Tony Greenstein | 10 November 2016 | Post Views:

Clinton andTrump = 2 poisons – Strychnine and Arsenic 
Why do the pundits and pollsters always get it wrong?
It wasn’t that difficult to get it right early

Way back on May 27th I predicted
that  Donald Trump would win the US
Presidency.  It was clear that his crude
economic nationalism coupled to his racism and chauvinism, had everything going
for it compared to the lacklustre field of candidates he faced in the
Republican primaries who all conveyed the same message.  As the election progressed I had little doubt
that Trump was on course for victory, the ‘locker room’ tape

You have to wonder what they pay pundits like
Jonathan Freedland for.  It seemed
obvious that Trump was appealing to the disenfranchised and disillusioned
working class.  If one ignored the crude
racism and sexism then there was something else that marked Trump out from the
rest of the Republican pack.  That
something was his crude nationalism that expressed itself as hostility to the
effects of globalisation on the voiceless and disillusioned working class of
America. In Britain the same movement threw Britain out of the European Union.
Goldman Sachs in human form –   she cheated Bernie Sanders out of the nomination
Under neo-liberalism it has been easy to export jobs
to Asia, Mexico and anywhere else where labour is cheaper.  Under the Democrats and Barak Obama, US
multinationals could sit, like Apple, on hundreds of billions of dollars whilst
refusing to invest this in jobs. 
Neo-liberal economic policies have resulted in an utter catastrophe for
millions of American workers. 

Let’s look at the figures.  US median
household incomes by 2015 were below the levels in 1999. At their lowest point
following the crisis, in 2012, US median household incomes were more than 9 per
cent below their 1999 peak level. The US population has suffered more than a
decade and a half fall in incomes. 

This has been accompanied by a massive rise in income inequality and the
falling share of incomes received by the great majority of the US population.
This trend began with the introduction of neoliberal ‘Reaganomics’ in the
1980s. The share of total US incomes received by the bottom 80 per cent of the
US population fell from 56 per cent in 1967 to 49 per cent in 2015. Over the
same period the share of total incomes received by the top 20 per cent of the
population rose from 46 per cent to 51 per cent.

In monetary terms, the total income of the top 20 per cent of US households
in 2015 was $5.1 trillion while that of the entire bottom 80 per cent was only
$4.9 trillion. The total income of the top 5 per cent of the US population in
2015 of $2.2 trillion was over seven times that of the bottom 20 per cent of
the US population of $0.3 trillion. See Wave
of reaction sweeps Trump into White House

This rise in income disparity, like that under Tony
Blair and New Labour in Britain, explains the social and economic basis for the
political move to the right amongst the American white working class just as in
Britain it resulted in the heavy support for Brexit in the industrial
heartlands of the North, which Thatcher and Blair together hollowed out.
Yet for Jonathan Freedland of that once great newspaper,
The Guardian, it’s all down to one man, Donald Trump.  In Who
is to blame for this awful US election?
Freedland asks ‘Who is to blame?’
before providing the answer: ‘The
list is so long,
from the Republican party to the media, from the pollsters
and data nerds who got it so wrong to the Clinton campaign team that took
onetime Democratic bastions for granted, including Clinton herself, who for all
her strengths was a flawed candidate.’
If Bernie Sanders hadn’t been cheated out of the nomination he might be President now
Freedland informs us that ‘the US’s search for
Obama’s successor has been a horror show, revealing – and dredging up – a stew
of racism, misogyny and casual violence bubbling below the surface of American
life. Eight in 10 US voters say the campaign has left them feeling disgusted,
according to a CBS/New York Times poll last week. Not
dissatisfied. … The blame for this belongs to one man. Donald Trump has
fought a presidential campaign like no other.’
And this is what passes these days for incisive
journalism.  There was a time when the
Guardian employed someone like Victor Zorza, its East European columnist who
alone amongst analysts predicted the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia
in 1968.  Even Hugo Young, looking back,
was capable of incisive criticism of Thatcherism.  You only have to think of John Palmer, the
Guardian’s thought provoking European editor or Richard Gott from South
America, Victoria Brittain or its brilliant Middle East correspondent, David
Hirst.  The only journalist that it
employs today with any talent is Gary Younge. 
Owen Jones may be on the left, for the moment, but his superficiality
and lack of depth which is what marks him out.
Today the Guardian is just another neo-liberal
newspaper for whom Jeremy Corbyn is the main target.  If Freedland and his fellow writers had even
a spark of original thought they might realise that Corbyn like Bernie Sanders
is a left-wing reaction to globalisation, neo-liberalism and neo-conservative
foreign policy.  Just as the Guardian
supported Clinton, the corrupt representative of the Democratic leadership in
the USA so it has given consistent support to the equally bankrupt Right of the
British Labour Party.
Having cheated Bernie Sanders out of the nomination
through the corrupt manipulations by the Democratic leadership under Deborah Wasserman-Schultz,
they failed to see Clinton’s personal and political flaw.
Blaming the pollsters for getting it wrong is like
blaming the weatherman for inclement weather. 
Sure Michael Fish failed to predict the hurricane in 1987 but he wasn’t responsible
for it!  It is a mark of the
superficiality of what passes for Guardian journalism that Freedland cannot
think beyond reflex spluttering at Trump’s crude racism and sexism. 
Even this might be convincing if the same Freedland
didn’t act as a one-man apologist for an Israeli government whose members
either compare Palestinians to animals or declare they are sub-human (Rabbi Eli
Dahan) or who, like Miri Regev, the ‘Culture’ Minister compared African
refugees (termed infiltrators like Palestinian refugees trying to slip back
into the country)  to cancer and when
people complained, apologises to cancer victims for having compared them to
refugees!  Netanyahu, who recently
declared that Arabs living outside the ‘Jewish’ state were wild beasts makes
Donald Trump seem positively liberal. 
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog declares that the Israeli Labour Party was
not an ‘Arab lovers’ party.  To those who
still don’t understand, ask whether ‘nigger lovers’ is acceptable or indeed ‘Jew
Hilary Clinton lost because in the face of Trump’s
economic nationalism, his opposition to the free trade agreements, his pledge
to repatriate jobs back to the USA, she trumpeted her competence.  People understood that the impoverishment of
the working class of America had taken place on the Democrat’s watch.  Obama Care has become unaffordable for many
at the same time as he has pursued policies which have increased wealth
disparity in the USA.   Clinton was Goldman
Sachs in human form.   As Trump said in
one of his better put-downs Clinton had experience but ‘bad experience’.
Rania Khalek, a Palestinian from the USA, tweeted
that the majority of Syrians she was in contact with wanted Trump to win
because Syrians would be less likely to die from being bombed under his
reign.  That is also why Trump is not the
villain of the pantomime.  Outside the
USA, Clinton would have been even more dangerous.
Of course having ridden the tiger Trump is not going
to be able to reverse the tide of globalisation.  This means that in order to maintain his
popularity we can look forward to a period of greater racism, deportations and
attacks on the left and human rights. 
Despite his isolationist policies I very much doubt that there is going to
be any reduction in the bases that the US maintain in 120 countries or a scythe
taken to the US’s over-sized military budge.
What we can do though is ensure that the politics of
neo-liberalism are defeated in Britain and in the Labour Party in particular.  Although Freedland and the Guardian don’t see
the connection between the politics they advocate and the political result,
thousands of others have woken up.

Tony Greenstein 

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Tony Greenstein

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