The Power Struggle Unfolding Before Our Eyes

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith via,

A remarkably diverse array of “explanations” of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory have been aired, representing both the conventional political spectrum and well beyond.

Let’s start with the conventional mainstream media “explanations”:

#1: Trump was elected by intolerant Americans, i.e. “deplorables” who are intolerant of immigrants, Muslims, women’s rights, gays, etc. while being overly attached to firearms and the Christian religion.

This sort of broad-brush slander is emotionally appealing to those who lost the election, as it enables the losing party to claim the high moral ground. (It’s also classic propaganda, a topic Chris addressed in a recent series.) But it overlooks the many Progressives who voted for Trump but did not dare announce their choice to their hysterically intolerant Democratic loyalist friends. For example, consider this female voter’s account: Liberals Should Stop Ranting And Seek Out Silent Trump Voters Like Me.

Another "explanation", though satisfying in terms of self-righteousness, has no credible explanatory value.

#2: Trump didn’t win the election, Hillary Clinton lost it.

This “explanation” constructs a narrative from polling data: African-American voters did not turn out for Hillary in the same high percentages as they did for President Obama, a surprising number of higher income households voted for Trump, etc.  If Hillary had drawn the expected percentages of voters, she would have won.

This “explanation” explains nothing, as it ignores the larger issues that drove voters to vote or not vote.

#3: The unprotected Americans (to use Peggy Noonan’s term) who have seen their incomes and security decline in the age of neoliberal globalization voted for Trump to reject globalism, unfettered immigration and free trade.

This narrative is ably dissected in this 5-part series from Inequality, Market Chaos and Angry Voters: A Turning Point for Globalization

In the U.S. media, this narrative is typically characterized as a sports event: the “losers” of neoliberal globalization struck back at the “winners.”

This explanation draws upon well-established economic trends: sharply rising inequality, the hollowing out of the Rust Belt and rural economies in “flyover” America, etc.

#4: Trump’s victory is another manifestation of the global revolt against elites.  

Defenders of the status quo—broadly speaking, neoliberalism’s financial “winners” and the ruling elites—are quick to equate outbreaks of populism with the dreaded scourge of fascism. In the defenders’ accounts, the rightist, nationalistic populism of the 1930s led directly to fascism.

The article titles in the December 2016 issue of Foreign Affairs summarize the conventional characterization of populism as reactionary and dangerous--never mind that populism can also be leftist (look at the anti-globalist movement) or largely apolitical:

  • Populism on the March: Why the West Is In Trouble
  • Trump and American Populism: Old Whine, New Bottles
  • Populism Is Not Fascism, But It Could Be a Harbinger

There are few if any positive words for populist movements in these essays, and precious little recognition of populism’s potential to upend a grossly corrupt, inefficient and self-serving global elite—an elite that richly deserves to be cashiered.

While the mainstream media grudgingly admits that the ruling elites paid little attention to soaring income and wealth inequality, or to globalism’s “losers,” the answer to defenders of the status quo is the usual grab-bag of policy tweaks that leave the ruling elites and their media apologists firmly in charge.

#5: Trump has been set up as the fall-guy for an economy that is teetering on the edge of recession or even depression. The coming recession/depression will discredit Trump and the populist/nationalist movement, setting the stage for the neoliberal globalists to return triumphantly to power in four years.

While many of us wouldn’t put such nefarious scheming past the globalist elites, this doesn’t quite align with the reality that virtually everyone, mainstream or alternative, left or right, dismissed Trump’s presidential campaign as a media-circus sideshow staged by a narcissist.

Since virtually no one expected him to win when he entered the race, why would globalists support him when their candidate, Hillary Clinton, was a shoo-in? Rather than pick him as a fall-guy for an economic depression, the claim that he was picked by globalists as an easy target for defeat (another alternative media narrative) makes more sense.

But the reality is nobody could predict Trump’s victory, and theories based on the idea that he was set up as a fall-guy presume the globalists rigged the election for their candidate (Hillary) to lose.  Why install a “dangerous” populist when you could install your candidate?

#6: The Clinton campaign was a “quiet coup” of corrupt elites intent on solidifying the merger of private-sector/philanthro-capitalist pay-for-play and government functions.  A “counter-coup” staged by elements of the Deep State (i.e. the unelected permanent government that remains in power regardless of which party is in office) foiled Clinton’s quiet coup.

As farfetched as this might sound, Clinton insider Sidney Blumenthal accused the FBI of staging a “coup” by reopening the investigation into Clinton’s emails.

While I didn’t use the inflammatory word “coup,” I have outlined the possibility that more forward-looking elements of the Deep State concluded neoliberalism, neoconservative intervention (i.e. endless wars of choice) and institutionalized pay-to-play corruption threatened the security of the nation and had to be thwarted at the ballot box: Why the Deep State Is Dumping Hillary.

While there is little public evidence of this power struggle - the Deep State doesn’t operate in the public gaze - there are plenty of circumstantial clues that the Deep State is not a monolith of neocon neoliberalism.

Conclusion (to Part 1)

Can we summarize these narratives (some competing, some overlapping) in any instructive fashion? I think we can roughly divide them into three categories:

  1. Moral claims: the neoliberal “progressives” are morally superior to the “deplorables” and so the neoliberals (the remarkably intolerant “tolerants”) deserved to win on moral grounds; alternatively, the pay-to-play Clinton camp is ethically bankrupt and its claims to the moral high ground are hypocritical.
  2. Elite machinations: insiders either set up Trump as the easy-to-beat opponent or as the fall-guy for the coming depression; alternatively, the Deep State was split into two camps, the neocons who backed Hillary and the insurgents who saw Hillary as a threat to national security.
  3. Structural economic/social issues: rising wealth/income inequality and the decline of the bottom 95% finally had political consequences.

In Part 2: Why The Ruling Elite Are Becoming Frightened, we examine a hybrid argument that synthesizes each of these categories in a single narrative that explains well what is likely truly going on: The masses have (finally!) reached the point where the pain of maintaining the status quo now exceeds that of breaking it. A People's Coup has been set in motion, of which the election of Trump is just an early example of the unexpected and jarring surprises that lie ahead.

What will this coup look like? Will it succeed?

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

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Belrev's picture

Russian stunt guy jumps and flips over in front of subway train

InsaneBane's picture

The lesser of two evils and a postponement for war, but in the end nothing is gonna change unless the deplorables stand up and unite instead falling in the ´divide et impera´ trap. The enemy is within...

Having a slice of pizza makes me sick..

BuddyEffed's picture

CHS totally missed/ignored the Diebold angle shoot.

runningman18's picture

Charles coasts past some hard realities on this one.  Some people did see a Trump win coming.  Not sure if he is ignorant of that, or if he's just dismissing it because it doesn't jive with the theories he prefers.  Zero Hedge even had an article on this.  Also, no mention of Trump bringing in neo-cons and Goldman Sachs creepers?  Are we just assuming that Trump is the hero we want him to be, or are we going to wait and see if this election was yet another setup?  

roddcarlson's picture

I hate to disagree with Charles on this, but I think I agree to disagree that all those items for Trumps victory do have merit. It's not like we white guys for example want to formulate a new improved KKK, no we are just realizing we are the only tribe that has no representation and thus being sacrificially used to support bad behavior at our costs. The fact that white men have went back to their tribe and are fed up with minorities crap is a good thing, even for them believe it or not.

The idea that Americans figured out that free trade wasn't free after all with fiat money stripping away their jobs is a fact and they punished the status quoe. The idea that the economic Washington cultist will probably try to pin the blame on Trump is also a high probability.

Though to be honest that as far as money printing and credit expansion, the Trump knows the end game is for it to expand to prevent a recession/depression. Is that good long haul for our country? No it will gut out the golden geese still left, as people of short term time preference will increasingly indebt themselves to live like high flying Charlies or even just to afford to get by to feed the family by larger credit card bills. Meanwhile responsible people will still be competing against all this extra credit money with their hard earned wages, thus reducign their families and expenditures including capital investing. Still Trump being a real estate broker likes inflation, it's how he made his billions with the banking industry and leverage. So we don't expect Trump to reduce the money supply on his own terms. Long story yes the elites will probably try to shrink the money supply to blame the last 30 years of excess on Trump.

In short the white man that has been dispossesed by years of toxic policies most certainly voted for Trump. A true correction where things end up with the productive whatever their race or origin, isn't to be expected because the redistribution machine is in full effect. Trump can't cancel all that because even most of his wealth came from real estate leveraging a weapon of financialization. He probably won't even see it as I do the means to cause the redistribution, hence he will fully support more of the same long term detrimentation. Trump also has distanced himself from the alt right and the deplorables, he's also distanced himself from hard money back to easy money. For that reason he may very well spawn a short term recovery to an ailing country, but without huge structural shifts in the money schemes it will all be in vain for the country long term.

I didn't vote for Trump to solve the economy though. I voted for him because I didn't want WWIII and I certainly wanted the 2nd amendment replacement for Judge Scalia. As far as the economy and even immigration I expect Trump to support real ID, and try to buy off the immigrants with suckers just like Reagan did. The fact that white people in American have began to see themselves as a tribe is a good thing. I can tell the minorities just don't know how to take that development, and no amount of Trump distancing himself from our common concern of our own is going to change that new awakened movement. We're sick and tired of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, every illegal immigrant that is a creep that we are to feel sorry for. Basically, even though white American will never be a KKK again (thankfully), we're not going to be easy prey anymore and the other races and ethnicites are going to have to get used to us calling their worthless butts out if they deserve it. We're finally voting with our mouths and money, and if that is not given we'll probably earn it with our fists and guns. Again this confrontation of black and minorities isn't something they have listed in their SOP manuals.

So Trump is a success of Alt right even if we're not the deplorables and Trump turns out to be a wet noodle and disowns us. Nothing is ever going to be the same in this country again, it has been tapped out and Americans are at least semiconscious of what is going on now. Trump may or may not make some of his election promises into reality, but he cannot try to back track and win back the old community of navel gazers without disowning his primary support.

Elco the Constitutionalist's picture
Elco the Constitutionalist (not verified) roddcarlson Nov 26, 2016 3:25 PM

Rodcarlson, Very good post, so thanks for that. I disagree on a couple points.

Rumor has it that Eric Trump is well versed and in agreement with alt-Right. There is some evidence that Trump is more aware than he lets on. It could be that his public denouncement is tactical move to defuse the media(for now). He is never going to publicly agree with a movement as ill-defined and controversial as the alt-right that contains everything from paleo-conservatives to neo-nazis(thought they are a tiny portion not even taken serious by the rest of them).

AS for his views on financialization, he seems to be very aware of what you are saying, but the question is what (if anything) will/can he do about it.

I think returning manufacturing has to happen before de-financialization can happen. Otherwise, it is just burning the whole thing down for no reason.

Many of the NWO Jew leaders are on record for saying that White identity politics is their greatest fear. Well guess what? It is here, because those arrogant fucks forced it, by trying to prevent it. They view psychology as a weapon, without ever really wanting to understand it.

DeathMerchant's picture

A most excellent post Rodd !! One voice that says what millions are thinking.

CNONC's picture

White boys being white boys.  Pretty funny, but what that has to do with the article is beyond my limited intellectual capability.

847328_3527's picture

The vicitms of Obama's and Hillary's relentless bloody bombing of Libya and Syria and Yemen and the Ukraine cheer crooked Hillary's loss.

InsaneBane's picture

The satanic hand gesture on 0:36 comes close..

East Indian's picture

Give Trump a few months, and then draw your conclusions.

A. Boaty's picture

Personel determine policy. Look who he picks for key positions, then ask if they will bring the kind of change his voters wanted.

bada boom's picture

Yes and no, to some degree the republicans are pulling the strings or at least fooling him a little bit.  He can always go rogue and fire all these people after he gets in.  I would like to see him declare himself an independent and ditch the left / right party idea.  You might say that i'm a dreamer...

TRN's picture

Awesome! And he is right on!

DeathMerchant's picture

I already looked, Sessions for AG, Bannon for policy advisor. If he goes Kobach for DHS, I'll be more than happy.

CNONC's picture

Read Crane Brinton's "Anatomy of Revolution" instead.  It is a much more plausible, but similair explanation.  Brinton's is the model I have used for years to help understand the future course of the US.  It has been fairly accurate. 

AlexCharting's picture

We cant get complacent about Trump winning yet. Hillary is using Stein to steal the election from Trump.... with MSM, big business, libs, and elements of the republican party all part of the steal. 

I Write Code's picture

But CHS, you're talking like any of these narratives has any validity.  They're all bullshit.  The closest you come is to note that "populism" is used as a pejorative.  Of all the topics raised here, "populism" is the closest to anything like democracy, the citizens choosing their leaders, their government, their laws.

All the rest that was defeated, good riddance.

Alogon's picture

Not addressing your comment, rather your handle

Whats with the source code on

its at the top. Cant miss it



Git out the vote

Join the only 18 month, nationally televised hackathon.

Fahq Yuhaad's picture

 "All the numbers were fake, cooked up in some backroom by guys smoking cigars and by professional computer hackers."

And where are those exit poll results Roger Stone was so intent on conducting?

shamus001's picture

Liberals "claiming" the high moral ground?

Lib = Pro: Homosexual, Transgender, Late term Abortion!

So having sex with anything that will have sex with you is Moral?

Being so narcissistic that one thinks they can "Change" their born gender (what else can money buy?) that these SICKO's would DARE ENDANGER THE INNOCENCE of children by allowing these mentally challenged into the bathrooms of the (natural) opposite sex, where they may PREY on our children! - High moral ground?

Murdering children late term!!! = high moral ground????

I believe if a woman gets raped she is entitled to an abortion.  Accidently get pregnanat?  MAKE THAT DECISION EARLY!  Even courts have a "statute of limitations"  So everything within reason.

BUT THE LIBERAL/PROGRESSIVE LEFT IS ANYTHING BUT MORAL.  Christians have at least a moral compass to guide them.  Many choose to ignore it, but WE DRAW THE LINE AT INJURING THE INNOCENCE OF THE WORLD!

DeathMerchant's picture

The bigger question is who gets to define the moral high ground?? Morals are value judgements and what good for one group might not be for the other. That's why the leftist puke labels of racism, xenophobe, homophobe etc have been as effective as they have. I say bullshit to all of them. Just because I don't want someone to come into our country univited and take our shit that should be going to citizens doesn't mean I'm a racist. I have nothing against mexicans who live in mexico.

So great a cloud's picture

As a Catholic Christian this is easy for me.  If the Church takes a position, I submit to the authority and know exactly where the line is drawn.  Otherwise, I can see how this moral high ground is very subjective to the lens which the viewer sees the world through.

bshirley1968's picture

The Catholic Church can kiss my ass.  A bunch of collectivist moronic thugs.

Maybe you should read a little Catholic history.  They are no better than the Muslims they fought for centuries.  Got to love their "moral position" on their priest raping little alter boys.

The Bible is THE authority and not so punk in a fancy robe expecting me to call him "holy father", when his level of holiness is equal to that of Bill Clinton.....and a four balled Tom cat.

Dude!  Stupid, ignorant people like you are EVERYTHING that is wrong in the world today.  Just another sheeple with your head up your ass looking for a collective to think for you.

Snípéir_Ag_Obair's picture

if the media isnt controlled, why isnt the 2 party system?

why did Obama turn in Bush's 3rd and 4th term as to the wars, wall street, assault on the Constitution, etc?

the CIA/Deep State run the show just as the US, Saudis, and Israelis run Al Qaeda and ISIS.

9/11 is the key:

where is Trump on 9/11 Truth, apart from false claims about who was caught celebrating as the towers fell?

this is worth 20 mins of your time:

9/11 was the murder of 3,000 americans used as a springboard to murder hundreds of thousands and enrich the warpigs.

it is never not germane to any national political issue

BritBob's picture

'God Forgive America' Spain hits out at US election of Donald Trump

SPAIN has hit out at the US election victory of Donald Trump with a Catalan daily posting a picture of him on its website above the words: "God Forgive America." (Daily Express 9.11.16)

Time for America to recognize that Spain's claim to Gibraltar is spurious: Gibraltar - Some Relevant International Law:



WTFUD's picture

I'm behind Trump right up until he selects Bolton and/or Mitt the Butcher of Bain Capital. Then this would be Hollyhoax for me.

Can remember Obama picking Mad Joe to keep his muzzle on, however, i can't for the life of me see how Trump would be concerned about Mitt the Shit who fucked us all off by putting the boot in alongside MSM.

Bolton, unthinkable!

Mustafa Kemal's picture

"I'm behind Trump right up until he selects Bolton"


Same here

aardvarkk's picture

Not me. He beat Hillary and saved us all from some really nasty shit. Plus he showed himself to be far smarter than I gave him credit for in the process. Most of his other picks so far have been reasonable especially compared to what Hillary would have done. No matter who the rest of his picks are, he has earned himself a couple of years to begin executing his plans before I get too impatient.

DeathMerchant's picture

I would however like to see Bolton across the table from the Iranians rather than ketchup lantern jaw who spent most of his time under the negotiating table. That's why the Iranian pukes were always smiling.

Mena Arkansas's picture

I'd rather be a deplorable than a degenerate.

Disgruntled Goat's picture

I generally like CHS, but I must note an omission here: Foreign Affairs is the publication and mouthpiece of the elitist Council on Foreign Relations. its important to recognize that.

Uzda Farce's picture
Uzda Farce (not verified) Disgruntled Goat Nov 26, 2016 7:33 PM

Also note that James Woolsey, John Paulson, John Bolton, K.T. McFarland, David Malpass, and several other Trump advisors are members of the Rockefeller/CFR.

FlowerofLife's picture

This was a pretty lame article, especially after his Deep State insight. Apparently, not enough people agreed with him. It’s impossible to prove, of course, but it makes more sense than many of the other explanations, particularly given how Trump won the Republican primary in the first place.

Linking this article to Peak Prosperity’s Pay-to-Read Part II scheme is lame also.

I don’t think I’ve heard John Robb’s name around here. He has an interesting series of insights about Trump on his blog, Global Guerrillas, from a bottom-up point of view.

All Trump had to say during the Republican primaries was “I’m not bought”, and it didn’t matter what he said or didn’t say after that, as he proved time and time again. He expanded on his primary message a bit during the election by pretty much saying, “I’m not Hillary”, and he became the Teflon Don.

This was written last February:

LOL123's picture

Subsitute Mr.Hague for Hillary Clinton and you have history reapting its' self.   "You will have a revolution , a terrible revolution. What course it takes will depend much on what Mr. Rockerfeller tells Mr Hague to do. Mr Rockerfeller is a symbol of the American ruling class and Mr Hague is a symbol of it's POLITICAL TOOL."- leon trotsky in new york times dec 13, 1938- before he went back to russia with wallstreet backing.

GCT's picture

Trump is not in office yet!!!  Judge the elect once he is in office.  With the way the recounts are going Hillary may yet be in office.  If you cannot win the will of the people steal the election with recounts.  There is no way the counts are 2 to 3 million off (rounding the numbers of course). 

The libs are trying to steal the election with back door counts and legal suits.  They just cannot believe they got owned in the elections. 

DeathMerchant's picture

Recounts haven't started yet so as of now, they are not going anywhere.

bloofer's picture

To me, it seems like this piece just muddies the waters.

Most people--and I would presume even many of those dependent on government bennies--simply awakened to the fact that the entire US government is a gang of thieving thugs. Globalization, immigration, and the wish/intent to disarm the populace are mechanisms for ever-increasing theft from the American people, and ever-increasing siphoning of wealth away from the people into the pockets of the elites. Hence, most people are against them. End of story.

Efforts to represent the opponents of the elite thieves and thugs as "racist, sexist, homophobic" and what not were and are patent nonsense.

Who the hell ARE these people who believe they are being oppressed if they can't get a late-term abortion? Do they even exist? Are there really people who think that the right of a tranny to use the ladies' room an issue of national import? I'm guessing not. Are there really people who long for unrestrained illegal immigration and the admission of millions of Muslims? Presumably the illegal immigrants and the Muslims might think it's a good idea.

DeathMerchant's picture

Apparently you don't get out much do you?? Yes to all of your questions, there are lots of them. Just go to any university campus in the US and ask around. Avoid the safe spaces however, you might be arrested there if you ask those questions.

Iconoclast421's picture

#5 is the one people need to be worrying about. I don't think "they" or even (((they))) orchestrated this outcome for this purpose, but it surely is a nice fallback option for both "them" and (((them))). These are people who have zero qualms about sacrificing the economic livelihood of millions of people. Even if it costs them in the short run. They know they will get bailed out. Or at least they think they will....

HopefulCynic's picture

It is sso funny how wverything is backwards. Queers should be ashamed, not ormal peopple, whales in scooters should be ashamed noe everyone else, warmongers should be ashamed noe everyone else, criminal abortionists should be in jail (yes mothers to) for first degree murder and ashamed. All of those people go against himanity and comit crimes against himanity, it is time to put them back in theoir well deserved place of shame and ridicule, after all they are less than 10 percent they are just the by product and mutation of humanity.

HopefulCynic's picture

It is sso funny how wverything is backwards. Queers should be ashamed, not ormal peopple, whales in scooters should be ashamed noe everyone else, warmongers should be ashamed noe everyone else, criminal abortionists should be in jail (yes mothers to) for first degree murder and ashamed. All of those people go against himanity and comit crimes against himanity, it is time to put them back in theoir well deserved place of shame and ridicule, after all they are less than 10 percent they are just the by product and mutation of humanity.