FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Veterans Day in Trump’s America

On November, 8, 2016, every pissed off white guy and, as it turns out, plenty of pissed off white women, showed up to the polls and voted for the now President-elect of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

That’s right: The Donald – sexual predator, sociopath, disgraced businessman, reality TV star and all around huckster – is now the most powerful man in the world (insofar as any individual can wield power within extremely complex systems and institutions).

Nevertheless, President Trump now presides over the largest military empire and the richest nation in the history of the world.

***

I was wrong. Hell, almost everyone was wrong, except my Mom, whose street smarts outperformed Nate Silver’s algorithms. Looking back, I should’ve known better and trusted my instincts. After all, I live in Michigan City, Indiana, located in the heart of America’s Rust Belt – the region that gave the world President Trump.

I grew up with Trump supporters. Many of my neighbors are Trump supporters. Most of my father’s friends are Trump supporters. And half of my extended family voted for Trump. In many ways, I should be a Trump supporter: I’m White, male, a high school graduate (never finished college) and a Marine Corps veteran.

Thankfully, I found good books, good music and good drugs at 19 years old. Otherwise, who knows? I could’ve ended up at a Trump rally, punching protesters and acting like a jackbooted thug. Instead, I find myself firmly planted on the left, wondering how we can reach out to portions of Trump’s base.

***

In the age of social media, conspiracy theories and outright falsehoods often drown out rational debate and facts. FoxNews, AM Radio and the Alt-Right media have poisoned the well. In the process, they’ve bamboozled large segments of White America – both young and old.

Thanks to alternative news sources such as Breitbart and Alex Jones, tens of millions of Americans are being exposed to a quasi-Libertarian/Alt-Right ideology at a staggering pace. Breaking this web of propaganda will be an enormous task, but a necessary one. Here, existing alternative media outlets will be essential.

If we’re interested in exposing more working class and poor white Americans to leftwing ideas and radical politics, we’ll need to write and speak in a way that regular people can understand. In the real world, no one gives a fuck how smart you sound. In fact, I would argue that’s one of the reasons some of Trump’s supporters resent the MSNBC-Yuppie-Liberal-types: they come off as smug assholes.

***

Speaking of smug assholes, we can thank Rachel Maddow, the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN for Trump’s victory. The only thing more precious than their hubris and utter lack of journalistic integrity is their willingness to normalize a sexual predator and neofascist as president. If there’s any silver lining to this election, it’s that the liberal media has been exposed as the propaganda wing of the DNC.

Not only did they destroy Bernie’s chances (if he ever had any to begin with), they then tried to shove a neoliberal-hawk down our throats. But people didn’t buy it, especially black and brown people.

***

As we speak, tends of thousands of Americans are taking to the street to protest Trump and White Supremacy. While I wholeheartedly encourage and support those who are protesting, would Hillary have enjoyed such a reception from the left? Doubtful.

And where have the protests been for the last eight years of Obama’s drone wars and capitulation to Wall Street? Where was the outrage as Obama deported more immigrants in his first four years than Bush deported in his entire eight?

Yes, let’s protest. But let’s be more principled and sophisticated than we were during the Bush years. If 2020 or 2024 ends with another Obama, we’ve failed. In order for this not to happen, we’ll need to constantly reexamine what we’re doing, and why.

***

And this brings us to Veterans Day, one of the most hollow and absurd holidays in American society. Unless you have stock in Lockheed Martin or Goldman Sachs, there’s really no reason to thank me for my “service.” We destroyed Iraq and killed innocent people. We mutilated dead bodies and tortured prisoners. And we did it all for geopolitical and corporate interests.

Some studies suggest over 1,000,000 Iraqis have died as a result of America’s illegal and immoral war. The war in Iraq has also given the world ISIS. The war in Iraq destabilized an entire region of the planet (something conveniently forgotten by most Americans as they contemplate No Fly Zones in Syria). The war in Iraq has resulted in thousands of veterans suicides (22 a day). More marines from my platoon have killed themselves since returning home than died overseas.

But vets get to go home, at least most of them. The Iraqis have to live with the legacy of Uncle Sam’s madness for the rest of their lives. Everyone had better think about what all of this means as President-Elect Donald J. Trump, a man who openly mocked a Purple Heart recipient and joked about using nuclear weapons, takes office.

 

More articles by:

Vincent Emanuele writes for teleSUR English and lives in Michigan City, Indiana. He can be reached at vincent.emanuele333@gmail.com

March 26, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
How ISIS’s Brutal Project in the Middle East was Finally Overthrown
Joshua Frank
To Celebrate or to Not? The Mueller Question
George Ochenski
The Fox in the Henhouse: Bernhardt at Interior
Thomas Klikauer
Corporate Bullshit
William deBuys
12 Ways to Make Sense of the Border Mess
Robert Fisk
Ardern’s Response to Christchurch has Put Other Leaders to Shame, But Not for Its Compassion Alone
Binoy Kampmark
Disinviting Jordan Peterson: the Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge and Approved Ideas
James C. Kennedy
The Poisonous History of Neo-Classical Economics
Jenna Orkin
Quentin Crisp’s Posthumous Book, the Sequel
Elizabeth Keyes
My Russia Hot-Air Balloon
March 25, 2019
Jonathan Cook
Three Lessons for the Left from the Mueller Inquiry
Dave Lindorff
The TSA’s Role as Journalist Harasser and Media ‘Watchdog’
Tanya Golash-Boza – Michael Golash
Epifanio Camacho: a Militant Farmworker Brushed Out of History
Robert Fisk
Don’t Believe the Hype: Here’s Why ISIS Hasn’t Been Defeated
Jack Rasmus
The Capitulation of Jerome Powell and the Fed
Lawrence Davidson
Israel’s Moves to the Right
John Feffer
After Trump
James Ridgeway
Good Agent, Bad Agent: Robert Mueller and 9/11
Dean Baker
The Importance of Kicking Up: Changing Market Structures So the Rich Don’t Get All the Money
Lawrence Wittner
What Democratic Socialism Is and Is Not
Thomas Knapp
Suppressing Discussion Doesn’t Solve the Problem. It is the Problem.
Stephen Cooper
“I’m a Nine-Star General Now”: an Interview with Black Uhuru’s Duckie Simpson
Andrew Moss
Immigration and the Democratic Hopefuls
Weekend Edition
March 22, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Henry Giroux
The Ghost of Fascism in the Post-Truth Era
Gabriel Rockhill
Spectacular Violence as a Weapon of War Against the Yellow Vests
H. Bruce Franklin
Trump vs. McCain: an American Horror Story
Paul Street
A Pox on the Houses of Trump and McCain, Huxleyan Media, and the Myth of “The Vietnam War”
Andrew Levine
Why Not Impeach?
Bruce E. Levine
Right-Wing Psychiatry, Love-Me Liberals and the Anti-Authoritarian Left
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Darn That (American) Dream
Charles Pierson
Rick Perry, the Saudis and a Dangerous Nuclear Deal
Moshe Adler
American Workers Should Want to Transfer Technology to China
David Rosen
Trafficking or Commercial Sex? What Recent Exposés Reveal
Nick Pemberton
The Real Parallels Between Donald Trump and George Orwell
Binoy Kampmark
Reading Manifestos: Restricting Brenton Tarrant’s The Great Replacement
Brian Cloughley
NATO’s Expensive Anniversaries
Ron Jacobs
Donald Cox: Tale of a Panther
Joseph Grosso
New York’s Hudson Yards: The Revanchist City Lives On
REZA FIYOUZAT
Is It Really So Shocking?
Bob Lord
There’s Plenty of Wealth to Go Around, But It Doesn’t
John W. Whitehead
The Growing Epidemic of Cops Shooting Family Dogs
Jeff Cohen
Let’s Not Restore or Mythologize Obama 
Christy Rodgers
Achieving Escape Velocity
Monika Zgustova
The Masculinity of the Future
Jessicah Pierre
The Real College Admissions Scandal
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail