Welcome to the game…
So, I was reading today that Obama has deported more undocumented immigrants from the US under his watch than all previous presidents combined (Harper’s Magazine) – some 2.4 million people. Many of whom are dumped in random countries with phony US papers created by US immigration. But because Obama likes to play himself off as a “progressive” this was all done as quietly as possible. Trump took advantage of this quiet approach to talk about how tough he will be on illegal immigrants and the Democrats could not respond without letting the cat-out-of-the-bag about their own policies.
Ironically, the whole process of getting tough on immigrants was started by that other Democratic president now re-cast as one of the great “progressives” – Bill Clinton.
One of the great lessons neo-liberal elites have learned over the years is that they need to feed progressive voters what they want to hear. They know that most people won’t ever look below the surface once they are elected – that the icing is all that matters for the appearance of the cake – so, as long as they don’t interfere with progressive social ideals – gay marriage and such – they can continue to support the fundamental economic or military arrangements and everything is right as rain.
The Trudeau Liberals know well this trick. Our old Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper sets environmental standards that the world laughed at. He said climate change was bullshit. Trudeau comes in and encourages all countries to sign the Paris Accord on Climate Change, and then quietly approve to continue with Harper’s environmental standards. Standards that we were all laughed at last week. Few noticed.
Trudeau signs the Paris Accord one day, and then signs off on new oil pipelines the next. But he took great selfies at last year’s Gay Pride Parade – the first Prime Minister to attend. What a guy!
Obama signs off on the legalization of torture, bails out Wall Street and then gives the bankers jobs in Washington, bombs seven different countries last year, increased the military budget by millions of dollars, legalized fracking, put more people in jail than any other country in the world, gave billions in tax breaks to the wealthy; but he wears a nice suit, plays with his kids, and says we all need to be more racially tolerant. What a beautiful man!
Shuck and jive.
It’s the great political game of our times.
And that’s the essential problem we have with Trump. He doesn’t play the game. His policies will not be fundamentally different than the previous administration, but he will throw it all in our faces, call us hypocrites, hang the laundry out for all to see. He doesn’t understand the essential decorum of polite fascism, of creeping authoritarianism. Just put it out there. Fuck you if you don’t like it.
But that smells bad. He has no Obama style. He’s a bad orator. He takes a horrible selfie.
He exposes the system for what it is. The corporatization of our entire lives. The concentration of wealth to levels not seen since the Middle Ages. The colonization of the world’s resources into a handful of companies.
Welcome to the game.