Which are the psycho-political mechanisms and the actual policies that have led Donald Trump to power?
It is not something simple to define.
Certainly the Presidency of the businessman having a German origin – as former President Eisenhower’s – has gone against all the tenets and dogmas of the now intolerable politically correct. It has tackled the core of the US crisis that is much more evident at social level than Europe’s, which is not politically correct but at least has the Welfare State.
For example in almost 8% of American homes, there are “food insecure” children – a politically correct way to say that they do not eat enough.
Furthermore, in 2014, there were 43.1 million poor people in the United States, 19.4 millions of whom lived in extreme poverty.
Even the government statistical offices tell us that one of the major causes of poverty is immigration.
The immigrants coming from other neighbouring countries, namely Mexico, are ready to be paid less than the native people – hence the low-wage jobs are becoming increasingly rare and increasingly low-paid.
Then there is the huge military and security spending, which is 50% of the government’s discretionary spending. All this finally leads to what some sociologists have defined as the “culture of inequality”.
Indeed, the United States are alien to any social tradition of solidarity, which remains Protestantly withdrawn into the soul of the single individual.
Therefore populations are always segregated by income and race and, as already said, jobs are rare and underpaid, which generates mass crime and spreads the model of the “single parent family”.
Hence this is the starting design: the long progressive season in the United States; a political culture more interested in gay marriage than in mass poverty; a political language focused on the body and its “rights”; the pop culture as the axis of young people’s communication, education and training.
Young people have to be considered future consumers, not producers.
Conversely Donald Trump speaks, first and foremost, to the underprivileged masses, who are huge in the United States.
The Midwest region which voted for Trump, the Rust Belt of abandoned factories and endemic poverty of the former working class followed the Brexit example and voted for the New York’s tycoon.
All the universalistic political classes that remember what is useless and forget the new poverty will be wiped out.
In addition, and this still holds true at psycho-political level, Trump’s election campaign was specifically “male chauvinist and sexist”, without bending to the various current mythologies – as Barthes called them – which idealize and enhance the role of women and conversely make men an often unnecessary corollary.
Trump’s other chance of victory was Hillary Clinton herself.
She endangered the US ambassador to Libya, Stevens, who later died in an attack by Ansar al Sharia, by denying additional support to make the Benghazi’s offices safe. Not to mention the misuse of the Clinton Foundation, used as a bribe for those who wanted to talk to the Head of the State Department.
She was also blamed for the 15,000 e-mails on her personal server, as well as for her obviously not good health conditions and the aura of cynicism and truth denial shown in her political activities.
In short, only the naive Europeans, with their poor minds still tied to the myths of Kennedy’s “New Society”, could fund her publicly, being ill-informed of how the election campaign was going and later subjected to Trump’s revenge.
Let us not forget that, even during the election campaign, Hillary Clinton was focused on continuing to implement the tragic strategy of “bringing” democracy throughout the Middle East.
In fact, she had started the insurgency which unsuccessfully tried to oust Bashar al-Assad from power in Syria.
Indeed, she used all the jihad delinquents, renamed – for the occasion – “moderate Islamists”.
Maybe those groups included also Ansar al Sharia, precisely the one which had assassinated Stevens and the others in Benghazi …
The jihadist fighters trained by CIA and the Department of State shot one another while, after the US training, some “moderate” jihadist groups went immediately to enlist and swell the Isis ranks.
The comedy of tragedy.
Reverting to the election campaign, it is not hard to guess that Bernie Sanders’ supporters voted for Hillary Clinton, but bringing not even an additional voter to the polls for supporting her.
However, what is President-elect Trump planning to do? He will most likely be the political leader putting an end to globalization, which was an Americanization and, hence, can only be stopped “at source.”
In more concrete terms, Trump said the united States should stop the great immigration from the South, namely from Mexico, which should pay for the now notorious “wall.”
Hence less immigration, less competition for “low-paid jobs” and wage increase in those sectors.
Trump, a politician from the Right, is the first candidate for the Presidency to talk about the poor during the election campaign.
This is not so strange. It was Bismarck, with the help of the Social Democrat Lassalle, to make insurance mandatory for workers.
Moreover, again in Trump’s mind, the Muslims coming from countries with a proven record of terrorism against the United States should be barred from entering the country.
However, are there Islamic countries not falling within this category?
Currently there are 3.3 million Muslims living in the United States.
An even smaller religious minority than Hindus and Sikhs in America.
Obviously Trump wants to avoid the quick expansion of this ethno-religious area, which the new President regards as a “fifth column” of all forms of Islamic insurgency.
This is another limit to globalization: one of its founding myths was everybody’s freedom to move everywhere to find good jobs, salvation and survival.
This was also a way to stabilize the Third World countries’ regimes which, thanks to emigration, got rid of their “dangerous masses.”
This is no longer the case in the United States.
Maybe the US stance and behaviour on these issues will encourage the countries recording strong migration flows to seal their borders permanently.
The issue of borders recurs everywhere – those borders which, according to Régis Debray, were the first motivation for a State.
Another issue raised in the election campaign, which will soon be implemented, is the end of “Obamacare”, the system of health insurance for the poor people that has also greatly irritated and vexed the US old and new Right.
In essence, “Obamacare” is the State support for purchasing health insurance, thus forbidding insurance companies from refusing to insure people for their past health conditions or economic status.
In the United States healthcare spending accounts for 10% of GDP, while in countries characterized by the Welfare State, such as Italy, it accounts for 9.2%.
The reason for all this is complex to explain, but one point is clear: it is a health system focused on doctors’ income.
Trump, however, believes that everyone should have health coverage, but not linked to the insurance market, which has other criteria than those of the healthcare system, because it only wants to make profit.
Nevertheless it is not yet clear how Trump wants to solve this problem in the future.
Furthermore the new President-elect believes that we should certainly set great store by clean air and water, but he thinks that “climate change” is a real hoax.
And to think that a former vice-President had made it the focus of his election campaign, fearing huge destruction which did not occur.
Certainly we must take care of the environment, but the scare-mongering campaign of “climate change” supporters has much to do with science fiction movies.
As to the global strategy, Trump has dared to challenge one of the most deeply-rooted common places in the US public, by saying that the world would be better if Saddam and Gaddafi were still in power.
They both fought terrorism better and made their countries stable; it was a US severe mistake to make them collapse.
This is an essential step: with Trump, America will cease to bring democracy everywhere, with the results that are before us to be seen.
Will it be a new isolationism? No, it will not.
It will be a new US position in the world, in close relation with China’s strong economic and political expansion, a more assertive Russia and an irrelevant Europe.
Not to mention the hot spots: Syria, North Korea and the whole Middle East.
Trump has already stated he is harshly opposed to the JCPOA Treaty on Iran’s nuclear power.
In his opinion, the 5 + 1 Treaty is a way to enrich Iran and not to really stop its nuclear weapons, thus making it continue to play its role as sponsor of international terrorism.
Certainly, as already discussed at length, the JCPOA Treaty has many chances to be circumvented and, in any case, it does not stop the Iranian race to nuclear weapons.
Trump has also stated he has a plan to eliminate Isis, but he has not delved into the issue during the election campaign.
Furthermore – and this is a sore spot for Europeans – Trump has dismissed NATO as “obsolete”.
In other words, the President-elect thinks that the primary axis of defence is not what unites Europe to America, but he believes that the United States should take autonomous and independent actions with regard to China, the Russian Federation and the other growing geopolitical powers.
Just to quote the witty remark of its first Secretary General, Lord Ismay, NATO had been created to “keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down”.
Today, this is no longer the case: the Germans are autonomous and often make foreign policy with the United States and not with the other EU Member States; the Russians are out but, despite the current NATO doctrine, they are not a deadly threat.
Now the new strategic potentials are elsewhere.
Hence if NATO is obsolete, we shall rethink the EU’s foreign policy, which will not have the automatic protection ensured by the Atlantic mechanism.
Therefore the EU shall rethink all its foreign and defence policy lines, including the most recent ones, and accept the fact that globalization, at least its first phase, is over.
The United States will play their game, regardless of Europeans liking it or not.
Moreover the European Union shall rethink its strategic role.
Shall it only be an economic union, with the euro that nobody wants any longer? It will soon fail because every political union has a strategic and military principle.
However, there will be a real European army, as some people hope after Brexit?
And who will dictate the strategies: the EU universalistic humanitarianism or other countries more aware of the new threats?
In short, with Trump, Europe is alone. It shall operate in a new world without the forms of protection which had arisen in the aftermath of World War II.
GIANCARLO ELIA VALORI
Honorable de l’Académie des Sciences de l’Institut de France