Deconstructed – 2 Oct 2018
Writing in CounterPunch Eric Draitser wants to counter the arguments he claims some ‘self proclaimed’ Leftists have made on the internet about US President Trump not starting a war with Russia.
Eric Draitser’s words are in black
Deconstructor’s words are in red.
“Trump may be an orange-faced ignoramus peddling xenophobic and racist demagogy like knock-off Louis Vuittons in Chinatown, but at least he’s trying to make peace. What do you want, nuclear war?”
No one said this. Eric Draitser is simply making up a ridiculous quote to show how ridiculous his opponents are.
Some variation of this many-headed hydra of inane analysis is often trotted out to deflect criticism of Trump, typically wrapped in the silky veneer of Facebook radicalism from a number of self-proclaimed leftists.
What exactly does he mean by ‘Facebook radicalism?’ Does he mean to imply that the people who are posting their words and articles on Facebook don’t go out onto the streets and say the same thing? Draitser writes of ‘self-proclaimed leftists’ – as opposed to what? Government certified leftists?
And while liberals knit ever more pussy hats for the inevitable flashmob of political nothingness, a relatively small, yet zealously self-important, segment of the left demands that much legitimate criticism of Trump be viewed as liberal talking points unleashed by the Deep StateTM to scuttle Trump’s long march to peace.
No names or links to people who make up the relatively small group of zealots who exhibit the distasteful self-importance. No quotes are provided so that the reader can decide for themselves. In order to effectively counter an opponents argument one has to read them, name them, and quote them extensively. Note that Draitser leaves out the name of the Democratic Party when he claims that Trump’s Left apologists blame the ‘liberal talking points’ and the Deep State. To claim that Trump is less of a war hawk than H. Clinton is translated into the belief in “Trump’s long march to peace.” Again, did anyone ever say that? No, Draitser is setting up a made up opponent with silly ideas.
As absurd as it sounds, there are leftists who honestly believe that irrespective of his xenophobia and race-baiting, disastrous trade war and perpetual warmongering against Iran, Venezuela, Big Bird, Colin Kaepernick and Mika Brzezinski’s plastic surgeon, Donald Trump somehow represents a move toward peace globally.
One might point out that Trump has not started a war. He was elected almost two years ago. President Obama started a war on Libya, and destroyed the country. Has Trump done anything like that yet? Trump apparently is a ‘perpetual warmonger’ who has not yet started a war.
Indeed, because of the Dotard’s doting on Putin, we should all sing hosannas as we erect cheaply made gold-plated monuments in his honor.
Are there any editors at CounterPunch? Trump is old, so apparently he is in his dotage? Being civil to the leader of capitalist Russia is bad….because….? Russia is the only country in the world that could utterly destroy the US with hundreds and hundreds of nuclear weapons. Why would Trump talk diplomatically with Putin? To avoid nuclear annihilation. What’s with the ‘cheaply gold plated’ and ‘hosannas?’ Is Draitser being paid by the word?
But back on Planet Earth, even the specious notion that Trump is somehow a peacemaker cannot fake news its way into being true.
Trump may start a war with Iran or Venezuela tomorrow, but so far he has not started a new US war. Peace is the opposite of war, so Trump has maintained peace. Right here, on Planet Earth.
In fact, if anything, Trump has been the most bellicose president in recent memory.
President George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and some figures indicate that at least 1,000,000 people died. President Obama helped destroy Libya and helped send Islamist fighters to Syria where 250,000 people have died. Yet, Trump is the bellicose president? Delusion from a sufferer of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
But don’t tell those Trumpy lefties that. Their fever dreams of political analysis, though rooted in a justified yet thoroughly one-dimensional hatred of Democrats, are simply too brittle to take it.
Finally one minor phrase against the Democrats. What kind of person calls Leftists ‘lefties’ while downplaying any criticism of warmongering Democrats?
So then, as our primary task, let’s examine the arguments of the left-flank of Trumpism, and determine if they are backed by reality, or if they’re merely hollowed out talking points, devoid of either substance or context.
Don’t worry, Draitser is not going to examine any opponents arguments. He is going to make up ridiculous talking points that he can not point to anyone holding.
In doing so, we should also consider how the left has gotten to this moment of political schizophrenia wherein liberals have turned into raging jingoes at precisely the moment that America screams for progressive, people-centered politics. All the while some leftists have morphed into Trump’s left vanguard.
So…people who oppose the establishment Democrats and Republicans and mainstream media war drive against Russia – are jingoists? How does that work? What he hell does the phrase ‘people-centered politics’ mean? For Draitser it really means ‘Vote Democrat.’ But he is not honest enough to come out and say that. Part of his audience does not like the centrist Democratic Party; Draitser and his ilk also want to get people to vote for Democrats as a lesser evil.
To Russia with Love?
Every morning, just before his first threatening tweet of the day, and well before the bright lights and not-so-bright blondes of Fox & Friends have even had a chance to caffeinate, President Trump awakens, shuffles out to the Truman Balcony, and releases a pair of snow white doves in the direction of Moscow.
This reads like something from sophomore year in college creative writing class. Does Draitser think these words make Trump look stupid? The sentence makes Draitser look stupid.
At least, that’s the impression one gets reading what passes for analysis from some of the more depraved corners of the online left.
But don’t expect Draitser to give you a link, or quote what he is talking about. Just take his word for what he says. The days of writing in newspapers or magazines or newsletters with limited space are over. The limits have been removed by the online access and power of the internet storage.
It’s true that the number of self-professed “analysts” and dementia-addled lefties spouting the Trump-as-peacenik line is relatively small, but the impact their voices have had on left discourse around Trump and this historical moment is not insignificant.
How these foolish people have any influence at all? Maybe the filtered arguments Draitser presents aren’t an accurate presentation of his opponents views.
For every protest, be it a mainstream liberal march, radical Antifa direct action, or anything in between, the Left Trumpists focus their ire on the opponents of Trumpism.
The opponents Draitser is talking about are the Democrats, the Republicans, the FBI, the CIA, the mainstream media. Imagine a Leftist thinking they were more of an opponent than Donald Trump who has been in power for two years and will be gone in at most two to six years.
Ostensibly, it’s because the anti-Trump activists are hypocrites who only form political opposition against Republicans while letting Democrats eat live babies on YouTube and roll wheelchair-bound pensioners into oncoming traffic.
Again with the Creative Writing 101 – Who is Draitser quoting when he writes that the Democrats ‘eat live babies?’ Draitser is quoting himself to claim is opponents have wild beliefs.
But, seen from a more realistic perspective, it seems this chorus of silliness is based more on Trump’s words, and those of openly pro-Putin media, than on reality.
Take, for instance, this agonizingly vapid talking point about Trump desperately trying to repair the US-Russia relationship and promote peace with Russia. It certainly aligns with Trump’s words. But how about his actions?
The actions? The US is not currently at war with Russia. If Trump leads the US during a time of war with Russia, you will know.
Well, it wasn’t particularly inspiring when the Trump Administration decided to escalate Obama’s already insane policy vis-à-vis Ukraine by providing lethal weapons to the US-backed Kiev regime which continues to be partnered with, and in some ways captive to, Ukrainian Nazis and other fascist, er… um, “ultra-nationalist,” forces. Even the great Russophobe himself, that elusive covert Kenyan-Muslim Brotherhood communist agent Obama wouldn’t go that far.
Trump’s genius, apparently, is in being a peacenik toward Russia while arming to the teeth the anti-Russian Nazis whose grandfathers got their jollies collaborating with Hitler, killing Jews and other ethnic minorities. Sources on the ground tell me, however, that these are very fine people who simply want to Make Ukraine Great Again. What’s wrong with that? (Sidenote: My grandfather was busy killing their grandfathers. He didn’t think they were very fine people.)
More creative writing. No sources are telling Draitser that Ukrainian Right Wingers are good people. He just makes things up.
The Left Trumpists though still manage to find ways to justify, or at least explain away, Trump’s arming of Ukrainian fascists by pointing out that Trump is a victim of his intelligence agencies, the Deep StateTM, SJWs, the Alt-Left, and the War on Christmas. The Hillary-Comey-Maddow cabal hashed out a plan to destroy Trump by forcing the actual left into talking about Trump’s actual dangerous policies that are openly acknowledged and easily researched by anyone with an internet connection. Damn liberals.
Many Leftists believe that the US is ruled by a capitalist class. Some used the term “The 1%” back in the Occupy days. Trump is one capitalist among thousands and thousands. The whole class rules, Trump is not an all powerful king from a fairy-tale.
And let’s all remember with warm reminiscence the good old days of the 2016 campaign when Donald Trump stood before the American people undermining the imperial military juggernaut of NATO, presenting himself as the first major US politician in recent memory to question the very function of the alliance. These leftists championed Trump the anti-imperialist, the man who would rein in the US’s European war machine.
When Leftists see a break in the ranks of the capitalist, when imperialists fight among themselves, there is a chance for the Left to advance. Draitser obviously sees the Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans as the side to champion.
Welp, within 18 months Trump has not only not reduced NATO’s importance or reach, he has, in fact, demanded a more robust, more deadly, and more provocative NATO with each member state increasing significantly their contribution to the military alliance. Oops. I guess Trumpian anti-imperialism and America First-erism extends to funding the world’s most dangerous imperial alliance used as a weapon against Russia and much of the world.
Was NATO expanding up to Russia’s borders before Trump became president? Did Trump order NATO to invade Afghanistan in 2001?
But, of course, the spending hike for NATO only mirrors Trump’s glorious peace program at home, which includes a record $700 billion military budget. That obscene amount of blood money will fund massive new killing machines and line the pockets of Lockheed, Boeing, Raytheon, and the other death merchants who today sit around laughing at the notion that Trump would somehow be bad for the military-industrial complex. For these ghouls, Trump means business, and business is booming.
Did Trump write the military budget? Did anyone in congress challenge the military budget?
Trump: A Russian Stooge?
The history of the Russiagate story is still being written. But, as usual, liberals have already transmogrified a murky, hitherto unproven narrative of Russian puppetry of the US president into a story of treason and of despoiling the good name of the US of A. And the Left Trumpists reject it, arguing that Trump is merely trying to restore friendly relations and avoid a World War III apocalypse.
Soft on the Russiagate fantasy because he is soft on the Democrats and the radical liberals who are in the Democrats orbit. Go watch Rachel Maddow and see the Russigate story being written as you watch. Maddow makes it up as she goes along, just like Draitser.
But what if – bear with me now – what if they’re both completely fucking wrong? What if Trump is actually just warmongering and undermining peace in the way that presidents of the Imperium Americana have for decades, but in a more unpredictable way?
So Trump is a worse warmonger than G. W. Bush or Obama, who both started wars? Trump hasn’t started a war yet, but he’s worse because he’s ‘unpredictable.’ You can’t make this stuff up.
Consider that Midtown Mussolini, the great orange conciliator, has actually imposed expanded sanctions on Russia, going further than the Obama Administration did. Whether this is a response to domestic political pressures, a negotiating strategy, weakness in the face of neocons, or some combination of the three, is not terribly important given that the end result is heightened tensions with the Kremlin. Naturally, those points are used by the Left Trumpists as “explanations” for Trump’s behavior. Note that these lefties will never admit to defending Trump, they prefer to cast their defenses as “explanations.”
Trump wisely listened to his hair and makeup people and stopped using the reddish hair dye about two years ago. Radical liberals still think they are making a zinger of a comment when they reference Trumps reddish hair from days gone by and his tan or tan makeup. Again with the lack of quotes – Draitser laughs at the people who use “explanations.” But who said this? Who is he quoting?
Regardless, Trump has managed to present himself as a dove on Russia, while in fact being more hawkish than any president in recent memory. This is further demonstrated by Trump’s expulsion of more than 60 Russian embassy, consulate, and/or intelligence officials over the alleged poisoning of a former Russian spy in the UK. Trumpologists, though, have the talking points in hand: “Trump is just bowing to pressure from liberals and the intelligence agencies, he didn’t really want to do it!”
Trump may very well be the president who starts a war with Russia. Is Draitser pushing for, or against that war?
Interesting. Since when do leftists care about the political pressures a president faces?
Plenty of leftists consider themselves a the left wing of the Democratic party and try to exert pressure on presidents.
Lyndon Johnson faced tremendous political pressures from his right and left, does he get a pass on Vietnam? Nixon faced incredible pressure, as did Carter and Clinton. And why, please tell, am I supposed to care? Their actions are what matter.
Who is handing out passes to past presidents? Does Draitser give letter grades to each president on some imagined report card. Actions matter, and words and arguments are a very important part of political actions and moves toward war.
I suppose the Left Trumpists also forgot that Trump brought in the utterly unhinged neocon imperialist, John Bolton. And, predictably, the mustache that launched a thousand ships has in short order raised the threat of war with Iran, moved the administration further to the right on Venezuela, argued in favor of a first strike against North Korea, and much more. And who could forget now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who succeeded Exxon Mobil kingpin Rex Tillerson, as Trump’s consiglieri. I suppose it’s progress as the US threatens to kill millions in the name of Jesus, rather than in the name of oil profits.
There is no group who calls themselves Left Trumpists. The name is made up by Eric Draitser.
There are probably a hundred other policies and actions taken by Trump that are worth examining in context of left apologism for the Fascist-in-Chief. But this essay is not intended to catalog all the criminal, degenerate policies that Agent Orange has enacted or championed. It is merely an introduction, a window into a confused political space and discourse on the Left that is both infuriating and deeply depressing.
Yes, this article is ‘a window into a confused political space’ called Eric Draitser’s World. The enemy is Leftists who don’t back the Democrats and CIA and FBI and mainstream media war against an accidental president who is not following the conventional wisdom of our ruling class.
Many decent, well-meaning people who have dedicated their lives to fighting neoliberal imperialism have suddenly positioned themselves to the right of neocons in alliance with ascendant fascism in the US.
Has anyone ever met a Leftist who said they had dedicated their life to ‘fighting neoliberal imperialism?’ The phrase seems to be Eric Draitser’s hobbyhorse.
They don’t espouse the fascism, but have nonetheless made common cause with the far right in defense of Trump on the grounds of world peace and smashing the neoliberal/neoconservative consensus in Washington.
Translation = If you don’t vote Democrat you are a Nazi! Opposing Democrats is a Thought Crime.
One has to wonder, though…Would they also align with the hangman to spite the gallows-maker?
Creative Writing finally…