2 July, 2022


Insular-Nativism Versus Leftish-Liberalism: America Is Likely To Dump The Trump

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

It is pretty certain Hilary Clinton will be the Democrat’s candidate and Donald Trump has clinched the GOP (Grand Old Party or Republican) nomination. GOP high ups loathe Trump; House Speaker Paul Ryan, Bush-41, Bush-43, David Petraeus and former candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney have declined to endorse him. Eventually most will climb down but internal GOP schisms will debilitate his campaign and the scenario in the party is still murky. This piece explores Trump’s appeal and why nevertheless he is likely to be rejected by the electorate.

The odious contours of Trump’s campaign appeal to America’s economic losers and the Tea Party gadflies that the GOP recklessly encouraged as a whip against Obama. But he is resonating far beyond and has attracted the blue-collar white working class and it is not true that his appeal is only to a minority in the party. In recent weeks a majority of Republicans, frustrated by the debility of the economy, seem to have thrown in their lot with ‘outsider’ Trump. It is the economy/jobs/government spending not his outlandish pronouncements and whacky bluster that keeps Trump’s image alive.

Donald Duck economics

Trump’s table thumping on the economy has little connection with reality, but it is blunt. The US economy is in trouble; but not because it is being ripped-off (“raped” is his latest ejaculation) by China, Mexico, presumably Vietnam and other low labour cost (high productivity) countries. “We are a great nation but shackled by foreigners; there is nothing wrong with America per se (except of course Obama and the Democrats) it’s the fault of trade, currency manipulation, immigrants stealing our resources and the dirty doings of crafty Chinese and dumb Mexicans”; that’s his message. It speaks to falling living standards of working and lower middle classes and the fears of middle-middle class conservatives. What I am driving at is this: It’s not new that Trump’s fans are daft, but the point is that economic insecurity in many population pockets resonates with his rant.

 Donald Duck economic illiteracy

Donald Duck economic illiteracy

That people are in a funk does not make Trumponomics (Donald Duck economics) coherent though the forces driving it are real. The contentious issue is the near collapse of US manufacturing in the face of global competition. In simple terms: If it costs $10 to make and market a commodity in the US, then it can be made in China or Vietnam, shipped to the US and sold for $7. The US cannot meet this challenge, notwithstanding its higher productivity, because wages (and therefore living standards) are disproportionately higher. Production of that commodity may take one man-hour in the US and a wage of $10 (ignore profit, materials and energy costs) and one and a half hours of $4 per hour labour in Asia. Then the Asian labour contained in exactly the same commodity is $6. Add $1 for shipping and still the American housewife makes a gain of $3 (30%). To put it another way there is a transfer of $3 of surplus-value from Asian labour to American consumer. Since labour is cheap in China or wherever (cheaper than necessitated by lower productivity) there is a transfer of surplus-value to the US commodity market; that is lower prices benefit the buyer as well. This is the crux of the matter in the simplest possible terms, not cheating, “raping” or unfair trade practices.

This is not America’s problem alone but global; 90% of the world’s energy saving lamps, 70% of spectacles, 60% of shoes, brassieres, bags and suitcases and 30% of toys are made in China. The list goes on, and it is no conspiracy that global companies invest in profitable (after adjustment for risk) foreign locations. Capital goes where cost is low; that’s its law of gravity.

This is not to say that there are no unfair or discriminatory trade practices in China; there are, but that explains only a small part of the huge US trade deficit. The overriding reason is the American consumer’s insatiable thirst for cheap commodities egged on by a potent drive in exporting countries to ship as much as possible. This, nobody, neither Trump nor Saunders or Clinton can tell the people as it amounts to saying: “Cut your wage, lower your living standards, you are living beyond your means, you are uncompetitive”. It’s the same elsewhere; can we tell doctors and workers in Lanka in the context of ETCA that their salaries are high compared to equally competent Indian counterparts? Populist opposition to ETCA is Lanka’s version of America’s Donald-Bernie trade protectionism. The truth is the US economy has declined for historical and structural reasons; this is reality, conspiracy theories are myth. Nevertheless, the American economy is powerful and Sanders is absolutely right that the top 1% of society is harvesting all fruits and the lowest 80% is left out to corrode with nothing of the gains in wealth and income.

Existential preferences replace ideological divisions

All over the world, left-versus-right hard divides have turned hazy and existential preferences are taking the place of ideological divisions. A striking example is globalisation and free trade. The most vociferous opponent of the European Union is the rising ultra-right in France (Le Penn), UK (UKIP), Denmark (Peoples Party) and Austria (Freedom Party). And now US GOP presidential candidate Trump trashes trade pacts past (NAFTA), and future (TPA and TTIP) and supports Brexit. Conversely, the left and social democrats are accommodative of internationalism (read globalisation), global trade and dealing with China despite protectionist pressure from below. An intriguing case of ideological haze is that though Labour suffered setbacks in UK local government elections, in London Labour’s anti-Corbyn right-leaning Sidiq Khan (a Muslim son of a bus driver), polled 1.3 million votes, the largest individual mandate in the country’s electoral history. This of course must be read in the context that about 40% of London’s population is non-white

One reason for such complications is that alterations shaped by modern capitalism have changed monolithic class blocks into amorphous fluid forms. The factory working class has declined and been replaced by a modern working class (mistakenly called middle-class), more educated and adaptive than its predecessor. Being more educated this class has a broad societal view of wealth and inequality conflicts and of corporate and finance capital, than factory-gate modes of struggle. It is youth from this class that is flocking to Bernie Sanders radicalism. Its long term impact on America will be profound and less conspicuous but similar resurgences are visible in Europe.

Immigration is another issue on which the left-right divide has blurred. Angela Merkel, Germany’s Christen Democratic Chancellor, not the left, is the champion of enlightenment values re the Syrian refugees. Modi is more populist on class matters than his predecessor Manmohan of Nehru’s Congress. In the political contest between the Ranil-Sirisena and the Mahinda-Weerawansa power blocks, pray who is right and who is left? Existential, that is issue-based divisions crisscross and erase old ideological divides. Even the JVP is pro-government, at least more anti-Mahinda than the other way. Existential concerns are supplementing if not displacing inherited categories.

Across the world issue-based concerns supplant fixed ideological allegiances. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are both opposed to the US joining international trade agreements since they are both deluded that it is not the intrinsic decline of the domestic economy, but the stealing of jobs by foreign countries that lies at the root of America’s woes. So a progressive social democrat and a near-fascist demagogue are within spitting distance on a key issue of the election! However an unchanging Sanders’ refrain is inequality; “the richest 1% has more wealth than the lowest 90%; the Walton family of Walmart fame, the nation’s richest, has more wealth than the lowest 40% of the population, etc.” Trump shuns these themes because the GOP is the political zeitgeist of Wall Street.

Insular-nativism versus leftish-liberalism

Trump’s and Sanders’ populism seem to complement each other, but are worlds apart. The paradox must give us pause. It is indeed residual un-erased ideological schism that divides them into what the old Soviet era jargon called ‘different camps’. Trump leads an insular-nativist upsurge in the GOP and America, while Hilary Clinton (after the Democrats unify with the inclusion of Sanders) will represent a leftish-liberalism. I use leftish not the more usual leftist because it is more amorphous. The term liberalism is chosen to describe Hilary’s political provenance, her proven democratic activism and the Clinton dynasty’s ties to Wall Street.

The insular-nativist political revanchism that Trump embodies is primitive. His xenophobia is populism to stir America’s angry-about-the-economy classes; a whacky bombastic persona pairs with primitivism. In style, stable and substance there is a deep difference in what the candidates put on the table. Trump’s candidature will stir up heat; Sanders’ will drive policies on income, health, education and taxation and force the Democratic Convention to commit a putative Clinton presidency on these issues. America is likely see off Trump as dangerous both at home and abroad and if I am right, we are on course to a Hilary Clinton presidency. Could I be wrong? Maybe, but it’s too early to say.

President Trump on the world stage

The plain truth is that Trump as president will make only a small difference in matters of war and peace. All his bombast about wiping out ISIS real fast will achieve no more than Bush’s venture into Iraq. Roll into one place; get rolled out of two others. America has learnt the costly lesson of the limits of military power in the Twenty-first Century; under Trump it will unlearn some of it before relearning at a higher cost. Obama’s achievements were in foreign policy; the centre pieces are the Iran Nuclear Agreement, the new understanding with India, repaired relations with Cuba and Latin America and the far improved image of America all around the world.

I doubt Trump will be able to damage official settlements but he will squander Obama’s image building legacy, tear it to tatters. If he carries on as now a visit by a President Trump to Asia, the Middle East or South America will invite jeers – and not only in China and Mexico.

However the worst consequence for the US of a Trump presidency, in the unlikely event he does implement the xenophobic economic agenda he spouts, is that it will open an era of trade wars leading to US economic isolation. I say unlikely because the bureaucracy, Wall Street, a Republican or Democrat controlled Congress and public outcry will stop him in his tracks. But one can’t be sure, the chap is such a loose cannon.

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Latest comments

  • 16

    The horns of the left leaning merchant of doom are like a sloth the key to poverty.

    “I don’t like Hillary Clinton at all. I never did like her. It has nothing to do with her politics, I just never liked her. I don’t like her attitude,”
    “It’s not because she’s a woman; I think she’s arrogant. I don’t know, she might be just fine, but she comes across as arrogant.”

    “I think Trump is nuts, but I’d love to have him as a president to see what happens,”

    ‘Make America Great Again’- Trump.

    ((Of the 420 counties seen as sharing a culture that transcends state lines, Trump won all but 16 , including a sweep of western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and the western uplands of Virginia with potentially profound ramifications for the general election.))

  • 5

    “Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are both opposed to the US joining international trade agreements since they are both deluded that it is not the intrinsic decline of the domestic economy, but the stealing of jobs by foreign countries that lies at the root of America’s woes.”

    There was a similar situation in the UK over three decades ago when Enoch Powell and Tony Benn were both against Britain joining the EU.
    To pair Powell and Benn on that basis would have been rather silly.
    I think that Prof David is oversimplifying Sanders who is now an inspiration for a re-emerging American Left.
    I remember him once putting Rajapaksa and Chavez on par.

    Hilary Clinton has in the past several months has proven herself to be opportunistic and untrustworthy. To pin hopes on her for anything is naive.
    Even Bernie Sanders would have failed, or martyred by an assassin’s bullet.
    But what does it matter, the US is run for the 1% by the less than 0.01% who control the Corporations.

    • 1

      “”But what does it matter, the US is run for the 1% by the less than 0.01% who control the Corporations. “”

      Its the same at China, Russia, Saudi, India, North Korea and more interestingly they are all into Capitalism the New Ideal.
      They miss the west especially northern europe very much when it comes to being altruistic- social services.

      The 1% population of Indians in the USA are the next big power after the Jewish.

      Is that the takeover you are thinking?

      They are needed more than you know- minorities African Americans- 13.2% Latinos 17% (you know how many would get their ballots)

      India does not have lottery green card like lanka or nepal- its a slog from H1B to green or straight green on excellence at graduation top merit only from the highest ranked institutes in the country. Highest H1B are issued at Chennai thanks to its auto spares manufacture retained from the days of B Raj.
      Chennai Indian engineers are in the Auto at USA from 1920.
      Unlike stupid sinhalese dharmapalas who shut BCC and lost our gas pipe lines saying its the Suddhas Tram line.

  • 2

    Trump Policy: Bring the jobs back from China, and the jobs and money will belong to US. Salaries and wages will be subsidized by GoUS (with the money that didn’t get siphoned off to China).

    GOP and Democratic aspiration: All based on futuristic 1,000 year old plan (prophesy) to encircle the globe and control it extraneously (with many ME-type killings along the way)

    Trump plan (independent new-thought, though quasi GOP – New World order at its best): control the globe intrinsically from American-born invention and innovation (far reduced killings…..mostly trade deals even with the enemy)

    • 8

      So is that all the manure you have in the lounge??
      Good,do no more the day would dawn without a song!!

      (carbon foot print of subject, ratio to robot,….)

  • 1

    In the last presidential election in Sri Lanka the majority of the Sri Lanka n’s voted for MS and thus made MaRa and duplicate or look alike MS dummy lose.
    But the majority of the Sinhala nation voted for MaRa.
    So Dr.Kumar David my interpretation of what you are saying is – the majority of the white US will vote for Trump yet he will be dumped by the majority of the non white US and minority of the white US.

  • 1

    By the way I forgot to ask one question. That is Animal Farm story, Mahinda Rajapakse story and Donald Trump story after US presidential election will have anything in common ?

  • 3

    Prof. Kumar David, How can I disagree with you. But, I will.

    1) Trump’s verbal diarrhoea, at the stumps, was his crafty ploy to secure the GOP nomination.

    2) Now that he has secured the nomination, he is slowly re-crafting his tactics. The wise man that he is, this was bound to happen.

    3) A democrat dissatisfied with Hilary might vote for Trump; but, no republican will ever vote for Hilary. At best they will abstain.

    4) Hilary was so cocky, she wasted her opportunity 8 years ago. She didn’t know what had hit her. Her time has come and gone.

    5) Having correctly assessed that his best chance to become President was against Hilary, Trump was waiting for the right time to enter the race.

    6) Now, Trump will work and work hard at winning over GOP stalwarts. The only Republican stalwart who matters today is House Speaker Paul Ryan. Trump has already made his move to patch up with him. Other stalwarts will take the lead from Ryan. They all hate Hilary.

    7) A US woman President is more than 4 years away.

    • 2


      Actually some Republicans have already announced they will vote for Hillary. And others, like the Bushes, have already said they won’t vote for either Trump or Hillary. Your analysis is not right.

      In the run-up to election day, Democrats will have a field day showing the many Republican stalwarts who called Trump a con artist, a liar, untrustworthy, unsuitable to be commander in chief and have access to the nuclear codes, a cheat, etc. Trump’s past positions have been all over the map, and many conservatives detest him; he also has too many skeletons, such as his mob connections during the early years of his business, his repeated bankruptcies, his tax evasions, his struggle with venereal disease and dodging Vietnam draft, etc., that will all be brought out with force.

      His support base is made up almost entirely of white men. Although most prognosticators, myself included, got it wrong about Trump’s popularity with such white men, that party has always had the biggest share of struggling white underclass, many of whom are just ‘crazies’ who cannot think straight and support Trump. Whatever the negatives Hillary may have, she is still the most likely to win, and do so by a wide margin, with a broad coalition of 40% of white men, 80% white women, 95% of African Americans and Hispanics. She will be supported by labor unions which have traditionally provided the Democratic party the edge in boots on the ground for door-to-door campaigns.

      Although Republicans have generally had evangelicals who often come close to matching the unions in door-to-door campaigns, can a divided Republican party match the labor unions and enthuse their base? Trump lied that Ted Cruz’s father was part of the conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy, and that made it hard for Cruz to support Trump; a sizable share of the evangelicals still support Cruz and may simply sit out the election. Marco Rubio likewise has supporters who won’t vote for Trump.

      • 11


        Hillary’s time came and left her long ago.
        Barry`Hussain`stole the show with his nappy changing and hope that has brought in all the chaos to the world- Illiberal Democracy.

        Next big bet on woman would be Ivanka Marie Trump an American businesswoman, writer, and former model- daughter of Donald Trump.

        Asked if the election were held today and the choice was between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, a SheSpeaks poll of US women age 18+ revealed that 58% would support Clinton while 42% would support Trump. SheSpeaks, the influencer marketing and media platform, conducted the poll nationally on February 23 and 3,200 members of their community responded.
        By comparison, back in September 2015, only 14% of those polled in the SheSpeaks community said they would definitely support Trump.
        According to Aliza Freud, CEO, SheSpeaks, “Given the negative comments Trump has expressed about women that have been widely publicized throughout the race, I’m surprised to see his support growing among our community of women.”
        About SheSpeaks
        SheSpeaks, Inc. is an influencer marketing and media platform fueled by its community of content creators with a reach of 100 million. Its recently launched video platform, SheSpeaksTV, produces and amplifies video content targeted to women age 25+.

  • 2

    “A loose cannon” should be replaced by “A loose ICBM”.

    This guy and Kim Jong-Un should be invited by the UFC or MMA for the main attraction of the century – a fight to the death!

    Just imagine the ticket sales!!!

  • 2

    Power systems,Marxist & Trotsky ideologies,American Presidential elections etc etc etc.
    What a wide Bandwidth Prof:AKD!
    Could I Pl.ask you to part with 1%[Just 1%] of those Analytical skills?
    Have Mercy on Plato!

  • 4

    Our government has lost sight of that fundamental principle that makes us all Americans.

    This country is at a crossroads and needs someone who has the strength of character to pursue “outside the box” solutions.

    Donald is the only candidate in America who comes to the campaign trail already possessing power, wealth and celebrityship … He does not seek the Presidency to gain those accolades — he has them. He seeks the Presidency to return those great attributes to America from whom he received them.

  • 2

    Trump will get most of white mens vote, a decent percentage of white women and Latino vote.

    What unites the above is the fear of legal and illegal immigration pushing them out of jobs or bring down wages.
    Even Latinos who are US citizens do not want more immigration.

    There are 90 million US citizens, including retirees no longer looking for work. They are all in fear of loss of pensions etc.
    Most of the jobs created are low wage jobs.

    The most important voter issues are Immigration (and economy) and the wars in the Mid east.

    So if the race is between Clinton and Trump, Trump will win hands down.
    If the race is between Sanders and Trump it is a close call because Sanders also has policies to protect the jobless etc.

    There is also the possibility that Trump might get killed because he too much of a threat to the establishment.

    Thats my prediction, so will not be arguing.
    Lets see in Nov.


  • 8

    “”There is also the possibility that Trump might get killed because he too much of a threat to the establishment. “”

    From day one the american forces are solidly with him.

    You mean an immigrant drug smuggling mafia would attempt??-

    That would be the day if you understand how the Japanese and Italians were hounded and jailed during WW2.

    This is America the man made dream land.
    Donald Trump is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get candidate who has “elevated” the political discourse, according to the candidate’s daughter, Ivanka Trump.
    – tells Forbes.

    “He’s honest. With him, what you see is what you get — even if you don’t like the topic,”
    she said, according to a report from The Telegraph published Friday.
    “I think people respect the fact that he is bold enough. That is something we have never seen in politics.”

  • 1

    Not so fast Mr. David.

    There winding and bump road for both “Clinton Cash” and “Donald duck”. I am a Sri Lankan, legal immigrant to USA. I will vote for Trump. Republicans are warming up to Trump, polls so far are showing neck and neck race. So Mr. David, it is not a cake walk for “Clinton Cash” or manufactured Clinton presidency.

  • 4


    I dont know where you live . but in this country anything other than obama wins . Trump wins for sure . a lot of the Blakes powers rices will all go . and thank goodness its a good thing .

    I think Trump is a moron just like Sira is a moron . but morons win power as most of the people are morons .

  • 1

    A “leftist” without horns.

  • 1

    At the previous US election the Tamil Diaspora ‘Tamils for Hilary’ campaign turned to a ‘Tamils for Obama campaign’. Clinton & Obama repaid their sponsors by their never ending attempts to take the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse to the International Court of Criminal Justice, for alleged War Crimes. The same forces are now working for Hilary Clinton, hoping to make her the President. Then they will get-together with Wigneswaran who is now demanding a Federal State in Sri Lanka, with the help of Jayalalitha and her supporters Tamil Nadu to destabilise Sri Lanka. The request for bullet proof vehicles for the Prime Minister may be related to this emerging threat. BEWARE OF THIS EMERGING THREAT.

  • 0

    Over the years, America playing the role of policeman to the world has been costly, but brought distinct advantages and respect. E.g one of her biggest advantages is that the world’s oil is priced in US Dollars no matter where it is produced. In its crudest sense, it means that while other countries have to earn US$ to pay for their energy, USA simply has to print them. Also, in reality, most of the UN’s members are aware of the unjust situation between Israel and Palestine, but still vote with the USA’s mantra that Israel is entitled to self-defence however disproportionate her actions. America has bases in 184 countries worldwide, and Trump interprets it as protectionism and wants payments for it, something akin to the racketeers of Mafia and others. Thankfully American voters ar far more astute than people give them credit for. Didn’t they elect Obama for 2 terms against all the false rhetoric and challenges put forward by the Republican Congress and Fox News.

    • 3

      Its USA that found the Oil in the first place and are still the 3rd largest exporter of crude oil.
      So whose oil is it muslim oil? We saw at libya that the educated libyans could not extract even 1/2 the previous amount and have called the Italians back.
      Todays prices are low because USA decides it.China’s prices is low but still the same as before because China decides it.
      Saudi cannot do a thing about it – they are pumping at a rate never before because their budget is fu**ed for ever.

      I think the palestinians are as stupid as the rest of the islamist to cling onto a piece of land that they never know how to exploit.
      Unfortunately, however much they get educated their animal behaviour comes to the fore like Russians in an argument who behave like bears.
      It would have been better for them to move to other areas of islam and provide the white babies. Haven’t you muslims enveloped Asia with all your tentacles using Democrats of USA the French and even Hitler and now Merkel??

      Muslims have stolen much from the island and its native people. only fit for the harem is how your men see you Isn’t it??
      Come to infidel land you love to live and try converting others to your satanic verses.- what gaul you must have?

    • 1

      “”America has bases in 184 countries worldwide, and Trump interprets it as protectionism and wants payments for it, something akin to the racketeers of Mafia and others.””

      you speak like the arrogant journalist whom Trump brushed aside all the time- He is the creator of Apprentice and bad mouth Sir Sugar copied it so he was ignored when he tried to take that place which Trump has not vacated.
      You stereo gossip type are no match for real men and women. See below.
      What The Trump would do he made clear in november and needs no interpretation from journos in particular(he would kick your backside – because political science is not economy that we feel- Its all on CNN Videos- 3 mins max.
      We like to see the best in him and boris.
      Like a big company BHS that failed recently because it did not change from the stereotype CEO. On the other hand the Former CEO `Guardian Media Group` who gave it that umph Carolyn McCall born Bengaluru, India. Present CEO Easy Jet. A very human person according to her staff- they are happy people because she lets them let lose their hair when tired.She is said to prefer a “pragmatic approach to Human Resources rather than politically correct niceties”.She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to the aviation industry. A person who joined as a teacher before post graduation and climbed the ladder.This is the type of west you fools critise.

      America has even more bases to drown a mulla and half.It has 756 bases worldwide to care for national integrity. When I register my patent rights in the USA the bases are there to protect my patent right and i get my royalty.
      It is you who have no respect for human dignity isn’t it the reason why your god is in 2 dimension words and not 3 dimension human?? We are infidel you want to kill us because we are 3 dimensional but we see you 3 dimensional too so why kill because trade is not with the fingers anymore but more complex. Technology runs a major portion of anyone’s profession 90% of a surgeon’s.
      Its a power that is expensive and cannot be developed cheap.

      A Levis cost more than a pair of Lee’s because the patent rights operator sees to it that the counterfeit are challenged worldwide.
      Isn’t India China Copying and so Lanka. While the hard working Germans and Japanese decided to buy raw patent rights and develop them in the aftermath of WW2.
      At lanka the late runner in the ethnic row is the immigrant muslim as it did in the great partition of Hindustan -stole a chunk of 1 million Kilometer Square. Pakistan East West.

  • 1

    Wishful thinking on Kumar David / Tamil LTTE supporting ‘diaspora’. ‘Killary’ Clinton will only win if the 1% that wants her in the White House fix the elections as they done in US for so long! ….The E-mails are fast catching up with ‘Killary’. So wait for an explosive campaign and more exposes.

    • 3

      how can 3rd world and ME support GOP? I never seen you say a word last november- no not one and similarly at the last election of President non on CT said no confidence because you don’t know who you are.
      they(tamils) are as democrat as CBK is – the whole island is one that bites the fingers that feeds them- independance 4th Feb-thats it. bite yourself now puddu!

      the only man who has helped the tamils was Boris – a man who walks the walk not just talk the talk like prof K.D. Hopefully he would become PM to balance UK- economically.

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