By Ramin Mazaheri and crossposted with PressTV
Last night I dreamt that I asked Trump what it was like to be the world’s most insulted man over the last four years?
This piqued his interest and he granted me a walk-and-talk interview. While I waited for him to be free I ate pizza – the food of variety and routine entertainment. When he became available we walked to a car, marvelling that the secret service was going to let us travel without them. Trump would drive, which in dream logic means I think he is in charge.
I had more good journalistic questions for Trump, but I couldn’t remember any others when I woke up.
If the United States corporate media could insult Trump for four years then we should assume there is the same bias and animosity in their coverage of the current election crisis.
As a journalist I must account for this and realise they routinely give only one side of the story. In short: it’s clear they still want Trump out by any means necessary, which is why their mainstream journalists have done all they could to give the impression that it’s all over but the counting.
Trump’s demeanour in my dream was one of annoyance changing into focused determination – one cannot permanently put down someone with an ego as massive as Trump’s. Similarly, you cannot insult Trumpers because they truly believe their Americanness makes them totally impermeable to serious denigration. This arrogance is the psychological foundation of imperialism – that Western culture can never embarrass itself enough to jeopardise the idea of their natural superiority over others. Anti-Trumpers have this arrogance in the same magnitude, but express it slightly differently.
One cannot understand American political culture if one does not at least occasionally tune into right-wing AM talk radio. This is the only place to find the Christian conservatives who compose one-third of the country (polls show 50% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents call themselves “moderately” or “highly religious”). Due to fanatical Western secularism these people are essentially shut out of mainstream political discourse, but their massive numbers have allowed them to carve out this niche on an antiquated medium.
Every decent journalist should already know this. The US has very few of those (whereas the Iranian press is vibrant and demanding).
This explains why we hear so much talk in the American press about the pernicious influence of “online disinformation” such as the highly-publicised “Stop the Steal” page on Facebook. The out-of-touch US journalist class is totally tech-focused and thus mistakenly believes the primary threat to their narrative dominance is online.
If they would simply turn on the good old radio it would be shocking clear: “Stop the Steal” is the tip of the iceberg and not the work of Iranian or Russian trolls: there is a huge sector of US society which does not believe this election is fair and transparent enough, and they are focused, politically-involved and have the same analytical skills God gave all humans.
You can take down Facebook pages, but the massive audience which right-wing AM radio has enjoyed for decades will still be there. The US MSM has always ignored this medium, mistakenly hoping it would just go away, and thus Iranian and Russian trolls are the culprit.
You couldn’t hear pro-Trump views in the MSM for four years, but 70 million Trump votes shows they actually do exist
This massive audience is incredibly upset, and on November 4, 2020 they became self-assured that they are not an historical anomaly. Trumpers are currently more emboldened and politically justified than ever and… you expect them to take a knee on their undoubtedly unusual presidential vote? Because the mainstream media says so?
The victory of the “Trumpian Republican” over a media-overhyped “Blue Wave” is totally confirmed, though their figurehead may not survive. That makes them skeptical and upset in massive numbers, but this voice is blocked. This is why if you only tune into mainstream media everything is exactly as it has been for four years: Trump must leave office, and they marshal a ton of experts who prove it.
But turn to the one media source where Trumpers actually feel comfortable talking with other Trumpers and you will find they are also marshalling a ton of experts who are howling with indignation not at the mistreatment of their figurehead but at the way mail-in ballots and questionable 2020 political decisions have called the integrity of US vote structures into question.
Trump is a figurehead, but the elections verify that Trumpism is a real movement. It is based on the idea that America is not the world’s greatest country but the greatest country in the history of mankind. However, the Washington Swamp has corrupted it. Their essential stance is that the November 3rd vote is fine – it’s the people who ran that vote who cannot be trusted and whose work must now be verified.
Trumpers do not want major structural changes – Democrats are more inclined to installing semi-progressive changes – they want different people in office, and (like every other country) people who are more openly reflective of their worldview. Corruption is the primary wellspring of Trumpism, not White supremacism.
Trump gained with every ethnic cohort and gender except White males, after all. Any journalist who keeps talking about White supremacism – as the primary ethos of Trumpism, not as a longstanding and genuine structural problem which includes Democrats as well – is totally wasting your time. Incredibly, there are many of these, and they are the best-paid ones.
Here’s the problem: unless the vote is not just totally counted but also calmly litigated and vetted – precisely because there has been a drastic changing to the 2020 vote forced by the pandemic, the executive orders of state governors and overreaching local officials – half the voting population is going to have major resentment and continued grounds for belief in the corruption of American officials (again, because they believe the structures sent by the archangels Jefferson, Washington and (ugh) Hamilton cannot possibly be at fault).
So Trump and Trumpers – who were not even browbeaten by four years of anti-Trump bias – will not be browbeaten into calling off the vote clarification efforts.
This notion is being trumpeted all over their media, but you have to know where to find them in a very stratified and biased US media. As a journalist I must objectively report (disclaimer: I did not support either candidate) that they sound serious as hell.
Not serious as hell as in right-wing militias shooting up Main Street – that was an absurd distraction with the backing of zero historical precedent – but serious in that they can marshal their own lawyers, analysts, professors, local officials, state officials, poll watchers and regular Joes who all can intellectually defend the idea that they are not going to accept the presidential vote without assurances that it was totally fair. In my journalistic view: they meet the American standard of “reasonable doubt” to merit judicial checking.
And what’s wrong with that? What’s Christian Conservative about demanding modern vote justice via checks and balances? What’s wrong is that it threatens the 1%’s desires.
Remember 2000? Jay Leno’s nightly mocking and the quick trashing of lower class votes?
In 2000 the mood in America was one of total impatience – this is because the imperialist US abhors a vacuum. Somebody must be in charge, if only so they know whom to slavishly follow.
By mid-December Al Gore foolishly quit – denying modern political justice to thousands of Black Floridians – for what he thought was the good of the nation; to end the perceived nightmare of a very short-term power vacuum. That’s not going to happen this time around.
The US mainstream media is doing all they can to make it happen, but Trumpers have their own media which is mainstream enough to them, and they sure don’t sound like this will be over soon. At least – not to this journalist. Expect the impatience to kick in soon, which is hysterical (the word of 2020), because the inauguration isn’t until late January.
Trump cares mainly about himself, not the nation, which is another reason it’s different this time around.
The 2000 election had two key effects: alienating many Americans from politics while highly polarising the ones who remained involved. Yet another reason it’s different this time around – less patriotism and more zero-sum game polarisation.
In my dream Trump was driving because he truly is in charge – it’s widely acknowledged here that the Trump family will hold the most sway in the Republican Party win or lose. Donald Trump Jr. looks like the heir apparent: he definitely has the media savvy, is all over Fox News (which I assume few “objective” US journalists ever tune into either) and, crucially, his father’s combativeness towards the US establishment. Trumpian Republicans are a force to be reckoned with and will change the country’s politics – however, I contended here that the duopoly’s quicksand will swallow them up and dilute them.
For Iran there is no need to overreact – America has been anti-Iranian Revolution since forever. Trumpians are not original in their pro-Zionism. Who knows what Trumpism will really morph into – maybe their reluctance towards more endless wars will enlighten US foreign policy?
The Donald is still in the driver’s seat, but in my dream it’s notable that we didn’t drive anywhere. Bad omen for him to this news gypsy.
Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.