The problems in the world, be it from the degree of remaining poverty and social marginalization to terrorism and nuclear proliferation are too big to entertain a clash of the Trumpian and Bilderberg “led” globalist liberal orders.
I believe in constructing his cabinet, President Trump whether deliberately or not, is trying to synthesize the best ideas and people from these two groups to produce optimal results for the wider good. He will still bring in a definite Trumpian orientation consistent to the mandate he got from the electorate. This coming together will be necessary if there is to be unity in fighting these great and worsening problems, seemingly exponentially growing.
As a Canadian, I saw this in direct motion especially in the 1960s to the 1980s when Quebec nationalists and Quebec separatists fought hard against strong liberal federalists. In the end though, it produced a Quebec that was recognized by the Canadian parliament as being a nation, coinciding with its own powers over immigration, income taxation yet in a united Canada. It is just too bad there was so much polarization including terrorism before that end result.
It should not be forgotten, that the battles in Quebec between these two orders were highly bitter with some nationalists even joining a terrorist organization, the FLQ. Lack of compromise by both sides ensured it.
While Trump supporters never got violent with a very few exceptions, Trump’s support, like of the Quebec sovereignty movement was inclusive of the rural areas or underprivileged blue collar urban settings. Though in the Quebec situation, Quebec intellectuals were strongly involved in the policy side of the nationalist mobilization while not so much so in the Trump movement.
To say the least some Quebec nationaljsts were highly monitored or of serious concern to the Canadian federal police which included fears that Russia was seriously supporting legitimate sovereignist groups. We are back to the future in the US on this point that Russia is everywhere in supporting mainstay opposition “splittist/decentralists” over the liberal integrationist, Russophobia order in the West?
So the worry regarding Russia in the Trump context is that anyone who says they like Russia becomes a source of ridicule by these liberals and even considered as an unwitting or witting agent of Moscow. This is what the Quebec nationalist movement, itself had to deal with. But this narrative of meaningful Russian interference in Western politics caught less media traction in Quebec at the time. And neither have most Americans fallen for the Clintonite red baiting used in her attempt to win the election.
I also remember at my very privileged anglophone school, the complete hostility to Quebec sovereignists and even nationalists during the 1970s, and I would say instead, their massive support for Liberal federalism. That support was almost zombie like. Their view was that just about all nationalists were dangerous, had to be stopped and their election into the Quebec government would be apocalyptic. Sounds like the views of the US and global liberal elites towards Trump getting in power?
Nevertheless, I decided I would represent the sovereignists in our model school debates as I thought their significance deserved a spokesman and recognition. That is despite my not being thoroughly supportive of some of their key positions, some of which I considered as too narrow and emotional.
Yet federalist Liberals, including my fellow schoolmates from the rich suburbs, indeed woke up one day to find that the separatist Parti Quebecois that they so arrogantly dismissed for their nativism had got elected and had got control of the provincial government. (I have attached myself to the winning black sheep, again so sad. No make that two more, Trump and to a certain degree Russia.)
The so-called little people in Quebec were not going to be cornered into thinking they were “peasants” politically for voting for nativists. The supremely bilingual, globalist French Canadian ex-professor, Prime Minister Trudeau at the time and his hard pressed federalism was seen as not relevant enough and even oppressive. Does this parallel many US voters not liking to be talked down to by another Harvard educated, ex-professor liberal academic elitist type, this one called President Obama? History does repeat itself.
(By the way, Obama is a big fan of Pierre Trudeau’s son, Justin who is current Canadian Prime Minister. I believe he has tried to learn from the mistakes of his Prime Minister father, not to overly push Canadian federalism over Quebec nationalism and regionalism.)
I am also reminded of the Eton and Oxford educated, wealthy type married to a baroness and his dismissing pro Brexit types as narrow-minded xenophobes. I am speaking of Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, another elitist who got siloed off from the so-called little people of the regions and overly denounced pro Brexit leaders like Nigel Farage. Cameron’s cost was to lose the prime ministership and the question is how many more western leaders and politicians will lose their own positions as a result of their separateness to the grass roots?
What is my point? Canada remains in the Bilderberg globalist camp overall, demonstrated with its recent signing of a free trade agreement with Europe that got Quebec’s support.
Yet Quebec has maintained its fairly strong nationalist orientation and sensitivities including protecting its language of French, possibly even more so than France does. Despite strong and arrogant federal liberalism pressures mostly in the past and sometimes extreme nativism on the Quebec nationalist side, it has worked out into an equilibrium between the two, more or less.
I could also talk of the decentralization success of Switzerland which interestingly stayed out of the European Union.
I also remember this Liberal federalist arrogance when I ran into Tom Axworthy, former Chief of Staff to Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau who by the way I also met. I was at Harvard at the same time, however working under a professor who was strongly aware of the importance of nationalism and giving it political space. When I told Axworthy I was working under this professor, to say the least he was not amused and looked kind of disgusted.
However, my view is that these two views of largely a more conservative (and Judeo-Christian) western nativism along with a globalist, more secukar liberalism can be synthesized into workable political structures, existent like in the EU or tbe new, if tbere is sufficient will on both sides.
My guess is that Henry Kissinger would be more or less on side to supporting such a synthesis, as he is largely a realist and pragmatist to appreciating these views, even as a Bilderberg participant. His access to both Putin and Trump could possibly help to further such a coming together of what may appear to two colliding visions. Instead the synthesis could be a two different sided coin but with apparent ambiguity.
For example, Canada is understood to be generally reliable partner so the free trade head turns up maintained in the new NAFTA agreement. Mexico and China are tails they lose on free trade for being too incompatible with so much social and environmental dumping that undermines even tne existence of many US plants. China may be found to not be playing enough by tne rule book on subsidies and tails, it loses for getting a free as opposed to arranged trade agreement.
All of these evaluations and new deals with offsets if forthcoming will be done primarily through bilateral deals between the US and individual countries if Trump carries out his trade philosophy. One offset in an arranged deal could be China’s greater direct investment in US plants and equity markets raising capital for new IPO launches of innovative US companies and buying more products in the US to make up for the horrendous trade imbalance. These products and investments could be paid in part by yuan.
From this, I would say Trump’s inclusion of Goldman Sachs people and Bilderberg attendees in his proposed cabinet tells us that he recognizes still a need for a certain aspect of globalist liberalism and cooperation with emerging market governances. If he did not, he would not be having meetings with Bilderbergers like Henry Kissinger, former top adviser to China where he is revered and the head of Goldman Sachs.
Rather, I think Trump is trying to cobble together what I would call an inter-nationalism. That is where strong but not unhealthy levels of national identity politics and economucs in both his country and those of others are recognized without his abandonment of US democratic ideals, pluralism and rule of international law.
This leads to a US foreign policy that is politically less critical of other countries’ national identities and cultures, but still has the US maintaining a dedication to protecting groups against serious persecutions and for supporting democratic values. It is one where the constituents of integration like in the EU are given more space to express their individual, true selves without dismissing completely new integrationist initiatives like a European Defense Force.
From all of this, countries that are different to America, including regional powers will be more interested in developing commercial but mutually beneficial relations with the US. This will focus energy on creating wider fertile ground for economic growth which helps to lower the risks of more being attracted to terrorism. It will reduce fears Americans have about being losers where their is excess and poorly thought out multilateralism, without completely excluding it.
Therefore, I do not look at the globalist liberals as having totally lost with Trump’s ascendancy. I look at them getting a strong kick from reality that their model has been too strong towards their top down, overly integrationist, overly multilateral and excessively government dependent approaches. This includes the EU welcoming excessively large numbers of refugees and presenting a model insensitive to nativist views as the Canadian globalist Liberals did at the time towards Quebec nativists.
Globalist Liberals though should still fight also to ensure extreme forms of nationalism and nativism do not take wings and turn into some kinds of fascism and prejudice towards minorities, religious or not. In other words they have a kind of yin to yang balancing effect and represent another coin of two diffetent sides but balanced.
But liberals also need to access and reflect on the fact that national identity politics are here partly due these globalist, less than satisfactory (economic) models. Their policies have been too oriented to the progressive/urban elites over the carved-out rural areas. rust belts and other less prosperous places. Given that liberals state they are for the underprivileged, this is quite shocking.
And if I may add, certain globalist liberals do not seem to have a healthy idea of masculine values and sensitivity to marginalized, less educated white blue collar males, too many of whom they see as the “deplorables”. I blame a lot of this on academia and the overall educational system, especially in the West that is whitewashing the relevance of positive masculinity.
There will be a time, I hope when the globalist-liberals will self-scrutinize instead of maliciously blame Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin (or even Nigel Farage) as all being nasty manipulative bigoted nativists or narrow minded “conservatives” or if not worse, destroyers of the “great” global liberal order, post World War II.
If the globalist liberals fight too much though to keep pushing their agenda against the emerging new Trumpian order, then some of the positives the former bring to helping develop this balancing act will be further fought against. It might include very stepped-up reactive populism, fed up with being patronized and herded by the never say change, less electable, doctrinaire globalists.
Give and take is needed, as after all Clinton got about 3 million more votes than Trump and recent parliamentary votes in the EU show a certain splits. Forty-eight percent did vote against Brexit which is no small potatoes.
Let us thus hope Trump is successful with and encouraged to bring in this new inter-nationalism that is internationalist but sensitive to national identities and the downtrodden whether progressive or not. Quebec learned somewhat the hard way to move to this balance. It can be learned from but more importantly accepted to ensure we all focus more cooperatively on the battle against the enormous challenges of fighting terrorism to poverty than between ourselves or against Russia.
This will be better that a polarized battle within the West of current, anti-Russia, Bilderberg led global liberalism versus a reactive fast spreading nationalism around the world based on populism. Without that synthesis between the two, the world could be doomed between stagnation and despair, if not annihilation.
Happy New Year to one and all. May the above be the world’s political resolution where applicable.