I have been meaning to get this, and its follow on videos, out there since November. It’s pretty clear to me what Biden has to do to ensure that Donald Trump does not find his way back to the white house. I’m sure it’s not surprising that I think foreign policy is key to this. I’m biased for sure. But it really does seem clear to me that ending the forever wars isn’t just the right thing to do, but it’s also the best way for Biden to achieve political success. It’s just such low-hanging fruit politically speaking.
Video Transcript after the jump…
Hey there. As we survey the wreckage of the past 4 years of Trump and struggle to re-emerge, one question should be in our minds above all others. How do we keep this from happening again? Donald Trump could very well run for President in 2024, and if nothing about our current political scene changes, he could very well win. How can Joe Biden stop the next Donald Trump presidency? Well I can think of three strategies.
Donald Trump made a powerful appeal to those left behind by our whiz bang coastal, financial and technological economy. Over the past 40 years we have intentionally crafted a system where winners do better and better, and the rest do worse and worse.
There were arguably good reasons to do this at the time. In the 1970s it’s conceivable that the country was too equal to innovate the way it needed to. It might have made sense to give the wealthy a few more incentives to invest and come up with new stuff. Wherever the right balance was, we hit it at some point before 2008, and we have kept on accelerating in the same direction long past the point of diminishing returns. Trump was elected on a promise to do more for the little guy, but what he delivered was a massive taxcut that made the rich even richer.
A lot of folks are impressed by Biden’s progress in this direction. There were some great anti poverty measures in the stimulus. And it really does seem like the Democrats and the Wall Street figures that own them are less in thrall to the balanced budget mindset than the Obama administration was.
There are a lot of quick and easy things that could be done here. Enforce the labor legislation that’s already on the books. Give the IRS the money it needs to do its job. And there is some bigger picture stuff too, like Oh, I don’t know, fixing our horrific healthcare system, or doing some ongoing stimulus through much needed infrastructure spending.
I am much more optimistic about the chances here than I was when I started writing this script in November. The Democratic win in Georgia in January really was a game changer. But there is a ton of difficult, long term work to be done, and as the Trump crises fade, people are going to get less willing to do that work. And even if Biden does manage to effectively fight inequality, the results may not show up in time for him to win in 2024.
It’s obvious that Biden is not going to solve racism. Racial tension is as American as apple pie and it is eternal. But it can be improved, of course. Trump just provided a master class in making it worse. The best way to improve things would be to work harder to solve inequality.
The fact that these two concepts are directly linked may be surprising to those of you familiar with twitter wars over which concept is more important to the rise of Trump. Many in the US’s right wing marketing segmentation like the inequality explanation, while many in the left wing marketing segmentation like the racism explanation. But for those of us who think politics is more than just team sports it’s pretty obvious that the two concepts are directly linked and feed off of each other. If life gets more difficult, as it has for like 80% of Americans over the past 40 years, blaming the other, becomes an attractive excuse. Trump’s ability to ball all this together gave him the electoral power he had.
As I said, early progress on inequality has been better than expected and that could lead to progress on race as well. But I am worried that the Covid crime rate surge will lead to a return to Biden’s old racist mass incarceration politics, which looked so dead just two years ago. I am also a little irritated that we are already expected to celebrate because the personnel running our war machine and finance apparatus are more diverse and female. It sure was woke the way we murdered all those anti-ISIS militia members in Syria a couple weeks back, right!
The truth is that both inequality and racism are tremendously difficult problems that Biden and every president that comes after him are going to have to work to solve. If I were Biden, with his tiny congressional majority, and his desperate need to hold on to and grow popularity, I would look for easy, low hanging fruit. That’s what this video and the next couple will be about. The easiest, lowest cost way Biden can do an end run around Trump, and steal one of his most popular issues.
If Joe Biden can make serious efforts in this very popular, morally right, and fiscally responsible direction, there’s a serious chance that he could dominate the midterms, making serious progress on inequality and racism even more possible. Ending, or at least seriously dialing back on the Forever Wars would also rob the Donald Trump’s and Tucker Carlson’s of this world of their best issue. This is a no brainer. But in the first months of the Biden presidency it really doesn’t seem to be a priority.
The problem is that a number of foreign policy hawks have managed to convince high level democratic and media figures that Donald Trump was somehow a foreign plot, and that aggressive pushing of that idea was key to his defeat. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, as I have been saying for years, aggressive US foreign policy, and the people who make it are one of the main reasons we got Donald Trump in the first place.
“Every night we see people like Robert Mueller, James Comey, James Clapper, David Frum, Max Boot and a wide cast of intelligence community freak shows and war on terror propagandists lionized by people on CNN and MSNBC who should really know better.
These people are the reason we have Donald Trump. For 15 years after 9/11 they worked to line their pockets with war on terror nonsense while destroying the middle East. To do this they cultivated fear, fear of Muslims, fear about our borders, and fear of disappearing crime in US cities.
Trump is the product of their failures and the fear that they have created.
In my opinion, we’ve spent 4 trillion dollars trying to topple various people, that frankly, if they were there, and if we could have spent that 4 trillion dollars in the United States, to fix our roads, our bridges and all of our other problems, our airports, and all of the other problems we have, we would have been a lot better off. I can tell you that right now. We have done a tremendous disservice, not only to the Middle East, we have done a tremendous disservice to humanity, the people that have been killed, the people that have been wiped away, and for what? It’s not like we had victory. It’s a mess. The Middle East is totally destabilized, the Middle East is a total and complete mess.
Trump was exactly right about that. If he was really the whip smart executive he played on TV then maybe he would have made some progress on these issues. But he’s not. What Trump is is one of the Sheep. He’s been sitting in front of a TV for 17 years eating up all the fear and hate that the James Comeys of this world have been using to win votes and sweet jobs at military contractors like Northrup Grumann. People like Comey aren’t evil. They probably believe that all the fear they have cooked up is worthwhile. It helps them fulfill their fantasies of public service and heroism. And with serious people like themselves in charge all this fear can be controlled.
But Trump is a true believer. He lives and breathes all the fear and hate that those James Comeys toyed with to keep their jobs after the cold war ended. And it’s a terrible thing to watch… ”
What the national security state pulled off during the Trump administration was extraordinary. They managed to both use Trump to drive tensions higher everywhere in the world, and somehow convince Democrats that those higher tensions were useful in defeating Trump somehow and should continue. These foreign policy professionals have successfully rigged the game in such a way that it means higher defense budgets and weapon sales no matter who is in power. And it’s all A complete waste of time and money that actively hurts the US national interest!
“In January of 2018, US policy changed dramatically. Since 2001, The main foreign policy priority of the United States had supposedly been fighting terrorism. I have a 40 + video series, called Everybody’s Lying About Islam on how useless that effort has been, but at least it was something the American people thought they wanted. With January 2018’s new defense strategy the Pentagon quietly announced a shift to Great Power Competition against countries like Russia and China. This seismic shift went largely unexamined, because we were all too busy watching the President Trump show.”
“The only nice thing about this shift in strategy is that it’s more honest. We in the United States have already been counter productively pursuing this great power competition strategy for like 30 years now. We have a huge foreign policy establishment that was built to fight the cold war, and it just kept on fighting it, long after the Soviet Union voluntarily dissolved itself. ”
“Our main target for much of a century now has been Russia. When this competition started the Soviet Empire out weighed the US population by tens of millions of People, and the cold war opened with their ideology swallowing up whole continents. 70 years later the Soviet Empire is gone, Russia has embraced a crappier version of our guiding ideology and there are almost 200 million more of us than them. Despite all the hype, in the six years since NATO expansion finally turned them rogue, Russia isn’t taking continents, it’s largely failing to take individual provinces of its old empire.”
If anything our competition with China is even more farcical, as I have covered recently. Over the coming weeks I will talk more about Iran. The problem here is that all of this competition is meaningless, until it isnt. Obama let the foreign policy hawks convince him to do stupid things in Syria and Libya, which led directly to a massive European refugee crisis and the Islamic State.
It’s easy to forget now that we are all moving on to China panic, but the very cable news friendly threat of the Islamic State, and Trump’s catering to it with a Muslim ban were a big part of his victory. Trump won by the difference of a few tens of thousands of votes in just three states. If it weren’t for the catastrophes brought to us by the foreign policy blob, Donald Trump would not be president.
That’s the key thing here. The downside risks of the forever wars and the great power competition we are pushing are massive and unpredictable. At this early point it seems like the Biden administration doesn’t want to upset the apple cart and disturb any defense industry owned Congresspeople from either party. That may seem like the safe thing to do. But there is a lot of time between now and 2024 and the chances of our constant aggression producing another great issue for Donald Trump are very high.
But there is good news here. One of these things is not like the others. Inequality and racism are perennial problems that will always be with us. What’s more, the President has pretty limited powers to deal with these domestic problems. The forever wars? According to the constitution and most US laws Biden can wake up and stop them tomorrow. Now obviously it’s not that easy. Trump showed that by his complete failure to get out of Syria and Afghanistan, two things he seemed to sincerely want to do. But Biden, even if he is somewhat diminished, really does know how government works, and has hired at least a few intelligent people who are eager to help him get it done. Trump didn’t know anything and almost exclusively hired pro-war people.
Biden should end the forever wars, and start taking a saner, less militaristic approach to great power competition. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s also the smartest thing to do for the success of his party and his presidency. It’s the best way to stop Trump. The main thing standing in his way is the US foreign policy establishment. Whether you call it the Deep State, the blob or the metastasized military industrial complex, I believe it’s the biggest threat to this country, and to the world. Come back next time to hear more about the way it has taken over our politics.
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