May 7, 2016

NEW YORK – It’s been a treat watching the arrogant, Masters of the Universe Republicans wring their hands and ululate over the terror that is Donald Trump.

Most of my serious Republican friends don’t know what to do: they yearn to be close to power, but fear backing Trump will make them pariahs at their local golf club. So they are still hiding in the closet.

‘I am Shiva, destroyer of worlds!’ That’s Trump’s message to America’s oligarchs. And scared they should be because of even a modest Trump revolution would threatens their corrupt, stultified political system and their wallets.

As a former conservative Republican who has watched his lifelong party become a vehicle for special interests and religious fundamentalists, I say ‘blow it to smithereens.’ Build a new party that represents America’s 99%, not the gilded 1%.

I’m sick of reading the New York Times sneer at ‘uneducated white male workers who support Trump.’ What about all the welfare recipients who are the core of Hilary Clinton’s supporters?

Trump is an American Mussolini who vows to make the trains run on time. But at a deeper level, he threatens three of the nation’s most sacred cows: 1. imperial war-making, the American Empire, and the military industrial complex; 2. the vast power of Wall Street and its shameful tax breaks; 3. the Israel lobby and its undue influence over US foreign policy.

No wonder his candidacy has produced so much fierce opposition and cries of anguish. Trump is remarkably brave, or incredibly foolish, to gore all these sacred cows at the same time.

Still, Trump is answering a deep current in American politics, dating from the Founding Fathers, that wants to avoid foreign entanglements and wars. Foes call this isolationism. In the Trump view, the US has drained its resources and mental energy waging wars abroad that have brought it no benefit at all except a rickety empire.

In 2015, US warplanes dropped 23,144 heavy bombs on six Muslim nations. US forces are now fighting in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and West Africa. Do we really wonder why so many furious Muslims want revenge against the west? Trump has yet to understand this.

But Trump is right when he says no more foreign wars. Equally important, it’s time to begin dismantling the US Empire which is precisely what invites attacks we call ‘terrorism.’

Today, NATO does not defend the US or Europe. It is a control mechanism that keeps Europe under American strategic domination. It should have been ditched when the Soviet Union collapsed. Instead, we see the Washington neocons who control the Obama administration’s policy planning to send a full US armored brigade to Russia’s western border, and intensifying air and naval patrols there. Madness, and likely stepping stones to a new war.

Candidate Trump advocates grown-up dialogue and cooperation with Russia and an end to Hillary Clintons’ crass war-mongering and hate Putin campaign.

Trump’s call for ‘even-handed’ US policy in the Mideast was greeted with fury and horror by Israel’s partisans who are now asking Washington for $4.2 billion in annual military aid.

But Trump’s daring effort to forge peace in the Mideast has run head-on into the mighty US Israel lobby which helped orchestrate a ferocious anti-Trump media campaign.

Now, it appears Trump has met his match. Pro-Israel billionaire Sheldon Adelson has just made peace with Trump and announced he will support the Republican candidate. This sends an important message out to Israel’s supporters to lay off the Donald. In return, Trump just announced he actually favors more Israeli settlements on the Occupied West Bank.

Meanwhile, the slighted Republican establishment is still sulking and won’t endorse Trump – yet. Its leaders are right when they say Trump must change his speech regarding Mexicans and Muslims. But they don’t really care about either.

What they really do care about is the danger of cutting the Pentagon’s $700 billion annual budget, protecting the military industrial complex, and defending Wall Street from government investigation. After all, it’s Wall Street that funds Congress.

The Republicans opposing Trump are not, as they claim, conservatives. They are advocates of big, big government, foreign wars, welfare for favored industries, tax breaks for farmers and key supporters. And, of course, almost half of GOP voters call themselves fundamentalist Christians, making today’s party a semi theocratic, far right political movement.

Real conservatives are for low taxes, small government, no foreign wars and states rights. Rather what Trump is preaching.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2016

This post is in: USA


  1. Some comments:

    I look at the broken American politican system and, almost in tears, realise that the Canadian one is not much better… politicians can hop away on a junket and waste more money in a few days/weeks than I would pay in income tax in a decade or two. They have no fiscal responsibility and it filters down to the lowly (and overpaid) civil servant.
    Now off my apple box…
    I’m a little fearful of Trump, and can only hope that he surrounds himself with knowledgeable others (a failure of Trudeau Sr. a man who didn’t want/need a second opinion)… and therein lies the rub… Trump has to pick new ‘others’, those that are not caught up in the current maelstrom. It will be interesting and tricky.
    Your comment about Adelson is a little disconcerting. The settlement on the west bank is wrong and has been similarly condemned by the UN… but no one listens… this gives it some legitimacy.
    I think the founding fathers of the US would be pleased… and also very disappointed in what their great nation has evolved to. Trump has an opportunity to fix this and restore a government into, maybe, what it should be. If so, he has a real chore ahead, and it could take several terms to undo the damage of the last five decades.
    The current group of Republicans have ‘blinders on’ and haven’t come to grips with who the Republican President might be. Rather than denounce him, they should ‘jump on the bandwagon’ to promote their party; I mentioned earlier that the right to keep and bear arms has a corollary about the right of ‘shooting yourself in the foot’. This is a foolish position and only harms their chances for the White House.
    I’ve noticed that European leaders have become a little more mellow about Trump, and not as negative. I suspect it is due to the prospects of him being in the White House.
    Paul Ryan, the speaker, might consider looking for a new job… he is not doing the Republican Party any good…
    The Bushes, dad, lad and Jeb, should be put out to pasture where they can ruminate in silence… they are not doing the Republican Party any good either…
    It will be interesting how the ‘great mass’ of Republicans shift as Trump solidifies his power even more. To be in his position, he is not a ‘stupid person’ and has a large number of clever resourceful people… he just has to utilise them.

    • Joe from Canada says:

      Boy, are you misinformed about Canada.
      There was a day when I admired America. That was before I saw the obsession with race, the love of guns, and the goofy contempt for medicare.
      Perhaps the next generation will stop worshipping the 1%…mostly, those in military, weapons or oil business.

  2. Joe from Canada says:

    Mr. Margolis:

    I have been a long-time follower and admirer of your writing.

    This is your third recent article on Trump.

    I am surprised that the candidate who most emulates your values is still ignored in your writings.

    Bernie Sanders offers what America needs, but not in a bellicose way.

    Please support him.

  3. Steve_M. says:

    As president, Trump might well try to take on the military-industrial establishment and cut it down to size, but I doubt that he would succeed. Assuming that the Republicans retain control of both the House and Senate in the November elections, they would likely block any serious attempt by either Trump or Clinton to cut the Pentagon’s bloated budget. Remember that in 1995 or 1996, the then Republican-controlled Congress sent the Defense budget back for revision – telling the Pentagon to raise the proposed amount of spending to help keep some military bases open and otherwise keep the military-industrial complex happy. Note that the military-industrial complex’s companies are important contributors to the Republican Party, which as Eric suggests is merely their smiling wooden dummy.

    As for the low taxes that Trump is said to champion, note that he is not at all calling for a flat income tax rate and is not proposing to give the highest income earners a particularly big tax break.

    Trump is mostly hot air and he would not do anything that might jeopardize his own investments. I would not be too swept up by many of his promises.

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