Another day, another plan to stop Donald Trump is reported in the news, along with criticisms of such moves. I have stopped paying much attention to these reports as they have become so numerous as Trump continues to inexorably increase his lead among delegates for the nomination. This is mainly because these plots never address the crucial end-game: If they do manage to stop Trump, then who becomes the nominee and how do they prevent Trump’s supporters from revolting at what would essentially be a coup by party insiders against them?
But what I have been interested in is the underlying political dynamics that are being revealed by Trump’s role in the race.
The basic model of American political system is oligarchical control whereby you have essentially a pro-war, pro-business one-party system with two factions (the Republicans and Democrats) that differ mainly on social issues. On economic issues, Democrats tend to throw more crumbs to the poor and minorities while protecting the interests of the wealthy. The Clintons are the masters at playing this game.
The economic crumbs that the Republicans throw out to their base are less tangible and more built on creating grievances, suggesting to them that it is their hard-earned money that is being taken away from them and going towards paying for the crumbs given by the Democrats to the poor and minorities
Trump is a rich person. He clearly likes being rich, is not embarrassed by displays of wealth, and indeed flaunts it at every opportunity. There is not the remotest chance that he would be a class traitor, someone who would act against the basic interests of the oligarchic class of which he is a member. In his many confusing and contradictory utterances while running, he has not proposed anything that could be construed as a serious attack on the oligarchy the way that Bernie Sanders has.
So why do they hate him so much that they seem to spend all their time trying to find ways to stop him getting the Republican nomination? If cannot be that his incessant boasting, his grandiose promises, and his flaunting of wealth is too gauche for them. This is a class for whom multiple luxury homes and private yachts and jets are considered basic necessities of life. We all remember Mitt Romney and his plans to build a car elevator for one of his mansions. We remember John McCain not being able to recall exactly how many homes he owned. The Bushes have long acted like they are royalty. So why the almost visceral distaste for Trump?
The only reason I can think of is stability and control. The global oligarchy desires stable political systems that give them carte blanche for the free flow of capital and goods across the globe. This is why they are perfectly comfortable with dictatorships because those leaders can promise them just that, without the pesky will of the people intruding. Look at how they have eagerly embraced the coup by the Egyptian military and love the Saudi Arabian government which has to be one of the worst despotic regimes in the world. In their world, any government, big or small, that has the temerity to challenge their dominance has to be crushed even if it creates chaos and untold misery for their people as we have seen in Iran, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Iraq, Libya Syria and other countries too numerous to name. This class views the powerful US military the way that Mafia bosses view their goons, the means by which they terrorize anyone who crosses them and thus ensure docility and compliance. “Nice country you got here. Too bad if something should happen to it.”
But Trump is someone whom they likely feel they cannot control. He is unpredictable, saying one thing today and another tomorrow. He does not seem to revere the free flow of capital and goods the way they do and freely promises to use tariffs as a policy tool. He cannot be depended upon to have the same global enemies that they have and his belief that he can make deals with anyone must be alarming for those who view the world in Manichaean terms.
What is worse is that while his class interests are aligned with theirs, he is also less likely to take the advice of the ‘elders’, the permanent class of insiders who stock the political, business, and media establishment and make sure that, whatever government is in power, the pro-war, pro-business interests are protected. So in their view, Trump must be stopped at all costs.
So a bipartisan cabal of insiders who have long got used to rotating among themselves the positions of power in Washington while the same basic policies continue unchanged suddenly find their sinecures threatened by someone who does not know them and, what is worse, does not seem to want to know them or even respect them. Hell hath no fury like an entrenched political class scorned, and so Trump must be stopped.