Trump is just the tool. We’re the ones who betrayed America.

Trump is a bad man, corrupt and immoral. But putting the focus solely on his action in Finland is misleading. Russian meddling might have given him a slight boost in the last election, but really…lots of Americans voted for him. The Republican party is supporting him. All the howling aimed at one man is a distraction from the long term problem.

Why were Americans susceptible to Russian propaganda? Why do they vote for a criminal political party? Because for decades we’ve been demolishing our infrastructure, undermining unions, allowing big money to corrupt the political process, setting our standards for news media low, fostering greater income inequality, allowing racism and misogyny to run amuck, wrecking the educational system, and investing in the military rather than our people. It should be no surprise that people distrust and are resentful of The System, and are willing to endorse radicals who offer nothing but the promise to tear it all down and agree with the worst of our impulses.

Imagine a fantasy resolution: the Trump regime is thrown down, all of his appointees are thrown out and imprisoned, and the man himself is shipped off to the Hague and locked away for the rest of his life (that’s fantasy, it’s not going to happen). What next? What will change to prevent the next demagogue from taking over? What about the thousands of Republican party apparatchiks and the tens of millions of citizens who voted for them? We don’t need one guy stopped, we need the system changed.


  1. Snarki, child of Loki says

    “What about the thousands of Republican party apparatchiks and the tens of millions of citizens who voted for them? ”

    Deport them to some tiny little islands, mere inches above sea level, where they can enjoy their seaside lifestyle while continuing to deny Global Warming.

    AKA “shark food”

  2. cartomancer says

    I’ve said this elsewhere, but it bears repeating. If Russia did try to influence the election then its impact is utterly negligible next to the influence that big corporations and their media outlets had. Why have Fox News and all the right-wing talk radio stations not been indicted on treason charges?

    I can only hope, on your behalf, that the Trump fiasco provokes genuine awareness and a desire for change. It might.

  3. Susan Montgomery says



    1) Democratic Presidential candidates must have values and morals rather than be ad-hoc appeasers who are okay with their spouses using state employees with arrest powers to procure sexual favors.

    2) Democratic Presidential primaries must have 5 choices and no superdelagates. Running socialist crackpots to ensure the favored candidate wins will also be forbidden

    3) Corporate board members may not be cabinet officials. Quite frankly, switching the the Westminster system where the cabinet is comprised only of elected officials would be ideal, but that’s not going to happen. Also, former cabinet officials may not take board positions (honorary or actual) after leaving cabinet.

    4) Presidential candidates must have been recently elected and served a full term in at least county level politics.

    5) Election campaigns may last no longer than 3 months from primary to election. All primary presidential elections must be held on the same day.

    6) There is no 6

  4. Susan Montgomery says

    7) But there is a 7. Ensure that 3rd parties have access to the ballot. Before you start chucking tomatoes at me (organic, no doubt) hear me out. The two party duopoly (which is not at all constitutionally mandated, by the way) keeps smaller issues from being adequately represented in the larger political scene. The Dems and Repubs will still have their lock on D.C., never fear.

    8) There is no 9

  5. Akira MacKenzie says

    Over the past decade, I’ve become more and more disillusioned with the American system of government right down to our fish wrap constitution that we slavishly worship. It’s too vague (e.g. how many fights have we atheists have gotten with theists whether or not separation of church and state is implied by the First Amendment), too difficult to change and ultimately left to the bigoted whims of Joe and Jane Knuckle-dragger, and whose very principles were born out of the minds of wealthy, slave-owning, hypocrites who though only white, male, property-owners should be allowed to vote. Nothing will change as long as we have a system of government that’s still locked in the late 1700s. We need a state that has taken the last 200-plus years of economic, historical, sociological, and scientific knowledge into account. If I had my druthers, I say we ditch the useless thing and start over. Failing that we, pack up or bags and try to find some habitable patch of real-estate to start the socialist, atheist utopia we’ve been dreaming of.

    However, both those scenarios are pipe dreams. I think we’re good and truly fucked.

  6. says

    Well, yes and no. We need to get the Republicans out of power before we can even begin working on all of that. Then yeah, we also need better Democrats, but the first step is absolutely necessary.

  7. says

    Direct democracy, dissolution of state line and legislature – turn the nation into an actual nation, and dissolution of the standing military.

    I’m actually OK with the influence of money in politics because we keep seeing over and over that it doesn’t always matter. That it matters is more a side-effect of letting the 2-party system effectively gerrymander the entire electoral system. Fix that.

  8. thirdmill301 says

    According to Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author of “Everybody Lies,” the most accurate single predictor of whether a given county would vote for Trump was the numbers of people in that county who routinely google “racist jokes”. The problem is not Russia, or corporations, or big money, or even the Republicans. The problem is that Donald Trump is a better reflection of who we are than many would like to admit.

  9. mnb0 says

    From my very European point of view the presidency of Donald the Clown has some unexpected upsides. Like: relations of EU with China, Japan and other big economies are steadily improving, because the USA isn’t an option anymore. Like: since Donald the Clown has “supported” Brexit chances have grown that it will be canceled. Though of course the incredible stupidity of Farage, Johnson and co deserves most credit. Anyhow at least Donald’s and British Clowneries have largely silenced the European rabid right on the topic of leaving the EU (Nexit, Frexit, Italexit etc. etc.).
    As for climate change: yeah, Donald the Clown is a disaster. But Hillary Bad Loser Clinton only would have been marginally better. It’s probably too late already anyway (not that this is an excuse for doing nothing, on the contrary).
    Ah well, Declining superpowers usually go down with a horrible, violent bang. Donald the Clown manages to do it as a French farce, not totally unlike Fawlty Towers.

  10. lucifersbike says

    Susan Montgomery – the Westminster system would be fine if the cabinet ministers didn’t have outside interests and were elected as ministers for something they understood. Unfortunately for the UK, most of the current collection of perverts, liars, incompetents, and deadbeats do have considerable outside interests – the PM is married to an investment relationship manager whose funds stand to benefit when the economy crashes thanks to Brexit, Michael Gove, the almost-human blobfish who was a disastrous Minister for Education, a failure as Justice Minister and is now about to render our corner of the planet uninhabitable as Minister for the Environment, was employed by His Satanic Majesty, Murdoch, as a “journalist”, the appalling Boris Johnson who has just resigned to spend more time with his ego has returned to writing tosh in the Daily Telegraph; and let’s not forget the landowners, speculators, spivs and the merely terminally stupid (David Davis). They have all been elected, but only by a relatively small number of their constituents as MPs , not ministers. Mind you, given the collective IQ of the Great British Public, I’m sure they’d vote for the worst possible candidate if they had the chance.

  11. mnb0 says

    Intended and openly fake news:

    Trump demands that Russia will increase hacking the elections budget up to 2% of the Gross National Product.
    Trump: “I’m almost on my own when agitating parts of the population, undermining trust in the media and judicial power. Russia takes benefit of my work. I don’t want to be the onlyone paying for undermining constitutional order anymore. Very unfair. Russia needs to spend 34 trillion on destroying liberal democracy.”

  12. unclefrogy says

    it is not the Donald who is to blame it is the triumph of self centered thinking. what is in it for me. It is that which allowed all of the neglect of the important things that a government and a society are supposed to provide for their populations. We let ourselves down we let others do the work of democracy we did not all vote we are not all involved in our own governing it has only been a fraction of our population that is truly involved and many of them (us) are easily deceived and vote against our own interests time and time again.
    The Donald is a spectacular event but I am afraid not an unexpected one.
    when you found your entire system of thought and organize everything around competition in all things down to the individual level at some stage you will get a complete incompetent who has manipulated all the levers to cheat and win. Of course he will fail and fail spectacularly this guy has a track record of doing this. The thing to worry about is who or what comes next because there will be a next spin of the wheel.
    uncle frogy

  13. Susan Montgomery says

    @9 Well, that’s the key thing isn’t it? The way progressives act it would seem that it’s all over but the shouting and the problems come from a relative handful of people who just aren’t as “woke” as the rest of us. As the recurring furore around, say, trans*women sharing restrooms with cis women (to pick an example that’s been on my mind of late) show, there’s still a lot of deep hosility, fear and ignorance and that us “woke” and “bae” folk on the right side of history are still in a heartbreaking minority.

    After ten years, all the left has achieved has been pouting and sulking that the Republicans have been big meanieheads who just don’t play fair because they’ve yet to grasp that. In my more paranoid times, I like to think the reason the Dem establishment likes to push so far because they’re counting on the pushback they know these issues will get.

    @12 I know. I haven’t watched every episode of “Yes Minister/Prime Minister” and “The Thick Of It” for nothing, now, but I think that the other posters here are on to something. The current (+200 years is “current” natch) Federal government really wasn’t designed to manage the affairs of an entire continent. If not a pure Parliamentary system, then at least something closer to it. Something that minimizes corruption an abuse and enhances accountability.

  14. rpjohnston says

    This is what I’ve been telling people for 2 years. We have the attitude of “our friends across the aisle” and “misguided family members” that we love even if we disagree with them – while those family members would have us disowned, or killed, or shipped off to conversion camps, or given to a suitor like property. We need to start seeing the Right the way they see us – as Enemies.

    The solution isn’t entirely one of law or protocol. Those are necessary (end gerrymandering!) but insufficient. It’s an attitude one. We need to exert our power as members of society to determine, forcefully, what is acceptable in society.

    Punch nazis.

  15. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    “45” is only a symptom of the disease that requires much more attention than excising the tumor a.k.a. “45”.

  16. gijoel says

    Ninja-ed by Tabby.

    @16. Yeah I’m not buying the thinly veiled blame Hillary excuse. Look at the character of Donald Trump, a sleazy businessman who consistently rips off contractors, and clients alike. A man who brags about sexually assaulting women, a self confessed adulterer, who has had affairs with pornstars and then has the hide to claim the moral high ground.

    Glob help me Marco Rubio would have been better than this bumbling arse clown. People voted for him anyway.

  17. says

    Regarding Cosimo’s link @16 to a Craig Murray piece do any of the UK regulars have a take on Murray? He came up in another comment thread here last week.

  18. chrislawson says

    Just watched The Crucible last night, and on a similar note it’s easy to think Abigail Williams was the villain of the piece…but she never put anyone’s neck in a noose. It was the judges and ministers of the court in Salem who were the real villains.

  19. says

    @#18, rpjohnston

    This is what I’ve been telling people for 2 years. We have the attitude of “our friends across the aisle” and “misguided family members” that we love even if we disagree with them – while those family members would have us disowned, or killed, or shipped off to conversion camps, or given to a suitor like property.

    Speak for yourself — I was viewing the Republican Party as conscienceless scum as far back as 1998, and spent Obama’s entire presidency in horror as he threw away chance after chance while talking about bipartisanship he was never, under any circumstances, going to achieve.

    And it’s not going to change unless — and I know a lot of people here are going to roll their eyes at this not because it’s false but because it’s me saying it — the Democratic Party throws out the Clintons and their cronies and fellow-travelers. In terms of foreign policy and fiscal policy, that cabal are Republicans; when the Democrats in charge of the party started giving the Republicans every damn thing they wanted on those fronts, the Republicans really almost had no choice but to become vile on social issues in order to differentiate themselves from the Democrats. (Seriously, every Clintonian or Obaman economic proposal has ultimately been predicated on the idea that if we make multinational corporations rich and happy, they will fix the economy for us — which is almost exactly the same as trickle-down economics as described by Reagan, but with “multinational corporations” as a proxy — an accurate one in reality — for “the rich”. And as for foreign policy, Obama kept up Bush’s wars as long as he could and started a few “preemptive” ones of his own, while Hillary Clinton was actually urging him to do even more. Tell me how this differs from what the Republican Party wanted all along?)

    As long as we have crypto-Republicans controlling the Democratic Party, there is no reason for most of the Democratic base — or for Independents who lean left — to vote, and even on those occasions when the Democrats get into office they will be unwilling to fix things — remember how Obama had all those “shovel-ready projects” to use for the stimulus, then pre-compromised before actually even talking to the Republicans, and then compromised even more with them even though they were a minority which had specifically been voted out for their incompetence, so that the “stimulus” ended up largely being tax breaks which benefited the rich? A Democrat who wasn’t primarily interested in benefitting the rich would not have let that happen.

  20. imback says

    “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

    Walt Kelly first used this aphorism on a Pogo-themed poster for the first Earth Day in 1970. Later the phrase appeared in his comic strip too. “We have met the enemy and he is us” first applied to our ecological environment, but it also applies to our political environment.

    We need to make our bed. Americans are not cured of willful ignorance, avarice, and bigotry, with which we seem to be as imbued as we ever were. Ignorance, avarice, and bigotry invited the political system to be undermined. Yes we can point fingers at the underminers, and they do need to have a reckoning, but so do we all.

  21. KG says

    It should be no surprise that people distrust and are resentful of The System, and are willing to endorse radicals who offer nothing but the promise to tear it all down and agree with the worst of our impulses. – PZM

    This lets Trump voters off too lightly. They were not, on the whole, those who have nothing to lose. Their mean income was higher than that of Clinton voters, and they skewed white (heavily) and male. They were not, in the majority, resentful of “The System” for increasing inequality, but for allowing their perceived inferiors to get uppity. The predominant response at the bottom of the heap, and the one progressives need to focus on changing, is that of “learned helplessness”, as indicated by the abysmally low turnout in American elections, particularly among the poor.

  22. KG says


    Craig Murray did an excellent thing in exposing the complaisant UK governmental response to corruption and brutal repression in Uzbekistan. But I think he’s one of those all-too-common leftists who, having grasped the systematically oppressive nature of American/Western imperialism, are then unable to see that it’s not the only source of evil in the world.

  23. Cosimo says

    I have been following Craig Murray’s blog for a couple of years. I find he has a strong tendency to be on the right side of history. And the readers’ comments are very interesting too.

  24. elysof says

    I remove Likes-type stuff from all sites I visit. Using an add-on like Stylus (Stylish is bad, BTW), this:

    [id*="like-comment-wrapper"] {
    display: none;

    … will hide/collapse the Likes widget and revert comment formatting to how it was.

  25. Porivil Sorrens says

    Indeed, the only thing close to a socialist candidate there’s been in a long time are like, a bunch of milquetoast socdems who would be considered centrist/center-right in a good chunk of europe.