Missing the Wood for the Trumpian Trees
The media’s facile fixation on Trump distracts us from the more important stakes that are actually being decided in this election.
Has any Western media outlet actually had anything insightful to say about the real issues at play here in the US election? Most of the commentary has ranged from the downright naïve and absurd, such as Paul Kelly’s reference to Joe Biden — i.e. a frail 77 year old man with obvious mental incapacities — as radiating ‘strength and a sense of presidential mission’, to the predictable tosh that we’ve been served for the past four years: the usual diet of Leftist anti-Trump agitprop bemoaning his behaviour, his supposed pusillanimity in not accepting his (ostensibly obvious) election defeat, or the incongruity of such a loathsome figure as Trump himself at the apex of global politics. Yet — in spite of the obvious bias inherent in the fact that putatively objective journalists are unable to judge this one particular president on the merits of his actions alone (which have largely been good) — they have also failed to engage with the deeper issues that are at play.
These are the broader forces at work between the left-liberal, cosmopolitan capitalists, who seek to erase the last four years as a soon-to-be-forgotten aberration, as they take us back to their pre-Trumpian status quo, versus the nationalistic and conservative base that elected Trump in the first place. Or, to use David Goodhart’s terms: the fight between the cosmopolitan anywheres and the Trumpian somewheres.
Post-election, the predictable (yet not predicted) script was unfolding as anyone with half a brain (and a recollection of 2016) imagined that it would. The left-liberal commentariat was once again stunned at the unexpected results, and the pollsters were once again ridiculed as Trump took the lead in Florida, Texas, Ohio and other assorted states: most of this due to the completely comprehensible reason that ‘shy Tory’ conservative voters were unwilling to state their true voting intentions, particularly so given the febrile Leftism that now predominates across most major sectors (e.g. sports, media, academia) of US society. Trump appeared on track to win again; the Left had again learned nothing and forgotten nothing, and a few of the more perceptive parts of the Right began to gloat.
Yet, we all know what happened next. Vote-counting is suddenly stopped at a variety of predominantly Democratic locales in key states, only to be re-started a few hours later (post 3–4 a.m. ballot drop-offs) with Biden now beginning to miraculously reverse his previously losing trend and then go on to overtake Trump in these crucial electoral-college states. The rest is then history. The media call the election for Biden (thus legitimating the result in the eyes of the public), Trump is branded a sore loser and quickly forgotten, and Biden and his team quickly establish themselves as the new ‘government-elect’. The rest of the media and political class then promptly fall into line as they simultaneously send out fawning congratulations to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, whilst retracting whatever support they may have ever had for Trump himself (Netanyahu’s effort was a particular favourite of mine, given its utter gall and hypocrisy).
Any efforts by Trump and his supporters to doubt the legitimacy of this apparent Democratic victory (despite the flagrant statistical abnormalities, nay impossibilities, in many parts of the vote) are largely rejected as sour grapes and thus not in need of being dignified with a response. The orange ogre had been vanquished; Left-liberal globalism had returned. The happy status quo ante was back.
Yet, it’s these last two forces: Left-liberal globalism versus a novel form of national conservatism (with Trump as its symbolic ‘orange ogre’) that are the ones that really matter here; the ones that were actually at stake on the ballot page.
And as we saw quite starkly, the former were prepared to go to greater lengths than the later to secure their advantage. It appears than once Trump was in the lead and looked set for another term, the forces arrayed behind Biden set into motion a serious of events to prevent a further instantiation of Trumpism. This is also why any serious discussion of Biden himself, and the type of leader he’ll be, is prima facia ridiculous. That anyone could think that a frail man, approaching 80, with evident mental decline, who ran most of his campaign from his basement, will be anything more than largely a convenient façade and puppet for the powerful forces aligned behind him is seriously deluded.
Interestingly, this is also the point of American commentators (and ex-White House members) Michael Anton and Darren Beattie. For Beattie, what happened during the election and vote-counting period was merely the national implementation of a strategy that the US had used internationally — that of a ‘Color Revolution’. That is, simply stated, a strategy whereby forces antagonistic to the standing government attempt to overthrow it via largely peaceful means: be they, protests, strikes, demonstrations, and potentially, manipulations of voting procedures and systems. Thus, what happened in the US was a type of, largely bloodless, coup. That this is not merely a Right-wing, tin-foil-hat wearing, conspiring is evidenced by the fact that this kind of phenomenon was explained by Beattie himself, and offered as a potential eventuality before the event.
This is also the point of Anton, who, like Beattie, wrote on the likely possibility of a Leftist coup in the lead up to the election — indeed Anton wrote so ‘successfully’ that he received death-threats for his work (and has since expanded upon his ideas here). For Anton, such nefarious activity is not to be dismissed as mere conspiracy emanating from the nuttier corners of the Right, but a potentially dark exigency enacted by the Left given the vast commercial and cultural consequences contingent on its success.
Put simply, the erasure of Trump and his broadly nationalist, tariff-imposing, non-elitist, anti-war ways would allow a return to the pre-2016 cosmopolitan capitalism and for all those who benefited from it (be they the Tech oligarchs, the Left-liberal cultural elite, even the arms manufactures — given Trump’s reluctance to go to war). Thus, when Trump’s initial electoral results came in and showed him picking up votes among Latino, and other minority, voters and thus establishing a new kind of somewhat-diverse, working-class, right-of-centre alliance (a point made by Trump himself in his speech), it seems that powerful segments of the Democratic and Left-liberal establishments acted to protect their own interests.
That such an unholy alliance of left-Liberals and cosmopolitan capitalists (genuflecting to the Gods of diversity out of naked self-interest) as well as the poor immigrant and minority groups who support them — allied against the conservative, Trumpian, working-class and patriotic Right — leads to a dystopian and quasi-feudalistic hell, akin to current-day California, is also precisely Anton’s point. Anton’s 2020 book The Stakes is framed around these exact themes. If the pre-Trumpian globalism (involving such phenomena as mass immigration, social fracture, increases in crime, and vast inequalities — all cloaked under the sanctimonious veil of diversity and tolerance) was to continue, then the tragic fate of California will be spread, writ large, across the whole of the US, and probably the greater West as well.
Indeed, on a related note, this is also the point of fellow American commentator and author Ann Coulter. For Coulter, the linkage between the venal capitalists who promote mass-immigration for broad economic imperatives (and, conveniently, their own enrichment) and the largely left-leaning, Democrat-voting immigrants who come in under these auspices, means that a traditional right-of-centre society, akin to something like Trumpism, is ultimately doomed (electoral fraud or not). The demographic shifts and their weight will be such that the rest of the US will resemble the dysfunction seen in places like California, regardless of any legal or political manoeuvres employed in things like ballot fraud. The demographic dysfunction is baked into the cake, and there’s no avoiding partaking in it.
Thus, Trump and Biden’s election is not really about Trump or Biden. It’s about what kind of future do we want. Do we want to follow the more traditional, patriotic and conservative path of more stable families, renewed industry and prosperity, and old-fashioned values and virtue that was re-opened to us under that most unlikely of figures, Donald Trump? Or, do we want to go further into the dark progressive night offered to us under Biden and his enablers, with their renewed forays into mass immigration, cultural division, tokenistic and enforced diversity, and the uber-liberal insanity that that involves?
To echo Anton, these are then the frighteningly serious stakes that are actually at hand here. Thus, it’s why we across the West who value the best of our societies must support Trump’s efforts. We must support his legal and cultural appeals to the best extent that we can. And it’s why we must put aside any quibbles we may have with his style and manner and support him in his role as the current and best bulwark we have against the dystopian forces confronting us. And it’s why we can’t give in to the calls for him to concede. The stakes are simply too high to ignore.