Draining the Swamp

Oh lighten up…how bad can it be? Really? OK, a narcissistic sociopath with the petulance of a five-year-old and no governing experience wins the White House. But what can he do? OK, he can do a hell of a lot. But will he? And, as importantly, will he be allowed to?

Think about it. He wants to round up and forcibly deport 11 million illegal individuals, a feat on a scale not attempted since the Nazis targeted European Jewry. He’ll need a force the size of an army – at what cost to the nation? They are illegals. By definition, they are loose in the system, mobile and unrecorded. How do they survive in the US? By working mostly as low-paid easily hired and fired sweat slaves who are the backbone of American seasonal agriculture, the building trade, hospitality, cleaning and every other casual work across the nation – including the home helps and nannies to the professionals. Just as vegetable growers in East Anglia warned that Brexit would destroy their business or force it abroad, so American business will lobby to stop the harassment of illegals without whom profits would nosedive. A roundup of these numbers will take years, if it’s actually possible to locate them, hold them and transport them, and to where – the Mexican border? From there they can return.

No, because he’ll build a wall. Of course he will (with illegal Mexican labour perhaps?) The border with Mexico is 2000 miles long. It would be like building the pyramids. The Berlin Wall was less than 100 miles and from original wire to stone completion took nearly 15 years. This is a child’s fantasy of a policy which appeals to simplistic desires for retaliation against perceived enemies. He will laugh it off in office. Anyway it would be denounced by the UN (which doesn’t guarantee anything as Israel will tell you).

Right, well The Don will repatriate American jobs from China to the Rustbelt. Presumably he’s invented a money tree then because since 2001 an estimated 3.2 million jobs have gone oriental. He will need to instruct the owners of literally thousands of American corporations that they must withdraw from China – which won’t cause the merest ripple of protest from Beijing, of course. He will provide them with new factories and facilities at astronomical cost, help them hire US citizens who can be trained to standard, subsidise the entire move back stateside and, obviously help pay the living wages the companies wanted to escape from in the first place. Total cost? Probably equivalent to the American military.

At least he’ll stop muslims entering the country. No, he’s already reneged on this. It can’t be done. Who is a muslim? A woman in a headscarf? Any of us can convert to a religion without any outward sign of our devotion. So what he means is checking out people from countries with Islamic cultures – that is, one massive passport and visa checking ritual for half the world in addition to the security hold-ups at airports. Sounds like a plan that will start and quickly disintegrate under the strain of making it work. Imagine the reaction from around the world at such heavy-handed discrimination – which can work both ways if countries retaliate. He calls it extreme vetting- or maybe he said heavy petting.

He’ll govern for every American. Mmm, to do that in reality you’d need to introduce communism in order to treat everybody the same and that’s not what he means. So he’ll govern for the little guy? That implies a massive transfer of public money to the have-nots from a man who boasts about not paying his own taxes.

He’ll jail Hillary. No. No he won’t. An abuse of executive power would outrage America. No, once inaugurated Trump will step back from saying the mad things that got him elected. It isn’t that he isn’t capable of executive madness – there’s no doubt his reaction to being thwarted is Putin-esque – but Trump has been performing like a trooper to tap into the mind of angry America in order to get elected. In office is a different thing, surrounded by political advisers, yes, but also circumscribed by civil servants in security, military and economic affairs. Now he has won, he will find it convenient in burnishing his reputation to be magnanimous, as he was to Hillary in his victory speech – no mention of crooks or nasty women. In the same mode there will be draining of the DC swamp since he will enter fully into its warm, velvet-lined embrace where he will be endlessly flattered and courted.

He will henceforth be the model of discretion with all women and turn on the charm as he lives out the fantasy of being the new century’s Kennedy or whichever later ego his narcissism chooses.

There will be terrible decisions for sure but I think he will moderate his outpourings dramatically in office and will fail the test the voters set – to protect the middle class and the forgotten millions. They were his passport to power but there is nothing of the real rebel about Trump, he simply denounced the establishment as a campaign slogan. He is of them, just as Hillary is. That’s the real danger he poses – that he lets down the redneck rebels who cheered his angry invective. Once they realise he lied and either will do nothing for them or simply can’t…well, that’s when the trouble really starts.



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34 thoughts on “Draining the Swamp

  1. Spot on. The Deep State runs the US – irrespective of who is ‘elected’. It will continue to be run in the interests of the Plutocracy to which ‘both he and Hilary belong’.

    The tragedy is that the grievances he milked are genuine and will – as you say- erupt when (not if) they are not addressed. Just as in Brexitland – the inchoate pain and disenfranchisement lies among folk with no analytical framework within which understand it, and then counter it politically.

    Fortunately in Scotland we have an alternative polity if we grasp it.

    These grievances are exploited by unscrupulous chancers – from within the class that created them. It is no accident at all that as the sole public Brit Champion of Trump, Nigel Farage finds himself today, possibly the most influential politician in Ukania. It has even been suggested that he has put himself forward as the Trump Administation’s ambassador to the Court of St James. His US immigration and naturalisation papers might be going in as we speak!

    Naturally the irony of being a US immigrant on the make would be lost on him.

    • Excellent response to a very good article and an election that has depressed me temporarily! Roll on Scotland’s freedom with or without any relationship with the American president, who apparently is very good at delegating, let us hope he delegates to people who actually know what they are doing.

  2. I wonder how the SNP will react to this?

    Sturgeon and Salmond have had many a run in with Trump, and if we get our independence, American recognition could be important.

    Interesting times ahead…

  3. If – when – we get our independence they will have no choice but to accept – diplomatic convention demands it. Will they like it? Who cares!

  4. I expect there will be another grassy knoll and it will be Corporate America that will be the paymasters for some miracle shooting. Hello President Pence!

  5. It’s self-destructive, so they won’t do it. Is that your reasoning? Go read a book.


  6. Love the YesCalifornia Calexit hash tags and website with Blue Book of Indy facts for Californians.

  7. ‘Fish out of water’ springs to mind, with the old Trumpeter!…. I reckon you hit the nail on the head there Derek!… Goes right back to trying to ‘please all of the people all of the time’, if oor Donald manages to please 5% of the 25% that elected him, I’ll be very surprised!

  8. Your thoughts pretty much echo mine – he peddled bogus fantasy politics which will soon be egg on his face.

    Apparently he wants to cut taxes – for everybody to the tune of $1.6 trillion – yet plough $600 billion into the decayed railway infrastructure…where will he get the cash? He wants to put tariffs of 45% on to Chinese steel…. hurting those American manufacturers who need steel. Like those railways he wants to plough money into. Going to cost you more than $600 billion Donald if steel prices rise.

    BUT … there could still be positives for us.

    It’s rumoured TTIP is off. (Threat to US jobs).

    It’s rumoured WW3 with Russia is off….Putin send his regards, and it now looks like USA and Russia will join hands across the Bering Straits to encircle China… OK, so WW3 is back on then: but with USA-Russia v China?

    Apparently EU ministers are in panic at the likely change in US foreign policy towards Ukraine; Newt Gringich says let Russia take the Baltic states. But Teresa May has just committed another 1200 UK servicemen to boost NATO in the area.

    One to watch. Could get tricky.

  9. Pretty much Derek.

    He is very much ‘one of them’. The meeja and their amassed punditry glossed over just which party he represents, what they represent and the fact they have majority in both houses.

    America’s electorate is about to be disillusioned as never before. Oh and if you thought the aftermath of the Brexit vote has divided and shamed the politics and society of the UK? I suspect Westminster is about to be upstaged by Trumpton.

  10. So if Trump will not/cannot make the necessary changes to better the lives of the working class Americans then who will? Who then will open a dialogue with Putin, rather than encircle Russia with NATO troops. Most certainly not Clinton, nor Obama. Hands up whoever can explain and justify the USA/UK strategy on Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan. And Israel.

    How to move a people from the country: Make their lives intolerable – Highland Clearances?
    Dougie above refers us to the purging of the Muslims from Spain. There is a portrait in a museum in Denia, Spain recording the events.

    Watching this USA election campaign revealed the parallel circumstances between the UK and the USA. The transfer of wealth and economic power to the elite; the economic weakening of the middle classes through employment uncertainty. The low skilled have already been dealt with,fated to life on benefits and zero hour employment.

    And the media, just as here in the UK, supporting the neoliberal game by their selective reporting.
    Anyone seen the video of Putin talking to the international press and despairing that they will not listen nor report on events?

  11. American in Edinburgh here. Those are big things that will be impossible to deliver but the policy changes that don’t require infrastructure or investment will not. Disabled and low income families will lose even the meagre help they’ve gained when the affordable care act is repealed. Marriage equality is also likely to go, and the march towards overturning Roe vs Wade accelerates. Just like Brexit, the rhetoric of intolerance has been tacitly approved and my Facebook feed today has been story after story of non-white people being told to ‘go home’ or ‘things have changed now’ (many of them children by their classmates). Also like Brexit, a narrow win where half the population are being silenced with the outpouring of YOU LOST GET OVER IT. This is going to be very painful and ugly.

    • I think it is going to be far, far, worse for Americans than for the rest of the world. On foreign policy a Trump presidency might actually be better for the rest of the world, if for instance he queries the unstinting US support for the Saudi regime or the relentless threatening of Putin, escalating tensions rather than defusing tensions in eastern Europe (where his wife is from).

      The only way I can see that he can deliver on his promises (reducing taxes whilst increasing public spending on infrastructure and improving the lot of white blue collar workers and the white squeezed middle class) is by throwing the Others under a bus.

      What I’m struggling to understand though, is why so few turned out to vote, given the dangers a Trump presidency posed. This has to be one of the most important elections in American history yet the turn-out was only just over 55%!

      Of 231 million registered voters, just over 59 million voted Clinton and 59 million for Trump, with a few per cent who voted for others. But that still leaves 100 million who never voted at all! Surely these non-voters must take a large part of the blame?

      I can’t find any news outlet reporting on the abysmally low turn out. I had to go to a US government website to access these figures.

  12. Steve Asaneilean

    In my lifetime US Presidents have had a habit of making bad decisions – Korea (stalemate), Vietnam (humiliation), Iraq (ongoing catastrophe), Afghanistan (almost back to square one).

    I expect little better from DT and would also have felt like that if it had been HC instead.

    Plus ça change….

    • From Trump’s utterances during the campaign, it would appear he favoured a return to a foreign policy of American isolationism, which, given these post WW2 intervention disasters you mention, would be an improvement, were he to stick to that line.

      His aides talk about more shale oil extraction and fracking, which is a way of saying two fingers to Saudi and to that corrupt alliance.

  13. What actually worries me most is not Trump, but who amongst his fawning hangers-on he will delegate authority to, because plainly the man isn’t actually interested in government or results, only in inflating his ego and poncing about being a big shot.

    So you will have a government of unlected bat-s**t right wing crazies chaotically pursing their own funny wee agendas, with little democratic oversight or coherence.

    That’s the truly terrifying thing.

  14. I am wary about dismissing Trump’s ability to implement his breathtakingly evil fascist policies, so clearly set out by Derek here. On the face of it, it would be logistically and economically impossible to purge the US of the foreign devil.
    In anticipation of tortured groans among my fellow forum chatters, let me be the first to draw an analogy between Trump’s pitch to the disenfranchised, dirt poor, ill educated white Americans, and their fellow travellers,the more sinister white Middle and Upper classes of whom more voted for Trump than Clinton, as good ‘traditional values’ Republicans will always do,despite the buffoon who would lead them for four years, and the rise of Hitler/Mussolini in the 1920’s

    Trump’s zealots need only to study German and Italian history.

    Hitler’s Strumabteiling (Storm Detachment) , the Brownshirts, grew from a handful of ex WWI veteran headbashers to a 3 million strong army outwith the army by 1938.

    By then Hitler’s inner guard, the Schutzstaffel, the SS to you and me, wreaked unspeakable havoc on dissenters and minorities, and of course implemented the ‘Final Solution’ to the ‘Jewish Problem’.

    Details of Die Nacht der Langen Meser, The Night of the Long knives in 1932, or Kistallnacht, in 1938, when Brownshirts attacked Jewish shops and businesses, killing hundreds and arresting 30,000 Jewish citizens and sending them to ‘prison camps’, were allowed to happen while German authorities, and more distressingly, the German people, stood by and let it happen.
    I am uneasy about adopting a stance that logistically and economically, Trump could not turf out 10 million illegals, build a wall, and ban Muslims from entry to the US.
    There are enough neo liberal fascist in positions of power Over There, who now have their very own Fuhrer, behind whom they can rally, and recruit hundreds of thousands of poor whites to the cause: Make America Great Again.
    History does have the unerring habit of repeating itself, after all.

  15. PS. I’d venture that it is already happening Over Here/Down There in Brexit Britain.

  16. I don’t think that conditions are or have been bad enough to re-create the upheavals of the 1930’s. At this stage the aftermath of the 2007 crash is milder than the aftermath of the 1929 crash. I think there was a greater cushion of capital available this time, and that’s why a bail-out was possible. Nor has the first world come out of general warfare as recently as was the case then; nor do European elites feel constrained by recent communist revolution on their flank.

    I think another crash may well come, but I don’t think it’s going to be in the next ten years. I think that economies will begin to improve before 2020, just as a result of the cycle. Unfortunately Trump’ll get to take credit for that (and we know he likes loud credit-taking). It’s clear enough that democratic presidencies give better economic outcomes (and of course Obama inherited utter disaster from Dubya’s lot).

    None of which diminishes the shock of seeing a shallow charlatan like Trump elected president.

    As for Nazi treatment of Jews, my understanding is that the ‘Final Solution’ was only settled later (1940?) after all attempts at deportation had failed. Neither Britain nor America was accepting them. I read too that Hitler wasn’t enthusiastic about, but rather acquiesced in, the holocaust. Not that I expect to see him socially rehabilitated.

    When I was growing up the story was that Britain was morally superior, didn’t do inhuman things like torture and whatnot. Of course that’s been abandoned now, with British complicity in ‘black sites’ for torture, the international “rendering” to them of foes military and civilian, and other abrogation of the Geneva Conventions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  17. I think Scotland should improve its relations with Russia.

  18. Blether, they are killing and maiming Polish immigrants, and daubing their shop fronts in England right now.
    May and the Three Brexiteers are using foreign workers as ‘bargaining chips’. It is not a bluff. The Arch Right Wing, and it is a Red Blue and Yellow Tory Alliance, is seriously threatening to send nearly two million foreign workers back where they came from if they don’t get what they want from the EU: they are presumably ok with the prospect of having to house two million Brits who have settled on the Continent?
    We are in 30’s class recession right now, Blether.
    500,000 of our fellow Scots citizens are living below the poverty level, and that’s before the latest ‘austerity cuts’ bite.
    Our children are expected to be less well off than we are, as if this is the natural law.
    The pound has plummeted, Toblerone in the UK has now been refashioned as ‘Tobler..’, rather than put up prices because of Brexit, which hasn’t even started yet. Less chocolate, same price. Rather a neat analogy, don’t you think? It reminds me of Harold Wilson’s pound devaluation sophistry from the ’60s. @of course the pound in your pocket, is still worth a pound.’
    We are dying, Blether.
    What forecasts are you reading?
    There is a massive Underclass, for want of a better word, in the UK and the US, which has apparently rallied to the Cause, and can easily be manipulated into a mass movement, modern day Brownshirts or Blackshirts, like Italy and Germany in the 1920s/ ’30s.
    UKIP has all the hall marks of the Rise of Fascism. Trumpism likewise. Blame the poles, the Muslims, the Mexicans. If we could just get rid of them, and the poofs, England/America would be great again.
    Remember Farage standing in front of that poster of poor refugees escaping carnage? Or Home Secretary Theresa May’s bill boards offering to pay ‘illegals’ fares back to where they came?
    It is perhaps facile to console ourselves with the false security that as long as the Lumpen Proles have Strictly, the X Factor, cans of beer at 50p and a frozen pizza for 99p, that they will not rise and rage against the machine.
    The Machine is now universally blaming minorities: the poor seem to be buying into that.
    Where do you think that it will end?

  19. Jack, yes, there’s a major swing to the right. Times are grim. You can go to YouTube and watch Bob Geldof in Pink Floyd’s “In the Flesh” and be amazed at how like a Trump rally it is.

    Hate’s on the ascendant and it’s disgusting and saddening.

    In China and India, the flipside of “offshoring” has been widespread increases in living standards. We could pat ourselves on the back for being so generous. And you know the old saw, “build a man a fire and you keep him warm for a night; set a man on fire and you keep him warm for the rest of his life”.

    Sorry to be flippant. I don’t know where it will end. I think at home the inequality is the worst thing – it ruins social cohesion. I wonder if the rest of Europe has it as bad as the UK and the US do. In the UK it was Thatcher who made the break from one-nation politics and normalised “othering” of the poor, wasn’t it?

    None of the current Red-Blue-Yellow crop of leaders impresses me, and I think they may well mess things up enough for Scotland to make its own decision.

  20. Nearer home, Ruth Davidson prattles on about Chinese MOU’s at FMQ while she cuts disability, unemployment, and pensioners allowances by between £50 and £120 per week for hundreds of thousands of our poorest citizens. The Tory bench were having a great time laughing their heads off today. Money for old jam.
    She is not held accountable by the Red and Yellow Tories Up Here because they are Better Together Unionists, attacking a BAD SNP.

    Meanwhile the world quivers on its axis. A mad man has been elected, sort of, to the POTUS.

    We must regain Self determination for Scotland soon.
    I have observed many times that the Unionist politicos Up Here are Third Division glorified councillors who could not cut it (in their parties’ eyes) as WM material, but passable for the ‘pretendy’ parliament Up Here.
    The sinister attempts by the Kellys Frasers and Tomkins of this world to drag us all into a sectarian Kaffliks and Proddies row, and Torrance’s ‘Ulsterification’ of the Independence Movement disgust me. They are odious rabble rousers, who are there to disrupt the good governance of Scotland, nothing else.

    Meanwhile their fellow Scots citizens do without, turn down heating, feed their children but not themselves.

    I am not in that hopeless position, nor are many millions of our fellow Scots.

    But 1/3 of the population is, because of political decisions taken by Ruth, Kezia, and Willie, via their superior English Parliament.

    I blame them. They are starving their fellow Scots. They are directly responsible for premature deaths, drug and alcohol abuse, and the scuppering of life chances for hundreds of thousands of our young Scots through neo liberal punish the poor, reward the rich policies.
    Fortunately the vast majority of Scots citizens don’t share their heartless political philosophy.

    • I agree with your comments , A whole lot of people here exist in some kind of gated community cut off and living totally separate from the majority , They dont mix with people who might be struggling , They dont live near or in council houses , Shop in discount shops by necessity not choice , Work alongside most normal plebs , and so are living in a parallel universe blind to what is going on around them , as long as their world is working well for them then its f/k the rest of society , In short the Tory way ,total unashamed Selfishness .
      They just now are doing fairly well , However maybe its time to waken them up and present them with the real consequences of the actions of this Tory government who they probably give unquestioning support, maybe its time for them to absorb the cuts most of us are suffering , like withdrawing , free travel for well off pensioners , free prescriptions , a lot of them and their elderly relatives are enjoying the benefits meant for the less fortunate , Things like Family allowance that many of them just use to boost a tax free nest egg , Lets see the reaction when Tory cuts start to threaten their comfortable lifestyle.
      I realise these sort of things might seem petty and in some ways vindictive but after years of Tory government i really dont give a rats arse if the pain is more evenly distributed for a change , after all we are all in this together , better together as we were told , broad shoulders and all the rest of the pish etc

      • Robert,
        Ruth Davidson and her odious crew have just awarded the ‘filthy rich’ another 5% cut in taxes.
        I cannot imagine that anyone on an income of £150 k pa uses public transport, and doesn’t have private medical insurance.
        The Tory Government, and they were backed by the LIB Dems for five years, and the New Labour Party of the Yvette Coopers of this world, are systematically cutting state funded welfare to our poorest and most frail and vulnerable citizens to the point that millions of UK citizens are living in poverty, privation, and desperation because of the political decisions of Westminster Governments of all hues.
        We have money for foreign wars, a nuclear arsenal, a bloated Royal Family, tax breaks to the rich, but not to feed our children, provide bathroom grab rails for pensioners, or motorised wheelchairs for our disabled brothers and sisters, without Lennie Fucking Henry in a red nose rattling the begging bowl every year on the TV.
        If you can’t pay for it, you’re not getting it. Try one of the charities.
        This is what Ruth Davidson, Jackson Carlaw, Professor WATP Two Jobs Adam Tomkins, The Queen’s Eleven Murdo Fraser, and Oor Wullie Rennie believe in.
        ‘The poor will always be with us’, is their dogma.

        It means that there is more for the rest of us. Aye, richt.
        Not even when the UN condemn them for violating the rights of the Disabled by their draconian cuts in financial support, and the Bedroom Tax evictions, causes them to hesitate in the politically engineered mental and physical torture and early death of 1000’s of our citizens.
        Ruth and the Listory Boys it is all just one big joke. They were laughing their selfish elitist little heads off at FMQ the other day.
        And soon the deluge, Robert.
        They are the devil’s spawn, in my view.
        Our day has come.

    • Only got round to reading Derek’s blog today.
      One question:
      Why are you not in politics, Jack? You speak the most sense.

  21. I think Trump throws narcissistic tantrums where it is safe to do so. It’s a show. Self-indulgence. I’m not sure that’s how he would react when faced with a truly dangerous situation. I think he would try to cut a deal, and react rationally.

    Just a feeling.

  22. Trump’s a very persistent blower of his own trumpet, and a businessman who’s made less of the fortune his father gifted him than he’d have got by simply putting it in index futures, never mind actively managing the money.

    He likes to think of himself as some big-shot negotiator, but he’s not. His negotiating talent lies in his skill at manipulating people. He doesn’t have the intellect to keep up with the big picture, nor the temperament to trade off short-term and long-term value. He’s a middling negotiator.

    So what you’ll see is he’ll hold plenty of negotiations, and there’ll be lots of Trump-led fanfare about how great they were and what a fantastic deal he got out of them. Up against weak or unprepared counterparts he’ll be able to win, but against seasoned negotiators he’ll get quietly taken. He’ll bask in the glory of small, short-term gains, when it’ll be clear to those in the know that he’s given away far more than he got.

    See the way he felt he had to brag and show off to a lowly TV presenter he barely knows about what a sexual player he is? That’s a really insecure man. And insecure means vulnerable.

    On the plus side, temperamentally he’s actually got some talent for building stuff. If he does go ahead with the big deficit-spending infrastructure programme that the Republican congress consistently denied Obama, it will be good news for economies worldwide.

    On the minus side, if he does gut the Dodd-Frank banking regulations and bring back Wild-West-style finance, the boom will be bigger and the following bust a disaster that’ll put 2007 to shame. That’ll be the time to worry about global depression and the return of violent authoritarianism.

  23. Trident missiles. America holds the codes and only America can sanction the firing!
    What happens if Trump now refuses to sell any more to the Westminster regime? His aim to achieve an understanding with Russia kills NATO dead, just as the Warsaw Pact died when the Berlin wall fell.
    So what? Where does that leave May and Co?
    So many imponderables!
    Or will Faslane be turned over to the Americans as a US naval base? And have US military stationed there? To watch over the…..?
    I suppose one could ask Farage??
    Trump has not yet got round to formulating much on foreign and military policy.

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