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LEFT WING, RIGHT WING – SAME COBO by Corey Gilkes

posted 10 Nov 2016, 20:38 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 10 Nov 2016, 21:00 ]

Got to stay ‘way from them ism

All dem ism is just schism 

The Black Stalin 


Image result for trump hillary cartoonI think these lines from Stalin’s song “Ism/Schisms” are most definitely more relevant today than it was before. Oh yeah, and to those of you who know me personally and we haven’t yet met up, take it here one time: I f***ing told you so! 

All who find I ha’ too much chip on mih shoulder and anti-American, hold dis in yuh pweffen and tun left. Yes, that’s right, Trump won. Poetic justice eh? The US has a long history of installing corrupt, fascistic demagogues all over Africa, the Americas and Asia; now they got one! 

Not that Hillary winning would have been any better; I said it over and over: no matter which one of the major frontrunners won, democracy lost. It’s been lost a very long time actually; the hollowness of it has been examined for years by people like the late Professor Norman Girvan and Prof Glen Sankatsingh, joining with voices within the US and Europe like Gore Vidal, Chris Hedges, Tariq Ali and John Pilger. It’s only now dawned on some people - well, except in our media.

And this is what really is getting to me, the drone-like nature of local media in analysing and discussing issues like this from a Caribbean perspective. You know that region right…the one that was colonised by Europe and treated like a football/chewtoy by the US. Have we forgotten that the Caribbean was treated like a pawn during the Cold War and an outlet for its sexual schizophrenia even before that? 

Maybe I was just listening to the wrong stations, but what little I’ve heard just seemed to parrot the superficial “analyses” of the major US media houses, most of which had almost no credibility outside of their coverage of the Viet Nam War…perhaps. They sure as shit lost that credibility when they were cheerleaders for the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan by George W. Bush. Image result for us war in syria

The discussions on i95.5, Power 102, 91.1 and Boom Champions that I’ve heard on Trump versus Clinton sounded a lot like the propaganda during World Wars I and II when Caribbean people were told to fight and defend King and Country, preserve the democracy they themselves had no part in other than at the bottom. Same thing during the Cold War!

The reality for us here is that regardless of who won the presidency, the foreign trade and political decisions would be stemming from a cultural mindset that views us as mere objects and trailers (to borrow the term Prof Sankatsingh used in his brilliant essay on Trailer societies). And we should be looking down the road seeking to develop alternatives and/or networks with other countries and grassroots organisations that are in similar positions. 

What we now see playing out in the US should have been expected. While Trump’s election represents the disgust of many working people and a revolt against the elite establishment that looks down on those outside the proverbial 1%, it doesn’t change the fact that, like Brexit, that outrage played into the hands of ideologies built around bigotry anImage result for pro trump graffiti post electiond misogyny. 

On one side there was a racist, corrupt warmonger – and that’s not even Trump I’m talking about! Trump/Hillary, same difference; six of one, half-a-dozen of the other; Left Wing, Right Wing, same cobo, one just uses nicer words because she’s a career politician. He wants to build a (physical?) wall; she was building a virtual one. 

He makes misogynist statements, she implemented misogynist policies. In fact this supposed feminist has implemented policies that killed or destroyed the lives of thousands of women across the globe and as far as I am concerned her election would have represented no kind of advance for women or feminism. Her track record in terms of foreign policy is like a neon sign as to what to look forward to if she did get de wuk – Whitewater scandal, she backed the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, supported the TPP, was complicit in a coup in Honduras, destabilised Libya, Syria, rattled sabres at Russia (and don’t even get me started on Haiti. 

And as for Trump...wow!!! Really?! F**k it, grab em by the pussy Don. 

But how many serious discussions were there in Trinbago about what the respective worldviews of these two might mean for us given the history and current events? Where are the analyses and conversations that raised awareness among Trinis who are currently obsessed with who tief out de Treasury and who have stink mouth? 

Who has been explaining what Hillary or Trump in the Oval Office may mean for the lifestyles some Trinis have gotten accustomed to? What are the possible impacts based on the economic “agreements” that have been signed? What if Trump really backs away, as he said he would, from agreements concerning climate change? And what if Hillary had gotten elected and start to run pipeline like she mad all over the US (which is reportedly resuming)? 

Trump and Hillary are products of old hubristic ideas of US exceptionalism, racist binary thinking of the world, plain and simple. It began with notions of a City on a Hill and snowballed with the rise of the Dulles brothers in the 1950s and their own very stern Presbyterian upbringing (see the lectures and interviews of Stephen Kinzer on YouTube or get his book “The Brothers”). 

The point is that where was the contingency planning on our part? Or was it the usual attitude of ‘f**k it, we’s a tiny speck and cyar influence nutten (thank god it didn’t have no Trini advising Ho Chi Minh and the Vietcong back then eh?) The point is that other countries are seeing what may possibly lie ahead but unlike many of us who are always so quick to just lie down and take whatever as long as we get to go Meeahmee every now and then; they are looking to do something, anything to forestall it. 

Many of them understand very well US interests have always been about their interests and to hell with you after that. Trump and Clinton represent a political/economic system that was shaped by deeply racist views of the world and militaristic attitudes even towards Europe. But they’re not simply accepting it. We shouldn’t either. 

The Caribbean in general, and Trinidad in particular, has since World War II been understood as having immense strategic importance, perhaps it’s time we did too and find ways to use that importance to our advantage for a change. Cause I think we got some interesting times ahead. 

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