"That's* what a president looks like..." Political journalists love drone strikes if the person ordering them is polite

What if... brutal hegemony but with 'style'

Trump says the quiet part out loud. He says everything. He’s a detuned radio in a silent library of crimes broadcasting the horror daily. That’s terribly déclassé and it makes pundits and politicians brought up during the neoliberal consensus very uncomfortable.

In his essay ‘Notes on Nationalism’ (1945), George Orwell wrote that pacifists cannot, despite it being ‘grossly obvious’ accept the following statement: “Those who ‘abjure’ violence do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.” The American system — and the British system too — is built on this premise.

The maintenance of American power both domestically and internationally is a bloody game but the rules of the game are usually that the killer in chief should at least pretend that they will not use the military and covert might of the United States to get what they want. They must be ‘polite’.

That’s why the American political commentariat and their sad little deflated balloon counterparts in the United Kingdom are salivating at the thought of President Joe Biden. It would be a reset of the system back to terms that make sense to them: An administration that looks and sounds like a West Wing storyline while, behind the scenes, putting a series of Tom Clancy escapades into action.

The blood should be out of shot. It should be expressed in clean phrases such as “mission accomplished” and “we came, we saw, he died”. The latter are the exact words that then-Secretary of State Hilary said when Qadaffi was killed. That’s the truth of the ‘competence’ crowd; they use state violence with chuckles on their faces.

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The American carnage that is the Trump era’s defining characteristic is merely the blood and guts of the system being manifested at the top level rather than hidden under layer after layer of convention and precedent.

How could politics be anything more than a game when Barack and Michelle Obama are capable of being ‘good friends’ with George W. Bush, a war criminal, and his wife, the cheerleading, clappy, happy wife of a war criminal? Of course, it’s not a huge leap for Obama to be friendly with Bush as they share an interest in drone strikes and the devaluing of lives that happen to have the misfortune not to be American.

While Joe Biden has been rolled out in front of the cameras to deliver a competently-written and performed speech, the fervour which political pundits have greeted his convention act with may not be matched by votes. Similarly, while the political classes, so desperate for Biden to reset things back to cosy consensus, will point to polling that is heavily in Trump’s favour, 2016 proved clearly that polls can be very wrong.

We were ‘meant’ to be experiencing Clinton 2: Electric Boogaloo right now, but instead, Trump is in power, in ‘control’ and in sight of a second term. People who assume he cannot win have not paid attention to world politics in the past 10 years. Unfortunately, many of them are also in possession of op-ed columns or spots on nationally and internationally broadcast political shows. It’s a great gig to get paid that much to be that wrong and repeatedly too.

I want Trump to lose. I think there’s a high chance that he won’t. So then what?