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Why calls to impeach will probably boost Trump

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Caricature courtesy Bruce Keogh / keoghcartoons.com.au

The very people who supposedly want Trump impeached the most, are the ones paving the way for his 2020 campaign, writes Daniel Safi.

NOAM CHOMSKY called Russiagate "a bad joke". Of the multitude of critical and closer-to-home failings in American and Western democracy, a few fake news items and Facebook accounts were cast as the scandal of our times.

This was no accident, for what better way for the corporations who spend billions on lobbying our politicians to deflect from their own anti-democratic and toxic influence on our politics?   

The confected Russiagate outrage was supposedly aimed at defending the integrity of our institutions and holding corruption to account. But by scapegoating the Russians, the critical issues the West is facing today, the very issues that got Trump elected, never got the airing they so desperately needed.

These critical issues were – and to a great degree still are – being fundamentally ignored by establishment politics and media. Americans aren’t angry about declining wages, rising debts, extreme inequality, failing healthcare, failing infrastructure, a trillion-dollar foreign war budget … no, they were duped by Russian bots.

Of Russiagate, Noam Chomsky has argued that it helped Trump. That by being so unwilling to deal with real issues such as climate change, nuclear armament, or corporate deregulation, the Democrats went “looking for something on the side that will somehow give political success”.

Where’s the outrage over the legalised bribery and quid-pro-quo deals that are standard in getting anything done in Washington today, or Canberra or London? This is what most American voters care about and the media and political establishment are not responding.

Thus far, Trump’s Presidency has not shown itself in pure policy terms to be “anti-establishment”.  Nevertheless, he has been able to maintain an anti-establishment image and we have the loudest pro-impeachment and non-policy-based anti-Trumpers to thank for that. 

After the collapse of the Russiagate investigation, America’s pundits had a chance to get serious and begin critiquing his policies, which went totally against the grain of his election platform. But there has not been a focus on the reprehensible arms deals, the broken Iran treaty and the concomitant rise in regional tensions, corporate tax cuts, the continued expansion of global U.S. military activities, unfulfilled infrastructure spending, declining worker conditions and pay. Instead of focusing on Trump’s failure to deliver on his election proclamations, establishment critics now want to focus on his attempt to get dirt (dirt that exists, mind you) on a certifiably corrupt figure: Hunter Biden.

In 2016, WikiLeaks revealed that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) plotted to undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign and rig the primaries in Hillary Clinton’s favour. Instead of scrutinising this corruption at the heart of the DNC, the media and pundits went after WikiLeaks. Such brazen attempts to dupe voters does not go unnoticed. And we wonder why trust in media and politics is at an all-time low? 

This farcical show of political hypocrisy has one outcome: maintaining Trump’s unique status as the ultimate outsider protest vote. So in a sort of perverse Freudian irony, the very people who supposedly want to see Trump’s back the most, are the ones paving the way for his 2020 campaign. Fittingly, these are usually the same voices who are silent on the real challenges facing America. One has to wonder what side their superegos are really on. 

To quote veteran truth-teller, Chris Hedges:

Impeaching Donald Trump would do nothing to halt the deep decay that has beset the American republic. It would not magically restore democratic institutions. It would not return us to the rule of law. It would not curb the predatory appetites of the big banks, the war industry and corporations. It would not get corporate money out of politics or end our system of legalized bribery. It would not halt the wholesale surveillance and monitoring of the public by the security services. It would not end the reigns of terror practised by paramilitary police in impoverished neighbourhoods or the mass incarceration of 2.3 million citizens.

It would not impede ICE from hunting down the undocumented and ripping children from their arms to pen them in cages. It would not halt the extraction of fossil fuels and the looming ecocide. It would not give us a press freed from the corporate mandate to turn news into burlesque for profit. It would not end our endless and futile wars. It would not ameliorate the hatred between the nation’s warring tribes — indeed would only exacerbate these hatreds.

Daniel Safi has an honours degree in history and politics and now works as a music teacher.

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