by Marque A. Rome
Regarding the US presidential election: I realise Donald Trump is rather less than admirable, but was it really necessary to tell all those dreadful lies about him? It didn’t work anyway, he won the election, and it made plain to all that ‘objectivity’ has no place in modern news agencies.
Here in Thailand, I was shocked, frankly, when I saw the US Embassy in Bangkok apparently putting out pro-Hillary Clinton propaganda. They held ‘information’ seminars for Thais and moved a number of stories through local press and broadcast outlets which, in sum, said Hillary is the right person to be president of the US and Trump is not.
The morning before voting began, as I walked through my neighborhood in Phuket town, people at the mechanic’s shop hailed me to talk about the American election. I’ve known them for 23 years; they don’t speak English and we’ve never talked before about foreign elections. So how did they know anything about Hillary Clinton? Yet they said, “Hillary Clinton, very good!” and gave a thumbs up.
I asked them if they realised Clinton was the war candidate. They didn’t.
I think that’s important, because people, even Americans, seem to forget that in this election the ‘peace candidate’ was Trump, whereas Hillary repeatedly said she would declare a ‘no fly’ zone over Syria, which even the Joint Chiefs of Staff admit could not be enforced without shooting at Russian aircraft and provoking war with Russia. For me, this is the ONLY issue, and I should think that if others could put matters in perspective, it would be for them, too. But, somehow, amid all the ‘never Trump’ brouhaha, this and similar facts have been turned on their ear.
Whether it’s illegal or not I don’t know, but I regard as highly unethical the effort by US embassy personnel to bias public opinion in Thailand against the other three candidates running. More to the point, what do you call it when agents of the US State Department do all in their power to undercut the ability of the election’s eventual winner — Trump — to conduct relations with the government of Thailand?
Treason? I should say not, something less than that — but, whatever one calls it, such behavior should be investigated; and those responsible for libeling the next president, for deliberately prejudicing the Thai government against him, should be brought to account.
That, of course, assumes Trump will be be sworn in on 20th January. But Hillary, after making much of Trump’s assertions that a conspiracy to rig the elections was underway and that he might not accept the official results, herself refused to concede the election before her supporters. She didn’t show up at her own victory party to admit defeat and urge her side to lend their help to the new president. A headline on the US News and World Report Website read “How Vladimir Putin Won the U.S. Election”. Other headlines have noted that the electoral college can refuse to vote Trump into office. There’s many a slip between cup and lip, as they say.
Is Trump being set-up? I’ve felt for some time now the ‘never Trump’ folks would do anything — anything — to keep him from the White House, and I see no reason to change that view merely because he’s won. If the story about Putin interfering in the election gains credence, the government could simply nullify the results. If it doesn’t, perhaps they can find a way of putting him in jail for tax evasion, or assaulting a woman thirty years ago, or selling bogus degrees through Trump University, or depriving black people of their civil rights in his housing units.
The co-ordinated attacks in the press and announcement by representatives of Google, Facebook, Amazon (which owns the Washington Post) and others that no attempt at fair and balanced reporting would be made in covering this election have born fruit: the US population are polarised in their animosity as never before. Witness this e-mail I received from my half-sister in the San Francisco Bay area:
“I’m sure you’re aware of our elections and who is now going to be our new president. I want to let you know, that new elected president is in no way a person I voted for. He is a disgusting representative of our country. I am embarrassed and ashamed of the people in our country who voted for him.
“The majority of people I know are shaking their heads, saying how could this happen. We truly didn’t think it would happen. He is a very scary person and I am now concerned for our country. I woke up this morning hoping the nightmare wasn’t true, but it is. I’m sick to my stomach and everyone who came into the salon was feeling the same. Anyway, I just wanted you to know, he’s not my president and never will be.”
Contrast such statements as that with the tremendous enthusiasm shown at Trump rallies and one begins to have an inkling of the great chasm that must be bridged before these two sides can come together. That the revulsion shown by my sister is delusional and a result of openly announced brain-washing by anti-Trump factions is beside the point. Formerly apolitical, she is clearly now radicalized, and I think that could not happen without the radicalisation of her friends and acquaintances. I assume the Trump people are much the same. This is become a no-holds-barred fight and it were surprising should no fatalities result.
If Trump makes it through 20th January, remember the ‘never Trump’ faction includes virtually the entire organizational establishment of the party he now ostensibly heads. Nearly every member in both houses of Congress is avowedly against him, senior bureaucrats in every department seem to be against him, Wall Street is against him, and the press has been blue with rage since he announced his candidacy: almost every word written about him since has been either a demonstrable lie or palpable deception, and I frankly question whether people who rely on the principal news services for information have any idea of the man at all.
So he has a lot of enemies, and his friends are insignificant. How, then, can he carry out his policies when his opposition has not yet begun to fight? He may be impeached for even trying.
I wouldn’t want to be in Trump’s shoes.
As evidence of my charge against the US Embassy in Bangkok, consider this from an official Website:
“…Dr. Sam Potolicchio, Director of Global and Custom Education of McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University mentions that the United States elections have been considered as the first transparent and fair ones in the world. There is no way that the election would be rigged due to electoral collection which is a unique election system.
“Regarding foreign policy of each candidate, Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State is prone to maintain Obama’s administration but much more robust and assertive in policy such as Pivot to Asia or
Re-balancing, Climate Change, Nuclear Deal. She will proceed all U.S. strategies well because of her experience as a chief architecture in Obama’s government. However, Donald Trump’s policy is significantly contrast to Clinton’s due to his unpredictable policy. He mainly focuses on his campaign Make America Great Again by boosting trade and raising protectionism through racism and bigotry.
“During the meeting, Dr. Potolicchio analyzes that Hillary Clinton will win the upcoming election by 3-5% which is considered as a wide gap for the United States. And if Hillary Clinton wins the election, changes will emerge for the good of U.S. future direction as she’s a qualified candidate.”
Several similar stories have appeared in recent weeks, not only on official Websites site but in the Bangkok Post, all within a day or two of each other, suggesting a co-ordinated public relations push. The fact that the mechanics I mentioned above, and other Thais I’ve spoken with, are pro-Hillary, suggests the stories are being moved in Thai on TV news.
There’s not even a veil of democracy in such actions. Not only Trump, but Jill Stein and Gary Johnson and the entire US electorate deserve better.
It may seem, from what I’ve written above, that I’m a big Trump supporter. But I’m not at all. I’ve always found the man, not faintly but overtly, ridiculous. To his credit, he seems to have been humbled and grown into a better man owing to the movement that has coalesced around him. People are vesting their hopes for the future in him, and he obviously now aspires to actually be the man they want him to be.
Desire and fulfillment, however, are quite different, and I should think it surprising if Trump can live up to the people’s hopes. To be blunt, painting Trump as a knight in shining armor strikes me as an absurd conceit, quite as absurd and conceited as the man himself has been.
He is, nonetheless, catalyst to a revolution, one I expect is not ending but just beginning. An eruption is brewing between the people who think they define the nation and a group working to dispense with Western Civilization in favor of what was hitherto characterised as Sodom and Gomorrah. Both sides are passionate in their cause. Where America will end after the cataclysm strikes, and what effect it will have around the world (particularly in the West), is anybody’s guess.
I’d say, pin your hopes on China.