—THE POLITICS BEHIND THE MASKS—
The Wages of Contrarianism
Wherein the author explains all about a likely Clinton-Trump Deal, why “support” for Donald Trump (barf) is theoretically preferable, and how Hillary can still win it.
Faced with the very serious problem of being simultaneously widely despised, and yet entitled to be the next President of the United States, Clinton’s superiors and handlers devised a brilliant strategy. Let’s have Hillary run against Trump, the only human being in the US who fulfills the two most important roles for her: makes her look better by comparison, and scares voters into voting.
Hillary Clinton is your standard Zionist, pro-War, pro-Empire, austerity candidate. These are expected positions for any realistic candidate in the American system to be considered electable. Except for the problem that she’s extraordinarily unlikeable, which actually makes her unelectable. Yet oddly – while she’s an overachiever – thanks to consultants and other people paid to be honest, she’s somewhat aware of this tiny image problem. Imagine yourself as the guy or gal whose job it is to lay out the ugly truth for Clinton, and you’ll instantly understand the enormity of that task, and also why Clinton believes she’s a better person for ‘admitting’ this problem privately, and tackling it head-on.
Now there are quite a few well-known tricks in politicking, and a few of these are all about ‘image’. Yes, you look at your opponent and their image, and you find that it’s based on how they look and act, and other things they represent – mind you, not their positions, but what they ‘represent’, their ‘image’: a whole array of non-verbal, non-textual and socially-based cues. Then you contrast yourself to that. You want to contrast your image on those things which you think makes you shine, and either creates that ‘halo’ effect around you, or makes the other person look like Satan. This much is pretty basic, and we all get this.
When it comes to issues, well in America really these are much less important in politics than symbolic representation. Now activists and policy wonks may not agree with this because in their religion all voters are actually passionate about abortion, global warming, immigration, the new Cold War and other things that possibly matter. But the reality is that they are a slim minority who are essentially just pawns in the early stage of an election, the part where you mobilize the base. After that, it’s all just ‘feelings’, posturing, and tossing around slogans and key phrases, which are rarely backed by actual policies and real plans.
The key to Obama’s success was in understanding this fact. But issues can sort of relate to what you represent, so it is important at times to mutter a few things that basically gesture in the direction of your image. Also, your image serves as a substitute for having to say anything on the issues that sort of seem to relate to your image, but sometimes it’s okay to vaguely reference the thing that the character you’re playing might actually say in real life. So long as it isn’t too definitive or something you can be held to account for later on, you’re in the clear. Look, it works just like casting. If you aren’t a good writer, say you are George Lucas, and you need a villain, you just cast someone who looks, well, villainous. That saves you the trouble of actually having to flesh out and develop the character. You just use these short cuts and appeal directly to the base expectations of the lowest common denominator.
So, image is very important, and human beings – as social beings – have an image and a meaning only in contrast to the world and to other human beings. That’s one thing that makes elections – popularity contests – such a human thing indeed. The issues aren’t very important, you can have them, you can change them, you can explain your changes, but mostly voters can’t remember what they were or how they changed anyways. What is extremely difficult to change, and what probably will never change, is your image. Now to be clear, there is just one single way that an image can change, and that is through a very convincing, very public, but not too drawn-out repentance.
If your opponent is actually right or close to right in messaging on certain ‘issues’, then – if time is on your side and nothing is urgent – you let them play out the discourse on that issue, get a read on the feedback and the most popular criticisms of that position, and then stake out a position which says all the popular things of your opponent, but also includes the criticism. It doesn’t matter if it’s contradictory. Voters who are really into the whole voting thing really just project their hopes and fears onto a candidate, so naturally they will just filter out those things and just hear the things they want to hear anyway. It’s a wonderful thing, and it’s a problem that solves itself.
Democrats start the game with a certain advantage, which is that there are more registered Democrats than there are Republicans. The real problem comes when we realize that Democrats are slightly less likely to vote, and are slightly more likely to vote for a Republican in the case that they prefer them. This means that a Democrat candidate has to work on ‘GOTV’ (get out the vote) and making sure that they contrast their image, and positions, in such a way that speaks to the hearts of these luke-warm Democrat swing voters. To turn out the vote, you can’t just have a center candidate running against a center candidate. And, you can’t have a basically decent person running against a basically decent person. Nothing is at stake in that case. No one really cares too much. For a lot of really funny reasons that aren’t at all actually related to the historical record, Republicans carry with them this sort of aura of “fiscal responsibility”, which voters interpret as lower taxes and prudent decision-making – and so all other things being equal, this normally turns things for Republicans, and a few Democrats just sit it out.
Therefore every winning Democrat election which reaches beyond the local, practical issues, has to be large in scope, it has to be historic and symbolic, representative and – yes – the most important election in your lifetime. It has to be larger than life. It must encapsulate the struggle of ‘democracy against fascism’, of good vs. evil, that really fires people up to vote.
Obama ran on ‘hope’, and through his image [liberal] voters were able to find redemption for their racist sins, cleanse the country of its shameful history of slavery, to make a real change and dream the dream of MLK; they could partake in communion and drink of the blood and eat of the flesh of this great savior of American humanity. Voters were ‘fired up!’ for Obama.
Clinton does not possess these fantastic traits, so she has to come up with something. Now, there is probably something even stronger than hope, and it’s a function of the oldest part of the brain, the amygdala. It controls the famous four F’s. Two of these are immediate fear based instincts – fighting and fleeing. So without hope, you have ‘fear’ to campaign on. From an evolutionary perspective, it’s very simple. You can hope for something, but if you fail to respond to your hopes, you are still where you are – nothing gained, nothing lost. But if you fail to respond to your fears, you may not survive to ever ‘hope’ for anything ever again. So fear is a stronger instinct than hope. We are probably just wired that way. It should probably be mentioned that some Obama voters were probably also motivated by fear, not fear of the other candidate, but a fear of being considered racist, reactionary, and well, simply behind the times.
“…fear is a stronger instinct than hope.”
But people are genuinely afraid of Clinton. Besides her cackles and sneers, besides her image as an arrogant, sociopathic, spiteful and selfish, power-mad person, people are just genuinely afraid of her. It goes beyond the trail of dead bodies behind her that started to pile up in Arkansas in the 80’s. It even goes beyond her direct and very personal murdering of one of the greatest African leaders in the history of the world. It’s more than this. She provokes this instinctual response in people. It’s a part of her essence that just oozes from every pore. It’s an inseparable part of her existence on this temporal plane. Clinton has simply incarnated on Earth in this way.
The woman card is actually not going to play well for Clinton, it never has. She possesses actually not one of the qualities that make female candidates generally likable. And in general, it’s not an issue. While the US has never had a woman president, it’s old hat in the rest of the world. It’s nothing at all like the first black president – which would be in France like having a French Algerian win the race. But we’ve already had our Thatchers, Kirchners, and Merkels and so on. It’s no big deal.
So Clinton cannot really run as Clinton, she has to just be as unremarkable and inoffensive as possible during this election; she has to be the person that those wishy-washy Democrat voters will turn out for, because there is a much greater and far more evil danger if they do not. Enter Donald Trump.
Thank God for focus groups. When shown a photo of Hillary Clinton, respondents were no doubt asked: what are the first six words that come to mind? Arrogance, Sociopathy, Entitlement, Greed, Soullessness, Selfishness.
This is a giant hurdle. Her goal then is to make this election about voting against Trump, not voting for Clinton per se. It’s more than the lesser of two evils – it’s the idea of villanizing Trump (by just letting Trump play the role, mostly based on his own real life character) to such an extent that we actually forget who Clinton is, what she has done, that she is a murderer and war criminal, and that across the political spectrum from left-to-right, we all basically despise what she represents, and who she is, in a deep and profound way.
So this campaign must focus on the real and sheer danger that Donald Trump represents. Now of course it’s clear that he’s actually going to excite and motivate some real grass roots and populist elements of the Republican Party, and with some of his foreign policy ‘gestures’, he’s also going to pick up some of the Ron Paul crowd too. But remember for Clinton this is about just two types of voters, both of which are already Democrats: Democrats who wouldn’t otherwise turn out to vote, and Democrats who are sometimes prone to vote for a Republican. If nearly all Democrats vote, and if nearly all Democrats who vote indeed vote for the Democrat candidate – then, presto-change-o – Clinton is your president.
For this to work, conclusively and indisputably, Donald Trump must fulfill two important roles: first his image must contrast to Clinton’s so that all of her worst image traits: arrogance, sociopathy, entitlement, greed, soullessness, selfishness — are in fact transferred into him. Second: these passive, standing traits must be transformed into a platform of action, one that we must all be terribly afraid of. We must see Trump as Bush on steroids, and prepared to destroy life on earth. Trump must compel voters to run out of fear to the voting booths and poke the chads for Clinton.
Let’s be real.
Political campaigns are both an art and a science. In the US, they are also highly corrupt and – okay painfully naive people may just not want to read further (spoiler alert!) – the whole thing is basically staged and a set-up. Most of the time, both candidates from the ‘two’ (actually one) parties are carefully vetted by the important power elite groups – what the hard left calls the ‘capitalist class’, and what the radical right calls ‘globalists’ and ‘banksters’ (oh yes and ‘the jooz’) – ranging from the military industrial complex, to the Zionists, the CFR, the Bilderberg group, Wall Street and the ‘too big to fail’, even the old Trilateral Commission has a say.
No matter who wins, domestic and foreign policy will be about the same, and life will go on. America’s complex and problematic, irresolvable issues of class and race will continue to eat away at the inside, while its disastrous foreign policy and the global de-dollarization process will weaken the dollar and reduce the scope and authority of the US as a ‘global leader’. Sometimes these power elite groups, for bigger narrative reasons important to the overall script of the ‘America story’ will all get behind one candidate beforehand. That was probably the case actually with most of the presidents in the last three decades, at least with Reagan, Bill Clinton, Bush and Obama. If the ‘slated to lose’ candidate – who is absolutely safe and vetted, but not ‘right’ for the ‘America story’ script at this time – looks like they have bucked the media campaign and the smear efforts and just may take it on election day itself, then Diebold will produce an undoubtedly beautiful array of anomalies that will bestow victory onto the chosen candidate.
Trump is not entirely an idiot and rather displays some strong innate abilities, moments of good intuition about human nature, and in part of his own thinking, he’s perhaps hoping to use this deal with Clinton – oh, did I forget to mention that this is a deal between them? – to leverage himself to an actual position to win. It definitely places him big-time in politics, a place he’s never really been before.
It’s been well documented for over a decade that Trump and the Clintons are close; in fact Trump is a lifelong Democrat (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-money-drew-hillary-clinton-wedding/story?id=32936868) and has donated millions upon millions to the Clintons in particular. At the end of the day, though, the reason that Clinton also really likes Trump and sought him out for this project is that Trump probably doesn’t care about winning and he’s a loyal friend.
But he likes to look like a winner. And if he’s not elected president, but still feels like a winner, that’s great for Trump. If Clinton wins the presidency, then the presidency is a loser title anyhow, and the whole thing is rigged. It’s rather simple for Trump. His brand only grows from all of this, and there will be innumerable ways that he can pull something later from this. Image is everything for Trump; even his ‘success’ is an image. In fact he inherited his money, and the image of success is just the product of his own self-promotion. There are over 500 billionaires in the US, and we can only name a few – because these are the people who go out of their way to be noticed and seek attention. Attention is what they crave; actual results, not so important.
Still, Trump is a man with a broad and untamable ego, only surpassed by Clinton’s, but if she makes the mistake of arousing some real ambition in him, he may decide to go for gold. And there’s a good chance she’ll do that, especially if she makes a remark about his hair. We’ve already seen how that goes. Trump can actually win. See, the thing with people is that sometimes they are unpredictable. Trump doesn’t care about losing so long as he’s seen as a winner. If this image of ‘winning’ is trounced on, who knows what Trump will try to pull… He’s already broken most of the PC rules and hasn’t been successfully crucified yet, and this only brings him more support. Even the UN’s against him now apparently, and something like this can arouse non-voters to vote for him. It’s like an Obama strategy, but instead of focusing on youth and minorities, it’s for white guys who have either never voted or voted last for Reagan. There’s a whole percentage point right there at least. Obama’ handlers discovered that it was more efficient to get new voters interested than it was to fight over the universe of existing potential voters. True fact.
Trump is not afraid of saying something offensive, or being hated – and there’s this peculiar thing about human beings that innately senses the totalitarian nature of the PC cult, and yearns for a bigger than life public figure who can run against it all. There’s something refreshing about this devil-may-care approach to the ‘respectable’ positions which American society so narrowly defines. Regular people inherently detect the elitist, proper, bourgeois nature of this rigid parameter, even if they wouldn’t verbalize it in those terms.
Unthinkable, yes for some, but in fact Trump is better plugged into the ‘pulse’ and is more attuned to new media, and he and his team have probably rightly determined that, despite the anti-Trump campaign that Clinton is placing all her hopes in, Trump is still the more likable person than Clinton. Of course, what voters want doesn’t matter. The image matters more, and the messages around the talking points are flexible and can be crafted to sort of line up with the collective consciousness of the voting mass at any given time. To begin with the ‘collective consciousness’ is developed out of this more recent interplay between old and new media, the balance of systemic ‘mainstream’ views with counter-systemic memes, and so on.
So, Trump really does stand a chance. Clinton may not actually be able to fully comprehend just how hated she is. So the real question will be if Trump tries to throw the election for Clinton. The problem is that all of the unimaginable and unspeakable things he might say to throw the election, just might arouse yet another cross-section, people who never otherwise vote at all. These aren’t swing voters, and they aren’t stay-home Democrats who Clinton needs to appropriately scare into voting. This leaves three real options:
1.) he randomly bows out,
2.) the media tries to staple some horrible ‘scandal’ to him. In the second option, that’s difficult by itself because, again, voters just may react the other way to that. And last,
3.) He runs as an independent, splitting the Republican vote, and in this way hands victory to Clinton (the infamous Ross Perot move, redux).
The honest truth, though, is that Trump simply should be president if the other option is Hillary. What you have with Trump is essentially an ‘honest liar’, being full of shit, a sensationalist troll, is his visibly and outwardly something that reflects his actual essence.
I don’t think anyone really believes he has a problem with Muslims or Mexican immigrants. He’s clearly engaging in showmanship, trolling for headlines, and just saying the naughty things that scores of millions of Americans really think but aren’t allowed to say anymore. And democracy, as an open ended project, isn’t about protecting the speech of the politically correct and polite things to say, but about keeping every door open and protecting the speech of the things which otherwise wouldn’t be allowed to be said.
He’s also a man fundamentally in touch with who he is, there are no ‘naughty parts’ that he thinks he has to cover up. He is an unabashed and self-actualized asshole. We are talking about egos here and people just aren’t as turned off by people with big egos as they are with people with egos who fake humility. Clinton is just such a sheer and utter fake on every level, that this penis-forward comb-over approach to life of Trumps is really just a bit more appealing. Human beings are animals and retain all of these instincts, and we can all ‘smell’ this sort of thing on people. Trump smells just like who he says he is, Clinton does not.
There are some other really truly compelling reasons to vote for Trump. And most of these are actually the reasons that many people will be fooled into voting for Clinton.
The US right now is in a very difficult position geostrategically and geopolitically. Its power is waning which means that any given moment it is more powerful than it will be in the next moment. It must strike now, strike fast, and strike hard. That’s why we see this sudden return to a Monroe Doctrine in Latin America, and the doubling-down on Ukraine supporting neo-Nazis, Syria supporting ISIS, Africa supporting warlords, sabotaging the Euro in Europe, and hysteria over Chinese sand islands in the Pacific rim. The main targets are primarily Russia and China, and any other country that wants to break from the yoke of US economic and military oppression.
Obama served a really important role for the US, because the forces behind him were able to unite the neo-cons (the old Plan B), who are the modern incarnation of the Committee on the Present Danger – with their old arch rivals the Trilateralists. The outcome of this success of the Obama brand here was in bringing Europe back on board with the wars in the Middle-East, which are part of a larger pivot to control the ‘rimland’ Middle-East and contain the ‘Heartland’ which is the Russian continental power. Bush and the neo-cons were unable to push Schroeder and Chirac towards an Atlanticist position on these things. The people who brought you Obama were also able to place Sarkozy and Merkel into European politics, and create some coherency around that.
Clinton expects to really serve just the same function as Obama in this major, in fact primary, area of US foreign policy. Part of this new ‘Great Game’ is also the new ‘Cold War’, and it’s all about continuing the artificial primacy of the US over the world.
Trump is an absolute non-starter, not because he can’t play ball, but because no French or German politician could effectively, well, even shake hands with him without it decreasing their own credibility. It, in that sense, really is like a Bush on steroids as far as the Europeans are concerned, and Trump as a ‘symbol’ really cuts against the ability for the French and the Germans to work openly with the Americans either on Russia or the Middle East. For people who are not fans of American global hegemony, and think that America needs to focus on its own problems first, then Trump really is the better candidate between the two.
As a white man, and suddenly we are to believe a Republican, this makes him instantly an easy target for any European on the center-left. He is instantly a racist and a misogynist. Just look at his wives. They look so good, he must really hate women. His statements about immigration and Islam, surely make him like a leper and entirely out of step with European values. For people concerned about war, this is actually very good. If America cannot get Europe to take an active role in the coming wars, well, they just might not happen at all. And based on the gestures he’s made on foreign policy, he actually lines up well with Euroskepticism, and would dovetail nicely with a France led by Marine Le Pen, who has herself been quite vocally opposed to the increase in tensions with Russia.
And what about America’s own problems? It’s the fear mongering here that Clinton hopes will push voters to vote against Trump, which means of course only incidentally voting ‘for’ Clinton (a mere technicality to be sure!).
It’s time to be real again. When Democrats are in office, real social movements are made complacent, they give way to empty promises, and real grass-roots activism dies. Just look at the anti-war movement pre-Obama, and post-Obama. What Democrats do is co-opt social movements, tell the activists what they want to hear, then once elected we are lucky if they do not do the exact opposite. It’s really better to have an open reactionary in charge, and this unites people on the basis of real activism and grass-roots movements. There is no ‘angle’ with Democrats, there is no ‘gradual process of reforms’ going on. This isn’t 19th century Germany. The Democrats are not a labor or social-democratic party.
The Democrats control organized labor, and Democrat Party agents lead the major trade union federations in the US, whether SEIU or the AFL. The Democrat Party must be smashed in order to create the disruptions and power vacuums within organized labor so that some real room for militant organized labor struggles and new leaders may be born. Just as with anti-war activism, the real triumphs were never made at the ballot box and were always made on the picket line. Clintons friends in the AFL and SEIU, like Mary Kay Henry, really think they can scam more Americans with a fake astro-turfed ‘labor campaign’ against – for example – Wal-Mart, even though Clinton and Wal-Mart are two sides of the same coin.
Democrats mean war, and every major war in the 20th century required a Democrat president to lead it – why? Precisely because through the Democrat Party, labor is chained politically to the decisions and politics of capital, the possibility for popular opposition to the war, jingoism, and austerity is cut back by ten-fold. The Democrat Party is America’s ”Corporatist war model” – fake labor leaders organized by industry, vertically, absolutely put the squash on any horizontal, bottom-up, independent, militant, labor action.
Without a Democrat in office, a major war is hard to build support for. Right now, and for the next four years for sure, the chances for a major global war are greater than they have been at any time since the late 1930’s.
In America, politics is broken – it’s the only way you could possibly have someone has despicable as Clinton and perhaps slightly more tolerable like Trump (not yet a war criminal or murderer) be the two candidates to choose from.
And really, truly, there’s something very ugly and glaring, and it’s something Americans need to address. In the words of Morrissey, “America is not the world”. That’s right – and what does this concretely mean? America has the potential to destroy the world, but not the potential to save the world. The honest truth is that all of the most interesting things going on in the world right now, developmentally, are happening outside of the US, and moreover, in distinct opposition to US hegemony and imperialism.
You will never get an American president who will promise peace and then deliver peace based on anything she or he has done, at least not directly. The forces of stability, development, and peace in the world today are succeeding only where America is failing to succeed. Do you believe in sacrifice? If you really care about the world, and really want to see more peace in the world and more autonomy and self-determination for people of the 2nd and 3rd world, and indigenous communities, then you have to support Trump this time. Trump’s election will electrify the now zombified social movements in the US, and will make a War Party, whether domestically or internationally, extremely difficult to build.
The President of the US has many powers on paper, more so than even twenty years ago. In reality of course there are teams of military officers and intelligence agents who have loyalties to powers much more lasting and institutional than a rotating electable official. So, a president serves mostly just a symbolic role, lately it’s more like the offspring produced by several institutional powers, such as with love-child Obama.
So we support Trump really for three reasons:
[box] 1.) The ego and vanity or Clinton, a murderous, cackling, and unrepentant war-criminal on-par with Bush or Blair, simply cannot be allowed to succeed. She must be stopped from realizing her ambitions for the pure and simple reason that they are her ambitions. Tying labor and social movements to the party in power gives America ‘both wings’ to attack with, and greatly enhances the chances of war. Combined with Clinton’s hawkishness…
2.) A white male Republican president will bring back to life a culture of resistance to imperialism and the exploitation of labor, at home. While there is a large and growing libertarian and ‘box other – [x]’ of anti-imperialists in the US which are decidedly ‘not’ from the left, the historic core of anti-imperialism in the US is tied to militant labor action which has for a long time been associated with the left. This can draw fresh blood into a new, non-Democrat led labor movement, from across the political spectrum, and focus instead on issues directly connected to labor and capital, and not the old ‘new-left’ concerns of identitarianism. It also helps to shatter illusions about change in the US. There’s a saying, “all’s well that ends well”. Well, the US did not start well, is not well, and it all will not end well. Reforms are out of the question. Trump represents a backlash against generations of hypocrisy and divisive politics from Wall Street and Washington. The character of the period of his presidency will not be defined by his own views so much as the social movements they create room for.
3.) Trump is fundamentally a sane person whose showmanship and antics are staged, rooted in a fundamentally honest self-actualization, whereas Clinton is fundamentally a detached psychopath (not exaggerating), with a severe personality disorder, a dangerous and murderous lunatic, on the loose, who billions on this planet (outside of Europe) would like to see brought to justice for war crimes against humanity.[/box]
But Clinton can still win.
Most indicators point to Trump being Clinton’s ploy to get elected. But the scam should be reversed on her, everything else aside, for the fundamental reason that scams should backfire in principle. Call that cosmic justice. Still, for reasons we’ve outlined, Trumps campaign may be like a drill that suddenly goes live.
Even if Trump winds up “in it to win it”, and if Clinton really looks like she’s losing, there is really just one last thing she can do – it’s her Hail Mary. At the climax of the campaign, just when things look like they cannot get worse, she must perform the ‘arc of transformation’. It can be done through a – yes! – “very convincing, very public, but not too drawn-out repentance.” She must cry, and we will cry with her. “The world is a cruel place, and I had wrong ideas about what success meant. I started with all the right intentions, but the path to hell is paved with good intentions. I was blind to it. I once was lost. But now I’m found. Yes I became a part of this cruel world. I cannot be this person any longer. Looking at Trump, I almost saw myself, and I said – this is not who I want to be. Amazing grace. My heart must heal, and this nation’s heart must heal” Then she changes, the country changes, and we change with it. This will change the hearts and minds of literally thousands of voters. And for the millions more needed, she’ll rely on Diebold.
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