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Joe CorbettJoe Corbett has been living in Shanghai and Beijing since 2001. He has taught at American and Chinese universities using the AQAL model as an analytical tool in Western Literature, Sociology and Anthropology, Environmental Science, and Communications. He has a BA in Philosophy and Religion as well as an MA in Interdisciplinary Social Science, and did his PhD work on modern and postmodern discourses of self-development, all at public universities in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at [email protected].


Trump the Uniter,
Clinton the Divider

Joe Corbett

With Clinton's kind of leftism being dismissive of progressives, we need a right-winger like Trump to unite us.

Let me cut to the point and be brief. First, Donald Trump won the American presidential election because he appealed to the Red Impulsives (those seeking an outlet for their anger and frustration in explicit racism, sexism, and aggression) with vile, nasty, inflammatory, and politically incorrect words, people who don't want liberals, educated elites, or bourgeois culture for that matter constraining how they think and speak.

Trump also endeared himself to the Blue-Amber Traditionalists (the evangelicals, the patriots, and the rural white-family tribalists who are not necessarily racist, but who do have an ethnic identity of “whiteness” that may itself be an artificial construct, but which is phenomenologically real nevertheless) by selecting Pence as his VP, by promising to make America great again (especially by renegotiating unfair trade and military deals), and by saying he would build a wall to protect American workers from undeserving others.

Listen, Liberal

Finally, Trump excited the Orange Opportunists (primarily Republican politicians, predatory capitalists, and the media) in their chance to ride the wave of the Trump Brand into a career of riches (as long as they could disassociate from and even condemn his brutish and “classless” statements). He also titillated them with promises of deregulation of just about everything, but especially on fossil fuels and the environment, and cutting taxes (mostly for the well-to-do). In these ways and more, Trump was able to unite red, blue, and orange within the American populace, and thus broadening his reach for the upset win.

Moreover, Trump was only able to do this within an overall context of economic anxiety, frustrated anger, and existential fear, both real and imagined, that was largely created by the neoliberal policies of Bill Clinton himself (NAFTA, welfare reform, bank deregulation, mass incarceration), which were then carried forward by Bush's tax cuts for the rich and holy war against terrorism, and topped off by Clinton's free trade-dealing protégé and state surveillance promoting drone terrorist, Barack “Pity the Banker” Obama, all of which Hillary supported. Hence, Hillary Clinton was instrumental in the division, decimation, anger, and fear experienced by the American working and middle classes over the past 25 years that eventually gave rise to Trump. Yet, remarkably, her divisiveness continued to carry forward even within her campaign for president, which ultimately may have cost her the election.

Clinton lost the election because while she was able to unite the Orange Wall Street Neoliberals with Green cultural identity politics in order to symbolically break the glass ceiling for elite women and minorities, as Barack Obama did, she also bitterly divided the millennial greens. For instance, with disparaging references from her campaign about sexist “Bernie Bros” and women going to hell for not supporting Hillary, which came back to haunt her when she later needed their support against Trump. And then again, with her denigrating “deplorables” remark about Trump supporters she alienated some of her Blue-Amber base, many of them middle and working class whites who have family and friends among those deplorables. If you want to motivate your enemies to get out and vote against you and your potential allies to stay home, then do these things, and they did.

Ultimately though, the Wikileaks revelations about the bias against Sanders by the DNC, and then the Podesta emails about debate questions being given to the Clinton campaign by the DNC chair, among other revelations such as the contempt Clinton and the corporate democrats have for progressives, exposed Clinton and the Democrats as corrupt and untrustworthy cheaters willing to do almost anything to win (which is a pathological trait of orange), confirming the suspicion among many that the system is rigged against them by educated liberal elites beholden to Wall Street.

After more than two decades of Clinton-corporate-Democrats abandoning the working class and Main Street in favor of educated professional elites and Wall Street, the time is long overdue for clarifying progressive values and identity by calling-out the bankruptcy of neoliberal ideology. It is time for progressives to be progressive and stop being Wall Street jackasses. This is the lesson the American left can take from a Trump win. And this is how Trump can be a uniter of the left as well, in negative opposition to him and his policies, helping them to define what a true progressive is. If Clinton became president, on the other hand, the left would almost certainly continue to be divided on economic and military issues, and further stealth moves would ensue on the part of Clinton and the corporate Dems toward the right, with neoliberal and neoconservative policies that only a corporate Democrat could get away with.

“While the battle rages for the soul of the Republican Party, Frank sees Democrats in the throes of their own identity crisis. The one-time party of the working class has been co-opted by a hyper-educated elite, he argues in his just-published Listen Liberal. The book can be read as an argument that the anger propelling Donald Trump's campaign is the product of short-sighted policy decisions made by Democratic technocrats.” Source:

It is too late now for the Dems to realize their mistake in rigging the election against Bernie Sanders, who was hugely popular among the general populace and who polls showed would have easily beat Trump in the general election. But Hillary was their gal, an elite insider within the party of corporate money, which the wider populace rightly despised as corrupt and dishonest. And while Trump united his base and even sought to reach out to Bernie supporters once it was revealed the DNC had rigged the election against him, Clinton was busy dividing potential supporters by calling them impractical and unrealistic, even Jill Stein “spoilers”, to name just a few of the nicer terms that were used by the Clinton camp to describe those on the left. Thus, while Trump unites the left against him, Clinton divides the left against itself.

With Clinton's kind of leftism being dismissive of progressives, we need a right-winger like Trump to unite us, someone to show us who we are not, so that we might find ourselves again in a negative dialectics of self-affirmation.

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