Wednesday, November 9, 2016

President Trump - Rebirths & Reflections

So it finally happened. American Democracy, dependent upon your relative vantage point and biases, either 'jumped the shark', or reached its apotheosis. Possibly both at once.

By an incredible margin - whether the incredibly Yuuuge 276-215 in the Electoral College, or the incredibly tight mere million votes between the two candidates - Trump has now become the implicit leader of the 'Free World'.

Some might view this as a fairly calamitous if not outright catastrophic outcome - certainly, the impending migration flows of would-be Democrats leaving their homeland in earnest have already been sufficient to crash Canada's immigration department website.

But for those of us a little farther removed (say, on the other side of the world's largest ocean) from the chaos ... a different perspective is starting to become clear.

Hillary Clinton was the Washington Consensus personified, reified and embodied.

Whether on trade policy or NeoCon foreign policy bayonet-stances, she represented exactly what America has been doing, broadly speaking, for the last thirty years.

Trump, presuming he sticks to what he campaigned on (always a fraught risk with politician-types (which Trump apparently now is) - particularly if they're successful), ran on an outright and umbrage-laden repudiation of all of the above.

For those of us who've spent their entire political lives since attaining 'political consciousness' during the fervent opposition to the American-led War in Iraq, and who've more recently devoted much time and effort to attempting to block the #TPPA, you may perhaps forgive us for letting out a small sigh of relief at Trump's victory.

We now may be living in a world - a WORLD, mind you ... not a singular country, no matter how important - wherein these progressive causes: opposing militant American hegemony and the expansion of dastardly neoliberal economics which it often accompanies ... are now hopefully much easier to advance.

This is no small accomplishment. And yet, amidst all the bemoaning about how America allegedly "couldn't bring itself to elect a female president" (as Newshub's Samantha Hayes claimed as part of last night's coverage), it's something which many coming from the nominally progressive wing of politics have curiously overlooked.

I get that there will be many folks still left in America - where, according to some, the lunatic has taken over the asylum (although recall the quote about whom to look to in an Age of Madness to show the way, in a manner akin to a blind guide in total blackness) - who are now seriously disquieted about this result. Given the escalating tone of political violence which has taken place in America over the past year, and what a number of Trump's more extreme supporters may now do, I can well understand a goodly number of Americans not feeling safe in their own country.

But I can equally understand folk located elsewhere and in less privileged areas about the globe who're fundamentally relieved at the idea that the Age of American Suzerainty Secured Through Superior Firepower and rampantly oppressive 'trade' negotiations (which often seem to have precious little to do with actual trade, and far more to do with a cession of sovereignty from their economic targets) now appears to be coming - or sputtering - to an end.

Still, we are now very much in a Political Aeon of Uncertainty.

The only sure thing from now, going forward - is that we are, indeed, living in Interesting Times.

(Which, I note, is supposedly a Chinese curse :P )

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