With Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton being the effective candidates for the major parties, the real question now is when will they both coalesce around similar sets of issues like all other presidential candidates, eventually leading to another election based on rhetoric rather than substance. While it may be said Trump’s rhetoric is more incendiary, anyone truly affected by his nonsensical, impossible-to-implement ideas is most likely stupid, and must view minority individuals and communities as some sort of homogeneous blob of Democratic voters. Equally, while Trump has u-turned on a huge number of issues, Clinton herself can hardly claim to be consistent. In the 90s, she happily stood behind her husband’s Trump-esque rhetoric on immigration and the drug war. In 2005, she claimed to be adamantly opposed to illegal immigration. In 2014, she thought immigrant children should be sent back to their country of origin. She, like Trump, doesn’t know if she’s up or down on a wide variety of issues.
Of course Clinton, in her non-ideological guise, supports the ideology of corporate managerialism. She talks the talk on climate change, yet wouldn’t dare combat limited liability laws, which limit tort action against polluting companies, or farm subsidies. The two biggest causes of pollution, fossil fuel companies and intensive farming practices, get a pass from her. Clinton’s views on things like immigration, free trade and corporate welfare are then contradictory, but most likely in line with the likes of Halliburton and Goldman Sachs. On foreign policy, her views are frankly vile. For all her talk of feminism, she doesn’t much care for women blown to bits by drone strikes.
Similarly, Trump’s views on a range of corporate issues are all over the place, but most likely with a tip towards oligarchic interests. Certainly he’s talked of auditing the Fed and limiting corporate borrowing on debt, but the issue is that it’s difficult to believe this when he himself has relied on such things in the past. With immigration, his policies seem extremely unlikely of ever getting off the ground. My hope here is that this disaffects large chunks of his supporters who turn away from populist rhetoric of Trump’s sort. On foreign policy, Trump’s America First nonsense will likely devolve into a position more fitting to neocon interests so he can have a party that is at least governable. While libertarians like Block and Raimondo seem to hold out hope for Trump as an anti-war guy, I’m not particularly convinced. Criticising Iraq is one thing, but actually ending the systemic issues that surround the military-industrial complex is something entirely different.
All I hope is that radical supporters for both candidates, whether it be groups like Black Lives Matter or the paleoconservative supporters of Trump, realise the political system is beyond repair, and thus start creating their own secessionist alternatives that break the totalising narrative of the American empire. Trump and Clinton are awful people, but it’s the useful idiots on social media and in the press that are truly stupid in supporting these candidates.