The punch line that followed was a Ronald Reagan’s catchphrase soon to become much reiterated: “We Will Make America Great Again!”
It was June 16, 2015. The location: a lavish 58-story skyscraper on Fifth Avenue in New York City. In a 45-minute speech, real estate mogul and TV-personality Donald J. Trump announced his White House run was officially on.
Besides the rumbling and boasting, and some remarks on the Iran deal and Syrian refugees that proved he had a misrepresented grip on the facts, a considerable part of the speech zeroed in on entirely legitimate issues that America’s desperately threatened and angry middle class wanted to hear for a long time: unfavorable trade deals with China, Japan, and Mexico, criminals coming from Latin and South America and the Middle East, corporations, lobbyists and donors controlling politicians, higher education spending, worst unemployment rate since 1978, among other issues. Statements like, “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created” went down well with an electorate concerned by a disappointing economic recovery and affected by stagnation of incomes.
His to-do list included saving Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security with no cuts, repeal Obamacare and Obama’s executive orders on immigration, end Common Core, rebuild the country’s infrastructure, renegotiate foreign trade deals, and defending the Second Amendment.
As for international politics, he touched topics such as Saudi Arabia and the war in Yemen, the Chinese’s military buildup, and ISIS. “Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump! Nobody!”
He bashed Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio on the Iraq matter, which cost hundreds of thousands of lives. “How are these people gonna lead us?” He bashed Secretary Kerry for having no concept of negotiation. “This is going to be an election based on competence because people are tired of these nice people.”
Mainstream media’s harsh criticism began straight away and got increasingly biased against him as the campaign trail kept going on and he kept bashing, thereby gaining popular consensus and adding more and more voices to the chorus: WE’RE GONNA DRAIN THAT SWAMP! WE’RE GOING TO BUILD THE WALL!
Top political pundits disparaged him and declared his rise ‘a terrifying moment in American politics’. Some went as far as to claim he’s no successful businessman – yeah, they really said so – but just somebody ‘smart at gaming the system’. CNN’s chyrons engaged in fact-checking his statements in real time – not a bad move. However, it would be appropriate to do likewise to each candidate and most of all to one who lied to the FBI or under oath during Congressional testimony. Instead, while CNN would collect a row of cut-offs to interviewees whose views discredited Hillary – aka ‘accidental satellite feed malfunction’ – the mainstream media in unison labeled Trump ‘a mendacious racist’, ‘a liar’, ‘a dangerous maniac’, ‘a sexist’, ‘a demagogue’, ‘a narcissist’, ‘a bully’, and – puzzling but true – ‘a dilettante’. That’s the media evenhandedness in the greatest democracy of the world – don’t get me wrong, it’s mere sarcasm to get by.
The whole political establishment was upset. The Pentagon, the CIA, the State Department, Wall Street; they all wanted him to lose the election. Even his own party wanted him to lose – his tax talks made many fairly nervous. At the February 25th GOP Debate in Houston, everybody was gunning for Trump. Former president George H.W. Bush was caught red handed on live TV threatening him with a throat cut gesture.
Despite a lack of support from any corner, things would go otherwise at the rallies. Trump filled convention centers, airport hangars, and parks with increasingly large energetic crowds. Along with the signboards reading Veterans for Trump, there were those reading Women for Trump, Hispanics for Trump, Blacks for Trump. His supporters were proud to say they were voting for him. Live streams revealed a huge number of viewers displaying enthusiastic cheering.
In the meanwhile, many big names were campaigning for Hillary: the Obamas in the first place – yes, the incumbent president campaigned actively for his would-be successor – Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, many former Republican officials and George W. Bush administration officials. Celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, Madonna, Magic Johnson, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, bolstered her public image. Beyonce and Jay Z performed a concert to ‘secure black votes’ in Cleveland, Ohio, and were rewarded with $62 million. Even Bob De Niro proved himself a puppet driveling on the reasons for his endorsement: “she’s paid her dues”, “she has earned the right to be president”, “she’s a woman”, “her take on things may be what we need.” A hell of a smart reasoning, isn’t it?
But the best promoters of Hillary’s campaign were the mainstream media. They’ve been all on ‘Her Majesty’s secret service’.
Just weeks before election day, Wikileaks released a trove of Hillary camp chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails yielding an unprecedented insight into the shenanigans of the campaign. It turned out a number of prominent so-called journalists were in cahoots with Clinton.
Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin gave heads up to Podesta that his name would appear in a pending article about lobbyists, though it was just ‘one line well into the text of a long story’. Her concern was to make sure such a little chunk of truth didn’t catch Podesta off guard. The staff at The Boston Globe worked with Hillary Clinton’s campaign to maximize her presence during the primary race against Bernie Sanders. On April, the same toilet-paper rag had run a fake 2017 first page to attack a possible Trump administration. The headline read, ‘Deportations to Begin’. New York Times Magazine reporter Mark Leibovich agreed to let Clinton campaign cut quotes before a story ran. New York Times reporter and CNBC anchor John Harwood gave the Clinton campaign tips about other candidates and gloated about provoking Trump while moderating the October 2015 GOP debate. The then-CNN contributor, and later head of the Democratic National Committee, Donna Brazile, ‘from time to time used to get the questions in advance’… and tip Clinton off to a significant question to be asked during a CNN-hosted town hall the next day.
Furthermore, a leak provided by hacker Guccifer 2.0 revealed that thirty-eight key national reporters of different media outlets (ABC, CNN, CBS, Bloomberg, Daily Beast, GPG, Huffington Post, MSNBC, NBC, New Yorker, New York Times, People, Politico, Vice, Vox) complied with Hillary’s orders they received at an off-the-record cocktail party hosted by the Clinton campaign. The same hacker provided another leak where Clinton staffers described former Politico reporter Maggie Haberman, later covering the election for the New York Times, as a ‘friendly journalist’ who has ‘teed up stories’ for them in the past and ‘never disappointed’.
And the bottom keeps falling. Emailgate showed a direct connection between Hillary Clinton and the creation of ISIS, as the latter was funded by the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The same people who gave money to the Clinton Foundation when Hillary was Secretary of State and the State Department approved massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Financial Times, to name a few, knew better than reporting on such issues. CNN and Time Magazine published an article entitled “Hillary Clinton’s Emailgate Is an Attack on Women”. What? The whole matter boils down to an attack on women?
During her tenure as Secretary of State, Hillary used her private server and the server of the Clinton Foundation for emails containing sensitive and confidential material, rather than the official State Department email accounts maintained on federal servers. Some emails dated back to her tenure as Secretary of State (2009-2013) and referred to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, when the U.S. ambassador to Libya and ‘terrorist liaison’ Chris Stevens, along with three other American citizens, were brutally murdered by Islamic militants.
FBI Director James Comey identified 110 emails containing information that was ‘classified’ at the time it was sent, 65 of them were labeled ‘Secret’, and 22 were labeled ‘Top Secret’. Hillary claimed she had no idea the letter ‘C’ stood for classified and speculated it was referencing paragraphs marked in alphabetical order. In July 2016, the FBI closed the investigation without charges.
On October 28, eleven days before the election, Comey informed Congress they were analyzing additional emails obtained investigating an unrelated case. They had confiscated computers and smartphones from Hillary’s top aide, Huma Abedin, and her husband, Anthony Weiner. He had been accused of having exchanged lewd messages with a teenager. Investigators had also found an exchange of emails between Hillary and Abedin sent through Hillary’s private, non-government server.
On November 6, Comey announced Hillary would not be prosecuted for the misuse of classified emails. Once again, the most investigated presidential nominee in the U.S. history beat the rap. The MSM breathed a sigh of relief and kept focusing on Trump’s alleged attitude toward women – sure a topic that affects Americans much more than the economy. In contrast, references to Bill Clinton’s sexual harassment cases and Hillary’s role in covering up his wrongdoings were barely mentioned.
Thus, everybody loved Hillary – or sort of.
Actually, at Hillary’s rallies the turnout was pretty small. Possibly, she had had a bigger audience at her paid speeches to Wall Street firms. By the way, that’s another topic the media didn’t bother much reporting. Why, I wonder? After all, being on good terms with Goldman Sachs & Co. doesn’t suggest she is concerned with the plight of the common people? The media stated she was leading in the polls, but anyone looking at the pathetic turnout at her campaign rallies could understand she was losing. Eventually, the sole matter was, could she steal the election through voter fraud or rigged machines? After all, such massive support granted by the corporate media would allow her steal the election much easier than Fox Business Executive John Ellis did for his cousin George W. Bush in 2000.
Beside the shrieks and chortles, Hillary’s supporters had an opportunity to hear their candidate blast WikiLeaks and ramp up accusations that it was backed by Russian intelligence – the Dems’ hardcore anti-Russian strategy began when President Vladimir Putin made a mild passing remark about Trump’s GOP primary success. The MSM in unison parroted Hillary’s allegations without the slightest questioning on evidence and sources. In the frantic week leading up to election day, she canceled rallies and events due to either one reason or another. In contrast, Trump was always on the upswing, holding up to 4 or 5 rallies a day.
Much of the electorate didn’t like either candidate very well. This time more than ever, the election boiled down to choose the lesser of two evils. The electorate is accustomed to the two-party system – it has existed since George Washington left office. It’s an American sickness too ingrained to change, and it works very well to prevent the formation of a strong third party that could become a genuine representative of the interests of the masses. In the 2016 primaries, both parties experienced significant populist upheavals, but any speculation that one or both could split and provide the voters a multi-party confrontation was just pointless. With Trump and Hillary, likely the two most unpopular candidates in the history of U.S. elections, third parties and independent candidates have attracted some of the discontents. But running a U.S. presidential campaign is mainly a matter of numbers. It requires inordinate financial support and wide media coverage – two things that get along very well.
At last, the showdown has come. Mainstream polls had said it wouldn’t happen. Forecasts had said it wouldn’t happen. Online betting markets had said it wouldn’t happen. It happened.
Donald J. Trump has become the 45th U.S. president. His triumph on the Electoral College map has been overwhelming – moreover, Republicans have kept control of the House and hung on to their majority in the Senate.
Hillary lost. Thereby, the DC Consensus lost. Her presidency would have kept a thread of continuity dating back over two decades, up to her husband’s administration, and to some degree to Bush-the-Elder’s. Whereas Trump is not part of that Club. He ran both against the Democrats and the powers within his own party. An outsider, at least in appearance – some months hence we’ll see to what degree.
As a result are U.S. policies going to change their course at last? In 2008, Big Mouth Barack vouched for that ‘Hope & Change’ thing, and dozens of millions fell for it – as for me, I believed there couldn’t be a president worse than Bush, and Obama proved me wrong. As for domestic issues, sure enough some shift will take place during the Trump administration. No man, however powerful he is, can dictate U.S. strategies regardless of the powers that be – the shadowy financial elite that has always pulled the strings. Presidents change, objectives remain. When it comes to U.S. foreign policy this is especially true.
Then, besides the relieving fact that she came, she spoke, and she lost, is there anything here to be pleased about?
If these results have proved anything, it’s that the MSM are the Big Losers in this election. They proved themselves having no connection with real America and unable to fathom the deep, seething economic discontent that afflicts large swaths of population, who rejected the overall endorsement to Hillary and soundly gave Trump a victory. That’s a harsh smack to the establishment’s perception of the American people.
Pointing his finger toward the TV-crews at his rallies, Trump stated an inconvenient fact that needed to be said since a long time: “Another important issue for Americans is integrity in journalism. These people are among the most dishonest people I’ve ever met, spoken to, done business with. There has never been dishonesty like we’ve seen in this election. There has never been anywhere near the media dishonesty like we’ve seen in this election.”
Despite it all – all the deception, I mean – now it’s Trump Nation. Possibly it’s started the Decline of Western Disinformation. But there’s a long way to go, and I can hardly imagine the corporate media brass show any sign whatsoever of abating.