I can remember a time, not so long ago, when the well-known figure, Donald Trump was remembered for frequent appearances on the US talk show circuit, endorsing various celebrity brands, selling pizza, mattresses, poor quality vodka, and his signature brand of steaks. I remember too when he hosted the Apprentice and made ‘you’re fired’ a household phrase.
At that time I was fairly indifferent to Donald Trump. I wasn’t alone. Other than those who religiously watched his popular TV appearances, he wasn’t a figure who inspired a great deal of loathing nor passions of any kind. It was more like “Oh look, Donald Trump is on Jay Leno tonight, Michael Jackson’s on tomorrow…maybe I’ll watch”.
To someone with a short cultural memory, this might seem odd. Now the mere mention of Donald Trump’s name, anywhere in the world, rouses strong passions.
Interestingly, perhaps worryingly, he’s the same man. He speaks the same, looks more or less the same, has the same sense of humour, the same ‘no bullshit but I’m still likeable’ attitude. Trump too has been voicing his political views on and off for many years and those too have remained largely pro-industry, anti-globalism, anti-nation building and populistic in the tradition of Ross Perot.
What has changed is the hard-liberal/cultural-Marxist left of the Democratic Party. They’ve gone from people who accepted the existence of Perot like figures without demeaning them with propaganda, lies, slurs and threats, to those incensed by the mere existence of opposing points of view.
Today far too many people of a liberal Democratic point of view are deleting Facebook friends over Trump (how childish!), having shouting matches in public that would make football hooligans seem gentlemanly, and most troubling, they are physically attacking Trump supporters and vandalising their property.
Except for the Facebook bit, this is the kind of behaviour that in previous generations American and European commentators would have pejoratively associated with what was once called the “Third World”. Now though, it’s happening in America and in America’s satellite states in Europe. What has gone wrong?
It’s not a matter of putative conservatism versus putative liberalism. No one in Los Angeles, London or Berlin would have felt personally threatened or intimidated for professing admiration of Ronald Reagan in 1984. Likewise, if someone said in New York or Amsterdam that they liked George W. Bush in 2004, one would have been treated as someone ‘slightly stupid’, but there wouldn’t have been fury or – more seriously – open threats and sometimes even violence.
Donald Trump is a classical conservative in foreign affairs and something of a centrist in domestic policy. He is no extremist by any educated stretch of the imagination. But certain elements in the Democratic Party have adopted a brand of militant cultural-Marxism, which has very little to do with traditional socialism, some elements of which, Trump has ironically adopted.
According to this new breed of liberal-Democrats, opposition isn’t about ‘my view, versus yours’, it’s about a struggle for survival, what Bismarck might have called a latter-day Kulturkampf.
This is more a revolutionary attitude than an impassioned but civilised argument about the relative virtues of Robert Kennedy vis-à-vis Richard Nixon.
Even more worrying, many in Congress and the Deep State have adopted this threatening posture, trying to de-rail Trump’s path to office as though he’s taken over in a Latin America style military coup, rather than being someone who won an election according to the rules of the US Constitution.
It really beggars belief. Perhaps Russia, which in September held smooth and democratic Duma and regional elections, ought to fly Sergei Lavrov to Washington so he can give give a well-meaning lecture on what democracy means?
Indeed, in a pre-election interview with Britain’s Channel 4, Russia’s LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky described Hillary Clinton as vicious. Her supporters seem to be carrying on this attitude, long after her electoral defeat.
As stated masterfully by The Saker, the possibility of civil strife in America is no longer an abstract treat or a hyperbolic worry. It could happen if the street fights between Trump voters and cultural-Marxists are transposed to a war between the Deep State, their Congressional cronies and Donald Trump.
America is looking more and more like the Russia of the 1990s. Indeed both Yeltsin’s Russia and post-Obama/Clinton America have similar signs of chaos, and what’s more, despite industrial decline, both were ‘Made in The USA’!