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Trump May Go Away, But the People He Has Empowered Will Not


Trump May Go Away, But the People He Has Empowered Will Not

Jeremy Scahill

The following is an excerpt from The Intercept's live-blog for Sunday night's presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton:

These presidential debates — certainly this one — serve as the most stark commentary on how bankrupt the U.S. electoral system is.

This is the choice the system produces for “viable” candidates.


"Whether Trump wins, loses or loses big, he has empowered fascists, racists and bigots. He did not create them, but he has legitimized them by becoming the nominee and openly expressing their heinous, hateful beliefs."

I think Trump legitimizing these people is the second step of a two-step process in recent times. The first step I believe was the advent of what has been referred to as hate-talk radio. AM radio stations used to mostly play music but then it became mostly talk as music moved to FM. The AM radio stations found that hate talk produced high ratings and it became a staple. Hateful things about various groups that were previously said only in private were now being said in public. More recently hate speech has found a home on the Internet. George Wallace won several state running as an independent with a campaign based on racism and bigotry but it was Trump who really did legitimize this vile stuff by winning the Republican nomination. This campaign has woken people up to the possibility that the US could go fascist via the electoral system. A coup is not necessary, a fascist could be elected president. The one obstacle to preventing that, which was the party regulars choosing the nominee, has largely been eliminated. With the people now basically choosing the nominees of the major parties it clearly could happen, and could still happen next month if somehow Trump wins the election.


Trump will lose, but the power of the far right-wing is strong and not going away. It has been an amazing and horrible thing to watch as Trump has slashed and burned his way to the top of the republican party. It is perhaps just a matter of time until another fascist comes along with a bit more political skill. Next time it will be up to the vast middle of "moderates," many of whom don't pay a lot of attention (!!), to save our nation.
Our main stream media does not do us a lot of good. Real journalism has been left to a mere handful of reporters that most folks have never heard of. It is understandable. These few brave ones get death threats, threats to their children...


I'd like to raise a perspective on the tsunami generated by the quake-stomping of these usurpers of civil life.
In the first place, NO HEALTHY TOWN HALL MEETING would EVER stoop to the TURGID, NARCISSISTIC unadulterated bullshit generated by this stage of the CHOSEN cancerous decline called an election.
Watch very closely because IT IS NOT A JOKE that these jack asses (apologies to male donkeys everywhere) are ready, willing and able to shit all over the LOCAL FORA, flora and fauna. DO NOT swallow the intentional conflation of the "Town Hall" forum intended to cause scorn at the local level precisely for the integrity of the function of the structures of local governance. If you think this scenario is accidental you need to wake up and smell the coffee, because the corporations have the ALEC troops at the ready, weaponry legislative boiler-plate (read: fast track) in hand, ready to slice and dice it to pieces.

Ask yourself, how many people have not a clue as to the nature of the true functional Town Hall Meeting and how many election cycles has the election corporation taken the marketing ploy to call these abrogations of reality 'town hall meetings'?


Another good post, L. And as you have pointed out many times, it's the uneducated non-college crowd (not the smart people like you and me) who support Trump. Those must be the dangerous people who shouldn't have a direct vote. That's why Hillary kept telling us they were only worth 12.50 an hour instead the socialist mandated 15. Maybe one of her first acts in office could be to make voting dependent on having a college degree. And eliminating net neutrality would be another good step cuz this darn internet and all its facts and information almost screwed her this time.


The 1985 formation of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) accelerated the rightward movement of the Party to the extent that the GOP had to accelerate its rightward movement to continue to be able to distinguish itself from the Democrats.

It is the DLC's legacy that enabled Trump to get the nomination and if Trump is elected all of the blood will be on the hands of Democratic Party. Until that Party is put into the dustbin of history with the Federalist and Whig Parties, we will keep getting more Trumps...or worse.


The other label from hate radio that's been legitimized is misogyny. It's sad that so many women overlook HRC's errors and downsides just to anoint A woman, ANY woman President, but all the flavors of misogyny DJT dismisses as "banter" further demean the significance of her being the first woman President.

But I think the rise of popular voices for direct election and the breakdown of the 2&only parties is a very good thing. It's only within the low-turnout party primary/caucus system that a DJT could rise, and only with the resigned promotion of the party that he could possibly win. I also worry about where his supporters will vent their rage when he goes away, but they have not really been empowered, only given voice. And when they don't have televised Trump rallies, they won't have even that. His is the only organization available to them.


We have another lightning rod in this campaign cycle, who empowered another whole range of ideas and attitudes, and they're not going away either. I'm most dismayed by the voices here on CD and in progressive groups on Facebook who badmouth Bernie for allowing HRC to lead the equally broken Dem party. The millennials aren't as dumb as they may seem, and their media are much more diverse (and no, not always reliable), but they're learning to think critically and outside the party boxes.


I caution everyone not to feel to smug about the "uneducated non-college" folks." Recent surveys show that a surprisingly large number of college educated white males are voting Trump.


jackie, Johnson is an idiot and Libertarians simply want to let big business have their way with everything. The other candidate ( hard to remember who that is) is polling about 2%. Hoping to get her to 3% is not much to get excited about.


I can't believe you could say these things with a straight face. In your world could women vote? We shouldn't have the internet because we become too aware of the world around us? Wow


ray, I don't buy the "it's all the democrats fault" business. Right-wing hate radio was the real instigator in the national movement to the right. Now the entire republican party is afraid of the right-wingers primarying them out of a job. This virtually shuts down legislation unless democrats allow huge compromises.


bkswrites, I too worry about the rage of the right-wing deplorables. However, you overlook the vast power these creatures have by forcing most republican politicians to take up their disgusting positions on issues or be voted out of office.


Trump is the embodiment of GOP policies. Trump voters have always been there only less vocal. Now they have their man. Yes he's given them a voice but they have been gaining strength for some 30 years now and with the movement of the Dems, under Bill Clinton, to the right, we are seeing more and more stand up for their sick ideas.
This isn't all about the Republicans, if the Dems were not so much like them they wouldn't have been able to get so strong. Now the lust for corporate funds, the misogyny and the veiled racism is being exposed in the Democrats as well. Clinton's are proof.
We have bigger problems than these. The system is corrupt clear through. Until we can get the general public to realize the system has got to change it will keep producing psychopaths like Trump and Clinton.


"He didn't create them, he legitimized them"!!?? Has Jeremy forgotten 8 years of Bush? Or much of the US history for that matter. Both Democrats and Republicans repeat the same chant: USA!USA! USA! Whatever the cost, whatever the lies.


Amerika has been and is a hegemonic, corporate, fascist nation that is not defensive but offensive in order to protect its world wide corporate, vested interests. And what more proof do you need than the choice of the next POTUS?


Dede, perhaps you think Hillary's foreign policy ideas allow you to put him in the "psychopaths" basket with Trump. I disagree. Hillary's foreign policy is basically the same as virtually every President for the last couple hundred years. You can say they are all psychopaths, but most would disagree. In most other ways, there are huge differences between the policies of the two. I'm offended by your post, actually.


Totally agree with this piece on Trump-Clinton, but I would add that the Republican Party and powerful right wing interests have been"empowering" these kinds of people for decades --pitching propaganda and mythology that taps into feelings of victimization and then misblames it on "liberal government." They're affectively empowered because it feels that way. But Republican and Centrist Democratic policies have, in reality, been dis-empowering these people for decades --along with the rest of us, of course. If Republicans recoil from Trump, they have only themselves to blame for creating the possibility of his candidacy.


They may be able to get politicians to mouth their positions to get elected, but that doesn't mean deplorable laws can be enacted, or upheld as constitutional if they are.


First: Hillary is a her not a him. Second: the huge difference you refer to is window dressing. Does sociopath suit you better than psychopath? For both We The People has been replaced by We The 1%. I'm surprised by your naivete.