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“There’s no place like home.”
That’s the lesson. Even when home is Kansas.
The real meaning of this election is not, as bitterly disappointed Hillary supporters still maintain with tears in their eyes and fear in their throats, a victory for racism and sexism.
The real meaning of this upset is that Wall Street’s globalization project has been rejected by the citizens of its homeland.
This has major implications for the European nations that have been dragged along into this ruinous project.
Hillary Clinton was the candidate of the military industrial complex and international finance capital. She designed herself to be the figurehead of those forces, as queen of regime change. She aspired to be the one to remake the world in the image Wall Street dictates. It was a project enthusiastically and expensively supported by the one percent who profit from arms contracts and the trade deals they write themselves for their own interests.
To distract from the genuine significance of her candidacy, the Clinton campaign appealed to the desire for respectability of educated city dwellers, portraying Trump supporters as racist yokels motivated by a hateful desire to scapegoat minorities as revenge for their own inadequacies. They were “deplorables”, and you wouldn’t want to be one of them, would you?
Trump was sexist, because he referred to certain women as “bimbos”. Elizabeth Warren called him out for this, on a platform where Hillary sat listening, mouth wide open in delight – she who had referred to Bill’s girlfriends as “bimbo eruptions”. Sleaze and hypocrisy drowned out policy discussions. The worst the Clinton campaign could come up with was an eleven-year-old locker room exchange – just words, hardly comparable to Bill’s chronic actions.
Still, millions who were taken in by the Clinton campaign line are devastated, terrified, convinced that the only reason Trump won was the “racism” and “sexism” of that lower caste in globalized society: white heterosexual working class males.
But no, Virginia, there were other reasons to vote for Trump. Racism and sexism are surely low on the list.
Trump voters were scandalized by Hillary’s lies and corruption. Many of them would have voted for Bernie Sanders if they had the choice. That choice was taken away from them by Democratic Party manipulators who were sold on their own advertising campaign to elect “the first woman President.” A brand new product on the Presidential election market! Be the first to vote for a woman President! New, improved!
Bernie’s success already showed that millions of people didn’t want that woman. But the Democratic Party manipulators and their oligarch sponsors went right ahead with their plans to force Hillary Clinton on an unwilling nation. They brought this defeat on themselves.
Contrary to what you could believe by reading the New York Times, there were even intellectuals who voted for Trump, or at least refused to vote for Hillary, for the simple reason that Trump appears less likely to lead the world into its third and final Great War. He said things giving that impression, but such statements were ignored by mainstream media as they worked overtime to inflate the ogre image. No war with Russia? You must be a Putin puppet!
Trump voters had several reasons to vote for Trump other than “racism”. Most of all, they want their jobs back, jobs that have vanished thanks to the neoliberal policy of transferring manufacturing jobs to places with low wages.
But racism is the only motive recognized by the globalized elite for rejecting globalization. British citizens who voted to leave the European Union in order to recover their traditional democracy were also stigmatized as “racist” and “xenophobe”. Opposition to racism and xenophobia is the natural moral defense of a project of global governance that deprives ordinary citizens of any important power of decision.
This extraordinarily vicious campaign has brought out and aggravated sharp divisions within the United States. The division between city and countryside is most evident on the electoral maps. But these real divisions are exacerbated by a campaign that portrayed Donald Trump as a racist madman, a new Hitler about to bring fascism to America. The antiracism of this campaign, denouncing “hate”, has actually spawned hate.
No, Virginia, Trump is not Hitler. He is the Wizard of Oz. He is a showman who pulled off an amazing trick thanks to the drastic moral and intellectual decline of the American political system. He is neither as dangerous as his opponents fear, nor as able to “make American great again” as his supporters hope. He is the Lesser Evil. What will become of him in Washington is anybody’s guess.