The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 Mike Whitney ArchiveBlogview
Doomsday Election

This is what it must feel like to be on Death Row, to be waiting for the moment when the iron door clangs open for the last time and four burly guards escort you arm-in-arm to the room where your life will be extinguished. That same sense of dread hangs over the presidential election of 2016.

No one is happy about the election and no one anticipates better days ahead. America’s ‘glory days” appear to be in the rearview mirror while the steady downward slide seems to be gaining pace. This year’s presidential campaign has brought all the anger, anxiety and frustration bubbling to the surface. Nerves are raw, people are on edge, and the trepidation is so thick you could cut it with a knife. All the recent surveys tell the same story: Americans are sick of the mudslinging, sick of the scandals, sick of the recriminations, sick of the two party duopoly, and sick of the two candidates, the two most distrusted and reviled candidates in the country’s 230 year history. This is from the New York Times:

“An overwhelming majority of voters are disgusted by the state of American politics, and many harbor doubts that either major-party nominee can unite the country after a historically ugly presidential campaign, according to the final pre-election New York Times/CBS News Poll…

With more than eight in 10 voters saying the campaign has left them repulsed rather than excited, the rising toxicity threatens the ultimate victor. Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic candidate, and Mr. Trump, the Republican nominee, are seen as dishonest and viewed unfavorably by a majority of voters…

After weeks of Mr. Trump’s accusations that the election is “rigged,” a little more than six in 10 of his supporters say they will accept the results as legitimate if he loses. More than a quarter of Mr. Trump’s supporters say they will probably not accept the outcome if Mrs. Clinton is declared the winner, and nearly 40 percent of them say they have little or no confidence that Americans’ votes will be counted properly.”
(Voters Express Disgust Over U.S. Politics in New Times/CBS Poll, New York Times)

The growing sense of desperation in America today is palpable and it goes far beyond this one, isolated election cycle. The steady erosion of confidence in the nation’s main institutions is evident in Congress’s public approval ratings which seem to be stuck in single-digit territory. The public probably feels equal contempt for the Loretta Lynch Justice Department which is loaded with Clinton toadies that have done their best to quash any investigation into the illicit pay-to-play machinations at the Clinton Foundation. And, let’s not forget the media which has lost whatever shred of credibility it managed to salvage after its myriad of war-promoting lies about WMD, mobile weapons labs, aluminum tubes and Assad’s imaginary chemical weapons attacks, attacks that were invented from whole cloth at one of Washington’s many neocon think tanks where these fake ideas are typically hatched. The Forth Estate’s latest gambit is an idiotic attempt to prove that Vladimir Putin is trying to hack our thoroughly-corrupted Third World voting system to achieve some nebulous political gain. What a joke.

No, Hillary, Putin is not gaming the system like you did in the primaries with Bernie Sanders, nor did he put a gun to your head and force you to delete the 33,000 missing emails from your private server. That was your handiwork Ms. Clinton, although you have a done a masterful job in deflecting attention from yourself and passing the buck for your own sleazy, criminal activities onto Moscow.

But, back to the media. This from Gallup:

“Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year.

Gallup began asking this question in 1972, and on a yearly basis since 1997. Over the history of the entire trend, Americans’ trust and confidence hit its highest point in 1976, at 72%, in the wake of widely lauded examples of investigative journalism regarding Vietnam and the Watergate scandal. After staying in the low to mid-50s through the late 1990s and into the early years of the new century, Americans’ trust in the media has fallen slowly and steadily. It has consistently been below a majority level since 2007…

Bottom Line:…the slide in media trust has been happening for the past decade. Before 2004, it was common for a majority of Americans to profess at least some trust in the mass media, but since then, less than half of Americans feel that way. Now, only about a third of the U.S. has any trust in the Fourth Estate, a stunning development for an institution designed to inform the public.” (Americans’ Trust in Mass Media Sinks to New Low, Gallup)

“Designed to inform the public”???

You gotta be kidding? Droopy confidence in the media is a triumph for ordinary working people who have begun to see through the charade of “unbiased coverage” and realize that the corporate owners of the press manipulate the news to shape perceptions and maintain their stranglehold on power. That’s what’s really going on, and that’s why a growing number of people have swarmed to Donald Trump’s campaign. They see Trump’s lack of political correctness as a sign that he is not owned by the Washington oligarchy of racketeers who invent teleprompter candidates like Obama and Clinton who are never certain what they actually believe until they see it printed in bold letters on the screen in front of them.

ORDER IT NOW

To large extent, Trump owes his shocking rise to the top of the GOP ticket to the fact that he shoots from the hip and that the media hates him. What was once a liability, has become an asset as trust for the despised media has plunged to depths never seen before.

But that doesn’t explain what’s really driving this election and why are the American people so overcome by desperation?

It’s all about economic insecurity. It’s all about the fact that standards of living are slipping, that an entire generation is bogged down with student debt, that all the good-paying jobs have been shipped to other countries, that family incomes are shriveling, that a good portion of the population feel threatened by immigration, that health care costs have skyrocketed, that retirement plans have been postponed, and that the great bulk of the nation’s wealth has been transferred to the 1 percent plutocrats and Wall Street landsharks who dictate policy through their Congressional lackeys and their allies at the Federal Reserve. That’s what the election is really all about.

People are waking up to the fact that the American dream is dead, that the US is no longer the land of opportunity, and that the lives of their children are going to be worse than their own, far worse. This is why everyone is so upset, so frustrated, so hopeless. They are looking for a political ally who will address their needs, and instead they get bromides on transgender bathrooms or “glass ceilings” or any of the other soothing slogans the Democrats use to pacify the masses and to keep them in the flock. Only now it’s not working as well. Now a sizable portion of the blue collar vote has shifted into Trump’s camp mainly because they see through the phony Democrat rhetoric and all the job-eviscerating free trade deals they’ve pushed for years. Trump has skillfully tapped into the collective psyche of millions of working people who feel the Democratic Party tossed them under the track-hoe 30 years ago and never looked back. And, he’s right, too. The Dems have sold out their supporters, and it’s only going to get worse under Clinton, or should we say, Madame TPP. Here’s how Nile Bowie summed it up in a recent article at CounterPunch:

“Economic disempowerment and political disenfranchisement have accelerated under President Obama, to the detriment of the American middle class. White, blue-collar Americans have witnessed the offshoring of their jobs and the erosion of their status in society, and Trump has masterfully stroked their resentment and discontent by playing on their fears of Muslims, immigrants and minorities…

Trump’s real problem with the Washington establishment is that he isn’t part of it. His campaign represents an insurgent faction of the oligarchical class that aims to displace and replace the standing political elites. Bipartisan opposition to Trump is grounded in the belief that he would be an unreliable proxy and a liability, someone too narrow and unpredictable to manage the common affairs of the ruling class and the US deep state.

Moreover, the US establishment is not interested in being led by such a contentious figure, who would draw protest and public opposition in a way that more conventional establishment candidates largely do not. For example, Trump’s rhetoric on immigration seems to engender more public outrage than the immigration policy under Obama, who has deported more people than any other president in history.” (Election 2016: A Political System In Crisis, Nile Bowie, CounterPunch)

The big money guys don’t like Trump, and they make no bones about it. But Trump isn’t going away and neither are his followers, a vast number of whom will not respect the results of the election if Hillary wins. That’s a big problem for elites who like to manage the population through the popular election sham. Now all that’s at risk.

And it’s not like Trump hasn’t bent over backwards to ingratiate himself with the deep-state powerbrokers either. He has. His first olive branch to the elites was the selection of Mike Pence as his running mate. Pence is a died-in-the-wool establishment Republican neocon who can be trusted to pursue the same extremist agenda the GOP has followed since the Gingrich revolution. But there was another big move that Trump made that escaped the notice of the media and which really underscores his willingness to “play by to the rules.” Here’s the story from Zero Hedge:

“Six months ago, Steven Mnuchin became finance chair for the Trump campaign. Having successfully helped to raise 10s of millions of dollars for the campaign, the former Goldman Sachs partner and Soros Fund management employee is now positioned for something much larger as Donald Trump reportedly told his aides today that he wants Mnuchin to serve as his Treasury Secretary.

Ironically, Trump has often criticized Clinton (and his former competitor Ted Cruz) for their links to the big banks:
“I know the guys at Goldman Sachs. They have total, total control over him. Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton,” Trump said in one debate.
But as we noted previously, he had no qualms, however, in hiring one of the most prominent Goldman alums to raise money for him.
…for Trump, a self-professed “anti-establishment” candidate, who has repeatedly stated he is not “for sale to special interest groups”, his sudden call for the seemingly most “Wall Street” of Wall-Streeters to become Treasury Secretary may come as a big surprise to some and will leave many of his supporters demanding an explanation.” (Trump Wants Former Goldman Partner And Soros Employee To Serve As Treasury Secretary, Zero Hedge)
Another head of Treasury from G-Sax?

That figures.

Trump is great with the rabble-rousing “take back your country” tirades and all the gibberish about the “rigged” system. But he also knows how to cave in when it suits his interests. He knows he’s not going to be president without Wall Street’s nod, so he’s enlisted a trusted insider to take care of business at Treasury. It’s a signal to the bigwigs that they don’t have to worry about the Donald going off the reservation. (wink, wink) So much for Trump’s independence, eh?

And what can we say about Hillary Clinton that hasn’t been said a million times before?

Clinton, who still holds a slim lead in most of the polls, is clearly the establishment candidate in a year when hatred for the corrupt Washington oligarchy, has reached levels not seen in the last hundred years. The fact that Hillary can run for the nation’s highest office while being investigated by the FBI, while being savaged by the daily releases of new, incriminating emails (from WikiLeaks), and while promoting a hawkish, neocon-driven foreign policy that portends a direct military confrontation with Russia, speaks to the fact that traditional liberal Democrats are either still hoodwinked by the Democratic Party’s manipulation of identity politics or simply terrified of the alternative, Donald Trump.

And that’s why everyone is so utterly dejected and depressed about the election, because instead of voting for a candidate they really want or admire, most people are simply voting for the candidate that either disgusts or scares the hell out of them the least. What kind of choice is that?

In less than 48 hours, the most agonizingly-wretched campaign of all times will be over, the ballots will be counted, and the new president will be named. The only thing that is certain is that, whoever wins, we lose.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

(Reprinted from Counterpunch by permission of author or representative)
 
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
16 Comments to "Doomsday Election"
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
[]
  1. B.S. conclusion. All wrong. America “loses” ONLY if Clinton is elected. We might ultimately “lose” down the road if President Trump can’t draink the ruling class swamp. But this election? We win big if Trump is elected. We lose bigtime if Clinton is.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are only available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also only be used once per hour.
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/doomsday-election/#comment-1640356
    More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  2. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    “The only thing that is certain is that, whoever wins, we lose.”

    Well said.

    Our hopes are eternal, and unfulfilled.

    Read More
  3. No one is happy about the election and no one anticipates better days ahead

    Wow. You really have to get out of your bubble more. Watch a Trump rally all the way through some time. Trump is generating tremendous positive energy and excitement that has gotten more and more powerful throughout the campaign. Just as someone interested in history, you really look into this.

    Read More
  4. Wow! You nailed it, Mike!

    “Hope” is not a strategy but it does spring eternal. Maybe after the smoke clears on this disaster of an election campaign, maybe, just maybe, some realistic effort will be made to at least drain some level of sewage from the swamp.

    Read More
  5. Nicely written, Mike, just about sums it all up.
    One slight correction, Trump doesn’t “shoot from his hip” but rather he shoots from his LIP.
    Yet your damning indictment contains a kernel of hope, the number of voters who see the system as corrupt and are increasing they just haven’t organized yet and figured out a way to put things right. You’ve got to recognise the problem before you can find a solution to it. Let’s just say it’s a work in progress and the people have it within their means to restructure the political and economic system. Perhaps it’s only a matter of leadership, in time someone will come along to lead the people to a better place. A pity it wasn’t Berny Sanders; he just wasn’t morally up to the job, caved to the establishment after playing the pied piper and seducing the American youth only to abandon them. Perhaps you’ll be luckier next time. Chin up there will be a tomorrow.

    Read More
  6. Der Trumpster is a one time only gift from the gods….never to be repeated. Who else has balls big enough to take on both parties, the immigrant invasion lobby, the pc enforcers, the blm cop killer cheerleaders, the vile kosher media? Compare the great man to your little trotskyite jooie hero, Bernie. The little weasel endorsed the incontinent crone after she arranged a very lucrative book deal for him. He used the proceeds to buy a third home, waterfront no less. How many houses do you own, Mikie?

    Read More
  7. Well put, Mike. Trump is the last hope for the American people to force change through the ballot box. If he turns out to be a fraud, states’ secessionist movements will begin gaining hurricane strength.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...
    I couldn't agree more.

    Mr. Whitney captures much of ordinary Americans' angst in the following paragraph:


    People are waking up to the fact that the American dream is dead, that the US is no longer the land of opportunity, and that the lives of their children are going to be worse than their own, far worse. This is why everyone is so upset, so frustrated, so hopeless. They are looking for a political ally who will address their needs, and instead they get bromides on transgender bathrooms or “glass ceilings” or any of the other soothing slogans the Democrats use to pacify the masses and to keep them in the flock. Only now it’s not working as well. Now a sizable portion of the blue collar vote has shifted into Trump’s camp mainly because they see through the phony Democrat rhetoric and all the job-eviscerating free trade deals they’ve pushed for years. Trump has skillfully tapped into the collective psyche of millions of working people who feel the Democratic Party tossed them under the track-hoe 30 years ago and never looked back. And, he’s right, too. The Dems have sold out their supporters, and it’s only going to get worse under Clinton, or should we say, Madame TPP.
     
    What he leaves out is the disgust with the war-mongering and constant interference in other countries' affairs for no good purpose. The persons whom the elites use as cannon fodder in these dangerously inept, genocidal, and destructive ploys are the sons and daughters of ordinary Americans. In return these men and women are treated as playthings by the elite and regarded with repulsive contempt by those who send them to their deaths. My wrath curdles when I contemplate the David Brooks types who send their sons out for a day camp adventure abusing Palestinians in the inappropriately named Israel Defense Force while blanching at the idea their children might one day do real public service for what they should regard as their native land; the Clinton types who refuse military men and women the honor of wearing the uniforms of which they are so rightly proud in the White House; and the other obscenely corrupt and decadent types that make up current "ruling" class .
  8. Hope is DT’s greatest gift to Americans AND y’all get to keep your guns. I sincerely hope he doesn’t betray that hope like Obama did. If he does then anger and chaos would likely result and it wouldn’t be pretty. DT will need all the support and encouragement possible to drain the swamp as it is large and very stinky. Good luck DT.

    Read More
  9. “…an entire generation is bogged down with student debt,”

    All that diversity they endorsed has to be paid for. Were the poor innocent little babes not aware of what they were buying into?

    And Obama didn’t increase deportations, he just changed the way they were counted to create an artificially inflated number. Shame on you for repeating the lie.

    Read More
    • Replies: @woodNfish

    Were the poor innocent little babes not aware of what they were buying into?
     
    No, they aren't. They are children going off to college and away from home and the protection of mom and dad for the first time in their lives. They are totally naive about life and will still be so when they graduate because mom and dad are still paying all the bills (not necessarily tuition). Only a job, paying your own bills, and personal responsibility wakes you up to real life. $200k in tuition debt is unfathomable to a teenager with no real life experience who has been told all his life he has to go to college to get a good job!
  10. @attonn
    Well put, Mike. Trump is the last hope for the American people to force change through the ballot box. If he turns out to be a fraud, states' secessionist movements will begin gaining hurricane strength.

    I couldn’t agree more.

    Mr. Whitney captures much of ordinary Americans’ angst in the following paragraph:

    People are waking up to the fact that the American dream is dead, that the US is no longer the land of opportunity, and that the lives of their children are going to be worse than their own, far worse. This is why everyone is so upset, so frustrated, so hopeless. They are looking for a political ally who will address their needs, and instead they get bromides on transgender bathrooms or “glass ceilings” or any of the other soothing slogans the Democrats use to pacify the masses and to keep them in the flock. Only now it’s not working as well. Now a sizable portion of the blue collar vote has shifted into Trump’s camp mainly because they see through the phony Democrat rhetoric and all the job-eviscerating free trade deals they’ve pushed for years. Trump has skillfully tapped into the collective psyche of millions of working people who feel the Democratic Party tossed them under the track-hoe 30 years ago and never looked back. And, he’s right, too. The Dems have sold out their supporters, and it’s only going to get worse under Clinton, or should we say, Madame TPP.

    What he leaves out is the disgust with the war-mongering and constant interference in other countries’ affairs for no good purpose. The persons whom the elites use as cannon fodder in these dangerously inept, genocidal, and destructive ploys are the sons and daughters of ordinary Americans. In return these men and women are treated as playthings by the elite and regarded with repulsive contempt by those who send them to their deaths. My wrath curdles when I contemplate the David Brooks types who send their sons out for a day camp adventure abusing Palestinians in the inappropriately named Israel Defense Force while blanching at the idea their children might one day do real public service for what they should regard as their native land; the Clinton types who refuse military men and women the honor of wearing the uniforms of which they are so rightly proud in the White House; and the other obscenely corrupt and decadent types that make up current “ruling” class .

    Read More
  11. “No one is happy about the election and no one anticipates better days ahead. “

    I’m happy about the election. It was great fun to watch, and the surprise outcome was a happy ending. Shame about that Global Financial Crisis 3.0 that Soros and thhe Criminal Elite are going to leave Trump holding the bag for.

    Read More
  12. I believe that both sides of the aisles of Congress have been determined to spend money to “stimulate” the economy. What has held them back was the disagreement on the way the money was to be spent, i.e. in whose district and to the benefit of which segment of the economy.

    This election has settled that disagreement. The Congress will now proceed to spend money like drunken sailors on infrastructure projects.

    Should be a wild ride while it lasts.

    Read More
    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
    The present US infrastructure is obsolete in two senses: (1) it is obsolete in the sense that it is rundown, unrepaired, and dangerous; (2) it is obsolete in the sense that it is outmoded. Rebuilding an outmoded infrastructure is imbecilic. Not that any of the politicos, corporations, contractors, and consumers will bother to question what they are doing as long as the profit margins are high, which they always are, eh?
  13. @another fred
    I believe that both sides of the aisles of Congress have been determined to spend money to "stimulate" the economy. What has held them back was the disagreement on the way the money was to be spent, i.e. in whose district and to the benefit of which segment of the economy.

    This election has settled that disagreement. The Congress will now proceed to spend money like drunken sailors on infrastructure projects.

    Should be a wild ride while it lasts.

    The present US infrastructure is obsolete in two senses: (1) it is obsolete in the sense that it is rundown, unrepaired, and dangerous; (2) it is obsolete in the sense that it is outmoded. Rebuilding an outmoded infrastructure is imbecilic. Not that any of the politicos, corporations, contractors, and consumers will bother to question what they are doing as long as the profit margins are high, which they always are, eh?

    Read More
  14. No one is happy about the election and no one anticipates better days ahead.

    Actually, I was quite happy with it and my wife and I are expecting better days if Trump is elected. We got our wish, and the criminal hag did not win, in fact voters gave all three houses to the republicans. If Trump can whip them into shape and beat down the traitorous rinos, the next 4 years should be very good.

    So how are you feeling after the election Mike Whitney?

    Read More
  15. @Ozymandias
    "...an entire generation is bogged down with student debt,"

    All that diversity they endorsed has to be paid for. Were the poor innocent little babes not aware of what they were buying into?

    And Obama didn't increase deportations, he just changed the way they were counted to create an artificially inflated number. Shame on you for repeating the lie.

    Were the poor innocent little babes not aware of what they were buying into?

    No, they aren’t. They are children going off to college and away from home and the protection of mom and dad for the first time in their lives. They are totally naive about life and will still be so when they graduate because mom and dad are still paying all the bills (not necessarily tuition). Only a job, paying your own bills, and personal responsibility wakes you up to real life. $200k in tuition debt is unfathomable to a teenager with no real life experience who has been told all his life he has to go to college to get a good job!

    Read More
  16. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    “No one is happy about the election and no one anticipates better days ahead.”

    Given how many people attended his rallies, and how strongly the people voted for him, despite a storm from every corner of the establishment condemning and villifying Trump and his followers, I think quite a few people are pleased with the election and look forward to a brighter future than any politician has ever given them hope for.

    Read More
Current Commenter says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Mike Whitney Comments via RSS