In response to an FT article by Ed Luce on 13th June 2016, entitled ‘America’s fears of splendid isolation’
The Prologue (not part of my response to the article):
For months the FT have been missing the point about the electoral progress of Donald Trump. They have failed to see, or perhaps to admit, that the rise of populists across the western world, the upsurge of independence movements, and the increase in referenda is part of a backlash against a corrupt system that for decades has performed what could be described as a ‘Reverse Robin Hood’ – i.e. stealing from the poor to give to the rich.
Yesterday Ed Luce wrote an article that linked the Brexit campaign with the rise of Donald Trump. At first glance this may look like progress…but hold the champagne…Mr Luce is managing to get the idea whilst missing the point. Here are a few snippets:
"Never before has a sitting US president visited a fellow democracy in a bid to sway an election. Nor, until now, have 13 former US secretaries of state and defence risked addressing a letter to a foreign electorate with the same motive. Ditto eight former Treasury Secretaries and five former supreme commanders of Nato...
…there are sufficient echoes to trouble America’s besieged elites… the demographic parallels between those backing Brexit and Mr Trump’s supporters are too close to ignore — almost eerily so. Their motives are equally simplistic. Leaving Europe is to Brexiters what building a wall with Mexico is to Trumpians — a guillotine on the cacophonous multiculturalism of 21st-century life…"
The Play (my response to the article):
Congratulations Mr. Luce...this is the most impressive cornucopia of stereotyping you’ve dished up so far:
“Why is America so alarmed by Brexit?”
It isn't. Many of America's politicians are alarmed by Brexit. It would be shocking if they weren't - they've made a pig’s ear of their own economy and many Americans are increasingly sick to the back teeth with it…and with them. Meanwhile they seem to spend the majority of their time trying to dodge any criticism of their performance or their motives, explaining why this time will be different, and/or attacking the guy who is currently the mouthpiece for the disgust. I say ‘currently’ because whatever happens in this election, there will be others in the midterms from both the left and the right.
But President Obama is no more 'America' than David Cameron is 'Britain', Jean-Claude Juncker is 'Europe', or Santa Claus is 'the North Pole'...and the fact that you write about these folks as if they are, is a sign of how totally out of touch you are...with the concerns of people who do not consider themselves to be legends in their own lunchbox.
"Today blue-collar whites on both sides of the Atlantic are speaking in the same idiom. They both yearn for the certainties of a lost age"
How about white-collar blues? What do they have for breakfast when they're not yearning for the certainties of a lost age...'What would you like with your corn-flakes love?'...'Nothing for me today dear, I’m not hungry…I'm yearning for the certainties of a lost age'...
I can reliably inform you Mr. Luce that some of the ‘yearners’ that you refer to are more interested in kicking the butts of the bankers that screwed the economy into the ground 8 years ago, went cap in hand to Congress for a taxpayer bailout, were given toady-like support by one of those Treasury Secretaries you think we should be impressed by, and have gotten fatter and fatter ever since.
You really haven't got a clue what this is all about have you Mr. Luce? Here it is again...many people are justifiably 'pissed off' with the Teflon coated politicians who have presided over what is probably the biggest transfer of wealth in recorded history, the majority of that time protesting how much they 'care' for the little guy. Every time you attack Donald Trump in the way that you do, every time you insult the intelligence of people who support him with your pathetic stereotypes, you make the resolve of his supporters that much stronger.
The Epilogue (not part of my response to the article):
On occasion, I get replies from other readers sympathising with my points, but going to pains to tell me how Trump is not the answer, telling me everything that is wrong with him. These messages are well meaning, and I agree with most of the points made. What is interesting though, is that despite the fact that I do not advocate Donald Trump, some people seem to think I do. They respond from what might be called ‘a dualistic mind-set’ – you’re either ‘for’ or ‘against’. As I’ve stated many times - I wouldn’t let Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton babysit my grandson or walk my dog....it’s not a ‘dualistic’ problem...it's not about Trump or Clinton, black or white, for or against...those are ‘dumb’ questions.
I’m suggesting we ask some better ones:
How do we want to govern ourselves? Do we want politicians who represent the people, or cronies who serve vested interests? What type of ‘monetary’ system do we want? Do we want ‘money’ to be an honest refection of what we value, or do we want casino chips and mountains of unsustainable debt?
What’s happening in the western world is a backlash against an elite establishment who run a crooked game. They will not ask those questions, because the answers would put them out of business. But whether they do or not, whether Clinton or Trump wins in November, whether Bremain or Brexit wins next week - the global financial system is heading for a meltdown. When something cannot go on forever – it doesn’t.