A Donald Trump presidency has been deemed a considerable threat to the world economic order, according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Whatever threat his election represents is overblown, however—if the Donald happened to get in (which is highly unlikely considering that his reality TV show antics and his flirting with fascism by scapegoating Mexicans and Muslims must mean he trying his best to lose) and he was indeed bent on implementing his protectionist economic agenda, the Deep State would see to it that he is reined in and quickly toes the line. And he wouldn’t even need such prompting anyway. For all the patter about him being an outsider, the Donald is a pillar of the ruling class establishment–just a different segment thereof. There’s a political as well as an economic component to that establishment and—whatever their internal squabbles–both ultimately endeavor to work in harmony together and so Trump knows instinctively not to threaten the order that has made him so fabulously wealthy. In a way, with some of the points the Donald makes about financial capitalism, he’s playing the role that the state normally plays and isn’t performing so well at present—i.e. helping to balance the sections of the ruling class who are in competition for the spoils of exploited labor.
So why is he running the type of campaign that he is? He could have made the same points about immigration and trade deals much more tastefully and without appealing to xenophobia. He could have blended his tell-it-like-it-is political independence that sticks it to lobbyists (to the glee of people who know politics is broken) with a more proper presidential bearing and become truly unstoppable (even now in spite of his zaniness and inflammatory rhetoric, he’s still in a position to give Hillary Clinton a close contest). For a man who is all about winning, why throw the election and the chance to make a significant imprint in the history books?
The way I see it is he’s in the race to discredit populism, doing a solid for the establishment in the process. Trump will make sure that the populists on the right who are his supporters and the populists on the left who back candidate Bernie Sanders can’t bridge the gap between them down the road and threaten the capitalist status quo, which has been a fear of corporate America since the Seventies.* Now when populism explodes in the years ahead as the youth of today continue to take to Sanders’s ‘democratic socialism’–which is really just a rehashing of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal liberalism—in ever increasing numbers and become a potent presence on the political scene this movement will be hampered by its inability to link up—despite the overlap between them on progressive issues–because the Sanders people will be too off-put by the toxic attitudes that Trump is instilling and encouraging in his voters and won’t be willing to work with them. Either that, or populism in general will be easily shot down as fascistic by the centrist D.C. establishment. “Remember Trump?” will go their refrain to the American people, and then arguing further that all populists—even the Sanders leftists–are like him at heart and therefore populism is fascism.
Long Story short, the Donald is a huge fraud and we must always beware of billionaires who play at being tribunes of the people. In fact, another way of looking at Trump’s campaign is that he is testing the waters for the serious billionaire candidates that will be lining up for high office to politically counter the surging populism they can clearly see on the horizon. So far the pool is looking mighty inviting if a Trump who has handicapped himself can put up a fight against Washington’s favored candidates. Trump, win or lose, could end up being the forerunner that ushers in a major watershed in politics where the one-percenters merge with the state to create a neo-feudal nightmare.
*“The Sanders and Trump constituencies are parts of a whole that doesn’t yet exist, but if it were to come into being it could potentially shake the foundations of present market liberal politics. A fear of a similar coalition—in this case between New Left student activists and striking blue-collar workers—motivated the business offensive of the ’70s. In December 1969 in a special issue on “The Seventies,” Businessweek speculated that “the blacks, the labor unions and the young” could “make the Seventies one of the tumultuous decades in American history.” Of course, business’s quick and determined response prevented that from happening, but over the next decades, if market liberal policies lead to further downturns like the Great Recession, as some economists predict, the Trump and Sanders voters could come together.”–John B Judis