It’s impossible for the US presidential election to have gone worse for the empire: America now has two presidents.
That can’t be denied, yet their mainstream media is spinning like mad the idea that there is no problem: The election is over and that Democrat Joe Biden is the president-elect. This is likely a biased view, but it’s certainly terrible journalism. Journalists have the right to do whatever they want – project election winners, ignore half the electorate, talk about “partition” – but we have no legal power to decide who actually won.
Not only has a certainly narrow vote not been certified, but the votes aren’t even all counted yet. And it’s not as if this vote wasn’t already disputed for months in the public eye. And it’s not as if there were’t several hundred lawsuits filed before the vote even took place. And it’s not as if there won’t be many lawsuits dated after the November 3rd vote.
But to their clearly anti-Trump mainstream media: “Nothing to see here, move along.”
Seriously? American journalism in action is really something to see.…
The media keeps pointing out that all the lawsuits have failed so far, but it just takes is one and it goes to the top – the Supreme Court deciding this election continues to look not just possible but probable. The idea that American judges are mostly liberal rebels and not by-the-book conservatives is preposterous – they are judges, after all. Record absentee balloting and an incumbent who focuses on his rights and benefits first, last and always both remind us how very not by-the-book this election is.
The ultimate fault for the current “Avignon Papacy” situation – the Roman Catholic church had two popes for most of the 14th century – lays not with the media but with the candidates, and especially Joe Biden. For months he bemoaned the unpredictability of Trump, and yet Biden declared victory Saturday based merely on an AP projection. It was an incredibly self-interested, dangerous, destablizing and confidence-shaking move to make – it was a very Trumpian.
If the very slim numbers (Biden is up by an average of just 30,000 votes in three different states) were flipped and Trump declared early the mainstream media would be up in arms, and rightly so. Biden continues to – as the first debate reminded us – willingly jump down to the Trumpian unpresidential gutter, and yet because Trump licks the gutter’s floor Biden is somehow given a free pass.
Red state/blue state now officially outdated: it’s Trumpism vs. ‘universal values’ holdouts
The former was based on two things: a nation divided by new wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as a nation with huge inequalities between rural and urban/suburban citizens (in access to technology, cultural influence and standard of living). It was rural Americans who fought in these wars of imperialism (and not mere revenge for 9/11), which drastically shaped the communities they lived in, thus making the divide especially inflamed.
However, in 2020 Texas almost flipped Democrat?! Arizona – the proud home of reactionary radical John “Bomb bomb bomb Iran” McCain – is currently flipping Democrat?! Several Great Lakes states have already flipped back and forth in the Trump era. Trumpism has – for better or for worse – obviously changed American politics in a major way because unthinkable realignments are happening, and this forces us to eject old paradigms if we want to understand what is going on here.
The new partition is “brazen imperialism” versus “soft imperialism”.
But here’s our dilemma: Which party represents which? That we pause is entirely the change to grasp in 2020.
Democrats have become the party which backs the Deep State, “humanitarian interventions”, “universal values” which are a code phrase for their preferred values, free trade (which benefits the rich the most), censorship and which evinces a dangerous evangelism and hysterical self-righteousness (as their failed three-year Russophobia campaign showed). Violent evangelism is forbidden in Islam, but not in the Protestant or Catholic West.
What can we call French President Emmanuel Macron’s unprecedented declaration that Islamophobia is now state policy but a hysterical evangelism in favor of Western secularism? It’s hardly as if secularism has produced more moral or just governance than in religious-inspired nations, yet Macron’s faith cannot be shaken no matter how many innocent people his anti-Muslim tirades get killed.
And who is more globalist, “universal values” and pro-European Union than “neoliberal strongman” Macron, no matter how many French Yellow Vests lose an eye just for insisting that neoliberalism means the colonization of the average of Westerner by an international 1%, and also that the post-1991 EU is a “neoliberal empire”?
I broaden out the US experience because in the other Western imperialist nations we clearly see similar cultural movements – engaging in imperialism inherently produces exceptional and distorted cultures. Ex-Labor chief Jeremy Corbyn was just suspended by his own party for absurd anti-Semitism allegations because that is what hysterical imperialists do to those who don’t embrace 1%-led globalization. It used to be that such denigrations were limited to conservatives, but Corbyn proves how flexible our analysis needs to be precisely because traditional Western paradigms have become outdated.
Trump has signaled the start of a new era: the Cold War ended in 1991, US unipolar dominance (and thus Western dominance) ran from 1992-2016, and Trumpism coincides with the Great Recession-era propelled return to a multipolar era.
The undeniable electoral rejection of a “Democratic Blue Wave” in favor of “Trumpian Republicans” – where Trump increased his vote totals with every ethnic group and gender except White males – shows that the concept of White male supremacism being the foundation of Trumpism is as false as the labels of anti-Semitism pinned on Corbyn and the Yellow Vests. Trumpism is something bigger: it certainly must now include the idea of a Western domestic rebellion against their politicians who have presided over (or caused) the establishment of our new multipolar era.
The digital era does not seem to lend itself to the values still required to thrive in rural areas, so far, but last week’s vote totals prove that we cannot say that Trumpism is simply a “red state” phenomenon anymore.
This is not new: heads are divided in the US metaphorically, and maybe soon literally
Trump is planning to hold “recount rallies”, to publish the obituaries of dead people alleged to have voted in the election, to sue various state election boards, and to generally keep refusing to play by the rules of the globalist/“universal values” dominated US establishment (which is the basis of Trump’s popularity). You might be shocked by all that, or oppose all that, but you cannot say that Trump supporters should be frozen out of how this election concludes unless you openly prefer unilateral declarations to democracy with checks and balances.
A concession speech by one candidate is not legally required, but it is obviously a cultural necessity. How long can US media pretend that the election is over even though there has been no concession speech?
That’s an incredibly dangerous question to ask, and undoubtedly terrible journalism, and more proof that this election could not have gone worse for Americans if it had tried.
What would have happened Saturday in Chicago if pro-Trump supporters had gone to Trump Tower, where all day and night there were hundreds of people celebrating Biden’s “victory”? I can tell you, as I was there: a whole lot of innocent young people would have gotten their heads split open.
That’s the danger Biden just caused, and which is being increased by poor journalism and which has only just begun.
Biden set off this era of two presidents rather than counselling patience and faith in the process amid crisis. Biden has also set the stage for dramatic domestic disillusionment with their electoral process and political structure. Trump voters are incensed, and Biden just trolled them even though the US mainstream media was already doing exactly that for him.
In 2009 the moderate candidate declared early in Iran’s presidential election and after periods of peaceful rallies and counter-rallies it got violent. America should have learned from Iran’s experience (shared by countless other examples in modern history) but apparently Biden is not smart enough despite 47 years experience as a public servant. Nobody ever assumes great public service and intelligence from Trump, and certainly not the virtue of forbearance, but Biden promised better yet failed to deliver on what he said was his Day 1.
Biden was supposed to be better than Trump, but this was the worst start possible.
He can smile for the cameras, and create a corona task force which can’t start until January 21, and ignore the calls to finish counting the vote and to certify it, but the simple reality is that 70 million Trump voters are not going away in 2020 any more than they went away after they won in 2016. They need to be understood – they were unexpected, at the very least, and seem to herald a new era, at the most.
Trump’s re-election would probably not be good for the same countries as in 2016 – Iran, Palestine, Cuba, Venezuela and any other of the few nations with a socialist-inspired revolution/movement – and so we see why leaders and diplomats from these nations especially want him gone: Trump cannot be reasoned with regarding these revolutionary (unique) nations. Who knows what a Trump second term would bring? But Biden continues to show plenty of worrying evidence that he plans to get away with the same unilateral nonsense Trump set the precedent for, rather than re-establishing basic decorum, concern for others and diplomacy. I examined this notion last month in an editorial titled, “US debate debacle shows Democrats will adopt Trumpian self-interest globally”, and Biden’s reckless premature declaration shows the idea has a worrying amount of merit.
Unilateral nonsense is not good for the American 99% or the 99% of any other nation. With two presidents, American nonsense has only doubled.
(Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.)