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Trump, Trump, Trump

Nellie the Elephant packed her trunk
And said goodbye to the circus
Off she went with a trumpety-trump
Trump, trump, trump.


This children’s song has come back to my mind recently. And don’t many of us wish we could just ‘say goodbye’, as we contemplate the advancing Presidency of Donald Trump?


donal trump pixabaySteve Latham


A dangerous escapism threatens to overtake the progressive left, as they despair at the prospects for democracy and human rights emanating from El Norte.

Strangely, however, Trumpismo represents a populist confluence of Left and Right, as he responds intuitively to cries of pain among the neglected middle and working-class of the USA.

Domestically, he echoes the sentiments of Bernie Sanders, in his opposition to corporate interests and capitalist greed.

Of course, where Sanders embodied a lifetime of principled protest against globalised financial elites, Trump incarnates a lifestyle of unprincipled profligacy and self-promotion.

Nevertheless, his Left-Right, baitswitch, strategy, still supports protectionism, opposing the free trade, which collapsed the economic base of US prosperity for ordinary citizens.

He may be hypocritical, but at least has been listening to Middle America. Hence his electoral success.

Internationally too, his stated policies appear oddly similar, at times, to the Left’s suspicion of US imperialism.

pajaro ave libertad noche vuelo pixabayHis isolationist attitudes, while attractive to those who suffer US intervention, will also bring joy to other imperialist powers.

It is ironic that for Vladimir Putin, Trump’s anti-NATO rhetoric in the US is as welcome as that of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.

If both were to be in power, they could hand Eastern Europe over to Russia on a plate. It reveals the paradox, that contemporary Populism transcends differences between Right and Left.

All bets are off. Whereas Hilary Clinton was a creature of international capitalism, supporting free trade deals and US military strokes, she was at least predictable.

Representing the political party machine, she was a known quantity, promising nothing new politically, beyond a tokenistic possible first female Presidency.

ESTADOS UNIDOS SOLEDAD HOMBRE TARDE pixabayWith Trump’s accession to the White House, however, nothing is certain. He may be tamed by the power apparatus, or he may not.

The demands of the campaign trail, and the blandishments of Republican Party power-brokers, did not moderate his language.

Instead, he moved further to the Right, in order to see off the middle-ground challenge of Clinton, and thus redefined the political terrain.

But the Right cannot rejoice. For example, white Evangelical hopes, raised by Trump’s antipathy toward abortion, will certainly be disappointed.

Ronald Reagan similarly promised much and delivered little; as did Bush junior, despite his own personal faith. Republicans always make cynical declarations, which they later disregard.

the prisma libertadBut faced with this change in our socio-political and geo-political landscape, where can we turn for cultural, ideological, resources to sustain hope in dark times?

The head of the herd was calling
Far, far away
They met one night in the silver light
On the road to Mandalay.
Nellie the Elephant packed her trunk
And said goodbye to the circus
Off she went with a trumpety-trump
Trump, trump, trump

(Photos: Pixabay)

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