“I told you so.” – The four most beautiful words in the English language according to Gore Vidal
I feel liberated. After the election of a neo-fascist as the president of the United States I feel liberated. Why? Because I finally have proof of what I always knew to be true: neoliberalism and Liberal Elitism and all the values it espouses are poisonous, soul destroying and tears apart the fabric of society despite its stated aims of doing the opposite.
I was born the year before Ronald Reagan became president. The year is unremarkable, I am unclear if I am a very late Generation X or a very early Millennial, it doesn’t really matter. I was born of a time after Richard Nixon destroyed the radical movements of the 1960s with FBI infiltration, brute force, murder and flooding the urban black neighborhoods with illegal drugs and then commenced the war on drugs, which Ronald Reagan proudly carried on and is ongoing until today. The Baby Boomers by the 1980s had become disillusioned, they left their youthful radical activism behind, put on a suit, cut their hair, shaved their beards and went to work for corporate America, the women got married and became ‘respectable’ wives and working women who formed ‘respectable’ families and joined the Reagan tent of Republicans. Ronald Reagan with his second rate acting skills was able to convince most of America that ‘we are all conservatives now.’ The era of big unions controlling corporations was over, it was time to let the good times roll by spending, spending and more spending. I was informed by many who were of age during this era that the 1980s was the most reactionary as the Establishment set to undo all of the social progress made in the 1960s and 1970s. The Reagan Establishment tried to convince Americans that the radicalism of the 60s and 70s was in the rear view mirror, all of it was a big misunderstanding and everyone is pro-establishment again.
The definition of neoliberalism is:
[A] policy model of social studies and economics that transfers control of economic factors to the private sector from the public sector. It takes from the basic principles of neoclassical economics, suggesting that governments must limit subsidies, make reforms to tax law in order to expand the tax base, reduce deficit spending, limit protectionism, and open markets up to trade. It also seeks to abolish fixed exchange rates, back deregulation, permit private property, and privatize businesses run by the state.
Liberalism, in economics, refers to a freeing of the economy by eliminating regulations and barriers that restrict what actors can do. Neoliberal policies aim for a laissez-faire approach to economic development.
Neoliberalism was the governing creed of Ronald Reagan and his British counterpart Margaret Thatcher. These two political figures almost single handedly destroyed the safety net of two of the most advanced economies in the world. On each side of the Atlantic, they destroyed unions, shut down whole industries, privatized public utility (or as the British called it ‘selling the family silver’), inflated the stock market and then caused arbitrary crashes to create unease and inflict economic anxiety to the working classes. Those who adapted and participated in the exploitation of the vulnerable did exceptionally well. Those whose livelihoods were destroyed begun to join the ranks of the precariat and the unneccesariat.
Those of us forty years old and under, we’ve been sold a pack of lies. We’ve been told that neoliberalism and capitalism is our salvation. Look at Facebook, Netflix, Uber, the iPhone and all the other gadgets, applications and services which we need to get on in our daily lives all owe their existence to capitalism and freedom to innovate. When the government gets out of the way of ordinary people, they flourished. Newsflash: the technology sector employs about 11% of the total workforce in the United States, what about the rest of the 89%? Socialism doesn’t stifle innovation and creativity, economic insecurity does. When you have to worry about your next meal or how to pay the rent, you mind has no room to create or innovate. It’s not a coincidence that many of these ‘innovators’ (Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg et al) came from stable middle class families. They didn’t have to see their parents struggle with joblessness and providing for the family.
My conservative family (a double whammy of conservative politics and conservative social values) rammed into us that in order to succeed in life, one must get good grades, go to college and get a good job. And even in college, we are advised to study subjects which will lead to lucrative jobs. Subjects in liberal arts and humanities are nice, but no one needs history or English majors. I was straightjacketed into this belief. I followed the neoliberal blueprint and it made me and countless others miserable. Then came the financial crash of 2007-2008, neoliberalism should have sounded its death knell right then and there. But then we elected a fake progressive president in the form of Barack Obama who ran on a progressive platform but decided to bail out Wall Street instead of Main Street when he was handed the keys to the White House.
Obama had in spades what Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump don’t have; the ability to repackage neoliberalism (just like how Wall Street bankers repackaged bad loans to sell as grade A loans) and re-sell it to his loyal supporters who voted him into office as a good thing in the end for everyone. He was going to have to bail out Wall Street instead of the average Joe the Plumber because prevailing economic principles (the ruling class, the real people that run the country) dictate that he must; he has no choice. He bailed out the auto industry in Michigan but the autoworkers didn’t feel the impact of that bail out either. They were told that their wages would be cut, pensions and health insurance will be slashed, some up to 60% but don’t worry, this is necessary to ensure the viability of the auto industry. Having a crappy job with scant benefits is better than having no job at all. Wall Street got a get out of jail free card plus golden parachutes and average Americans were left with nothing. Less than nothing, no homes, no jobs, broken families, broken lives – all in the name of neoliberalism, because the basic tenet of neoliberalism is “transfer[ing] control of economic factors to the private sector from the public sector.” When Obama’s sales pitch didn’t work with the former factory workers in the auto industry and Rust Belt and begun to criticize his policies and point out their declining standard of living, instead of admitting his mistakes, he scolded them instead: unions jobs are gone, that you can graduate from high school at 18 barely literate and able to string two sentences together but get a factory job and union card and earn a comfortable living, those days are over. You need to get more education, better training, learn computer skills, get a vocation if you can’t find a job in the factory floor – basically, quit whining. These people revolted. They may have revolted against their own interest after years of being ignored and belittled. But revolt they did.
After years of failed policies and declining wages and standards of living, the American people woke up to the con. Wall Street is booming again. The people that inflicted the horror on the American people got away with it all. In that wake, in a critical election, the Democratic establishment chose Hillary Rodham Clinton as their nominee. A corrupt, warmongering ‘good friend’ of the Saudi and Qatari royal families. The Democratic establishment along with the mainstream media colluded to push Bernie Sanders out of the race. And when push came to shove, the people voted for Donald Trump as our next president. The Liberal Elites, through their own actions (or inaction), realized the result they dreaded the most: that orange troll Donald Trump is our next president. Clinton’s sneering contempt and arrogance towards the working class or anyone who wasn’t ‘with her’ was odious enough to make people change their votes or stay away from the voting booth or write in Harambe for president. Anti-Clintons did anything to not have to cast a ballot for her. The Clinton Machine underestimated the voter’s rage against her and the establishment and ruling class interests she represents. Voters would rather roll the dice with an orange troll who is an admitted misogynist, racist, Islamophobe and homophobe than to have another Clinton as our president. I told you so.
But this is good news for those on the Left. The first best thing is we don’t have to hear or see another Clinton in public life for a long time and if anyone attempts to float Chelsea Clinton’s name out there for public office, the left will put a stop to it. The Clintons are done. Hillary had her chance, not once but twice. It is the perfect time to rebuild a true progressive worker’s party that the Democratic Establishment can’t co-opt to get elected into office and then abandon once they are in. We don’t have to hear the babbling rants of the liberal elites anymore. We don’t have to hear them lecture to us from their ivory towers on how to live our lives and organize our politics. They’ve lost all credibility. Neoliberalism has failed. Capitalism has failed. Socialism is the way forward to combat multinational corporations which collude with corrupt governments. The voters have spoken. Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump supporters “a basket of deplorables”, a serious case of teapot calling the kettle black. We don’t yet know all the motivations for Trump voters. There’s no question that some people voted for Trump because he seeks to restore the power of the straight white male ego and make the lives of minorities and women miserable, to which we can tell them to fuck off and go back to the cave they came from. For the other Trump voters who voted for him hoping that he’d bring back good jobs and rip up the shady trade agreements, they’ll be in for a shock. Trump is a self-described ‘businessman’, and not a very good one at that. Like all fascists, he only cares about himself. He’s already wavering on the ‘big beautiful wall’ on the southern border because he realized that the US economy cannot function without exploiting undocumented immigrants. Trump’s own companies can’t function without the exploitation of undocumented workers. Trump is a conman who would say and do anything to get into the White House and he’s been successful not because he’s a very good conman, but because his opponent was so weak.
There is no telling if Bernie Sanders could have won the Democratic nomination if the DNC supported him, but Bernie Sanders appealed to the economic interest of the voters (not the lazy racism, xenophobia and sexism), and he didn’t blame black people, undocumented immigrants or women for the demise of their livelihoods, he blamed the unsustainable system of capitalism, free trade agreements which only benefit the corporations and not the workers and inadequate safety net from the government, which he made clear that there was more than enough money to provide free tuition, free health care and subsidize $15 per hour living wage if we can spend trillions on illegal wars overseas. Had Bernie Sanders won the nomination, he will be able to get a significant cut of the working class vote, the bloc of working class voters who aren’t racist or sexist but feel they cannot vote for Clinton and would rather take their chances with Trump. But we never got the chance to find out.
Whatever reasons the Clintonites want to give and whomever they want to blame for her loss in the general election, they cannot get away from the fact that if with all of their money, corporate support, Military Industrial Complex support, teams of ‘experts’, pollsters, ‘Ada’ the robot software and Clinton still can’t beat Donald Trump, who by comparison is operating on a shoestring budget, then you don’t deserve occupy the West Wing. That. Is. All. On. You. There is no one to blame but the inept, over bloated Clinton campaign machine.
And for a funny take on all of this, enjoy this video: