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Chris Hedges. In what nation we live? Trumps Greatest Allies

 

Donald Trumps Greatest Allies Are the Liberal Elites

Posted o­n Mar 5, 2017

By Chris Hedges

 

The liberal elites, who bear significant responsibility for the death of our democracy, now hold themselves up as the saviors of the republic. They have embarked, despite their own corruption and their complicity in neoliberalism and the crimes of empire, o­n a self-righteous moral crusade to topple Donald Trump. It is quite a show. They attack Trumps lies, denounce executive orders such as his travel ban as un-American and blame Trumps election o­n Russia or FBI Director James Comey rather than the failed neoliberal policies they themselves advanced.

 

Where was this moral outrage when our privacy was taken from us by the security and surveillance state, the criminals o­n Wall Street were bailed out, we were stripped of our civil liberties and 2.3 million men and women were packed into our prisons, most of them poor people of color? Why did they not thunder with indignation as money replaced the vote and elected officials and corporate lobbyists instituted our system of legalized bribery? Where were the impassioned critiques of the absurd idea of allowing a nation to be governed by the dictates of corporations, banks and hedge fund managers? Why did they cater to the foibles and utterings of fellow elites, all the while blacklisting critics of the corporate state and ignoring the misery of the poor and the working class? Where was their moral righteousness when the United States committed war crimes in the Middle East and our militarized police carried out murderous rampages? What the liberal elites do now is not moral. It is self-exaltation disguised as piety. It is part of the carnival act. 

 

The liberal class, ranging from Hollywood and the Democratic leadership to The New York Times and CNN, refuses to acknowledge that it sold the Democratic Party to corporate bidders; collaborated in the evisceration of our civil liberties; helped destroy programs such as welfare, orchestrate the job-killing North American Free Trade Agreement and Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, wage endless war, debase our public institutions including the press and build the worlds largest prison system.

 

The truth is hard to find. The truth is hard to know. The truth is more important than ever, reads a television ad for The New York Times. What the paper fails to add is that the hardest place to find the truth about the forces affecting the life of the average American and the truth about empire is in The New York Times itself. News organizations, from the Times to the tawdry forms of entertainment masquerading as news o­n television, have rendered most people and their concerns invisible. Liberal institutions, especially the press, function, as the journalist and author Matt Taibbi says, as the guardians of the neoliberal and imperial orthodoxy.

 

It is the job of the guardians of orthodoxy to plaster over the brutal reality and cruelty of neoliberalism and empire with a patina of civility or entertainment. They pay homage to a nonexistent democracy and nonexistent American virtues. The elites, who live in enclaves of privilege in cities such as New York, Washington and San Francisco, scold an enraged population. They tell those they dismiss as inferiors to calm down, be reasonable and patient and trust in the goodness of the old ruling class and the American system. African-Americans have heard this kind of cant preached by the white ruling class for a couple of centuries.

 

Because the system works for the elites, and because the elites interact o­nly with other elites, they are mystified about the revolt rising up from the decayed cities they fly over in the middle of the country. They think they can stuff this inexplicable rage back in the box. They continue to offer up absurd solutions to deindustrialization and despair, such as Thomas Friedmans endorsement of a culture of entrepreneurship and an ethic of pluralism. These kinds of bromides are advertising jingles. They bear no more connection to reality than Trump promising to make America great again.

 

I walked into the Harvard Club in New York City after midnight o­n election night. The well-heeled New York elites stood, their mouths agape, looking up at the television screens in the oak-paneled bar while wearing their Clinton campaign straw hats. They could not speak. They were in shock. The system they funded to prevent anyone from outside their circle, Republican or Democrat, from achieving the presidency had inexplicably collapsed

 

Taibbi, when I interviewed him in New York, said political power in our corporate state is controlled by a tripartite system. You have to have the assent of the press, the donor class, and o­ne of the two [major] political parties to get in, said Taibbi, author of Insane Clown President: Dispatches From the 2016 Circus. Its an exclusive club. Its like a membership system. They all have to agree and confer their blessing o­n the candidate. Trump somehow managed to get past all three of those obstacles. And he did it essentially by putting all of them o­n trial. He put the press o­n trial and villainized them with the public. I think it was a brilliant masterstroke that nobody saw coming. But it wouldnt have been possible if their unpopularity hadnt been building for years and years and years.

 

Its a kind of Stockholm syndrome, he said of the press. The reporters, candidates, and candidates aides are all thrown together. Theyre stuck in the same environment with each other day after day, month after month. After a while, they start to unconsciously adopt each others values. Then they start to live in the same neighborhoods. They go to the same parties. Then it becomes a year-after-year kind of thing. Then after that, theyre the same people. Its a total perversion of whats supposed to happen. Were [the press] supposed to be o­n the outside, not identifying with these people. But now, its a club. Journalists enjoy the experience of being close to power.

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A PERSONAL LETTER
FROM CHRIS HEDGES

Leo, as a campaign we are not o­nly excited, but honored to have this personal endorsement of Jill and Ajamu from the legendary Chris Hedges.


After reading this,
will you give as generously as you can to our campaign? Our donations are down and we urgently need your help! We must defeat the fear-messaging coming from the Clinton campaign. Together we will.


FROM CHRIS HEDGES:

Over the last 15 years, following my return to the United States after two decades as a foreign correspondent, I have written eleven books o­n American culture and society.

These include:

  • War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
  • American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War o­n America
  • Death of the Liberal Class
  • Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
  • Days of Destruction and,
  • Days of Revolt and Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt

My reporting and writing, which has taken me to many parts of America, has convinced me that the traditional mechanisms of reform, including the two major political parties, have been captured by corporate power.


We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy. We no longer live in a functioning democracy, but a system the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls inverted totalitarianism.


We will step outside this system and build alternative movements, including alternative political parties, or see the rise of a
Christianized fascism, of which the Trump campaign is the dress rehearsal.


It is imperative that you join me in contributing to the Stein/Baraka presidential campaign
and vote for Jill and Ajamu in the upcoming election. There is no longer any genuine threat from Donald Trump that can be used as an excuse to vote for Hillary Clinton.

The current policies of austerity and endless war, of wholesale surveillance, of Wall Street fraud and abuse, along with a refusal to enact a massive green energy program to save our environment, will by 2020 ensure the rise of a far-right candidate endowed with a discipline and political skill that eludes Trump.


If Jill and the Green Party can get 5 percent of the vote we will have $10 million in federal funds in 2020 and broad, nationwide ballot access. This election is about building the momentum for this historical moment.

The time for resistance, genuine resistance, is now. We must step outside the political mainstream. We must, like Greece and Spain, invest in movements and parties to reverse our corporate coup.


We must dismantle the neoliberal policies and imperial adventurismthat have laid waste to our civil liberties and are destroying the nation and the planet.

Dont be ruled by fear this election. Be ruled by your conscience.

Chris Hedges

** END OF CHRIS HEDGES LETTER **


Leo, will you help us today? Time is of the essence - with 2 weeks left in the campaign, its urgent now!

As Jill and Ajamu often say, "We can create a new world. These goals - these imperatives - are not in our hearts, they're not in our dreams. Theyre in our hands.

Gloria Mattera

Campaign Chair

26/10/16

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