Monday, 14 November 2016

Trump trumped everyone

The unbelievable has happened and bewildered and depressed anchors, journalists, academics, pundits, pseudo-intellectuals, and Facebook and Twitter accounts will be analysing and dissecting Trump's victory for a long time to come. 

These are some of my favourite articles (with excerpts) I read online: 

1. Trump’s triumph by Najam Sethi, The Friday Times, TFT Issue: 11 Nov 2016:

Many months ago, Michael Moore got it right: “This wretched, ignorant, dangerous, part-time clown and full-time sociopath is going to be our next president”. He advised fellow-Americans who tought otherwise, to stop living in a bubble and face the truth. What is the truth? The truth is strewn around in bits and pieces. Hilary Clinton’s “unpopularity” because she can’t be “trusted”, not even by a majority of white women! Bernie Sanders’ depressed liberal voters who just couldn’t sufficiently drag themselves out of bed to vote for Hilary. Working class anger in the electorally critical industrial states of the Upper Midwest at Democrat policies in support of NAFTA that had taken away hundreds of thousands of jobs. But in the final analysis, it all boiled down to one main factor: fear. This fear translates into the majoritarian, protestant, white man’s angry last stand against “Feminazi”, against blacks, gays, “Mozies’, “outsiders”, “them”, etc, who are threatening to “take over” America and end this white male’s domination of the last 240 years!

There’s a bit of fatality involved here, to be sure, and a deep level of cynicism. Many of us feel that if America could not choose the best option, then it deserved the worst. Also, there’s a harsh desire for rough truth, rather than hypocritical garnish. In a sense, many Americans are Trump, but most of them like to think of themselves as closer in character to who Clinton (falsely) claims to be; liberal, democratic, leftist, humane, charitable, kind. There are some who faced the facts honestly, and admitted that, for all intents and purposes, Clinton was a criminal and a manipulator who plays ball with the worst human rights offenders on the planet (Saudi Arabia and Israel, for example) and relies on their financial and political support. They understood that when promising to continue Obama’s legacy, Clinton is in fact promising to kill another 4,000 innocent Pakistanis by drone strikes in an illegal attempt to murder untried ‘terrorists’. They understand that this is a woman for whom Madeline Albright is a role model, and Kissinger is an icon, a woman who started out Republican before swapping sides and acting as though she were a Democrat, most likely because she realized that, as a woman, she could go farther as a Democrat. This is a liar who claims to have been dodging sniper fire in a foreign land when she was being greeted with flowers.  Throughout the campaign, Clinton supporters have turned a blind eye to her failings. Somehow they were more horrified by what Trump may do than what Clinton already has done.

We need new metaphors. Many of us will feel tempted in the coming years to speak of Our Leader’s ‘black heart’, to call him ‘The Dark Lord,’ or to opine that we have entered a new age of darkness. Yes, I know that speaking of evil in terms of darkness and blackness is rooted in and ancient fear of places that have no light—of the dark forests of Grimm, the Black Forest, of haunted houses, and frozen winter nights—but these fearful darknesses are easily elided with the pernicious racism in our culture that seeps into our language and overtakes our intellect whether we like it or not. I vote for orange to be the new tint of evil. Orange is the new black: it’s already the name of a popular show. I love the color orange as much as the next painter, but it has many associations with evil besides the unnatural tint of The Small-Fingered One’s skin: the color of prison jumpsuits, Agent Orange, ‘nude’ stockings, that crayon that used to be called ‘skin color’ but now is labelled ‘apricot,’ and the sickly orange tinge of night skies in smog-smothered cities.

4. After Trump, Fear and Gloating in Pakistan by Mohammed Hanif,  NOV. 11, 2016 in The New York Times:

Pakistani democrats feel they have a special right to gloat. Over the last few days, some of them have been reminding the rest of us Pakistanis that we have never elected a right-wing fascist as our leader. They have reminded us that we elected a woman as our leader way before America even contemplated the possibility for itself. The late Benazir Bhutto was indeed the first woman to be elected as prime minister of a Muslim country. But we seem to have forgotten the ugly campaign against her, the sexual innuendoes and the doctored pictures — all this before Photoshop and social media. And let’s not forget that we managed to assassinate her 70 days after really, seriously, trying to kill her. We have also not even gotten around to finding out who killed her. And, as any working politician will remind you, her legacy doesn’t get you very many votes. American presidents have been fond of hosting Pakistani dictators at Camp David. Now it’s the turn of Americans themselves to be ruled by a dictator, and of their own choosing. We, at least, never picked ours.

5. Spoiled Americans now want to flee what they created by  Malak Chabkoun, 10 NOVEMBER 2016, in Al Jazeera:

Murmurs of migrating to Canada if Trump won apparently translated into reality, with the Canadian immigration website reportedly crashing as it became clear the electoral college votes were in his favour. These reactions make one pause and wonder how long these same people would last under the Arab and African dictatorships and occupiers the US has propped up and maintained positive ties with over the years. We now have a version of a "dictator-elect" in the US, and rather than promising to fight the changes he has threatened to implement, the initial reaction of many Americans has been to plot ways to flee. Honestly, the arrogance of Americans who are threatening to flee is breathtaking. They assume that the world will now welcome them with open arms because in a few months, they will be ruled by a less-than-desirable leader. One which, the world will be quick to mention, was actually chosen by Americans and not imposed on them by occupation or intervention.

6.  It was the Democrats' embrace of neoliberalism that won it for Trump by Naomi Klein in The Guardian on Wednesday 9 November 2016:

But this leaves out the force most responsible for creating the nightmare in which we now find ourselves wide awake: neoliberalism. That worldview – fully embodied by Hillary Clinton and her machine – is no match for Trump-style extremism. The decision to run one against the other is what sealed our fate. If we learn nothing else, can we please learn from that mistake?

7. Dawn's Editorial Trump’s victory on Nov 10, 2016:

To Mr Trump have gone the electoral spoils; America and the world can only hope he will be a responsible leader.

8. Marwan Bishara's brilliant video "Welcome to my world, America. What does Trump mean for the Middle East?" It's not an article but fantastic video response. Marwan Bishara is Al Jazeera's senior political analyst and also hosts the Empire programme on Al Jazeera.

9. Black Women Were the Only Ones Who Tried to Save the World Tuesday Night BY: CHARLES D. ELLISON Posted: November 9, 2016 at The Root:

Trump has trumped everyone The calculus for black women in this election was abundantly clear, the stakes chillingly higher for sistren as they stood at a unique “Misogynoir-istic” intersection of racism and sexism. Crushed between the two most ferocious pillars of national hate, underappreciated for their contributions, while equally ignored for the challenges that oppress them, black women always find a way to make a needed statement; the lemonade from lemons, to subtly borrow from Beyoncé. And they just did it again, to no avail, when the rest of us fell crookedly short.


When forced to choose between race and gender lines, White Women will overwhelmingly pick race, every time. We knew it when Susan B Anthony said “I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work or demand the ballot for the Negro and not the woman.” Meanwhile 66% of White women voted for racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and all around incompetence. The verdict is in. No matter what your social media news feeds or your group chats or your brunches may imply, the fact of the matter is we are not nearly progressive as a nation as we purport to be. But that burden is not on us. We as Black people — as Black Women — don’t bear the weight of the loss. If anything, we can breathe easier as the rest of the world is being exposed to what we’ve known for over a century. That White Feminism still rests on the laurels of White Supremacy. And that’s not changing anytime soon.

11. Michael Moore’s “Morning After To-Do List” Facebook Post For Democrats Is Going Viral by Adam Albright-Hanna, November 9, 2016 in Good:

# 4. Everyone must stop saying they are “stunned” and “shocked.” What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren’t paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all “You're fired!” Trump’s victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that.

12. Trump in the White House: An Interview With Noam Chomsky Monday, 14 November 2016, by C.J. Polychroniou, Truthout | Interview:

Trump trumped everyone   On November 8, the most powerful country in world history, which will set its stamp on what comes next, had an election. The outcome placed total control of the government -- executive, Congress, the Supreme Court -- in the hands of the Republican Party, which has become the most dangerous organization in world history.

13. The painfully obvious reason Christians voted for Trump (that liberals just don’t understand) in Life Site by JONATHON VAN MARE, Mon Nov 14, 2016N:

Many of my non-Christian and liberal friends find it bewildering that both evangelicals and Catholics voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, a thrice-married casino operator infamous for his vulgar trash talk. I want to take a moment to explain to them directly why most Christians voted for him anyway. It’s simple, really: Christians voted for Donald Trump because they felt that the treat a de facto third Obama term posed to Christian communities was an existential one.

14. Elite, White Feminism Gave Us Trump: It Needs to Die By Liza Featherstone / 12 November 2016 in Verso:

Her tone-deaf campaign didn’t even pretend to transcend such class divisions. Once she had secured the nomination, Clinton offered few ideas about how to make ordinary women’s lives better. That’s probably because what helps the average woman most is redistribution, and Clinton’s banker friends wouldn’t have liked that very much. #ImWithHer was a painfully uninspiring campaign slogan, appropriately highlighting that the entire campaign’s message centered on the individual candidate and her gender, rather than on a vision for society, or even women, as a whole. She wrote off huge swaths of the population as “deplorables” and didn’t even bother to campaign in Wisconsin. Among union members, her support was weak compared to other recent Democratic candidates, and, according to most exit polls, significantly lower than Obama’s was in 2008.

Feminism now has an opportunity to move beyond the go-girlism of the Sheryl Sandberg set. Left feminists must organize to protect women’s rights under Trump/Pence. We should work together to protect immigrants’ rights and religious freedoms, and prevent a likely assault on abortion rights. We also need to work on environmental issues at the state and local level, recognizing that nothing good can be achieved at the federal level under a regime of climate denialism. We need to strengthen institutions of the left: organize unions in our workplaces, join independent left parties, run progressive candidates for local and state offices, make and disseminate left media. We should work especially to help existing feminist efforts that are squarely focused on women’s material realities, whether that means joining local and state campaigns demanding paid sick days and family leave, single-payer health care or – especially right now – the Fight for $15.

15.  Alain Badiou: Reflections on the Recent Election | 9th November 2016 | UCLAL in Mariborchan It's Theory, Stupid!:

And, I think it’s not only the case here, with Don­ald Trump — racist, machiste [macho], viol­ent, and also, which is a fas­cist char­ac­ter­ist­ic, without any con­sid­er­a­tion for logic or ration­al­ity; because the dis­course, the mode of speak­ing of that sort of demo­crat­ic fas­cism is pre­cisely a sort of dis­lo­ca­tion of lan­guage, a sort of pos­sib­il­ity to say any­thing, and the con­trary of any­thing — there is no prob­lem, the lan­guage is not the lan­guage of explan­a­tion, but a lan­guage to cre­ate some affects; it’s an affect­ive lan­guage which cre­ates a false unity but a prac­tic­al unity. And so, we have that with Don­ald Trump, but it has been the case before in Ita­ly with Ber­lusconi. Ber­lusconi may be, I think, the first fig­ure of that sort of new demo­crat­ic fas­cism, with exactly the same char­ac­ter­ist­ics: vul­gar­ity, a sort of patho­lo­gic­al rela­tion­ship to women, and the pos­sib­il­ity to say and to do, pub­licly, some things which are unac­cept­able for the big part of human beings today. But that was the case also with Orbán in Hun­gary today, and in my sense, in France, it has been the case with Sarkozy. And it’s also the case pro­gress­ively in India or the Phil­lipines, and even in Poland or in Tur­key. So it’s really, at the scale of the world, the appar­i­tion of a new fig­ure of polit­ic­al determ­in­a­tion which is a fig­ure which is very often inside the demo­crat­ic con­sti­tu­tion but which is in some sense also out­side. 

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