EDWARD LUTTWAK: Could The Trump Dynasty Last 16 Years?
In Washington DC, post-electoral stress disorder has generated a hysteria still amply manifest after eight months: the “Russian candidate” impeachment campaign implies that any contact with any Russian by anyone with any connection to Donald Trump was ipso facto treasonous. The quality press is doing its valiant best to pursue this story, but it is a bit much to claim “collusion” – a secret conspiracy – given that, during the election campaign, Trump very publicly called on the Russians to hack and leak Hillary Clinton’s missing emails. And it did not seem especially surprising when the latest target, Donald Trump Jr, promptly released all his emails to and from the Russians to confirm that he did indeed try to help his dad by finding dirt on the other guy. As for the other impeachment track underway, triggered by the ex-FBI director James Comey’s accusation of attempted obstruction of justice, Comey’s failure to accuse Trump until he was himself fired will make it easier for the Republicans who control the House to dismiss an otherwise plausible accusation as a naive error. . . .
But another reason is that the major cause of last November’s electoral outcome has remained mostly unexplored, even undiscovered. That is not due to intellectual laziness, but rather reflects the refusal of almost all commentators to contend with the political economy that determined the outcome of the election. Long-term processes of income redistribution from working people to everyone else, non-working welfare recipients as well as the very rich, had been evident for at least two decades. . . .
In the dramatic crescendo of the 2016 elections that gave Trump to the United States and the world, very possibly for sixteen years (the President’s re-election committee is already hard at work, while his daughter Ivanka Trump is duly apprenticed in the White House that, according to my sources, she means to occupy as America’s first female President), none of the countless campaign reporters and commentators is on record as having noticed the car “affordability” statistics distributed in June 2016 via www.thecarconnection.com. Derived from very reliable Federal Reserve data, they depicted the awful predicament of almost half of all American households. Had journalists studied the numbers and pondered even briefly their implications, they could have determined a priori that only two candidates could win the Presidential election – Sanders and Trump – because none of the others even recognized that there was problem if median American households had been impoverished to the point that they could no longer afford a new car. . . . The Clinton crowd even more than the candidate herself blamed the lethargy of the TV-watching, beer-drinking, gun-owning, church-going, and cigarette-smoking “deplorables”, who unaccountably failed to avail themselves of the wonderful opportunity to leave boring assembly-line jobs or downright dangerous coal-face or oil drilling jobs to become fashion designers, foreign-exchange traders, software engineers, or even political campaign operatives.
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