Donald Trump does not give a damn about animals. He supports trophy hunting. He buys fur for his wife. He has a business called Trump Steaks that sells animal body parts. He doesn’t personally hunt, but thinks it is perfectly OK. Not a likely animal rights person, let alone an animal rights president.
But Trump, by positioning and serendipity, could set the stage for animal rights to become politically relevant. More than that, he could hand the left the opportunity to launch a political party. Trump could blow up the status quo as has never been done in the history of the United States’
Donald Trump could singlehandedly force a re-alignment of the US political parties.
Until Donald Trump, the GOP was the party of free trade agreements, military adventurism, cutting capital gains taxes, corporate welfare, tax loopholes, trickle-down economics, super pacs, and lobbyist influence in campaigns and government.
Trump has ignored establishment orthodoxy and repudiated establishment priorities.
Trump has been able to take his message condemning military intervention and perpetual war to the people without the need to raise campaign money from the arms manufacturers, munitions lobbyists, warship builders, and the aircraft industry.
Trump has been able to fight trade agreements like NAFTA and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) because he does not need bribes from multinational corporations, Wall Street, and banking lobbyists.
Trump is too rich to be bribed and doesn’t need to steal.
Donald Trump may well be the most talented and effective politician since Abraham Lincoln. Most scholars credit FDR with the mantle of the most skilled politician in modern times, but critical analysis has handed the mantle to Bill Clinton. In light of this election cycle, the title belongs to Donald Trump.
I have been a political strategist and consultant to politicians for over 40 years. Donald Trump is the most effective candidate I have ever seen. He has an almost prescient capability to read a room and an audience. He is a brilliant and well educated man who has the ability to speak to crowds using the lowest common denominator of communication. He understands what will play in the media and what will not. He has dominated the news, the discussion, the polls, the primaries, and the delegate count since he announced his candidacy last year.
Nothing in modern political history even comes close to Trump’s domination of the media, the issues, and the voters.
His populist, anti-establishment message is resonating with a growing segment of the American public.
Take me, as a case in point. I disagree with Trump on almost every issue. He wants to build a border wall, I favor open borders. He wants to build up the military, I want it drastically reduced. He calls himself a conservative. I call myself a state socialist. He is in favor of the police. I think police are generally thugs. Not much of a political match, right?
I support Bernie Sanders for president, and certainly prefer him to Trump. But what happens if Hillary is nominated?
Like a great many progressives, I see Hillary as the enemy. She is a Wall Street puppet, a tool of the banking industry, and a proponent of trade agreements. She has indicated she will continue Obama’s policies. And I have contempt for most of those very policies. Wild horse roundups, the killing of wildlife for the cattle ranchers, the drone strikes that kill innocent civilians, the appointing of industry executives and lobbyists to regulatory positions within the government which oversee their very industries, the sell out of the environment to Royal Dutch Shell, the massive deportations of undocumented Hispanics, And the Trans Pacific Partnership.
Sanders opposes the TPP. Hillary has favored NAFTA, trade deals with China, Korea, and Viet Nam. She called the TPP the “gold standard” of trade agreements until Sanders entered the race against her. Then she decided that there were “problems” with it, not specifying what they are or what she will do about them.
Trade agreements make is easier and more profitable to kill animals. They encourage and reward live export. They make it cheaper to produce corpses. They override US cruelty standards, such as they are. They make it impossible for the US to ban the import of even the most horribly exploited and slaughtered creatures.
The differences between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are fundamental, and profound. And on trade, Sanders voters are much closer to Donald Trump than they are to Hillary Clinton. I know I certainly am.
Which is why trade will be the penultimate issue in the general elections, and why, as things presently stand, Donald Trump would be my candidate if Bernie is not nominated.
Should Donald Trump be defeated in November, it is more than likely the Republican party will return to being a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Business and billionaires. But if he is elected, the Republican party will become a populist party, free of the control of right wing ideology and corporate bank accounts. Trump will be under no obligation to appoint industry executives and lobbyists to positions in his administration which oversee their very industries. Obama, Bush, Clinton, pappy Bush, Reagan, etc, all towed the line for Wall Street and the special interests, and populated their administrations with industry hacks and special interest bagmen.
For years, middle class, lower income, and poor Republicans have voted against their own economic interests, because their social values have been held hostage to the interests of billionaires and Wall Street. Doctrinaire conservatives extorted support from evangelicals, anti-abortionists, gun nuts, and bigots with their checkbooks.
“You want your conservative social issues advanced? You need to vote for our guy!”
The Donald trumped that political norm.
Trump is appealing to a populist base that is distinguishable from the populist left only on social issues. And Trump is far more attractive to blue collar Democrats and left wing populists than is Hillary Clinton.
Hillary supports trade agreements. Trump does not.
Hillary supports military interventionism. Trump does not.
Hillary supports corporate welfare. Trump does not.
A contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will almost assuredly re-align the political parties.
Wall Street and billionaires will flock to Hillary, as their influence in the Republican party will be substantially diminished. Blue collar Democrats, independents, populists and workers will embrace Trump, as the Democratic establishment has been at odds with their interests.
Depending upon the outcome of the election, the result could mean a complete redrawing of party lines.
It is quite possible the Republicans will become a populist right of center party, rejecting the political right as advanced by such politicians as Ted Cruz, whose philosophy is heavily influenced by Wall Street, Big Oil, and pharmaceutical money.
The Republican donors will have nowhere to go but to Hillary Clinton and the Wall Street Democrats, in effect creating a centrist party dominated by billionaires and Wall Street bankers.
Progressives could then build a democratic socialist party from the ground up, appealing to Sanders voters and various minor third parties, such as the Greens, Peace and Freedom, Socialists, etc.
There has not been such a political shakeup since 1854, when the Republican party was organized out of the Whigs and Northern Democrats.
Time will tell if such an opportunity will present itself. For the left, it would mean a political vehicle that actually advances social justice and egalitarianism.
For those in the animal movement it would mean a potential ruling party that actually embraces Animal Rights.
And it will be thanks to Donald Trump!
Liberals will squeal in protest at the idea of a Trump presidency. Liberals are terrified of Trump for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that he may be able to make an appointment, or several, to the US Supreme Court.
The animals do not care. And this is an election cycle that, for me, is for the animals. So I do not care, either!
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