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<nettime> What is the meaning of Trump's Victory
Kurtz, Steven on Tue, 22 Nov 2016 02:09:09 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> What is the meaning of Trump's Victory


I tried to resist this thread, but ultimately cannot. Just a few points.

Are the republicans voters racist? I think the vast majority are not
(although that still leaves millions that are). What most republican
voters are is indifferent to racism. If taxes get cut, and it comes with
a dash of racism--OK. If regulations on business will be lifted, and it
comes with a dash of racism--OK. If guns can be owned and existing
regulations are loosened, and it comes with a dash of racism--OK. If
small business will get a break, and it comes with a dash of racism--OK.
There are many reasons right leaning people are voting as they are. I
don't believe that this election was driven by racism in a material way,
only in a spectacular way, because the press loves to represent it, and
people like to look at it, whether it is in disgust, fear, or pleasure.
I remember the last time Austria put an authoritarian into the executive
office. The world reaction was "Those racist Austrians did it again."
But the reality was captured well on protester signs: "72% of Austrians
did not vote for Haider." (Forgive me if I am slightly off on the
number).

Populist agenda. We will see no populist reforms. The US chief executive
is not Trump given this new single party rule. The top executive is
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. He will be driving the right wing
agenda. Ryan is a good Reaganite, and dislikes anything that smacks of
populism. Will there be investment in infrastructure? No, that should be
privatized. Will there be investment in education? No, that should be
privatized. Obamacare is done. Ryan is already working on connecting it
to medicare, so he can at least try to get rid of all public healthcare.
Trump may object, but I am not very hopeful he'll put much effort into
his objection. Ryan wants to end social security as well, and any other
public benefit. We are only seeing the beginning of austerity in the US.

But where will Ryan and Trump agree in a manner that the path ahead is
friction free? They agree on ending all regulations and restrictions on
business, and massive tax relief for the wealthy. Predatory capitalism
will be completely liberated. No more pollution controls. No more
regulations on wall street. No more anti-trust. No more consumer
protection. Ryan is even talking about selling federal public lands or
returning them to the states. The extraction industries are ecstatic.
After fighting for more than century to get back into these lands, their
wish is about to come true. This, of course, is nothing compared to the
havoc that will happen on a global scale, but it pushes my
nonrationality buttons.  And of particular concern to nettimers, say
goodbye to FCC and net neutrality. Let the looting begin.

For the next four years, progressivism of any type is vanquished. The
question is how far back can the US go? The Reagan age? The 1950s? The
age of the robber barons in the beginning of the 20th century? Perhaps a
neoliberal utopia like Pinochet's Chile. If another supreme court judge
dies or steps down in the next four years, then the remaking of the
social order begins. The court will become a superlegislative body
striking down all progressive legislation and holding up all
conservative legislation. Welcome back segregation, sodomy laws, and
abortion restrictions—only this time on a federal level. The US could be
transformed into Kansas. May you live in interesting times. 

Is Trump a fascist? I would say no. He is nativist and indulges in
racist/sexist behaviors and business practices, but that does not a
fascist make. Trump fails on two key characteristics of fascism. He does
not seem to be a military fetishist. In his isolationist moments, he
does not seem to believe that the military or militarization can solve
all problems foreign and domestic. Also, he does not see the economy as
in service to the government. He sees the government and the political
class as in service to the economy and to economic elites. If there is a
fascist party in the US, it's the neoconservatives. They tick every box.
To my mind, Trump is more of a deranged fiscal conservative with a few
populist tendencies that he may or may not be serious about.

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