24 September, 2018

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Trump’s Antics Quicken Decline Of The American Empire; Disarray In America’s Political Universe

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

“Those whom the Gods wish to destroy they first drive mad” ~ Fragment attributed to Euripides (c. 480 – c. 406 BC)

“Fake News Media badly wants a confrontation with Russia that leads to war” ~ Donald Trump on Twitter (19 July 2018)

President Trump is a chaotic oddball; it is hard to think of a Twentieth Century parallel except the mad monk Rasputin, who was probably insane, drunk most times and suffered mystical delusions. The parallels are that Donald Trump is unpredictable to the point of chaotic, obsessed with pussies and panties and suffers from inordinate narcissism flavoured with naiveté and arrogance. These personal quirks would hardly warrant an essay, but the uproar in US media and Congress after his tête-à-tête with Putin, the pandemonium he has ignited among Western allies, the commotion of ripping infants and children from illegal immigrant parents, and lastly the threat to reforms won over decades that his Supreme Court nominee (Justice Brett Kavanaugh) poses is, literally, unprecedented.  

Before getting into the thick of it I need to unwrap what may seem a puzzle. Those of you who have suffered the misfortune reading my etchings would have worked out that I am an unabashed Marxist pickled in modern science and dialectics. You will rightly ask: “What the devil do you, Satan, care if Trump is ripping up Western society? Shouldn’t you be dancing on the grave of capitalism? Have you degenerated into another liberal?” Well true, but there is a conditionality and a point of theory that I plead. The conditionality: Run of the mill capitalism is better than fascism, Hindenburg would have been better than Hitler, an anti-Paksa option will be better than Gota, and US liberal democracy is better than bedlam. To link hands with Trump and dance is as ghoulish as to embrace Gota because Yahapalana is a drifting eunuch. In simpler words, Trump is a menace to more than plain vanilla global capitalism; alt-right stimulated chaos can end in mayhem unknown.

Secondly, the sorry state of the modern world reveals to the theorist the deeply complex processes mediating the decline and fall of prevailing society. Yes Trump must go, but that won’t get America far unless it makes way, albeit gradually, for social-democracy. This essay, limited to the number of words that a weekly column can countenance, does not paint on this grand canvas. It is confined to a summary of the commotions I spoke of and it is presented from a perspective that abandons the interpretations of half-blind, self-righteous, holier than thou “scholars” and mainstream liberal bores. Trump has brought this system to a sordid climax, he is its candid pacesetter, its alter-ego. This is what elite, “scholars”, the media and “analysts” conceal! They are his demiurge, he their masked zeitgeist. 

Consternation in the West

I have to disregard domestic issues and focus on the international fracas – the Putin meeting, the standoff with NATO and the fire he lit under Theresa May’s skirt. NATO is aggressive; its ideological raison d’être disappeared with the collapse of the Soviet Union. It now serves the capitalist-West as an instrument to confront near-capitalist Russia. Since 1990 it has encroached ever closer to Russia’s borders. I would be happy to see NATO dismantled, but since my enemy’s enemy is not necessarily my friend, whacky Donald buggering NATO need not endear him to anyone except Putin. Trans-Atlantic military clout, the power underpinning imperialism is unravelling, cranky Donald is driving America’s erstwhile allies up the wall, but that does not mean anyone need dote on the ugly lecher. 

First the factual background. Trump roiled NATO allies at a summit in Brussels on 16 Sept by berating them as free-riders on the back of US taxpayers – which is true. The US is one of just five of 28 members that meet their commitment to spend 2% on defence – at 3.73% of GDP it spends $700 million. The other four are Poland, Greece, Estonia and UK.  America whinges that it provides a disproportionate share of the funding and demands that others raise their defence budgets. He alarmed allies declaring “what good is NATO”. When he came out of the meeting he lied, escalating rhetoric at a press conference and claiming that NATO members had caved in to his demand that the 2% goal be met immediately not by 2024 as previously agreed. 

The next day France’s Macron issued a statement firmly stating that this was untrue and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg refrained from confirming Trump’s claim. Trump went further and dumfounded Germany saying “Germany is totally captive to Russia” pointing at the huge amount of gas Russia sells Germany. Angered German politicians are muttering “Europe cannot depend on the US for security any longer; we must start planning independently”. NATO will be kaput for sure if Trump wins a second term. That in itself is good; aggressive NATO is a threat to peace; but that’s not to deny that Trump is a plague.

The plague then crossed the Channel and violated Theresa May. “She messed up Brexit, Boris Johnson who quit her Cabinet a day earlier would make a better PM, she made a mess by not taking my advice etc.” Meanwhile London saw its largest demonstration (tens of thousands) since 2003. Trump could not enter the city by land (he was ferried by helicopter) and I was amused to see Londoners declare on BBC “we ran him out of town”. There are plans afoot to use London as seeding ground for another Balmy-Army to follow and evict Trump from every foreign capital he visits.

The Putin-Trump press conference on 16 July after the one-on-one meeting (at Trump’s request) ignited an explosion. It was wall to wall, every broadcasting mega-byte consumed on American media for five days and still in full cry. “Siding with the enemy against America’s own interests – treason!” blared former National Security Director John Bannon. “It’s impossible to avoid the conclusion that Putin has something on Trump” opined Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (Maybe crooked property deals in Russia, money laundering or shady investments). Republican elder statesman John McCain thought “Today’s press conference the most disgraceful by a US president. The damage inflicted by Trump’s naiveté, egotism and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate”. Those who follow US politics should read McCain’s statement in full. 

 

Trump, usually an obnoxious windbag was bereft of gas; weak and submissive in Putin’s presence prompting a wag to ask “Was Trump giving Putin a foot massage in the private chamber?” The anger is that “having thrown NATO under the bus and disembowelled our allies”, the US media claimed, “he sided with Putin against our Joint National Security Agencies, and Senate and House investigation reports on Russian interference in elections”. There is overwhelming evidence that Russia intervened in the 2016 US presidential election, but whether it affected the result is moot. America, Britain, France and Russia, all have a finger in other nations. China financed Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presidential campaign to the tune of hundreds of millions of rupees funnelled through the China Harbour Engineering Company. 

Given the overwhelming evidence, Russian meddling is incontrovertible, so it is unsurprising that the establishment, the media and the public (except ‘Trump base’) are aghast at a President, foresworn to uphold the constitution and ensure the security of the nation, turning “traitor”. MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, in fact the whole liberal jingbang are milking the story for all it is worth. Thanks to Donald Trump advertising revenues have risen several fold.

Has the Trump-Base wavered?

The plain answer is NO! There is no evidence that the Base is troubled, turned against Tump or concedes that he has betrayed the national interest. Faith springs eternal in the alt-right chest: ‘Trump will make America Great Again, drain the swamp, stop Chinese and foreigners stealing in the name of trade and stem the tide of Muslim and Hispanic illegals’. It is early days and faith remains unshaken. His reputation as a sexual predator has done little to disillusion the Base. A reason for complacency is that the economy is growing and the “real” unemployment is at a 17 year low. How much longer the economy will hold up is outside the scope of this essay.

But there is a deeper reason why the Trump-Base will not easily fracture; the failure of powerful elites and businesses (capitalism) to stem exploding inequality in the last three decades, or to address fear, resentment and alienation in the hearts and minds of numerous Americans. Of that the white working class in the rust-belt (Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Illinois) and red-neck rural parts of Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana constitute the Trump-Base. Numerically the hard core is 25 to 30% of the electorate. Another 25% is conservative, reactionary, gun wielding, Christian fundamentalist or racists and devoted to the Republican Party. Trump’s ratings have fluctuated, rarely falling below 38% and at times rising to the mid-forties. The ratings have flattened out at about 40% which is not good news for Trump but not disastrous either. The callousness of America’s elite, class demographics and America’s ideological backwardness firm up anger in the Base.

Furthermore, the Base says “Look how tough Trump has been on Russia; expelling diplomats, arming Ukraine against Russia’s friends, bombing Assad’s bases in Syria, imposing sanctions against Russian enterprises and Putin acolytes and applying tough economic sanctions. Those who claim that Trump is in Putin’s pocket need to explain away all this. Is an “I say Vlad, you know that for credibility’s sake I need to be seen to be tough on Russia” explanation adequate? 

The damage Trump is doing America’s global hegemony, the economic downturn his loony trade wars will engender, his rubbishing deep-seated liberal and democratic values that underpin how America sees itself, all capped by his crankiness and narcissism, are too much to get away with. While the densest part of the hard-core will stay loyal, history will eventually bury this American Mussolini. The first test will be November’s Congressional elections. Congressional Republicans are burying their heads in the sand and play ostrich because they reckon that without the Trump-Base they will lose seats.

[If you have time to spare and need titillation, read a lengthy extreme-conspiracy-theory piece in the New Yorker by Jonathan Chait.

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Latest comments

  • 4
    1

    I think most of the TRUMP’s negative image is because of AMErican MEdia which lost big time because othe TRUMP election campaign and the support of BI gmedia to Hilary Clinton. BIG MEDIA disappointment and TRUMP thrashing them were not taken lightluy by the media and they are fighting back. but, TRUMP is not a dumb guy. IF you know TRUMP has scored with the american Public I suppose. AT present in North America, it is not the big hard copy media , Television are not the most popular. It is social media. NATO is trying to hold onto theri place. they ar enot supported by Germany like countries, they do not want help fro turkey like countries except the need to exploit them. NATO needs even Sri lanka’s help to counter China in the Indian OCean.

  • 4
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    You are saying again useless things. How come 40% rating is bad. What rating he needs to be declared presidetn again. HE is in the right path. YOu seem to be in the dark. I think, TRUMP will win again. Wait and see. TRUMP is just stabilizing a sinking ship. American media is trying to regain their lost repuration. They know their present place in the world stage. Only BBC, I suppose, do not talk those.

    • 2
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      Rubbish.

      • 2
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        This was to JD, not KD.

    • 0
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      “According to the Gallup tracking poll, as of July 1, 88 percent of Republicans currently have a favorable view of Trump’s presidency. But as CNN reported, only Gerald Ford failed to reach an 88 percent approval rating within his own party by July of his first year in office. Overall, his popularity among all voters (42 percent in the most recent weekly poll) remains well below the high point of predecessors: Dwight D. Eisenhower peaked at 79 percent in 1956, Ronald Reagan at 68 (twice), George H.W. Bush at 89 at the time of the Gulf War, and George W. Bush at 90 percent shortly after the 9/11 attacks”

      https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/29/trump-tweets-cohen-immigration-polls-747473.

      • 2
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        EW Golding

        Remember the poll’s Mr. Golding before the Precedential election’s Hillary was anointed as the precedent in waiting to be inaugurated by the pollster’s.
        Remember the Gallup, CNN, NBC, MSNBC polls.
        Just to humour yourself or to be depressed look at a rerun of MSNBC Rachael Meadows prediction on the election night I think its just as good as the Steve Kornacki most asinine prediction Hilleary wining by land slide according to poll’s.

        “If Trump wins all the toss up states he still can’t win” Rachel Madhouse she said election night while results were coming that Trump is leading.
        And she asked “What is he doing in Maine”

        So go with the historical polls but remember Trump smashed all predictions including never Trumper’s from the GOP swamp.

  • 1
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    The professor along with many elites still bitter that Hillary Didn’t win 2016. Keep your hopes up for 2018,2020.

  • 3
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    Every now and then, democracy as we know it, will produce a sour lemon – like Trump, now. Every indication is that his bluster will take him through four years, and even four more, if the pig-headed get the better of the gentler heart of America. America was the Land, that not-so-long-ago, those tired, poor, huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, turned into a Dream. America became great long before this present incumbent parvenu darkened its skies, and besmirched its greatness. It surely will survive this aberration, and return, chastened but invigorated.

    Pussyman will be but a footnote in its history.

    • 3
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      “Every now and then, democracy as we know it, will produce a sour lemon ……..” That is true, but we Sri Lankans have been getting sour lemons 90% of the time ever since we became independent.

      • 0
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        You are spot Estate Labourer! Ever since 1956, and there is no respite on the horizon.

    • 1
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      Spring Koha,

      Though the US has weathered such crises in the past, with presidents like Andrew Jackson and Richard Nixon, the current events are happening within the larger context of the rise of Asia, an unsustainable debt of $20+ trillions, and a form of capitalism that benefits only the super rich, while the others suffer and the country’s infrastructure continues to decay.

      Moreover, the sophistries used by the ‘religious,’ in particular Southern evangelicals, in rushing to defend Trump, has exposed a key fact that wasn’t always obvious: the country has a large population that cannot think rationally or logically. Reason and science haven’t touched them.

      I think the Republican party’s descent into madness probably started with Barry Goldwater, who wanted the party of Lincoln that had sought to abolish slavery, to appeal to the Southern white male. Before then, it was the Democratic party that had ardent proponents of retaining slavery and racists like George Wallace of Alabama.

      With Goldwater, the parties switched roles. Nixon, despite being a Quaker, continued this slide and the party has become home to the mad crowds.This madness may be contained temporarily and Democrats may win from time to time, but the long term decline is inevitable unless there is drastic action to educate and ‘retrain’ the minds of these mad crowds. For this reason, I don’t share your optimism.

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        Agnos,

        Yes $20T is too high to comprehend little minds like ours. But it is American loan. It is country still claiming it is the world’s richest country – maybe there is some exaggeration…

        You know it is Richman’s wound, not beggar wound that brings death to the beggar. Richman’s wound bring many sympathizers and caring people home. Many would like to rub it their oil. They know the fall of America is their fall too. “The richest = assets – liabilities”. So the loans are backed somewhere by something.

        Loan did hurt American developments, right after Bush left. Private and government loans brought the country to collapse. I don’t know to comment on the current effect of the $20T loan on American economy.

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        Agnos,

        You argue a good case for being pessimistic. Yet, in over 50 years, what I have seen is the continuing reinvention of the dream. Not for nothing does the US have nearly 50 of the top 100 universities on this planet (in any ranking). The country sources talent universally, and generously funds many centres of excellence. The rest of the world has always being playing catch-up.

        America has soaked up universal talent like a sponge and nurtured that talent to collaborate and take us all to ever higher places . Any predictions that the dream is dead will surely be proven wrong – the darkest hour is often just before the dawn.

  • 2
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    Shouldn’t a socialist true to his name be celebrating any signs of decline of the American empire, be appreciative of anyone help accelerate the process and write in elation? The tone of the essay suggests otherwise – the Professor seems to be exceedingly unhappy over the developments and bearing an uncompromising grudge towards Trump. Inferiority complex of the most inexplicable kind? I always suspected of his socialist credentials.
    Soma

    • 4
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      somass

      “Shouldn’t a socialist true to his name be celebrating any signs of decline of the American empire, be appreciative of anyone help accelerate the process and write in elation?”

      Any irresponsible little islander could utter nonsense like his/her/its hero Wimal Sangili Karuppan Weerawansa from the safety of his/her/its bunker without realizing many poor people’s jobs depends on export market ($2.4 Billion) to the USA . Its not about you who is used to making millions from intermittent riots, and keeping paranoia alive, arm and other purchase intact and a steady inflow of cash flow unchanged.

      • 0
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        NATIVE VEDDA: Can you explain what you have written above in simple english that I can understand.

        • 3
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          JD, Jim Nutty, Jim Softy, Jim Boar – Do you understand English in the first place? No wonder NV has not responded!

        • 3
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          JD the dimwit Jimmy softy

          “Can you explain what you have written above in simple english that I can understand.”

          The first paragraph was typed by somass and I have nothing to do with it. Please ask him/her/it.
          I wrote the second paragraph.
          Even if I wrote it in simple Sinhala/Tamil you would not have understood.
          Why bother?

      • 1
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        When the slaves defend slavery what can you do?
        Soma

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          somass

          “When the slaves defend slavery what can you do?”

          In the modern times we call them Sinhala/Buddhists who do not know the difference between physical slavery and mental slavery. However they are mentally enslaved by their crooked leaders and willingly carry their leaders’ b***s.
          Don’t blame the crooks/slave masters, blame only your ignorance which enslaved you in the first place.

  • 2
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    [President Trump is a chaotic oddball]

    Yes professor to you and the loony left. Take some time and watch some of the Trump can’t win montage’s on YouTube you are in good company with some of the high volume experts likes of Obama and his wifey, aunty Maxine, George ” Man who talk to goat “Clooney, Tom “Forest Gump” Hanks and the pandits from CNN, NBC. and never Trump GOP.
    World war is not happening. More American Blacks and Hispanics got jobs , Share Market hitting high, Unemployment at a historic law, GDP growing at 4.1%, NATO going to pay more, Eu reduce tariffs on imports from US. China is already star talking.
    Not bad for a oddball hell lot better than brilliant Obama AKA patron saint of teleprompter’s.
    Must make you cringe every morning when you wake up with all your academic Prowers your achievement limited to bashing Trump.
    Its good as it get for you Professor.
    One more thing HAVE YOU SEN THE ISS LATLEY?
    You may have had better achievement’s if you were A “Chaotic Oddball Professor” do you think?

    • 1
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      Well-said!

  • 2
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    I have not seen any in depth analysis of International Relationship or Economic Analysis in Prof. Kumar’s, the noble windbag’s talk. After all, he is only Mathematics Marx, not an economist.

    World is relatively in peace, other than in Lankawe. President Trump has no place to press the button & launch his neutron bombs. So he is only a zero, no Hero.

    International Relations and Economy still have not let Trump down. He is only carrying out his petty quarrels against leaders, not against any country (san China – mildly). The foundation created by last Democrats still remaining strong. This temporary blockade may give time for American labor to rests a bit to retool it and China to boost its internal consumption. When the relationship gets better again, the two countries can get in back into stronger healthy completion. I do not see a massive damage here.

    The International relationship damaged by Bush has many holes still to be made up. It was a slow and patient working for Obama to bring back EU-US relationship. The current damage is only at the tip, not policy based, deep rooted splits. This is not creating distrust between US and EU. One reason is, it seems, EU is not fearing of Putin’s growth. Probably they may see him as he is still concerned with the Russian economy, so he will not go for war with anybody. They appear to be happy with the mild economic sanctions slapped over him. But, they all, under the hood, are winking their support to Trump picking on China. So Trump’s excessive fight on China and extraordinary friendship with Russia not really alarming their leaders. Though they may be better off, but Europe is not ready to take Germany’s leadership yet. Germany has to put EU’s economy in perspective if its wants to bring in EUTO instead of NATO. So far that has remained elusive, especially after Britain’s exist. After the departure of Trump and Merkel, EUTO dream, which has already killed Germany twice, would be even washed of by tsunami.

  • 2
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    EU is losing the tariff war. They are capitulating. The Chinese will LOSE the Tariff and trade war too. You know why? Because they need and DEPEND on t he US market to sell their stuff. Most of the cheap stuff from Walmart, to K-Mart to Target to everything else under the sun they have to sell in order to have that balance. Trump has taught them how to come into the 21st century with the trade war. Sure some American farmers and other will lose in the short term. But by creating these shock waves he put them on notice. We are glad he is finally cracking down on ILLEGAL immigrants too. Why? because everyone talked about it and no one did anything. He is like Gota and MR putting Sri Lanka first. Trump puts America First. That is why HE WILL WIN in 2020 and Pence will win in 2024 and we will finally create a Real White led America and a Christian america. You can scream your shihole nation socialism all the way. Trump puts America first. Ranil puts banks first.

    • 1
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      Hilton
      You have equated Gota/MR to Trump/Pence. In Trump/Pence we know the Idi Amin. In the GR/MR duo??

    • 0
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      Dear Hilton,
      How could you compare GR/MR to TRUMP/PENCE? Apart from that, I agree with the rest.

  • 0
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    Kumar David
    History is replete with ‘Empires’ peaking and declining. It is a question of whether Trump is ‘quickening’ the decline of the most recent ‘Empire’ or not. Trump could have slowed down the decline by being a bit even handed. But the real power behind the ‘Empire’ will not let him.

  • 1
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    I like Trump. He may not fit in to the political theories of Professor David or his idea of a good leader. But that is because Trump does not stick to tradition.

    • 1
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      Sumitra P. – Assuming you have no balls, Trumputin will grab you by …..!

  • 0
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    Author,

    Its not American Empire.. ITS ” THE AMERICAN VAMPIRE”..Change your title.

  • 1
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    I have a simple question for our Mathematical Marx.

    The SWRD’s “Valathu Kurangcha ” leftist country also has democratic election process to bring leaders. It brought Old King, New King, Ranil….The Empire country, imperialists also brought Bush, Trump……to power.
    The real story here is Prof .Kumar got involved in bring the CC – New King. Even after KD and his other partners’ involvement, if the imperialist have not got involved, China would have successfully defeated the CC.
    Let assume Imperialist were not there. China funded well and Old Royals won over the CC. There was no Election Day call from the Empire State to Temple Tree House. In that case will KD compare the SWRD’s leftist country leader, the theoretical Old King’s third term ruling with that of the Imperialist Trump ruling? If any of the circumstances that he is describing in that easy would have been foresighted by him during the CC time, he should high that too.
    (I have no preference between CC and Old Royals. This was written in CT during the 2015 election time. )
    Then we can see what he means by empire and Imperialism. The truth is, end of the day, it was the imperialist saved his back from his SWRD’s Leftists eating it up in the third term. KD blaming

  • 1
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    This article was written in an arrogant elitist way first. Polls are deceptive. Polls had Hillary winning in 2016. Hillary was very much part of the corrupt inner sanctum of American Politics. You should have paid heed to the states she lost in the Primaries which were considered safe Democratic states. Bernie Sanders won them on young white votes but they went to Trump. Why? because of anger at the system. Bernie was blocked by corrupt Jewish woman Debbie-WassermanSchulz and the party elite. The Clintons need to shut the fuck up and leave politics. They will lose the mid-term elections in Nov this year to the Trumpistanis. We have already made our Steel industry win again. China is bowing down to our pressures. NATO is passe’ . So what if he had Russian hookers pee on him in Moscow? What has that got to do with governance?

    You guys are hysterical. EU will also have to cave in. Their practices such as state subsidies for Airbus is what makes them competitive; whereas we here with Boeing does not waste tax payer money for unfair advantages.

    Trump will win in 2020 and Pence will win in 2024 and finally establish a christian nation dominated by White people who conquered N.America and subdued the savage RedIndians. Darwinian evolution is at work. Powerful dominant people and races overcome the lesser. Shithole nations like yours and India are not our concern.

  • 0
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    The stir that Trump has caused was an absolute necessity in this world order of hidden agendas of a deep state with secret society people in a state of conspiracy to win a war with a scheduled promised plan of sure defeat. So instead of a group with divided rule for conquest of finances gradually to produce slaves who do their bidding, Trump has pulled together the human being Putin and the so called false beast of North Korea right in front of the eyes of a conniving China, all of whom are wanting also to survive. Its all about future world, cosmos, universe and not about national, grandiose, bygone empires. It was Russia that was 1st in space in Sputnik though US dropped the 1st Atom bomb over Japan. Who defines the extent and glory and usefulness of writer’s Empires and Kingdoms?

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