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Elevating Trump

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Photo by Evan Guest | CC BY 2.0

Photo by Evan Guest | CC BY 2.0

 

The new evidence provided by Wikileaks’s Podesta files makes a convincing case that the Clinton team wanted extreme Republicans as the best possible opponents. They wanted not rational discourse but exactly the kind of mean-spirited bigotry that Trump has delivered so well.

The Wikileaks documents are a window into the soul of power. We can see how the Clinton machine played the strategy of triangulation on the level of action and tactic.

The Motive

For the Clinton machine to maintain power, it needs the likes of Donald Trump. It’s a package deal. The Clinton’s lesser of two evils campaign can corral voters most efficiently if their Republicans competitors are extreme, scary and incoherent. Trump is so frightening and potentially disruptive that even powerful Republican elites turn to Clinton for refuge.

So essential is the extreme right-wing to the Democrats strategy that the right-wing must be encouraged and promoted! Apparently Clinton wants and needs Trump.

The Intent

Here are excerpts from an email (click on attachments) outlining strategy and goals to the DNC dated 4/7/2015. Well before Trump officially declared his candidacy.

Force all Republican Candidates to lock themselves into extreme conservative positions that will hurt them in a general election…

The variety of candidates is a positive here, and many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right. In this scenario, we don’t want to marginalize the candidates, but make them more ‘Pied Piper’ candidates who actually represent the mainstream Republican Party. Pied Piper candidates include, but aren’t limited to:

Ted Cruz

Donald Trump

Ben Carson

We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to [take] them seriously.

Here it is: a premeditated, purposeful and extremely reckless design to bring Trump into the national spotlight. If doing so sabotages the informed public discourse that democracy depends on, so be it.

The strategy of triangulation has been moving Democrats, Republicans and public discourse to the right for three decades but rarely do we see this kind of direct evidence of intent.

The sad, truly tragic, truth is that without Trump, or his kind, the Democrats would lose one of their main forms of control over voters. Without Trump they might be forced to have a message, offer a positive program, or mobilize the millions of occasional voters and non-voters. But to do so would be to serve the people and that is incompatible with endless war and the rule of the corporations.

The Means

We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to [take] them seriously.

Given the already “cozy relationship” between political elites and the corporate media the means to do the deed was right at hand.

And indeed the press did follow orders and took Trump seriously.

For months mass media was quite comfortable broadcasting Trumps bigotry.

I always wondered why media giants, so deeply committed to the Clinton machine — big donors to the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton campaign alike — lavished so much attention and so many resources on Trump.

They are driven by the same desire to maximize profit as other corporations, true,  but it still seemed like there were other stories that could sell soap.  The candidacy of a Jewish socialist from Brooklyn was such a story but, well, never mind.  And it’s true that Trump fit the entertainment model of what we still think of as mainstream news.

The New York Times estimates that two billion dollars worth of  free media coverage was given to Trump. Half that would be astounding. The Trump campaign is a study in corporate welfare.

Well, disasters like the election of 2016 have an overabundance of causes. But the Democrats desire to elevate Trump was part of the potion.  And the media followed direction with gusto.

The Clinton’s were owed a favor and refusal was out of the question. After all it’s just a little payback to the Clinton’s for the Telecommunication Act of 1996 that paved the way for the consolidation of mass media into the hands of a few corporations and a few hundred executives.  The corporate media knows their class interests.

The Verdict

The racism, sexism and trash-talking commentary from Trump, and its effect on public discourse, is acceptable collateral damage, a toxic side effect of the Clinton’s will to power.

This is the crime: premeditated Trump love. The Democrats had the motive, intent and means to make Trump great.

The verdict: a vote for Clinton is a vote for Trump.

Such is the twisted two-party system. A system that, unless disrupted, will continue to produce Trumps and Clintons and worse.

Sorry Clinton fans, but this kind of mass manipulation is deeply destructive of what little remains of democratic culture in the US.

I am afraid that millions will stay home on election day. Withdrawal is a predictable outcome when politics are so debased, but so is resistance. It’s to build a new civil rights, anti-war and environmental moments and get real political issues back on the front burner.

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Richard Moser writes at befreedom.co where this article first appeared.

CounterPunch Magazine

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