FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

What Trump’s Win Means: a View From Cuba

Havana.

At the onset of the 2016 presidential elections, the elites of the Democratic and Republican parties did not think the issue would be anything but business as usual. The next president of the nation would inevitably have the surname of one of the families who had ruled before: Bush or Clinton; and life in the superpower would continue to be neoliberal capitalist, without changes, as in the last three decades.

But it did not work out that way. It has been consistently shown that, despite the fact that all other elements of power remained the same, the population of the country did not want more of the same. They wanted something new and different in the nation that presumes itself to be a model of democracy for the planet.

Since the previous stage of the process, it became clear that “the oven was not ready for baking” when, within each of the traditional parties, differences were highlighted by unexpected dissent. That made it clear that the phenomenon was not a matter of cosmetic adjustments but of deep surgery. According to the US political qualification patterns, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders were identified respectively as “the right of the Right” and “the left of the Left”. They had the support of the Republican and Democrat majorities.

Bernie Sanders’ campaign fell victim to the Democratic party machinery. Insensitive to the expressed tendency, it insisted on the figure of Hillary Clinton who later lost in a fight where she represented the discontented past. The alternative was the billionaire, populist and demagogue Donald Trump. He lacked the determined support of the Republican establishment. Together with many of the main figures of that machine against him, he was elected despite his proven status as racist, sexist, abusive and systematic target of media mockery.

Although in appearance the bipartisan system of Democrats and Republicans survives, Trump’s victory represents a disaster for the system. The direct and populist style of the now President-elect, appealing to the lowest instincts of certain sectors of society –very different from the usual tone of US politicians– gave him a touch of authenticity in the eyes of the most disaffected sector of the right-wing electorate.

The Republican candidate was able to identify the presence of what can be called a “grassroots rebellion” and the growing gap between the political, economic, intellectual and media elites, on the one side, and the foundation of the conservative electorate, on the other. His rhetoric against Washington and Wall Street captivated the less-educated white voters and sectors impoverished by the effects of economic globalization, which benefited the corporations.

Trump went as far as to say that he was not competing against Hillary but against the dishonest media. This confrontation with media power antagonized the journalistic sector but rallied the support of voters exhausted by corporate media outrages.

Better than anyone else, Trump saw the widening gap between the political, economic, intellectual and media elites, and the base of the conservative electorate.

Trump is not a conventional right-winger. He defines himself as “a conservative with common sense”. He does not oppose the political model, but the politicians who have been running it. His speech is emotional and spontaneous; it appeals to people´s instincts, not to their brains or reason. He speaks for that part of the American people where discouragement and discontent have taken root. He addressed people tired of traditional politics and promised to bring honesty to the system and renew names and attitudes.

The media have given a lot of publicity to his most extreme statements and proposals, such as that he would prohibit Muslims from entering the country, expel the 11 million Latin American undocumented immigrants, and build a three thousand kilometer (1864 miles) border wall –whose $20 billion cost would be borne by the government of Mexico– to prevent the entry of Latin American immigrants.

Criticizing the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the constitutional right to same-sex marriage, Trump stated that the marriage of a man and a woman is “the basis of a free society”. He supported so-called “religious freedom¨ laws promoted in several states to deny services to LGBT persons. He said that climate change is a concept “created by and for the Chinese, to make the US manufacturing sector lose competitiveness “.

In truth, it could be said that Trump did not win; instead that it was Hillary Clinton and the Democrats who lost.

A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.

More articles by:

Manuel E. Yepe is a lawyer, economist and journalist. He is a professor at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana.

June 18, 2018
Paul Street
Denuclearize the United States? An Unthinkable Thought
John Pilger
Bring Julian Assange Home
Conn Hallinan
The Spanish Labyrinth
Patrick Cockburn
Attacking Hodeidah is a Deliberate Act of Cruelty by the Trump Administration
Gary Leupp
Trump Gives Bibi Whatever He Wants
Thomas Knapp
Child Abductions: A Conversation It’s Hard to Believe We’re Even Having
Robert Fisk
I Spoke to Palestinians Who Still Hold the Keys to Homes They Fled Decades Ago – Many are Still Determined to Return
Steve Early
Requiem for a Steelworker: Mon Valley Memories of Oil Can Eddie
Jim Scheff
Protect Our National Forests From an Increase in Logging
Adam Parsons
Reclaiming the UN’s Radical Vision of Global Economic Justice
Dean Baker
Manufacturing Production Falls in May and No One Notices
Laura Flanders
Bottom-Up Wins in Virginia’s Primaries
Binoy Kampmark
The Anguish for Lost Buildings: Embers and Death at the Victoria Park Hotel
Weekend Edition
June 15, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Dan Kovalik
The US & Nicaragua: a Case Study in Historical Amnesia & Blindness
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Yellow Journalism and the New Cold War
Charles Pierson
The Day the US Became an Empire
Jonathan Cook
How the Corporate Media Enslave Us to a World of Illusions
Ajamu Baraka
North Korea Issue is Not De-nuclearization But De-Colonization
Andrew Levine
Midterms Coming: Antinomy Ahead
Louisa Willcox
New Information on 2017 Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Deaths Should Nix Trophy Hunting in Core Habitat
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Singapore Fling
Ron Jacobs
What’s So Bad About Peace, Man?
Robert Hunziker
State of the Climate – It’s Alarming!
L. Michael Hager
Acts and Omissions: The NYT’s Flawed Coverage of the Gaza Protest
Dave Lindorff
However Tenuous and Whatever His Motives, Trump’s Summit Agreement with Kim is Praiseworthy
Robert Fantina
Palestine, the United Nations and the Right of Return
Brian Cloughley
Sabre-Rattling With Russia
Chris Wright
To Be or Not to Be? That’s the Question
David Rosen
Why Do Establishment Feminists Hate Sex Workers?
Victor Grossman
A Key Congress in Leipzig
John Eskow
“It’s All Kinderspiel!” Trump, MSNBC, and the 24/7 Horseshit Roundelay
Paul Buhle
The Russians are Coming!
Joyce Nelson
The NED’s Useful Idiots
Lindsay Koshgarian
Trump’s Giving Diplomacy a Chance. His Critics Should, Too
Louis Proyect
American Nativism: From the Chinese Exclusion Act to Trump
Stan Malinowitz
On the Elections in Colombia
Camilo Mejia
Open Letter to Amnesty International on Nicaragua From a Former Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience
David Krieger
An Assessment of the Trump-Kim Singapore Summit
Jonah Raskin
Cannabis in California: a Report From Sacramento
Josh Hoxie
Just How Rich Are the Ultra Rich?
CJ Hopkins
Awaiting the Putin-Nazi Apocalypse
Mona Younis
We’re the Wealthiest Country on Earth, But Over 40 Percent of Us Live in or Near Poverty
Dean Baker
Not Everything Trump Says on Trade is Wrong
James Munson
Trading Places: the Other 1% and the .001% Who Won’t Save Them
Rivera Sun
Stop Crony Capitalism: Protect the Net!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail