By Brian Jay Snyder
On November 8, 2016, shortly before political pundits and corporate media correspondents began making their frantic projections as to whether Clinton or Trump would win or lose the Rust Belt, the Bible Belt, the Corn Belt, or the Porn Belt, I looked through the dead pine trees infested with bark beetles (due to climate change) in front of my home and I saw a strangely unusual California sunset that I’ve never seen before. The sky was aglow with a brilliant orange hue. There were no subtle hints of blue, pink, purple, or red to be found–there was only orange enveloping the entire electoral evening sky. I jokingly texted my friend, Vilma: “When the sun was setting this evening, there was an orange sky. I thought to myself, ‘Is this a sign that the Orange President cometh?’”
As I began watching the election coverage unfold and Trump began gobbling up electoral-college votes like he devours Kentucky Fried Chicken to appear “relatable” for his voters, I had a George Carlinesque realization: The “owners of this country” never intended for Hillary Clinton to win this ridiculous election. They wanted Trump to be their orange corporate spectacle and marionette from the very beginning. The reason is simple: The owners wish to continue their destructive corporate tyranny (mainly the continued extraction of fossil fuels and trade deals, like the TPP) without any impediments from the angry and disgruntled white working class, who detest the Clintons and Obamas. Simultaneously, the owning-class also wish to strike down any liberal legislation brought forth by Bernie Sanders supporters that would regulate carbon emissions to cope with the impending catastrophic effects of climate change.
Chris Hedges wrote that the rise of Trump as a presidential candidate was a “dress rehearsal for fascism.” Guess what? Opening night for this live reality show opens Friday, January 20, 2017, and, we, the American people, unfortunately, have front row seats to this grotesque spectacle of orange demagoguery. The ruling elites need an authoritarian manager and scapegoat to keep their exploitative neoliberal agendas in motion and to continue untrammeled business as usual in the face of climate change. In the beginning, I assumed that billionaires and high-profile figures like Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, George H. Bush, Mark Cuban, Sheryl Sandberg, George Soros, Alice Walton, and others endorsed Clinton so that she would do their corporate bidding as a docile POTUS. However, if one looks behind Oz’s curtain of capitalist illusion, it makes perfect sense as to why Donald Trump won the presidency.
It is possible that the ruling class felt that if Clinton won the election that many angry white working class Americans who lost their jobs due to deindustrialization or the Great Recession would have revolted and that their revolution would most likely not be peaceful? According to a recent New York Times article, “About half of the nation’s guns are owned by 3 percent of the population.” Guess who owns most of those guns? “Most are male, white, older than 30, from rural areas and have an annual income above $25,000.” If Clinton had won the election and executed her usual concessions to corporate power, Bernie Sanders supporters probably would have protested incessantly and likely put immense political pressure on Democrats, to step up their game to act for climate justice legislation (further enraging the Storm Trumpers), drastically reducing GDP. This contentious dynamic would have possibly ignited a civil war and Civil War 2.0 on Main Street would not be good for business on Wall Street.
The irony is that Clinton would have done almost everything that the “masters of mankind” wanted, which Trump will begin enacting in January 2017 (with the likely aid of Exxon CEO, Rex Tillerson, and Scott Pruitt), including ramping up fossil fuel extraction. It’s no secret that as Secretary of State, Hillary proudly championed the global expansion of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and is a dear friend to Wall Street as shown in the Wikileaks E-mails. The problem for the ruling elites is that both conservatives and liberals alike distrust Clinton and when a great deal of America is not entranced by the spectacle of the American Dream, the illusion of capitalism quickly disappears like a Circuit City after the Great Recession. However, now that the white working class is drunk from the Trump brand snake-oil promises of “Making America Great Again” and the rest of the country is depressed and bewildered, the “owners of this country” can rest peacefully knowing Americans will continue consuming to escape severe post-election depression or consume to celebrate the joy of believing that every hard-working American will become a billionaire and marry a supermodel like Trump.
The “masters of mankind” backed Clinton publicly, so that after all the world’s resources have been plundered completely and 2,795 gigatons of carbon dioxide have been released into the atmosphere, leaving the natural world in total ecological ruins and coastal cities underwater, the social majorities will demand a villain to blame. As the true rulers run to their underground bunkers and private islands, they will shout, “It’s not us! We were with her! Get Trump! Get the Orange Dictator!” I have known a couple super wealthy individuals in my life and they generally became wealthy playing by the same playbook, utilizing the tactics and languages of deception, misdirection, secrecy, divisiveness, minimal liability, and most importantly, the creation of illusion-based or manufactured personalities and realities. This is most evident when George W. Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove stated: “We’re an empire now and when we act, we act to create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality–judiciously, as you will– we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors… and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” Trump is merely the manager of the masters of humanity for continued corporate exploitation and their scapegoat when there is no one left to blame for the total global destruction that they have created.
While most Americans woke up to joy, bewilderment, or sickness on November 9, 2016, I woke up feeling a sense of razor sharp invigoration and renewed hope that we can truly create what the Zapatista’s call, “A world where many worlds are embraced.” To me, Trump’s victory is not a sign that “The End Is Near,” but rather that the corporate monarchs have been realizing that the capitalist machine is breaking down to the point where it no longer services even their pathological and destructive needs. Meaning that the disastrous effects of climate change will drive everyone, including the super-rich towards the sixth extinction, unless we drastically transform our manufactured reality known in cinematic terms as, “The Matrix” or more commonly known as “capitalism” into something which resembles an existence based upon compassion, empathy, dignity, truth, equality, social justice, conviviality, respect for the natural world, and the ability to live within equilibriums with our various ecosystems.
Brian Jay Snyder is a de-professionalized humorist, poet, and organic gardener that resides within the Sierra Nevada of Central California. Follow him on Twitter @BrianJaySnyder.