The headline of this analysis is odd. I identified Trump as an egomaniac and a channler of working class anger (authoririanism) last September in this blog. The folks at the Nation are a bit slow at the switch.
But Bill Greider's article correctly identifies the problem... It's not our trade policy it's as they used to say in the Clinton I era - "it's the economy, stupid." If we had a coherent "invest in America" policy we could compete with the best of them while creating jobs in the USA...
"Despite its high wages, Germany is “an export powerhouse,” as economist Robert Pollin of UMass Amherst put it. Especially compared to the United States. “They achieved this success through aggressive industrial policies, Pollin said. In other words, the German government shaped the structure and performance of its major industrial sectors to produce these results."
This part is right on the mark... But note the key is "exporting" not America First... It's about tailoring an economy to compete in a global economy... not run away from it into isolationism. This is what reinvesting in America means - something Obama and Clinton have advocated but which the GOP in Congress has opposed... Until Congress changes hands and Dems from Rust Belt states get a clue - we'll continue to limp along...
Grieder gives Trump way too much credit. He's incoherent and if elected will be worse than Reagan ever was. His primary investment will be in the military not domestic sectors which will line the pockets and increase the power of the military industrial complex. He will skew the economy to the least efficient sector (MIC) and drive up the national debt as Reagan did. And trickle down economics will screw the average American.
And his foreign policy rabble rousing will lead us into more endless wars... his Malthusian job creation policy for our sons and daughters...
Instead of faint praise for Trump - Greider and the Nation should explain what "an aggressive industrial policy is." It's what Hillary is advocating when she refers to infrastructure investments and not putting all our eggs into a college education but in apprenticeship programs - which Germany has done for decades!
But no they'd rather poke Hillary in the eye! It's their "left winger" death wish that will put Trump into the Oval Office!
The history of rebellion is rife with excess and burnout. But new generations have a distinctive commitment to be reflective and activist at once, to be in service as much as in charge, and to learn from history while bringing very new realities into being. Quaker wise man Parker Palmer and journalist and entrepreneur Courtney Martin come together for a cross-generational conversation about the inner work of sustainable, resilient social change.
I've had the pleasure to be taught by Parker Palmer during a week long seminar at Colorado College in 1977. I then was able years later to bring him to Pacific. Aside from my mentor Mulford Q. Sibley at the U of Minnesota, Parker is the most transformational thinker I've ever met. This interview by Krista Tippet was on OPB last night on her On Being program. For those who are committed to social change this is a must interview.
is founder and Senior Partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal. His books include Healing the Heart of Democracy, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life, and Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation.
Trump supporters dismiss Trump's vile, vulgar and racist rhetoric as no big deal. But it is a big deal because it incites racist backlash. Imagine what a Trump presidency would do to "legitimize" such intolerance. Even in The People's Republic of Portland some folks can't resist the temptation to echo Trump's rhetoric by vandalizing a statue of the Jewish former mayor of Portland and speaker of the Oregon House.
A professor of Judaic Studies and Humanities at Reed in an op ed piece in Sunday's Oregonian posited some historical insight.
For those who think that Trump can't win and their vote doesn't matter - think again... The race is getting tighter every day...
I've attached on OP ED I wrote for the Forest Grove News-Times, September 2, 2015 early in the primary season.
While my analysis of Trump has stood the test of being accurate about his being a Wizard of Oz figure - like the pundit class - I too underestimated his staying power.
He's now within the margin of error in the EC RCP poll of winning the election.
This scares the hell out of me.
But on the eve of the first presidential debate next Monday, much can happen to unravel or send his candidacy into orbit. I argued correctly that Trump has tapped into a deep vein in the public psyche. A vein of fear and racism.
The fear factor plays on both sides of the political spectrum. Bernie voters and Trump voters traumatized by the Great Recession have lost faith that our political system can deliver on the promise of the American Dream.
This has created a sense of alienation and mistrust, a credibility gap between "what is" and "what ought to be."
Trump has managed to use that gap to broaden his appeal as a "savior figure" while Hillary struggles to energize a skeptical audience who regard her as untrustworthy and too mainstream. Voters seem to prefer a demagogue over a policy wonk.
But there is an unstated power which moves the Trump-o-meter, racism. Since Obama was elected the GOP opposition to him has been strident and unreasoning, it's more than just playing the role of the opposition - it's deeper.
The best barometer for me is that after Obama's victories in '08 and '12 gun sales soared. This unreasoning fear of Obama, along with the birther claims by Trump play on an unstated racism within the public - it's deeper than we want to admit.
The cop killings of African-Americans and the violent reaction by those on the fringes of BLM only accentuates a "law and order" mentality within the public which plays into Trump's hands. We are replaying the '68 Nixon/Wallace scenario of "white backlash."
The public disaffection towards conventional politics on the Left and Right, the normal polarization between Red and Blue voters and racial polarization defying logic adds fuel to Trump's neo-fascist "I am the answer" appeal.
Despite his flip flopping many fundamentalist Christians see Trump as a vehicle for their pro-life/anti-choice agenda while they cast a blind eye to Trump's moral lapses in his private life, dubious business practices and vulgarity in GOP debates.
I hope Hillary bursts his bubble in next Monday's debate, if she doesn't - then we are all in trouble.
“THE DONALD” – THUNDER ON THE RIGHT?
Sept. 2, 2015 – Op ed in Forest Grove News-Times
Donald Trump has the mainstream political class scratching their heads trying to figure out why this master of bombast is leading the GOP parade down the Yellow Brick Road of 2016.
Remember that road led Alice and her friends to the pinnacle of power - only to find the Wizard behind the drapes was a fake – all sound and fury meaning nothing.
Like Oz, The Donald is equally a fake or an illusionist in whom his fans put their hopes, fears and anger into his persona as if that was a solution to what bothers them about American politics.
But alas he has no answers - as his response in recent TV clip indicated when asked about his ideas beyond immigration - he simply walked off the stage leaving the young fellow in the dust.
The Donald is all about him - he's creating a cult of personality not an ideology. He's a vacuous self-promoting snake oil huckster out of the annals of Sinclair Lewis and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The Donald has got on with a diminishing and dying demographic - older white voters who are angry and clearly very anti PC.
Trump is a 21st century version of a politician who promises Americans like the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini did back in the day “to run the trains on time.” Instead Benito ran Italy into an alliance with Hitler's Germany and into the ditch of WW II.
The Donald is reminiscent of American neo-fascists such as Charles Lindbergh, Huey Long, Father Coughlin, Strom Thurmond, Robert Welch - who played on American fears of the time, hate of the other and legitimate grievances against the economic and political establishment.
Ironically, Trump is a member of the American oligarchy who is running against the 1% which is why he is feared and reviled by the GOP establishment. Again, if one looks behind The Donald’s curtain he has no answers just pomposity. He is American’s Putin.
Will he wear out his welcome down the road - probably?
But Trump is tapping into a deep vein in the American psyche. But it's a narrow fissure mostly within the Republican Party and a diminishing demographic in the American body politic,
Again, the math is against the GOP - the party of angry White voters with some "wizened aliens" added for good measure, as Garrison Keillor puts it.
With 53% of the electorate being women how will Trump's anti-woman rhetoric play in November of 2016? And similarly how will his anti-immigrant rhetoric play with the Black vote, the Latino vote and the Asian vote?
If Trump gets the GOP nomination he will sink the GOP ship just like Goldwater did in 1964. If he runs as an independent like Ross Perot in 1992 – he will seal the deal for Hillary, Bernie or Joe!
So bring it on The Donald...
In his journey down the yellow brick road cast as "Wicked” or the “Beast of the East" his campaign will hit a political road bump breaking his SUV’s axle ending the fantasy.
But the entertainment value will be great TV and Roger Ailes and Fox News will get what they richly deserve - a big slab of humble pie in their fat faces. They created “The Donald,” now their creation will ruin their fun!