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Letter to the Editor: Trump/Clinton… Left wing, right wing, same corbeau

“Trump/Hillary, same difference; six of one, half-a-dozen of the other; Left Wing, Right Wing, same cobo. One just uses nicer words because she’s a career politician.”

The following Letter to the Editor on the US election was submitted to Wired868 by Corey Gilkes of La Romaine:

“Got to stay ‘way from them is; All dem ism is just schism.”

The Black Stalin

Photo: United States presidential nominees Donald Trump (left) and Hillary Clinton.
Photo: United States presidential nominees Donald Trump (left) and Hillary Clinton.

I think these lines from Stalin’s song “Ism/Schisms” are most definitely more relevant today than it was before. Oh yeah, and to those of you who know me personally and we haven’t yet met up, take it here one time… I f***ing told you so!

All who find I too much ha chip on mih shoulder and anti-American, hold dis in yuh pweffm and tun left. Yes, that’s right, Trump won. Poetic justice eh?

The US has a long history of installing corrupt, fascistic demagogues all over Africa, the Americas and Asia… Now they’ve got one.

Not that Hillary winning would have been any better; I said it over and over: no matter which one of the major frontrunners won, democracy lost. It’s been lost a very long time actually.

The hollowness of it has been examined for years by people like the late Prof Norman Girvan and Prof Glen Sankatsingh, joining with voices within the US and Europe like Gore Vidal, Chris Hedges, Tariq Ali and John Pilger. It’s only now dawned on some people… Well, except in our media.

And this is what really is getting to me, the drone-like nature of local media in analysing and discussing issues like this from a Caribbean perspective. You know that region right, the one that was colonised by Europe and treated like a football/chewtoy by the US. Have we forgotten that the Caribbean was treated like a pawn during the Cold War and an outlet for its sexual schizophrenia even before that?

Photo: A cruise ship brings tourists to the Caribbean.
Photo: A cruise ship brings tourists to the Caribbean.

Maybe I was just listening to the wrong stations, but what little I’ve heard just seemed to parrot the superficial “analyses” of the major US media houses, most of which had almost no credibility outside of their coverage of the Viet Nam War… perhaps. They sure as shit lost that credibility when they were cheerleaders for the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan by George W Bush.

The discussions on i95.5, Power 102, 91.1 and Boom Champions that I’ve heard on Trump vs Clinton sounded a lot like the propaganda during World Wars I and II when Caribbean people were told to fight and defend King and Country, preserve the democracy they themselves had no part in other than at the bottom. Same thing during the Cold War.

The reality for us here is that regardless of who won the presidency, the foreign trade and political decisions would be stemming from a cultural mindset that views us as mere objects and trailers—to borrow the term Prof Sankatsingh used in his brilliant essay on Trailer societies. And we should be looking down the road seeking to develop alternatives and/or networks with other countries and grassroots organisations that are in similar positions.

What we now see playing out in the US should have been expected. While Trump’s election represents the disgust of many working people and a revolt against the elite establishment that looks down on those outside the proverbial 1%, it doesn’t change the fact that like Brexit, that outrage played into the hands of ideologies built around bigotry and misogyny.

On one side there was a racist, corrupt warmonger—and that’s not even Trump I’m talking about! Trump/Hillary, same difference; six of one, half-a-dozen of the other; Left Wing, Right Wing, same cobo. One just uses nicer words because she’s a career politician.

Photo: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally at the Grand Valley State University Fieldhouse on 7 November 2016 in Allendale, Michigan. (Copyright AFP 2016/Jeff Kowalsky)
Photo: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally at the Grand Valley State University Fieldhouse on 7 November 2016 in Allendale, Michigan.
(Copyright AFP 2016/Jeff Kowalsky)

He wants to build a—physical?—wall, she was building a virtual one. He makes misogynist statements, she implemented misogynist policies. In fact this supposed feminist has implemented policies that killed or destroyed the lives of thousands of women across the globe and as far as I am concerned her election would have represented no kind of advance for women or feminism.

Her track record in terms of foreign policy is like a neon sign as to what to look forward to if she did get de wuk: Whitewater scandal, she backed the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, supported the TPP, was complicit in a coup in Honduras, destabilised Libya, Syria, rattled sabres at Russia—and don’t even get me started on Haiti.

And as for Trump… Wow!!! Really?! F**k it, grab em by the pussy Don.

But how many serious discussions were there in Trinbago about what the respective world views of these two might mean for us given the history and current events? Where are the analyses and conversations that raised awareness among Trinis who are currently obsessed with who tief out de Treasury and who have stink mouth? Who has been explaining what Hillary or Trump in the Oval Office may mean for the lifestyles some Trinis have gotten accustomed to?

What are the possible impacts based on the economic “agreements” that have been signed? What if Trump really backs away, as he said he would, from agreements concerning climate change? And what if Hillary had gotten elected and start to run pipeline like she mad all over the US, which is reportedly resuming?

Photo: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (left) greets supporters at a political rally. (Copyright Business Insider)
Photo: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (left) greets supporters at a political rally.
(Copyright Business Insider)

Trump and Hillary are products of old hubristic ideas of US exceptionalism, racist binary thinking of the world, plain and simple. It began with notions of a City on a Hill and snowballed with the rise of the Dulles brothers in the 1950s and their own very stern Presbyterian upbringing—see the lectures and interviews of Stephen Kinzer on YouTube or get his book “The Brothers.”

The point is that where was the contingency planning on our part? Or was it the usual attitude of ‘f**k it, we’s a tiny speck and cyar influence nutten—thank god it didn’t have no Trini advising Ho Chi Minh and the Vietcong back then eh?

The point is that other countries are seeing what may possibly lie ahead but unlike many of us who are always so quick to just lie down and take whatever as long as we get to go Meeahmee every now and then, they are looking to do something, anything to forestall it. Many of them understand very well US interests have always been about their interests and to hell with you after that.

Trump and Clinton represent a political/economic system that was shaped by deeply racist views of the world and militaristic attitudes even towards Europe. But they’re not simply accepting it. We shouldn’t either.

The Caribbean in general, and Trinidad in particular, has since World War II been understood as having immense strategic importance. Perhaps it’s time we did too and find ways to use that importance to our advantage for a change. Cause I think we got some interesting times ahead.

Photo: United States president elect Donald Trump. (Copyright Gawker)
Photo: United States president elect Donald Trump.
(Copyright Gawker)

 

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16 comments

  1. Christopher Lewis and Brian Harry, Corey Gilkes sent this response:

    Perhaps you may want to direct your readers to articles like this one

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/11/dismal-day-human-rights-161109050745872.html

    ….particularly the part where she says: “For some with a more global view, Trump’s victory presents some solace. Clinton is generally viewed as more of a hawk than Trump. She supported the Iraq war, which provoked a humanitarian catastrophe and is partially responsible for the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), promoted regime change in Libya to disastrous effect, and has called for a no-fly zone in Syria, which could lead to more serious confrontation with Russia……Her Latin American policies have been dismal. Some leftists feared a Clinton presidency would continue to project its military might and economic priorities across the globe, engage in endless war, and undermine, not advance, human rights in places like Honduras and Haiti.

    As they are right to note, the human rights of those living outside the US also matter. Hawkish international policies have domestic implications as well: costly military entanglements deplete coffers that could be used instead to fill the gaping shortages in funding for job creation, education, healthcare, infrastructure and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.”

    And then direct them to the essay I mentioned written by Prof Glenn Sankatsingh on “Trailer societies”

    http://crscenter.com/Trailer.pdf

  2. Haven’t read it in totality .where does he get his info? I stopped when he said Clinton is viewed as more of a hawk “she supported the Iraq war”. So did trump ! I done

  3. Agreed 100% Regardless of who gained the White House, we Caribbean/Trini people would still feel the lash of their whip. And that is not likely to change anytime soon unless/until we as a group of islands recognise or power and our worth. Personally, watching and listening to the whole US Election debacle just seemed like a re-run of our own general elections. Which, sad to say makes us no better.

  4. Really couldn’t put my finger on who was worse

  5. This opinion is laughable, the writer obviously has no deep knowlege or indeed any knowlege of American electoral politics and fails to understand that there are fundumental differences between a progressive agenda proposed by the Democrats, in the area of heath care, minimum wage. environmental policies, international cooperation, regressive taxes rates, social policies in the area of gay and transgender right and that of and Republicans. It is not for me either to teach him the alphabet or indeed basic civics which can be easily gathered from a cusory reading of either the New York Times, Washinton Times, Washington Post, the New Republic , Mother Jones, the Atlantic , and so on. What is remarkable is that Mr. Liburd did not require more rigour to this sadly inadequate excuse of an article.

  6. I still tryna catch the gist of the piece, lol

  7. the title alone suggest the author is uninformed about which he speaks……

  8. Yes he did an excellent job with Ms de. Verteuile

  9. Yeah. I think he would have been better served not packing in so many points and just better supporting his case.
    Usually Corey does much better than this.

  10. Well I in the same boat as Kirwin. I get that the author is angry about something but I’m not sure what it is. While I agree Hilary wasn’t no Mother Theresa and she has a lot to answer for especially Haiti…she was I believe the lesser of two evils. You just have to listen to Trumps right hand man on immigration and you know we in for a rough ride. And while the author buffing us for not comprehensively analysing the Caribbean implications I ent see no analysis in this piece

  11. I started reading this then had to stop. It’s a collection of unbridled comments not supported by much rigor , data etc. Freedom of speech and press – so throw standards out the window