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The nature of the beast: a dialectical forecast of the Trump administration

US President Donald Trump will not deviate from previous administrations. Here’s why.

Haneul Na'avi

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The will is a beast of burden. If God mounts it, it wishes and goes as God wills; if Satan mounts it, it wishes and goes as Satan wills; Nor can it choose its rider… the riders contend for its possession. — Martin Luther

Part One: The Beast is Healed by the Dragon

Only two months have passed since US President Donald Trump assumed office, and already the machine of American imperialism has wasted little time in continuing its course.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) began his usual routine of making baseless accusations against Tehran’s recent ballistic missile tests, which are used for regional defense, in a bid to derail the Joint Comprehension Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran Nuclear Agreement.

“I think it is now time for the Congress to take Iran on directly in terms of what they’ve done outside the nuclear program,” he chided at the 2017 Munich Security Conference.

Although Trump is the Commander-in-Chief, America’s Chief Executive Officer is Secretary of State and oil magnate Rex Tillerson, who reaffirmed his stance on the Diaoyu Islands, without the pretense of ‘national sovereignty’.

“[Tillerson] considered China’s South China Sea activity ‘extremely worrisome’ [and] a threat to the ‘entire global economy’ if Beijing were able to dictate access to the waterway, which is of strategic military importance and a major trade route,” the Japan Times mentioned.

In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang cautioned him and US Secretary of Defence James Mattis on undermining regional stability by using Article 5 of the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security as a ruse to sell Tokyo more armaments.

“No rhetoric or actions, from whomsoever, will change the fact that Diaoyu Dao belongs to China or waiver China’s resolve and determination to uphold its national sovereignty and territorial integrity”, Geng sternly warned.

Furthermore, CNN has cited another ‘unnamed official’, who insinuated that Trump could deploy ground troops in Syria; an action already occurring in Iraq.

“It’s possible that you may see conventional forces hit the ground in Syria for some period of time,” he or she stated.

The ruling class has once again passed the torch of imperialism to the new administration, setting the stage for another explosive collapse of the capitalist system.

The public, however, lingers on the Trump media circus, trading political consciousness for entertainment and stubbornly ignoring the material conditions that brought him into power.

The Beast with Many Heads (of State)

Wounding the Beast’s heads—the American bureaucracy and its transatlantic network of vassals states—only temporarily incapacitates US imperialism without significant changes to its trajectory.

The Syrian-Russian-Iran coalition landed the most significant blow, after resisting Western attempts to unseat Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and install a hardline Sunni ‘caliphate’ to oversee construction of the coveted Saudi-Qatari-Turkish pipeline.

Fortunately, two rounds of Astana peace talks have facilitated dialogue between warring factions.

“[The] next round of the talks will be held in less than a month”, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari stated optimistically in February.

In recent years, several grotesque heads have emerged, crowning themselves and speaking blasphemies through political coups in attempts to control foreign oil markets for the Beast.

In 2015, Brazil’s former Vice President and CIA asset Michel Temer usurped power from Dilma Rousseff to prevent her from rescuing the Brazilian economy by selling off Petrobras USD holdings.

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras’ remains at am impasse between Gazprom’s TurkStream pipeline and the European Union’s costly (pun intended) Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project.

With very little successes, US-backed dictator Petro(leum) Poroshenko continues to brutalize the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics in order to gain control of Ukraine’s Soviet-era Drubzu pipeline, as well as break a crippling coal blockade from the regions.

“[The] country’s reserves of coal for energy-generating power plants may be depleted in up to 45 days if the blockade is not lifted,” Ukrainian Energy Minister Ihor Nasalyk lamented.

Under the Obama administration, these attempts to extort geopolitically strategic oil markets have proven fruitless for America’s oligarchs, prompting a significant change in their political strategy.

The new strategy is Donald Trump; ‘Plan B’ for the ruling class.

The New Beast Exercises the Power of the First Before Him

The nature of Trump’s presidency was established in a previous article for The Duran, which aims to ensure the primacy of American finance capital through privately funded infrastructure projects.

It was also highlighted that democratic republics can easily mask their material contradictions by manipulating society through identity politics; the most important asset of liberal democracy.

One should reaffirm that the current material conditions of the West follow the Three Stages of the General Crises of Capitalism, defined by A. Leontiev as:

1. The sharp disintegration of the entire capitalist system and fierce struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, going over in a number of countries to open civil warfare.

2. The period of the gradual advent of partial stabilization in capitalist countries (reconstruction).

3. The sharpening of the basic contradictions of contemporary capitalism.

At the start of Obama’s presidency, Stage 1 materialized as the subprime mortgage and finance capital collapse of 2008-2011, initiating the deadliest economic crisis since the Great Depression. The Occupy and Arab Spring movements followed, but the bourgeoisie quickly appropriated them.

The era of Western financial austerity has exacerbated Stage 2, institutionalizing austerity rather than making tactical concessions with the working class.

Stage 3 has manifested as a surge of imperialist interventions throughout the Middle East-North Africa, Ukraine, and NATO aggression in the South China Sea and Baltics, in efforts to save the petrodollar, remove opposition, expropriate finance capital, and control foreign markets.

Conversely, bourgeois democracies such as France have normalized blowback from transatlantic imperialism (terrorism), shifting the cost to the taxpayer in both dollars and human lives.

Again, Donald Trump was selected by the Electoral College, the hall monitor of suffrage, in order to diffuse these crises; thus, the bourgeoisie returns to Stage 2.

To understand the College’s decision, one must conceptualize the 2016 US elections as the ruling class’ 4-year plan, with Trump representing a greater command of the base (material) and Clinton the superstructure (cultural, social, and immaterial).

In his essay, “On Contradiction” Mao Zedong notes that between two contradictions:

[…] one must be principal and the other secondary [with] one playing the leading role in the contradiction. The nature of a thing is determined mainly by the principal aspect of a contradiction, the aspect which has gained the dominant position.

America’s primary crisis is the petrodollar (Trump), with social engineering ambitions (Clinton) playing a subordinate role; therefore, material concerns are a greater existential threat to the US.

Additionally, Clinton’s entire platform was based on superstructure (identity) politics, which backfired not because of Wikileaks, but due to her inexperienced managerial skills, which she proved in Benghazi and pay-to-play foreign policy; notwithstanding her personal email accounts.

This is precisely why Donald Trump, who personifies naked monopoly industry, won the election.

However, Trump only represents a shift in priorities within the bourgeoisie. His MAGA plan will partially stabilize American capital, which is concentrated in the oil, construction, technology, and military monopolies, which operate seamlessly and interdependently through vertical integration, defined this as “the merging together of two businesses that are at different stages of production”.

However, Trump is still an inextricable part of American finance capital, as Marx lucidly defines the role of the capitalist in Capital, Vol. III:

[…] the capitalist is merely capital personified and functions in the process of production solely as the agent of capital.

In his ‘Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844’, Karl Marx elaborates this theory:

To widen the market and to narrow the sellers’ competition is always the interest of the dealer […] This is a class of people whose interest is never exactly the same as that of society, a class of people who have generally an interest to deceive and to oppress the public.

With a meaningless popular vote, one should note that most modern presidential candidates in capitalist democracies are capital personified, empowered by the bourgeoisie to further centralize and concentrate wealth for the benefit of the bourgeoisie.

Lenin clarifies this further in State and Revolution:

In capitalist society […] democracy is always hemmed in by the narrow limits set by capitalist exploitation, and consequently always remains […] a democracy for the minority, only for the propertied classes, only for the rich. Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in the ancient Greek republics: freedom for the slave-owners.

Trump’s victory is a tactical retreat for the bourgeoisie and nothing more, and his limited popularity is no obstacle to the ruling class’s survival.

However, if Trump deviates in any meaningful way, the Beast will devour him whole.

The Heart of the Beast: The Petrodollar

The Beast has many Heads but only one black heart—the petrodollar—whose every beat expropriates surplus value from foreign oil markets and cements US imperialism worldwide.

However, several rising powers have become the precise targets of the Trump and Obama administrations because they pose the greatest existential threat to US hegemony.

F. William Engdahl mentions the following:

[The] petrodollar system […] has been eroding as Russia, China, Iran and even the EU challenge the role of the dollar as reserve currency [whom] have agreed to energy trade for oil and gas paid not in dollars but in own currencies. Iran recently announced it will accept only Euros for its oil.

However, a new contradiction in US capitalist production emerges—increasing domestic production versus declining petrodollar dominance and value.

This will occur at the expense of maintaining relations with America’s Gulf frenemy Saudi Arabia, after it jealously overproduced to sabotage America’s booming shale and fracking industries.

In order to stave off its own collapse, Saudi Arabia could (and probably will) turn to China.

OilPrice reports,

[…] we must now turn our attention to China, which is well positioned to act as white knight to Saudi Arabia. China’s SAFE sovereign wealth fund could easily swallow the [5%] Aramco stake […] A quick deal would help stabilise a desperate financial and political situation on the edges of China’s rapidly growing Asian interests, and keep Saudi Arabia onside as an energy supplier. China has dollars to dispose, and a mutual arrangement would herald a new era of tangible cooperation. The U.S. can only stand and stare as China teases Saudi Arabia away from America’s sphere of influence.

The Trump administration has been feverishly attempting to open domestic oil reserves as foreign markets increase trade in other currencies, in addition to rising petrol demands in the US.

To do this, the US Congress introduced H.Res 71 to rescind Cardin-Lugar regulations within the Dodd-Frank Act, in order to exploit domestic oil consumption, transition more of the global oil supply to the US shale industry, and mitigate the adverse effects of a collapsing petrodollar market.

Vermont-based journalist Nick Cunningham explains the role of rising US production rates:

If OPEC took 1 mb/d off the market in January, why are prices struggling to move from the low- to mid-$50s? […] Rising U.S. production is part of the story. The latest weekly EIA data puts U.S. output at 8.978 mb/d, a touch below 9 mb/d, which is up more than 400,000 bpd from a few months ago. In addition, the EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report estimates that production from the major shale basins will rise in March by nearly 80,000 bpd, the largest increase in five months. Nearly all of that increase is expected to come from the Permian Basin.

The Bretton-Woods System’s demise inseparably binds the means of production and petrodollar for one purpose: to monopolize global oil reserves so that countries cannot buy or sell oil without the Mark, let alone industrialize.

Trump and Co. will centralize and concentrate oil sold in USD within the US in order to survive. Ultimately, domestic production is the best way to do this, which will require astronomical levels of new infrastructure to transport raw materials, with people as a secondary concern.

Meanwhile, America and NATO will continue their gunboat diplomacy, and anyone that attempts to break the American oil racket will become a threat to their neoliberal ‘democracies’. While Trump is in office, this will continue unabatedly as the ruling class will not accept substantial profit losses.

The lake of fire? It is merely the American Heartlands after H.Res 71—the inevitable conclusion of an oil-addicted economy.

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John Bolton discusses US reasons for INF withdrawal

Despite fears about the US withdrawing from the INF, John Bolton suggests that this is to make way for a more relevant multilateral treaty.

Seraphim Hanisch

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John Bolton, the US National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump, is in Moscow this week. The main topic of concern to many Russians was the stated intention by President Trump to withdraw the US from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (or INF) Treaty with Russia. With the current record of American hostile and unprovoked actions taken against the Russian Federation over the last two years especially, this move caused a good deal of alarm in Russia.

Bolton had meetings with several leaders in the Russian government, including Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, and President Vladimir Putin, himself.

Kommersant.ru interviewed Mr. Bolton extensively after some of his meetings had concluded, and asked him about this situation. The interviewer, Elena Chernenko, was very direct in her questioning, and Mr. Bolton was very direct in his answers. What follows is the translation of some of her pertinent questions and Mr. Bolton’s answers:

Elena Chernenko (EC): How did your negotiations with Nikolai Patrushev go? Is it true that you came to Moscow primarily to terminate the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF)?

John Bolton (JB): (Laughs.) Today was my second meeting with Nikolai Patrushev and the staff of the Russian Security Council. The first time I met them was before the summit in Helsinki. I came to prepare the ground for a meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin. Patrushev at the time was understood to be in South Africa. So I met with his deputy [Yuri Averyanov – Kommersant] and other colleagues. Patrushev and I first met in Geneva in August.

In any case, this is the second meeting after Helsinki, and it was scheduled about six weeks ago. Now was simply the right time to meet. We arrived with a broad agenda. Many issues – for example, arms control and all related topics – were discussed in Geneva in August. We discussed them then and planned to do it again in Moscow. And we had these plans before the President’s Saturday statement [on the US intention to withdraw from the INF Treaty. “Kommersant”].

EC: Can you explain [this decision] to us? What are the reasons for this decision?

JB: Five or even more years ago, during the presidency of Barack Obama, the United States concluded that Russia committed substantial violations of the INF Treaty; [that Russia] was involved in the production and deployment of missiles that do not comply with the terms of the agreement. The Obama administration called on Russia to return to fulfilling its obligations. The Trump administration called for the same. But based on Russian statements, it became clear that they [the authorities of the Russian Federation— Kommersant] do not at all believe that any kind of violation occurred. And today, during the talks, my Russian interlocutors very clearly expressed their position – that it is not Russia that is in violation of the INF Treaty, but the United States.

However, rather than devolve the negotiations into a tit-for-tat issue, Mr. Bolton noted the real nature of the problem. He understood that simply asking for Russia to resume compliance with the treaty would not be enough – in fact, for Bolton, and really, for President Trump, whom he represents in this matter – the issue is not just an argument between the US and Russia at all. He continued:

JB: Now, some say: “This is just a negotiating move by President Trump, and if we could force Russia to return to the fulfillment of obligations, the treaty would be saved.” But this is impossible from the point of view of logic.

This is the reality we face. As the president said, Russia is doing what we think is considered a violation of the agreement, and we will not tolerate it without being able to respond. We do not think that withdrawal from the agreement is what creates the problem. We think that what Russia is doing in violation of the INF Treaty is the problem.

There is a second point: No one except us in the world is bound by this treaty. Although this is technically incorrect: lawyers will tell you that the former USSR countries (with the exception of the three Baltic republics, which the US never recognized as part of the USSR), were also bound by the treaty when the USSR collapsed. But the remaining 11 countries do not have any ballistic missiles. That is, only two countries in the world are bound by the INF Treaty. One of these countries violates the agreement. Thus, there is only one country in the world bound by the terms of the document – the USA. And this is unacceptable.

At the same time, we see that China, Iran, the DPRK – they all strengthen their potential with methods that would violate the INF Treaty, if these countries were its signatories. Fifteen years ago, it was possible that the agreement could be extended and made multilateral. But today it is already impracticable in practice. And the threat from China is real – you can ask countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan or Australia what they think about the Chinese [missile. – Kommersant] potential. They are nervous about this. Many in Europe and the Middle East are nervous about Iran’s potential.

As the President explained on Saturday, this puts the United States in an unacceptable position. And that is why he promulgated the decision [to withdraw from the INF Treaty. – Kommersant].

So, here, the President’s point of view is that the treaty as it presently stands has two problems: Russia is in violation (and a very good point was conceded by Bolton of how the American side also becomes in violation as well), but the INF treaty only applies to these two countries when the emerging great and regional powers China, North Korea, and Iran, also have these types of missiles.

For President Trump, an effective measure would be to create a multilateral treaty.

This is a very interesting point of discussion. Politically for President Trump, this immediate decision to withdraw from the INF looks like a show of toughness against Russia. Before the midterms this is probably an important optic for him to have.

However, the real problem appears to be the irrelevance of a treaty that applies to only two of the at least five nations that possess such armaments, and if Russia and the US were limiting only their missiles, how does that prevent any other power from doing the same?

While it could be argued that North Korea is no longer a threat because of its progress towards denuclearization, and Iran maintains that it has no nuclear weapons anyway, this leaves China. Although China is not expressing any military threats at this time, the country has shown some increased assertiveness over territories in the South China Sea, and Japan and China have historically bad relations so there is some worry about this matter.

Behind this all, or perhaps more properly said, in concurrence with it, is the expressed intention of Presidents Putin and Trump to meet again for another summit in Paris on November 11. There are further invitations on both sides for the American and Russian presidents to visit one another on home grounds.

This brings up speculation also that President Trump has some level of confidence in the outcome of the US Congressional midterm elections, to be held in two weeks. It appears that Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin also will not be thwarted any longer by opinions and scandal over allegations that bear no semblance to reality.

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‘Meme-killing’ EU regulation could end YouTube as we know it, CEO warns

The proposed amendments to the EU Copyright Directive would require the automatic removal of any user-created content suspected of violating intellectual property law.

The Duran

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Via RT


YouTube’s CEO has urged creators on the popular video site to organize against a proposed EU internet regulation, reinforcing fears that the infamous Article 13 could lead to content-killing, meme-maiming restrictions on the web.

The proposed amendments to the EU Copyright Directive would require the automatic removal of any user-created content suspected of violating intellectual property law – with platforms being liable for any alleged copyright infringement. If enacted, the legislation would threaten “both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki warned the site’s content creators in a blog post on Monday.

The regulation would endanger “hundreds of thousands of job,” Wojcicki said, predicting that it would likely force platforms such as YouTube to allow only content from a hand-picked group of companies.

“It would be too risky for platforms to host content from smaller original content creators, because the platforms would now be directly liable for that content,” Wojcicki wrote.

While acknowledging that it was important to properly compensate all rights holders, the YouTube chief lamented that the “unintended consequences of Article 13 will put this ecosystem at risk.”

She encouraged YouTubers to use the #SaveYourInternet hashtag to tell the world how the proposed legislation would impact them personally.

“RIP YOUTUBE..IT WAS FUN,” read one rather fatalistic reply to the post. Another comment worried that Article 13 would do “immense damage … particularly to smaller creators.”

The proposal has stirred considerable controversy in Europe and abroad, with critics claiming that the legislation would essentially ban any kind of creative content, ranging from memes to parody videos, that would normally fall under fair use.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google and YouTube, has opposed Article 13 for months. The measure was advanced in June by the European Parliament. A final vote on the proposed regulation is expected to take place sometime next year.

World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales have also spoken out against Article 13.

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WSJ Op-Ed Cracks The Code: Why Liberal Intellectuals Hate Trump

WSJ: The Real Reason They Hate Trump

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Via Zerohedge


As pundits continue to scratch their heads over the disruptive phenomenon known as Donald Trump, Yale computer science professor and chief scientist at Dittach, David Gelernter, has penned a refreshingly straightforward and blunt Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal explaining why Trump has been so successful at winning hearts and minds, and why the left – especially those snarky ivory-tower intellectuals, hate him.

Gelernter argues that Trump – despite being a filthy rich “parody of the average American,” is is a regular guy who has successfully resonated with America’s underpinnings.

Mr. Trump reminds us who the average American really is. Not the average male American, or the average white American,” writes Gelernter. “We know for sure that, come 2020, intellectuals will be dumbfounded at the number of women and blacks who will vote for Mr. Trump. He might be realigning the political map: plain average Americans of every type vs. fancy ones.”

He never learned to keep his real opinions to himself because he never had to. He never learned to be embarrassed that he is male, with ordinary male proclivities. Sometimes he has treated women disgracefully, for which Americans, left and right, are ashamed of him—as they are of JFK and Bill Clinton. –WSJ

Gelernter then suggests: “This all leads to an important question—one that will be dismissed indignantly today, but not by historians in the long run: Is it possible to hate Donald Trump but not the average American?“.

***

The Real Reason They Hate Trump via the Wall Street Journal.

He’s the average American in exaggerated form—blunt, simple, willing to fight, mistrustful of intellectuals.

Every big U.S. election is interesting, but the coming midterms are fascinating for a reason most commentators forget to mention: The Democrats have no issues. The economy is booming and America’s international position is strong. In foreign affairs, the U.S. has remembered in the nick of time what Machiavelli advised princes five centuries ago: Don’t seek to be loved, seek to be feared.

The contrast with the Obama years must be painful for any honest leftist. For future generations, the Kavanaugh fight will stand as a marker of the Democratic Party’s intellectual bankruptcy, the flashing red light on the dashboard that says “Empty.” The left is beaten.

This has happened before, in the 1980s and ’90s and early 2000s, but then the financial crisis arrived to save liberalism from certain destruction. Today leftists pray that Robert Mueller will put on his Superman outfit and save them again.

For now, though, the left’s only issue is “We hate Trump.” This is an instructive hatred, because what the left hates about Donald Trump is precisely what it hates about America. The implications are important, and painful.

Not that every leftist hates America. But the leftists I know do hate Mr. Trump’s vulgarity, his unwillingness to walk away from a fight, his bluntness, his certainty that America is exceptional, his mistrust of intellectuals, his love of simple ideas that work, and his refusal to believe that men and women are interchangeable. Worst of all, he has no ideology except getting the job done. His goals are to do the task before him, not be pushed around, and otherwise to enjoy life. In short, he is a typical American—except exaggerated, because he has no constraints to cramp his style except the ones he himself invents.

Mr. Trump lacks constraints because he is filthy rich and always has been and, unlike other rich men, he revels in wealth and feels no need to apologize—ever. He never learned to keep his real opinions to himself because he never had to. He never learned to be embarrassed that he is male, with ordinary male proclivities. Sometimes he has treated women disgracefully, for which Americans, left and right, are ashamed of him—as they are of JFK and Bill Clinton.

But my job as a voter is to choose the candidate who will do best for America. I am sorry about the coarseness of the unconstrained average American that Mr. Trump conveys. That coarseness is unpresidential and makes us look bad to other nations. On the other hand, many of his opponents worry too much about what other people think. I would love the esteem of France, Germany and Japan. But I don’t find myself losing sleep over it.

The difference between citizens who hate Mr. Trump and those who can live with him—whether they love or merely tolerate him—comes down to their views of the typical American: the farmer, factory hand, auto mechanic, machinist, teamster, shop owner, clerk, software engineer, infantryman, truck driver, housewife. The leftist intellectuals I know say they dislike such people insofar as they tend to be conservative Republicans.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama know their real sins. They know how appalling such people are, with their stupid guns and loathsome churches. They have no money or permanent grievances to make them interesting and no Twitter followers to speak of. They skip Davos every year and watch Fox News. Not even the very best has the dazzling brilliance of a Chuck Schumer, not to mention a Michelle Obama. In truth they are dumb as sheep.

Mr. Trump reminds us who the average American really is. Not the average male American, or the average white American. We know for sure that, come 2020, intellectuals will be dumbfounded at the number of women and blacks who will vote for Mr. Trump. He might be realigning the political map: plain average Americans of every type vs. fancy ones.

Many left-wing intellectuals are counting on technology to do away with the jobs that sustain all those old-fashioned truck-driver-type people, but they are laughably wide of the mark. It is impossible to transport food and clothing, or hug your wife or girl or child, or sit silently with your best friend, over the internet. Perhaps that’s obvious, but to be an intellectual means nothing is obvious. Mr. Trump is no genius, but if you have mastered the obvious and add common sense, you are nine-tenths of the way home. (Scholarship is fine, but the typical modern intellectual cheapens his learning with politics, and is proud to vary his teaching with broken-down left-wing junk.)

This all leads to an important question—one that will be dismissed indignantly today, but not by historians in the long run: Is it possible to hate Donald Trump but not the average American?

True, Mr. Trump is the unconstrained average citizen. Obviously you can hate some of his major characteristics—the infantile lack of self-control in his Twitter babble, his hitting back like a spiteful child bully—without hating the average American, who has no such tendencies. (Mr. Trump is improving in these two categories.) You might dislike the whole package. I wouldn’t choose him as a friend, nor would he choose me. But what I see on the left is often plain, unconditional hatred of which the hater—God forgive him—is proud. It’s discouraging, even disgusting. And it does mean, I believe, that the Trump-hater truly does hate the average American—male or female, black or white. Often he hates America, too.

Granted, Mr. Trump is a parody of the average American, not the thing itself. To turn away is fair. But to hate him from your heart is revealing. Many Americans were ashamed when Ronald Reagan was elected. A movie actor? But the new direction he chose for America was a big success on balance, and Reagan turned into a great president. Evidently this country was intended to be run by amateurs after all—by plain citizens, not only lawyers and bureaucrats.

Those who voted for Mr. Trump, and will vote for his candidates this November, worry about the nation, not its image. The president deserves our respect because Americans deserve it—not such fancy-pants extras as network commentators, socialist high-school teachers and eminent professors, but the basic human stuff that has made America great, and is making us greater all the time.

Mr. Gelernter is computer science professor at Yale and chief scientist at Dittach LLC. His most recent book is “Tides of Mind.”

Appeared in the October 22, 2018, print edition.

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