Donald Trump has been subjected to a great deal of scrutiny and many serious charges have been laid at his door. Some will say he is condemned by his own words and of course it seems to be true that Mr Trump is less than the ideal of the Platonic Aristocrat, schooled in the pursuit of Arete, Virtuous Excellence.
Is it better for a figurehead and the executive power structures of which they are the Chief Executive to love the people of the citizenry or to Fear them, Turned around is it better for a Leader to be feared or to be loved. In a democracy and in the current diluted Democratic Brand a leader who would declare a wish to be loved over a wish to be feared would usually be called a populist. Populist is deployed in this conventional context as a perjoritive insult. A leader should be strong and no matter that they are to be feared they get things done. Mussolini got things done, the trains ran on time , that sort of thing. Your own view will depend on whether you think respect is earned or commanded, Love can not of course be either Bought or Commanded.
Donald Trump comes from a background of un imaginable privelidge for most, of course the US would say and he would say himself that what he represents is the American Dream. A story is told about a Soviet Politician who visited America during the 1960´s and was asked after touring many gleaming examples of US industrial superiority if he had any questions. The story goes that what he wanted to know was How it was possible to have all of the workers believe in something that was so obviously untrue. The something he referred to was the American Dream. To Have winners on a Trump scale there have to be many losers, for most the participation they can glean from those who live the dream, is but to cheer and of course to keep on dreaming.
Belief in the American Dream is a very dangerous thing for a politician akin to a belief in Father Christmas. If a parent believed in Father Christmas and trusted to their deep faith in the fairytale it would be but one Christmas long that the belief would endure? Coming down to the Christmas Tree the Children would find that the Milk and Buscuits set carefully on the kitchen table are left un disturbed and that beneath the tree there are no presents. The Children would quite rightly ask their parents when they look out of the window and see their freinds excitedly playing with new toys. ´´Why did Father Christmas not come to our House this year ” The American dream is like Father Christmas and has not visited the houses of many Americans ever, have sufficient Americans seen previously un-dissappointed children left off the list of adresses to where Santa , The American Dream , delivers. What is the Tipping point of exclusion from the vaunted ´´Middle Class´´
So who believes in the American Dream and will be more likely to leave the Main Street Christmas Tree naked of presents from the bounties of the American Dream. One side says Stronger together , the other side says Make America Great Again. I would argue that Stronger together is devoid of meaning and an empty slogan devoid of Logos, that is it is not grounded in any concrete reality and hangs there in the air trying to look important clever and sincere. Of the Other slogan, Again is the only bit I would quibble with. Making America Great seems to me to be a wholly noble endevour and that She should herself allow other nations to mould and guide their own greatness on their own terms and in accordance with their own cultural values also seems perfectly reasonable to expect as a prid pro quo.
Stein or Ryan would arguably and to my own political tastes make better presidents than either Clinton or Trump. We are likely to get either Clinton or Trump though. If you care to google you will fnd several films which detail Hilary Clintons record on Wars in which the USA has with her direction fallen foul of international law, describing The Clinton Position as anything other than Hawkish , and in turn that of Obama and before him Bush the second. Clinton the Second would be unlikely to reverse the degenerate trend in United States Foriegn Policy. Mrs Clinton does not , will not and has never listened so convinced is she of the American Dream and its efficacy. It has it must be said worked for Mrs Clinton and President Bill Clinton very well indeed.
Trump being from a privelidged background will be more likely to be disabused of the idea that the American Dream is one where each and every American can be a Billionaire. Mr Trump will never reject the lime light I am sure, He may though hear the echo of the American people who have as in the legend been wandering lonely glens unloved by their leaders , indeed feared by them. Perhaps unlike in Ovids tale our Narcissis Trump will return the peoples Love.
Ovid, Metamorposes Bk III:359-401 How Juno altered Echo’s speech
‘Scorned, she wanders in the woods and hides her face in shame among the leaves, and from that time on lives in lonely caves. But still her love endures, increased by the sadness of rejection. Her sleepless thoughts waste her sad form, and her body’s strength vanishes into the air. Only her bones and the sound of her voice are left. Her voice remains, her bones, they say, were changed to shapes of stone. She hides in the woods, no longer to be seen on the hills, but to be heard by everyone. It is sound that lives in her.”
”By chance, the boy, separated from his faithful band of followers, had called out ‘Is anyone here?’ and ‘Here’ Echo replied. He is astonished, and glances everywhere, and shouts in a loud voice ‘Come to me!’ She calls as he calls. He looks back, and no one appearing behind, asks ‘Why do you run from me?’ and receives the same words as he speaks. He stands still, and deceived by the likeness to an answering voice, says ‘Here, let us meet together’. And, never answering to another sound more gladly, Echo replies ‘Together’, and to assist her words comes out of the woods to put her arms around his neck, in longing. He runs from her, and running cries ‘Away with these encircling hands! May I die before what’s mine is yours.’ She answers, only ‘What’s mine is yours!’”
”As he sees all this reflected in the dissolving waves, he can bear it no longer, but as yellow wax melts in a light flame, as morning frost thaws in the sun, so he is weakened and melted by love, and worn away little by little by the hidden fire. He no longer retains his colour, the white mingled with red, no longer has life and strength, and that form so pleasing to look at, nor has he that body which Echo loved. Still, when she saw this, though angered and remembering, she pitied him, and as often as the poor boy said ‘Alas!’ she repeated with her echoing voice ‘Alas!’ and when his hands strike at his shoulders, she returns the same sounds of pain. His last words as he looked into the familiar pool were ‘Alas, in vain, beloved boy!’ and the place echoed every word, and when he said ‘Goodbye!’ Echo also said ‘Goodbye!’”
It Occured to me in the British General Election of 2015 , that the despised UKIP and its Charasmatic leader Mr Farage , (equally despised by British and European Elites as Mr Trump is by those in the US and in Europe). Had more in Common with the British Green Party than most Green party supporters would ever wish to admit. Both Parties Manifestos were strikingly similar to me. Your writer dear Reader is an un apologetic Leftist in your American Terms. I am familiar with and sympathetic to the political economy and critique of capitalism found in Karl Marx´s Das Kapital, I am also well read in the works of Bakunin, Kropotkin and Proudhon. I stand with Proudhon against Bastiat and with Bakunin against Marx and I am happy to self identify as a Socialist. I find that in the US presidential election that Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have much more in common than Mr sanders has with Ms Rodham Clinton. Jesse Ventura pointed this out in a recent interview he did with Cenq Ungar of TYT network. So full Circle to answer the Titlular question posed here.
This is an exchange with a comitted Marxist freind regarding this very question.
My Marxist Freind.
”The only option, but mobilise, educate fight, once elected the Clinton administration should be made responsible to the people, but they have to work for the changes needed.”
”The point isn´t whether trump would stand in their way it is whether the leadership from that symbolic position of president ,would acknowledge a manifesto from the people along the lines of Sanders suggestion or whether it would be crushed or otherwise side lined. I suspect in Clintons case Crushing and sidelining in equal measure. For trump perhaps it would be one or the other, one or the other is likely to be more effective to the cause of the people than a bit of both as in the long run either a push back or an assisting shove in the right direction at least gives feed back. The certainty of more of the same seems inescapable to me with Clinton. On Trump I am less certain, I am reluctant to fall back on the Your Enemies enemy is your friend argument but that the Establishment is so All in with Clinton just as it is all in against Jeremy Corbyn suggests that both of them are likely to be rejecting the status quo and established structures of power and control. All politicians are fallable just like the rest of us and all are capable of discovering common humanity within themselves which of Clinton and Trump is more likely to discover their own humanity and some humility and empathy or which is more likely to fail in derailment of any social movement for real change to the existing order of things? of course we can not know the answer, Clinton has real form and if she performs according to form thats not good news, for me in that case I would back the novice runner with no form, Trump in this case.”