Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!

Make America Late Again

The Democrats never really wanted to win the 2016 Presidential election. They sabotaged the Bernie Sanders campaign, stealing over half the votes in California among many other tricks. WikiLeaks revealed that they promoted the “fringe candidate” Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton didn’t visit anywhere that her Flavia bag wouldn’t fit in. When it turned out the election was “rigged” in all the wrong ways, they, like Al Gore passed on fighting it. The two most prominent traits of Hillary and the Democrats are that they are upmarket and tone death. The former probably led to the latter, and both have combined to form a gaping hole in their strategy.

Donald Trump is more posh than upmarket, and while he did get bopped in the popular vote, he gained enough support to leave us all fucked, and the Democrats should regret that they never took seriously the appeal he had. Trump had a certain momentous and catastrophic eroticism that appealed to a growing number of people who have little to lose.

As the United States becomes increasing reliant on Trump’s profession (television), we become increasingly neurotic and illiterate. Trump watches a lot of television. His rhetoric never wavered from a digestible and ugly sound bite. The mainstream media has become a 24 hour reality show. Gossip Trumps war every time. You would think a war zone might get ratings as well, considering how much Americans love a Tom Cruise explosion. The media likes the strange, but not if it’s stranger than fiction. Sanders might have got a fair amount of ratings from the jobless and steamed up millennials, but he was completely boxed out. Trump crushed Sanders on “ABC World News Tonight”, 81 minutes to 20 seconds. ABC is too many letters to read anymore anyways, and if the major media outlets do another merger, they should just shorten their name to “Broadcast Station”, with the abbreviation “BS”.

The Trump treasure hunt, which was 24 hours on seemingly every channel featured daily stimulation, daily outrage and daily short digestible meaningless violent messages. But more importantly, none of the non-Trumpers, whether that be Sanders, Stein, Johnson, Clinton, or the 15 pairs of undersized hands formally known as the Republican establishment, were truly porn. While Clinton might have been the only legitimately nauseous one, all seemed like they were playing a step behind. There was an expectation that the moderators of the discussion (the media) were serious, even if they were unfair. The circus might be detestable but it is the only show in town.

Of course Trump was a serious candidate, or at least he won. This guy is a brilliant politician, he really is. He is already showing that he was full of complete rubbish with his cabinet picks, but it’s too late now folks. Hillary’s margin of loss in Pennsylvania is still larger than the amount of emails she has deleted. For Hillary to have a chance, they need to make Trump votes the new subject of the Clinton Foundation.

The real problem with Hillary though? She just wasn’t sexy. Trump was instant porn, and he was able to get billions in free media because of it. Outrageous as he was convicted, dependably savage as he was unpredictable, Trump knew that he should whip his dick out at every turn. If that got boring, put it back in and whip it out when the media isn’t looking so they never leave your side again. My favorite example of this was when he told the media he was going to admit that Barack Obama was a citizen of the United States (if he wasn’t, Obama would have deported himself already, 2.5 million!). Hillary started this nastiness via a late night ad in 2008, back when she was only two decades past her expiration date. Anyways, Trump didn’t say anything about Obama at first, instead using the time to talk about the vets he was soon to take the health care away from. When the media was about to pan away (presumably to talk about how experts were saying that Trump was about to start losing), he delivered the punchline.

Hillary was quite the opposite. She relied on algorithms, not rhythm. Any instincts she had were lost to the abyss of the cozy experts. What was the point of having so many experts if they all said the same thing? To his credit, Bill Clinton supposedly was vouching to visit the working class. Although his was probably because he wanted a cheaper mistress.

In the early going for 2020, Kanye West seems like the most winnable option. This is a sign that we should completely blow up the two party system, but I am being pretty serious here. He is like Trump and the United States in so many ways, he stars in a reality show and is entitled, reckless, unpredictable, creative, psychotic, narcissistic and visually oriented. Plus, he might get some black people out to vote, seeing he hasn’t called them super-predators. He and his wife, Kim Kardashian are held in contempt by the moralizing eyes of the high brow professional/celebrity loud majority, just as Trump was. Although someone who actually holds the traits of a entitled baby will most likely turn on the people as Trump has. We need someone who can understand their electorate because they love them, not because they think they are stupid (as Trump said about the Republican base pre-campaign). We need someone who is as trusting as they instinctual. Where having good values and trusting your humanity are consistent, not a contradiction.

The Democrats are no longer the party of the people, and no longer the people of the party. Trump brought the ruckus while the Clintons hid away in their cocktail parties. Mike Pence, who was for reallocating AIDS treatment funding to gay conversion therapy, at least portrayed some sort of convicted climax potential. Tim Kaine was so corny I got a hard on when he started to speak Spanish, just because I couldn’t understand him anymore.

The Clinton campaign was enormously frustrating. Every note of realness was qualified, every note of passion was checked. There was no inspiration and no connection. It was absorbed in the small bubble that neoliberalism has benefited. Trump reached the masses who it didn’t, and won despite scapegoating huge portions of the voting base. We should not attempt to replicate his bullying of the marginalized, but we should learn from his penetration of the powerful. We learned that a huge chunk of the country wants to see something blown up, and an even bigger part of the country (by popular vote) is generally more accepting of a variety of people, if not just as ignorant. It is going to be difficult to be as cheap and flashy as Trump without being as cruel, but a charismatic individual could reach a lot of people, if they are just too juicy for the media to ignore. The tools for reaching mass amounts of folks have never been broader. Right now these technological tools of progress that are hailed by many of the capitalists are used to manufacture our consent. However, they proved to be so greedy and short sighted to ignore a hurricane that could have hurt them.

The authoritarian recklessness of Trump reminded me of Dr. Frank N. Furter. Hillary was Dr. Everett V. Scott, reliant on coldness and passibility that enflamed the naughty party while leaving the instigator of such moralizing paralyzed. In all fairness, I can understand why women wouldn’t want Clinton to be a sex symbol. The first woman President should have the right to wear a pantsuit if she wants to. However, it is clear that the Democrats need to start having some fun. This is supposed to be the party that can let us have sex and do drugs, and in a bought system the social issues might be our last glimmer of hope.

We need more than Bernie Sanders’ “political revolution”. We need a full force love revolution. Where we truly value people, planet, and peace over profit. That does not mean an endless moralizing about our “values”, it means real, authentic love. If the choice is between love and war and hate and war, hate and war is bound to win. We need mass civil disobedience not just on our streets, but on our spectacle stage of election as well. Trump proved one could topple the establishment by being too outrageous a spectacle to ignore. If we want to inject the masses with the kind of spice needed to beat him in 2020, we need to show that liberalism can be more than a judgmental and limiting meritocracy. It’s time to take out our balls and put them on the table. CNN is so addicted to porn they will start the cameras, and Trump showed that exposure can beat cash. We can learn from Trump’s campaign, and we must act quickly and boldly as his hijacking of the system will make it even harder for such an upset to be replicated.

More articles by:

Nick Pemberton writes and works from Saint Paul, Minnesota. He loves to receive feedback at 

Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
David Yearsley
Shock-and-Awe Inside Oracle Arena