7:19 PM - Trump Will Make His Peace with the War Party
Like Trump’s, Reagan’s rise was fueled by popular discontent with the direction of the country and popular disaffection with its current leadership. Like Trump, Reagan tapped that disgruntlement by appealing directly to the masses using the newly dominant media technology of the time (for Reagan it was television). And like Trump, Reagan was castigated by the political and media establishments as a demagogue, a dangerous extremist, and a loose cannon.
But then a funny thing happened on the last stretch of road leading to the White House. After securing the Republican nomination in 1980, Reagan suddenly became, as Trump would put it, a “unifier.”
Similarly, while Trump might be able to seize the presidency in spite of establishment opposition, he will never be able to wield it without establishment support. And since war is the health of the State (as well as the health of war profiteers), one of the power elite’s non-negotiable demands is the perpetuation of the empire and its wars.
So don’t be surprised if Trump ends up naming an establishment warmonger as his running mate.
March 8, 2016
by Dan Sanchez
Just as Reagan Learned to Love Big Government
Many promoters of peace, while not necessarily supporting him, do hope that a Donald Trump presidency would curb or maybe even end the hyper-active militancy of the American empire. They see glimmers of promise in Trump’s foreign policy statements.
For example, while his Republican rivals vie with each other over who will most antagonize nuclear Russia, Trump talks about getting along with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Trump also veers off the GOP script when he characterizes the wars in Iraq and Libya as “yuge” mistakes (if not monumental crimes).
“Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get along with the rest of the world?” he recently asked. Trump often sounds like an non-interventionist, and many hope he will govern like one too.
Of course it’s all just campaign talk, which is never to be trusted. However, some of the cautiously hopeful seem to suspend skepticism in this case on the grounds that, unlike most peace-talking candidates, Trump is genuinely “anti-establishment,” and so is more likely to chart an independent course as commander-in-chief.
A Republican “maverick” is nothing new; many political insiders campaign as outsiders. What makes Trump seem like the real deal is the establishment’s (and especially the neocons’) seething hatred of him. If he makes Bill Kristol panic, the thinking goes, Trump must be an actual threat to perpetual war, or at least to the neocons’ sway over U.S. foreign policy.
Trump can afford to thumb his nose at the establishment because for now he doesn’t need it. Thanks to his own great wealth, he doesn’t need campaign funds from Goldman Sachs, Raytheon, or Sheldon Adelson; neither does he need guidance from the think tanks financed by such oligarchs. And thanks to his celebrity, his mastery of Twitter, and his uncanny knack for using plain speech to appeal directly to the American masses, he doesn’t need friendly coverage from Fox News or The Washington Post.
And yet, even while being bombarded by invective from most of the establishment, we find Trump surrounding himself with establishment advisors. As Chris Rossini recently wrote at The Ron Paul Liberty Report, Trump’s circle now includes such mainstream warmongers as Rudolph Giuliani, Chris Christie, Richard Haass (current president of the Council on Foreign Relations), and Senator Jeff Sessions. Trump has even identified John Bolton, an Iraq War architect and close ally of the neocons, as a “go to” expert for advice on national security.