Trump is right on target when he calls for an even-handed approach to resolving the Arab-Israeli struggle. By daring to utter the term “even-handed”, Trump sent the US Israel lobby into a fury, touching the third rail of US politics. Compare Trump’s sensible Middle East position to that of Rubio, Cruz, Kasich and Clinton who got on their knees to pledge allegiance to Israel.
After investing tens of millions in buying up the US Congress and influencing media, the pro-Israel neocon war party now sees its huge investment jeopardised and its power under attack. If Trump has his way, US Middle East policy will be written in Washington, not Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Billions of overt and secret US aid to Israel could be jeopardised.
In a big shock, Trump has reportedly called for the deeply flawed investigation on the 9/11 attacks to be reopened. The neocon are going ballistic. Right on cue, several dozen Republican foreign policy “experts”, many from the Bush era, blasted Trump as “unfit” to be President. These were the same idiots who championed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the greatest foreign policy disaster in modern US history.
Following the warnings of that great German-American, Dwight Eisenhower, Trump says he intends to end the foolish confrontation with Russia that was engineered by the neocons and arms industry and deal with Russia as an equal. No more imperial foreign wars. The military industrial complex and the war party are up in arms.
Trump’s third target is Wall Street, and rightly so. New York’s bankers and financiers have bought Congress. Now, Trump questions the shameful tax break that Wall Street got its yes-men in Congress to write. The bankers want Trump’s head. He’s a class traitor, they moan.
Finally, Trump’s threats to undo trade deals and manufacturing displacement are music to the working classes’ ears. This writer, a former businessman, has always held executives who throw tens of thousands out of work and move manufacturing abroad to be knaves and even criminals.
Today, manufacturing in the US has fallen to only 12% of economic activity while finance has risen to 20%. Wall Street’s moneylenders have kept the nation addicted to debt and wars. Trump might challenge this money oligarchy that has grown fabulously rich while the rest of America stagnates and lives from pay cheque to pay cheque.
Hillary Clinton has her armies of welfare recipients. Trump, so far, has armies of angry Americans.
Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist, writing mainly about the Middle East and South Asia. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org