Meet Trump, Hillary’s Best Friend

by Elias Blum

It has become increasingly apparent to me over the years that we are in the midst of a great struggle – a struggle to reclaim democracy, humanity, community and ecology from the ravenous destructive beast of neoliberal oligarchy.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, the two leading contenders for the Democratic nomination in the forthcoming US presidential election, are on different sides of this struggle.

Viewing from afar, I cannot help put think that Hillary’s best ally (who belongs to a different party, but is essentially on the same side), is Donald Trump. The plutocrats and the oligarchs are terrified – absolutely terrified – of Bernie Sanders. So they get one of their own shitebags (someone loudmouthed and just clever enough to pull it off convincingly) to run on a ‘so tragically right wing and crazy that its almost comical but not really’ ticket.

This does two things. Firstly, it might get some of the ‘redneck vote’ that would otherwise, on economic grounds, be tempted by a lot of what Sanders has to offer. But that’s a minor issue, because Sanders’ considerable and growing working class support comes from high-information voters, tired of the ‘culture wars’ and motivated by economic concerns. Trump, in contrast, targets low-information voters motived motivated by race, American nationalism and anti-Islamic prejudice.

Secondly, and much more importantly, Trump’s presence  encourages moderate Republicans, the broad centre of American politics, to put their weight behind Clinton.

Look at the Republican field. There’s no one good, strong or capable. And in part that’s because the plutocrats and oligarchs don’t give a flying flip about abortion, gay marriage, prayer in schools, ‘Mooslim Mosks’, or anything else that mobilises the Republican base. All they care about is not rocking the boat for the corporate and financial interests.

And that means doing whatever they can to make sure that Clinton, not Sanders, wins the Democratic Primary; because, with the Republican field being so bad, it is in the Democratic Primary, not in the general election, that the next President of the United States will really be chosen. Trump’s real job is to encourage moderate Republican voters and supporters to turn away from the Republican party and to vote for, and donate to, Hillary instead.

The choice of a US President is, of course, a choice that only Americans can make. But it matters to us because the whole world – and especially Europe – will feel the repercussions of that choice.

Moreover, the same struggle is going on in every demcratic country. The names vary, but the same question is on the lips of many people across Europe and the world: are we going to be governed by corporate shills who will manage the interests of the rich, like Hillary, or by faithful champions of the people who will try to win a square deal for ordinary people, like Bernie?

The idea that Trump is a prop for Hillary and the oligarchs against Bernie and the people is, of course, nothing more than a  half-baked, unsubstantiated, conspiracy theory. Nevertheless, it is not implausible. In many countries we see a similar array of rich, well-connected, right-wing faux-populists whose real function seems to be to court the votes of the dispirited economic underclass. These dangerous jesters turn the anger of ordinary people away from the bankers and the financiers who wrecked the world, distract them from the evils of neo-liberal oligarchy and endless war, and focus their ire on those even weaker than themselves, such as the disabled, the sick, the refugees and the outcasts.

(Any resemblance to Nigel Flange is purely coincidental.)