The US election as an existential threat to the world

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Source: Aljazeera

By Hamid Dabashi

A Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

Despite the fact that the majority of US citizens dislike both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump after their respective victories in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Illinois, the Democratic and Republican frontrunners are now poised to combat their way into the White House.

Who will win and what difference does it make for the world at large?

It is of course easy to criticise Donald Trump and his openly flirting with racism and bigotry on his way to perhaps a radical transformation of US politics on a proto-fascist blueprint. But scarcely anyone has done it as eloquently and pointedly as the New Yorker editor David Remnick.

In a recent piece, Remnick laid bare the unsurpassed moral degeneracy that has paved the way for the rise of Donald Trump on the Republican platform.

Trump, Remnick declared succinctly, is “the beneficiary of a long process of Republican intellectual decadence”.

Paul Ryan denounces Trump but not the Tea Party rhetoric that propelled his own political ascent.

John McCain holds Trump in contempt, but selected as his running mate Sarah Palin, the Know-Nothing of Wasilla, one of Trump’s most vivid forerunners and supporters.

Mitt Romney last week righteously slammed Trump as a “phony” and a misogynist, and yet in 2012 he embraced Trump’s endorsement and praised his “extraordinary understanding of economics”.

Prospect of a liberal imperialism

This is all urgent and necessary to articulate and emphasise. But is the terror that the world at large faces with the consequences of this US election limited to a Trump presidency? Is the prospect of a corrupt liberal imperialism of Hillary Clinton not equally imminent, not identically dangerous?

 


Does Bernie Sanders have any prospect of upsetting this political prospect and moral impediment? His chances are getting slimmer after each primary.

Come next November, whatever US citizens choose, save the slim chance of a democratic socialist with less of a Cowboy diplomacy in his record than his rivals, they will place the world at large in harm’s way facing an existential threat.

Come next November, whatever US citizens choose, save the slim chance of a democratic socialist with less of a Cowboy diplomacy in his record than his rivals, they will place the world at large in harm’s way facing an existential threat.

People around the world, always at the mercy of the predatory power of US imperialism, watch the US presidential elections partially amused by the depth of its corruption and partially frightened by the prospect of either a Clinton or a Trump presidency.

Which one will drop more bombs, command a larger fleet of deadly drones, prepare a longer “kill list”, give more weapons to Israel to kill more Palestinians, sell more of the same to rich Arab potentates to drop on poor Arab states, build more torture chambers on the Guantanamo model?

The fanciful US liberals are wont to joke that if Trump is elected they move to Canada. Where are the people around the world, from Afghanistan to Iraq, to Syria, Palestine, and Libya in particular, to go in case of either a Clinton or Trump presidency? Canada?

Racist supremacist or liberal feminists

US voters will get to choose which kind of imperialism the world would be at the mercy of: a racist, bigoted proto-fascist monstrosity led by the Neo-Nazi and KKK favourite Donald Trump, or an astonishingly corrupt corporate lackey liberal bourgeois feminist favourite of Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright like Hillary Clinton.

The liberal Democrat side of US imperialism has no less soul-searching to do as, led by US President Obama, they are asking the conservative Republicans to do.

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