19 March 2016

Palm Beach, Florida – Having an interesting dinner at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate and residence – which may become the southern White House if fed-up American voters have their way.

One feels an air of whispered importance and gravitas here. After Trump’s smashing primary victories this past week, there’s a growing sense that the Donald is headed for victory while his legions of bitter opponents are left wringing their hands.

In fact, Trump is fast emerging as an American version of the People’s Tribunes of ancient Rome, the important state officials who voiced the people’s anger and concerns.

As the Trump revolution spreads, his enemies are desperately seeking ways to stop the Donald’s Juggernaut. Cries go to the heavens, “save the Republican Party before Trump wrecks it.”

As a life-long (but now fallen away) Republican, I say “good riddance”. More power to Trump to blast apart this deeply corrupt, cynical party steeped in political payoffs and religious fanaticism, and run by former used car dealers from Pocatello.

Many moons ago, I even began a run for Congress from my native New York City but was horrified to see the creatures that scuttled below the city’s political rocks. A senior party official who was also a prison guard advised me: “son, only two types of people go into politics. Those with no money like me; and those from rich families who do it for their egos.”

The Clintons are a perfect example of the former, two local Arkansas politicians who made millions by peddling influence. Trump fits the second category. He is a rough, tough, uncultured but wealthy New Yorker whose family there dates from the 1880’s when the city was the third largest German city in the world after Berlin and Hamburg.

Readers keep asking me what I think of Trump. My view: he is the worst of the candidates – except all the others.

Trump’s vows to expel 11 million illegal aliens is likely unworkable; his Great Wall on the Mexican border sounds like Pharaonic madness – except that all of its critics have no problem with Israel walling itself off from the Arab world.

The proposed banning of Muslims from the US is a disgusting ploy that plays to America’s low IQ red necks and far right religious conservatives, and drags America’s name through the mud of bigotry and ignorance. Trump has very much to learn about the Muslim world.

But Trump is right on target when he calls for an even-handed approach to resolving the Arab-Israeli struggle. By daring to utter the term “even-handed,” Trump sent the US Israel lobby into a fury, touching the third rail of US politics. Compare Trump’s sensible Mideast position to that of Rubio, Cruz, Kasich and Clinton who got on their knees to pledge allegiance to Israel.

After investing tens of millions in buying up the US Congress and influencing media, the pro-Israel neocon war party now sees its huge investment jeopardized and its power under attack. If Trump has his way, US Mideast policy will be written in Washington, not Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Billions of overt and secret US aid to Israel could be jeopardized.

In a big shock, Trump has reportedly called for the deeply flawed investigation on the 9/11 attacks to be reopened. The neo-con are going ballistic.

Right on cue, several dozen Republican foreign policy ‘experts,’ many from the Bush era, blasted Trump as ‘unfit’ to be president. These were the same idiots who championed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the greatest foreign policy disaster in modern US history.

Following the warnings of that great German-American, Dwight Eisenhower, Trump says he intends to end the current foolish confrontation with Russia that was engineered by the neocons and arms industry and deal with Russia as an equal. No more imperial foreign wars. The military industrial complex and the war party are up in arms.

Trump’s third target is Wall Street, and rightly so. New York’s bankers and financiers have bought Congress. Now, Trump questions the shameful tax break that Wall Street got its yes-men in Congress to write. The bankers want Trump’s head. He’s a class traitor, they moan.

Finally, Trump’s threats to undo trade deals and manufacturing displacement are music to the working classes’ ears. This writer, a former businessman, has always held executives who throw tens of thousands out of work and move manufacturing abroad to be knaves and even criminals.

Today, manufacturing in the US has fallen to only 12% of economic activity while finance has risen to 20%. Wall Street’s money lenders have kept the nation addicted to debt and wars. Trump might challenge this money oligarchy that has grown fabulously rich while the rest of America stagnates and lives from paycheck to paycheck.

Hillary Clinton has her armies of welfare recipients. Trump, so far, has armies of angry Americans.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2016

This post is in: USA


  1. Trump may claim he wants to reduce defense spending but he’d never get enough Senate/Congress votes to do anything about it. Those 2 houses remain firmly in the payroll of defense establishment campaign contributions.
    He has already recanted his more fair-handed approach to Israel/Palestine. He has seen the power of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and personally went and caved in to their concerns.

    • It takes a person of strong character to swim against such a strong current, which euphemistically speaking, drowned some courageous men before like Lincoln, JFK and RFK. It takes a lot of moral strength to dare follow in their footsteps, knowing that could very well be your destiny as well.

  2. Zeeshan7 says:

    While distasteful and woefully ill-informed on majoe issues, Trump’s bark is bigger than his bite. Enforcing a wall along the Mexican border, or banning Muslims from the US, plays into angry voter sentiments but will be impossible to implement, nor ever accepted by the remainder of the governing US body that approves bills and laws. His ‘neutral’ stance on the Israeli-Palestinian debacle was surprising and completely out of line with Republican historical approach of bending over for the Knesset (time will only tell). Hillary Clinton’s statements from last week to the far right think-tank AIPAC was nothing short of shameless. There is no other candidate suited to confront the likes of Trump. Hillary Clinton carries this air of entitlement that sees the election process like a minor irritant and is in for a rude shock come the election. Americans want a reality tv star who challenges the status strata that seems to hard to penetrate and get answers or accountability from. This election is about choosing the lesser evil.

    • I guess the lesser evil is still an evil… look what we ended up with in Canada…

      • It seems you are hurting, because we got rid of the personification of evil. The right always vilified Trudeau Sr., apparently because he tried to get rid of the old boys club, which wanted to maintain the status quo of imperialism. No wonder the Americans would love to have Justin run for president in the US. Sure, as a human he has his shortcomings, but they are like virtues compared to those of his predecessor, who would have sold out our entire country to the oil industry, and their insatiable greed was and still is trying to kill our common mother, Mother Nature. Greed is the malignant cancer of the mind and more dangerous than any of the physical varieties. If nothing else, Justin will give our Native peoples their long overdue rights. If we cannot or will not come to terms with our criminal ‘residential schools’ past, we will never be able to move ahead and become the beacon of civilization, that I see Canada capable of becoming. What we have at present in the world is a regression to the barbarism of our earliest ancestors.

      • Sorry Dik, but the fact that many Americans would love to have Justin for president, speaks volumes. Stevie never had that kind of rating, even though he was just a lackey of big oil.

    • HRC is beholden to Wallstreet, which in turn is manipulated to their own advantage by the 1%. Some or maybe even a lot of people are afraid of Bernie Sanders, because of him being Jewish, but that is not necessarily a minus. In fact I know some great Jews, who feel suffering because of the stigma, that has been put on the Jewish people by the likes of Netanyahu and the Zionist faction in Israel. I have first hand witnessed the plight and suffering of the Jews in occupied Europe and hoped it would soon be over and never happen again, but it never stopped. Just the criminals and victims traded places. We still have concentration camps; one is called Gaza and the other West Bank. And we still have dictators like in so many south American countries and not just in Africa. And we still have colonies, but now they have different owners, oppressors and slave drivers, who exploit the masses.

  3. Joe from Canada says:

    Eric: as one who looks forward to your weekly columns, I request that you consider, and respond to, a serious problem in current TV news-casting.

    I recently watched CNN for a straight three hours one afternoon.

    Two and one half of that three hours were spent on Donald Trump.

    The entire time focussed on the question of why Trump would not attend a debate….as though this was earth-shattering news.

    None of this programme dealt with issues. All emotions.

    The other half hour was split between the rest of the Republicans.

    The one person, Bernie Sanders, who is actually running on a platform to make America more fair, received about one minute of coverage.

    Bernie Sanders is presenting a reasonable campaign on taxes, environment, foreign policy, and democratization.

    In Canada, that is not raving socialism; that is middle of the road common sense.

    Bernie’s message contains many of your long-expressed ideals.

    Please: 1) give him the coverage he deserves, and 2) ask your fellow journalists to do the same.

    Bernie is probably the closest thing to revive Norman Rockwell’s America; the America of Eisenhower Republicans.

    Thank you.

  4. Thanks for this. It is about time we heard from someone in the media who isn’t owned by the corporations of America. He concerns me but like you said he is the terror of the billionaires who also own all the media in America and even a huge amount here in Canada. In a way Trump seems to be the personification of genius and madness being the same thing.

  5. Some comments:
    As observed earlier, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RTKBA) supported by the Republicans, has a corollary… it also permits one to ‘shoot himself in the foot’. This seems to have been taken up by the Republican party.
    This should not be taken as an anti-gun stance, I’m very pro-gun.
    I can see Trump moving on to President due to general public lack of satisfaction or confidence with the existing political system. The system is broken for both main parties and seriously needs fixing.
    We have a similar problem in Canada.
    Trump is a clever person unlike many of the protagonists involved in this ‘game’. He has many failings and one can only hope that he surrounds himself with ‘capable’ people to assist him; else, he can be a disaster of ‘biblical proportions’. In Canada, Trudeau the Elder, didn’t want a second opinion, and to prevent this, he surrounded himself with ‘dullards’.
    If elected, Trump can be a breath of fresh air in Western politics and there can be significant ‘shake ups’.
    It is refreshing to see the increase in activity of those that have never voted in past; this can only be a good thing. It is also interesting to see that protest groups have sprung up… activity in this manner is good; people, hopefully, are thinking. It should also be noticed that no one in authority is blocking these protests. Had the protests been civil rights or Vietnam war related, the National Guard would have been in place.
    It is going to get really interesting if Trump has all the delegates he needs and the GOP refuses to move forward. Trump will not take this ‘lying down’. This could seriously hurt the Republican party more so than their current actions.
    The alternative, Hillary, the wicked *itch of the West is even less palatable.
    Glad to see the Republicans are blocking Obama’s Supreme Court nominee… He would enhance the US drift towards a total police state. This activity is seen as Republicans being obstructionists due to their past ‘foolish’ behaviour.

  6. This column seems to be in conflict with the MSM, because now I am in for a fair deal of researching to ascertain, that what I was led to believe is slightly different from the opinion expressed here. I almost accept Eric`s views as beyond question, but at my age only steps are manageable not leaps and certainly not those of faith. The veracity of the expressed views here is almost self evident. Trump even reminds me of Adolf of the 1930`s, with the same kind of rhetoric and after surviving Adolf, I am not so keen reliving a repetition of that. I have a basic and natural aversion to anything GOP, because of its sickening attitude about religion and its subservience to Israel. It will be hard to find something objective about this issue, but it will not be for the lack of trying, if I don`t find any. Does anybody have any constructive suggestions?

  7. Steve_M. says:

    I agree with most of Eric’s assessment of Trump, but I don’t really believe Trump’s promise to reduce military spending. He talks tough now, but if he were to become president, it’s unlikely that he would stand up to the Pentagon as strongly as he says he would. Obama was likely afraid to stand up to the military-industrial complex, and with good reason. Add to that the fact that this complex likely saved the US from sliding into outright depression after the 2008-2009 financial crisis, and you can see why Obama was reluctant to tamper with it. Trump, who is full of hot air and really more bluff than anything else, would be unlikely to take any steps that could harm his own financial interests. His other promises to deport millions of illegal immigrants and build a wall along the Mexican border are nothing but hot air; the INS would have to find most of the illegals first and a wall along the southern border wouldn’t serve its purpose anyway. Anyone voting for Trump could be in for a big disappointment if he wins in November.

    • Steve_M. says:

      It also doesn’t matter all that much who wins in November, because Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will have to face a hostile, Republican-controlled Congress which will almost certainly stand in the way of getting her or his agenda enacted.

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