As I think about this present time, I am reminded of special days which I have grown to dislike over the years. One of those special days is, oddly enough, Christmas. Don't get me wrong - I am all for people taking time out of the year to celebrate the birth of Christ. What I choke on is being barraged by holiday music and holiday shopping advertisements from the day after Halloween until the day after New Year's. Another holiday I am not too fond of is Halloween (although I make sure to dress as a grown-up every year).
But the day which I have come to despise most of all in the United States is Election Day. Indeed, one of the most annoying aspects of life in the USA just now is the fact that we seem to be in a never-ending election season designed to produce maximal angst and fear among those who have to live through it. A particularly vexing element of this is having to cut through the games played by wolves who want to bury their real agenda behind a bunch of non-issues. Today's post will attempt to clarify the real issues at stake in the national elections, at least, as I see them.
Many of those who are campaigning for Donald Trump claim that a Trump presidency would bring world peace by ending American neocon attempts to expand American power throughout the world. Some of these people seek to paint Hillary Clinton as some sort of war criminal, either because some American operatives died at Benghazi after the U.S. had overthrown the lawful government of Gaddafi, or because Ms. Clinton had a personal Gmail account while she was Secretary of State. (If having a personal email account is a crime, you may as well throw many of us in jail, because we too have personal email accounts in addition to our work accounts.) Indeed, there are many mouthpieces trying by every possible means to make Mr. Trump palatable enough to get enough votes to win the Presidency. (Some of these people have actually tried to use the angle that he is "the lesser of two evils." They forget that by saying this they are admitting that he is evil.)
But if we take Mr. Trump at face value - especially concerning the statements and speeches which won him the Republican nomination - we see the real motive behind the Trump candidacy, and behind the efforts of the American right wing over the last decades. These efforts are coming to a head now, in 2016. For the central issue is the survival of white supremacy and First World hegemony. Trump and his supporters (along with the Murdoch and Breitbart media empires and American evangelical media) believe that this supremacy and hegemony are in mortal danger of being swept away, especially in the United States. Thus the candidacy of Trump represents a last-ditch attempt to stop the clock, or better yet, to reverse the clock of world history and to bring the 1950's back as a permanent state of world and national affairs. The 1950's hold special appeal for these people because these were the days in which white America dominated the world and Americans oppressed whomever they wanted to, without any fear of consequences or resistance. Americans who enjoyed the privileges of the 1950's grew to believe that they would never have a need for politeness, compromise, consensus, respect of differences, or the need to work harmoniously with others. And they even remade God into their own image (or for a while, as it seemed), as the God who "gave us this great land and promised us that we should rule the world!"
This has been the real agenda of the Right for a long time. This is the real agenda of the Right at this present time. This is what is at stake in the current election. And on a certain level, this agenda is not only national, but international in scope, although on the international level, there are some differences. (How many of you know that the far-right movements now at work in Europe are partially financed by Russia? See this also. And Russia is financing Trump.) On the international level, the agenda morphs into an effort to maintain the hegemony of the First World over the rest of the earth, by attempting to arrive at a gentleman's agreement over who is allowed to exercise control over particular "spheres of influence". The gentleman's agreement is then paid for at the expense of the nonwhite majority world, who get to enjoy continuing to be carved up by First World "spheres of influence" while being excluded from the concentrations of wealth which the nations of the First World have amassed by robbing everyone else blind.
The trouble with establishing such an agenda is that the factors which would cause such an agenda to succeed are now changing very rapidly. As far as the United States, the most recent census data shows that by 2020, the majority of children in the United States will be nonwhite. From 2011 onward, the majority of births in the United States each year have been nonwhite. Moreover, many of these children are multiracial. And they do not have the same agenda as the media outlets whose mouthpieces constantly demonize them as "terrorists," "heathen," "criminals" or "savages." They don't care about Benghazi or emails. They (and their parents) just want to live their lives in peace. But because the current masters of American society continue to engage in conversations which the future majority population doesn't care about, the current masters of America risk becoming irrelevant in very short order. This translates to a loss of power, if by power one means the power to bully, to oppress, to rob, to dominate, to impose oneself and one's culture on others.
The same trends are at work in Europe, which is why many European far-right groups have arisen to try to stop this process. It could also be argued that this is a motivation for the Russian intervention in Syria. Don't get me wrong - I think that the attempt by the West to overthrow yet another country should have been stopped. However, based on things I have learned and sources I have read over the last several months, I don't believe the Russians intervened out of the goodness of their hearts, but rather, to stop the influx of people considered nonwhite into Europe (and potentially, into Russia).
Trump supporters have the misguided hope that perhaps he can reverse the loss of white supremacy in the U.S. - perhaps by a massive increase in police shootings of unarmed black Americans, or perhaps by wholesale, indiscriminate deportation of anyone who looks foreign or has a non-English last name, even if they were born in the U.S. (Such deportations have happened before in U.S. history, by the way.) But there is yet another trend at work which cannot be stopped by any political leader on earth. And that trend is the continued impoverishment and decline of the global industrial economy owned and controlled by the nations of the First World. For that decline is driven inexorably by the depletion of the resources needed to make that economy run. Global production of all petroleum products is now past peak. Coal production is about to peak, if it has not already. The same is true of many other resources. This also translates to a loss of power on the part of those who were formerly dominant. How will the formerly powerful respond to the impending loss of their power? Their response will show whether they have learned to become decent people or whether they are still wolves.
In closing, I will mention the church service I attended today. It was at a Vietnamese church which shares a church building with a Hispanic congregation and a Karen (Myanmar/Thai) congregation. This Vietnamese congregation held a joint Vacation Bible School with their Hispanic brethren this past summer. Their youth groups have also had joint worship services together. A couple of Christmases ago, I visited this church and heard some of the Vietnamese children singing Feliz Navidad. I have also seen some of the Mexican members of the Hispanic church attending the Vietnamese Nativity service. Today, the Vietnamese pastor was preaching out of Romans 12:6-8, and he was talking about how there is tremendous diversity in humanity. He also mentioned that in the Body of Christ, that diversity is part of a unity. (I was also able to see his sermon notes on a church member's iPad, and in his notes the pastor had alluded to the great evil of trying to persecute each other over our differences.) The pastor and his congregation are not terrorists or criminals, but they have learned how to get along with others and how to be a blessing to others. Why is it so hard for mainstream America to learn this lesson? Could it be that America is infected by a terminal case of narcissism?