Donald Trump, America, George W Bush discussed on Ideas
Yeah. Didn't allow it. He didn't rip down the firewalls between commercial and investment. Banks Clinton did which is what precipitated both are in the global financial crisis in two thousand eight so all of the became like late Roman Republic where the institutions and the language iconography of democracy existed, but internally had become so corrupted an essence been seized by corporate power as to render it a Mirage, and that of course, so the seeds for Trump. The there's this nineteen eighty six film by the Quebec director, Danny Arcand, and it simply called the decline of the American empire. Don't know if you're familiar with it, but it's modern societies fixation on self-indulgence as an indicator of its decline you've been talking about governments and corporations. But in the book, you also talk on the individual level this focus on self-indulgence Hauer self-indulgence in decline related. Well, it's very important point. Yes, it became a society. Consumed by hedonism anarchism, and it celebrated the qualities of psychopaths, you see it on any reality television show that ability to manipulate us lie to others for your own advancement, a lack of empathy or capacity for remorse. The idea. That wealth creates its own value. It doesn't matter how you achieve it. The yearning for celebrity self presentation, which is what Facebook and social media's fundamentally about it's about what Neil Gable called life the movie, and what happened is our political system. Our political campaigns became a forms of reality television himself, so you manufactured personalities of George W Bush becomes somebody? You'd wanna have a beer with. Yeah. And you confuse how you're made to feel with knowledge and Trump could play that game better. That's the first part in the second part is that across the political spectrum the American public realize that the elites had betrayed them and Trump's caustic, vulgar insults. Whether it was directed at George Bush or Hillary Clinton were kind of cathartic to an extremely would say legitimately angry and in particular, white working class population. That had been lied to. And of course, the anger was even greater at the Democratic Party because figures like Clinton or Bama continued to speak in that feel your pain language of liberalism while serving corporate power. And of course, we saw that in two thousand and eight with Obama's response, which was to bail out the banks and Goldman Sachs. The people carried out the fraud and turn his back on the victims. And is that the moment that it hit home for you that America was on the decline or was it earlier than that that you were seeing the signs no much earlier. First of all I spent twenty years overseas. So I was very rarely in this country for two decades, and the the changes that had taken place within the country were much more dramatic starker upon my return. What corporations have done to former industrial cities like Camden, New Jersey, which precarious the poorest city in the United States or the coalfields of southern West Virginia where they have turned the Appalachian mountains into a toxic wasteland because they won't stop. And I think that comes from being a reporter and not sitting around. Because if you get out there, listen, it's grim and I have to raise pornography. I mean, we are deeply porna- fide society which fits completely with heartless capitalism where everybody and everything cluding the natural world becomes a commodity that you'll exploited until exhaustion or collapse. I wonder though, if there's a conceptual trap within the very idea of talking about America's decline at this moment because the United States itself was founded on this contradiction of free and democratic nation that was built on enslaving millions of Africans and on the genocide of indigenous people, I think about the American African American poet Langston Hughes who wrote American ever was America to me..