Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Chomsky on Trump
The crucial point he makes at the end: Trump and Sanders are appealing to a constituency fed up with 30 years of neoliberalism, free trade, mass unemployment and an economy that doesn’t work for them. Add to that the issue of endless mass immigration, the last fraud of neoliberalism, and regressive left insanity, which naturally Chomsky and the left-wing Democracy Now are totally unwilling to discuss.
But, unfortunately, Chomsky gets Trump wrong as well. He wants us to believe that a Trump presidency will be the rebirth of fascism. I wouldn’t doubt there will be ugly and nasty aspects to Trumpism, if he is elected president, but fascism? Come on.
If anything, Trump’s moderate “America First” foreign policy looks likely to be less interventionist than the last 16 years of neoconservative warmongering, which includes the neocon-lite foreign policy of Barack Obama. Trump has rejected the neocons, and many neocons might well join Hilary Clinton. I can’t wait to see the expression on the anti-Bush Democrats’ faces when Bush’s neocon warmongers show up at the Democratic party convention cheering Hillary.
Meanwhile, Trump’s rejection of free trade, if implemented as president, will be good for America. If his economic policy turns out to be Reaganomics Mark II, with protectionism, large tax cuts, huge deficit spending, and infrastructure investment, then, yes, this will be better for America than more toxic neoliberalism from a Hillary Clinton administration, even if Trump engages in some Reaganite deregulation and tax cuts for the rich. It is true that Trump’s program is still neoliberal in some aspects, but he rejects enough of the present consensus to make it better than the current consensus form.
Closing off mass illegal and legal immigration will be good for America, and will allow a degree of labour market protectionism.
And here’s the crucial thing: a Trump victory and rejection of the current neoliberal consensus would probably pave the way for an honest and decent New Deal Democratic in the next presidential election cycle or the one after it.
More of the interview of Chomsky is below.