That the Mueller Report took the wind out of the Liberal MSM doesn’t really help the Democrats before the next Presidential Election. CNN and MSNBC had invested a huge amount of credibility into the Russiagate narrative and with Trump now cleared of any Russian collusion the aforementioned news networks are in dire straits regarding their credibility.
Another sinker in the credibility for the Democratic Party was Trump’s call out to deport illegal aliens to so called sanctuary cities. There was a immediate outcry of moral indignation. For instance Nancy Pelosi said that Trump was “weaponizing” immigrants. Cher, an outspoken supporter of open border policies, caught considerable flak for saying that her community couldn’t afford it. Some Democrats have also been quite outspoken about the necessity of using the votes of illegal aliens in local elections in order to change the political landscape in the US. Isn’t that to “weaponize” immigrants for our own political purpose? Hence Trump really called out the hypocrisy of the Democrats through this move.
What one must remember is that citizenship, regardless of ethnicity and cultural heritage, is fundamental to the idea of the nation state. The latter needs borders and boundaries, hence allowing illegal aliens to vote in local elections is a quite bizarre notion. To defend illegal immigration as such is bizarre. If one wants to nourish racism and xenophobia on the other hand it’s quite effective. Immigration in today’s Western world is to a large extent a necessity, however immigration should always be under controlled circumstances. However in this day and age in which globalist narratives are dominant with open borders policies and with increasing dismissal of the idea of the nation state itself, the latter instead being seen as more or less as an expression of racism as political debate based upon empirical facts is out the window and it instead to a vast extent is being based upon emotions. Globalism is hence a rather interesting cultural phenomenon, it’s like hardcore capitalism and cultural Marxism had a baby. However the world still runs on taxation and taxes requires boundaries. Thus the nation state is not dead, far from it.
The American society is as divided as ever though, but it’s not a matter of good vs. evil as many politically correct people would like to make it up to be, both in the US and Europe. Both sides have their points. Trump has for instance initiated a process of trying to impede the growth of a bureaucratic colossus in the US. When technocracy gets a hold it tends to be self fulfilling, just look at the EU and my native country of Sweden. That point Trump has got down right. He is also right from a constitutional perspective, that federal powers should be limited. We have quite the opposite situation on the other side of the pond. He is also correct in maintaining border control, wall or not.
What some Democrat candidates, like Sanders and Gabbard, got down right is their criticism of the current US foreign policy. It’s interesting to note that Donald Trump’s rhetoric before the his inauguration and the Russiagate circus was quite the opposite of what US foreign policy is now. Trump wanted to try to normalize relations with Russia in order to try to solve mutual problems, like international terrorism, in concert with mutual respect. Relations today are however even worse than in the late 1980’s when Gorbachev and Reagan at least had some respect for each other even though they were on completely opposing ideological sides. With people like Pompeo and Bolton coming on board the Administration it’s no longer a matter of Theodore Roosevelt’s: “-Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far.”, much like for instance the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov these days, but rather a matter of unilateral gunboat diplomacy much like Imperial Germany after Kaiser Wilhelm II’s dismissal of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. We all know where that path led.
Bernie Sanders, in spite of his own Jewish background, has been very critical of the unilateral US foreign policy towards the current leadership in Israel under the corrupt Benjamin Netanyahu, especially after the US Administration’s recognition of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights as part of Israel. To bare in mind is that there are substantial US economic interests in the Golan Heights, such as through Genie Energy, the latter in which for instance Dick Cheney is a board member. Netanyahu has reportedly also vowed to name an Israeli settlement in the area in Trump’s honor. Regardless if someone a Zionist or not this unilateral US position bears with it diplomatic problems as such one sidedness undermines US diplomatic credibility, not only in the Middle East but on a global level. How on Earth could the US then claim the moral high ground visa vi Russia regarding Russian claims to the Crimea for instance? What the US Administration’s decision to acknowledge Israeli claims to the Golan Heights has done is to create a new set of old standards on the world’s stage, the principle of “might is right”.
What Bernie Sanders however got completely wrong is his economic analysis. For many decades the Nordic countries where, justly so, viewed as the shining good examples to the world. Given the substantial divergence of wealth in the American society it’s not difficult to understand the left leaning Sanders’ source for inspiration. However the halo of not least Sweden has waned considerably in later years. We have among the highest taxes in the world although our social security system is in a more or less perpetual state of crisis. The pension system is now at the level that a pensioner, who hasn’t got private pension account, can only expect to get 50% of what that person made while working. Immigration as a way of tackling an ageing population was claimed to be the universal solution, a narrative propagated by both the political right and the left. And it is true that Sweden does need the influx of foreign labor in many trades. But the claim that the considerable number of asylum seekers of later years corresponds with an economic “super deal” for the nation doesn’t hold water since the unemployment rate is generally too high and the time and education required in order to get an employment too long.
It’s true that asylum seekers in general have historically in the long run contributed to the “system”, but immigration hasn’t been on these levels as they are now and the economy, just as the immigration itself, has changed in comparison with the “Golden Years” of the 1950’s and 1960’s. The number of “easy jobs” without the need for language skills has diminished substantially. The political rhetoric has not changed though. Hence Bernie Sanders perception of Sweden is obsolete, Sweden really isn’t the progressive mixed economy that it was in the 1970’s, on the contrary, today’s Sweden is very much a capitalist state and a state with inherent structural problems for which the current political narrative seemingly hasn’t got the answers for. Instead the focus is more or less entirely on climate change and the “green tax solution”, not dissimilar to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “New Green Deal”, in spite of Sweden’s minute effect on pollution. We are now so far gone that there is what can only be described as a religious attitude towards a school girl, Greta Thunberg, ditching class as a protest against climate change. To question the narrative, even from a strict empirical perspective, is very much to labeled as a heretic, to be a “climate change denier” and being a deplorable in general. This almost religious fervor, fueled by an egocentric view of Sweden as a political avant-garde, has led to even ecofascist ideas being apologized for by the political establishment, something that brings to mind a quote by Winston Churchill:
“-The Fascists of the future will call themselves anti-fascists.”
Just as in the case of America there isn’t a simple matter of good vs. evil though, although many pundits and politicians stoop to such rhetorical language contributing to an already wayward political climate rather than to focus on the acute and actual problems. As the American society has become increasingly divided so has the Swedish one. The advent of identity politics among the entire political spectrum has stultified political debate and has as a consequence led to increased contempt for politicians as many citizens view political leaders as askew with the reality of ordinary people.
The latter undoubtedly leads to right wing populism and votes of disapproval and and while the political establishment counters such manifestations by calling discontent voters as “deplorables”, just like Hillary Clinton did, chances are that such attitude will only further fuel additional resentment. What chances do you have to regain confidence from a discontent populace by addressing it as less cognizant? Just look at Emmanuel Macron in France? Bernie Sanders, contrary to Hillary Clinton, is not part of a political dynasty with a dubious past though which speaks to his advantage but that still doesn’t save him from relying on an obsolete source for inspiration.
It is my perhaps somewhat naive desire that politicians on both sides of the pond would refrain from nonintellectual identity politics and instead would focus on realpolitik while trying to ascertain some ideological relevance in conjunction with empiricism into today’s political life instead of stooping to a politically correct version of Machiavellian power above anything else. But I’m afraid that is, as already mentioned, a rather naive notion. From a democratic perspective it sure would be great if the entire political spectrum decided to “Make Politics Great Again” though..