It baffles me how some people can continue to say that Donald Trump is politically inept and doesn’t understand how Washington works.
He crushed both the Bush and Clinton dynasties on his path to election, he’s got a significant and heavily-armed support base willing to literally fight and die for him if he’s ever impeached, and his ability to use wedge issues to manipulate support puts even David Brock to shame. His political bullshitting IQ is off the charts. He was born for this.
Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should change policy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
A wedge issue is a heavily politicized topic emphasized with the goal of splitting a sector of the population and rendering them politically impotent. While wedge politics can sometimes be used by political parties to try and sow division within a rival party, in America it’s far more common to see them used to neuter anti-establishment sentiment within both parties simultaneously. Since America is a corporatist oligarchy and both parties are more or less controlled by the same plutocrats, the goal is not to ensure victory of one party or another but to disrupt all anti-establishment sentiment.
Donald Trump does not give a shit about whether or not anyone stands, kneels, sits or urinates on the American flag, and neither do any of his plutocratic allies. What they care about is and always has been power, and by rallying the masses into a debate along establishment-dictated partisan lines, they help ensure that they keep that going. As a result of Trump’s deliberately inflammatory tweets, anti-establishment conservatives who’ve been critical of his healthcare failures and perpetuation of Obama’s corporatist and interventionist policies are standing on his side, angrily shaking their fists at their unpatriotic enemies.
And as always the GOP’s pretend opponents are doing the exact same thing, rallying anti-establishment leftists against Trump’s incendiary remarks and hopefully shepherding them into the partisan box they’re meant to remain in. The Democratic party, who was completely worthless throughout eight years of Obama in fighting the militarized police brutality that Colin Kaepernick and his supporters have been protesting, is now fanatically rallying behind viral hashtags and quotable talking points against the president’s remarks. Don’t take my word for it; let’s hear from a few of our favorite Clintonist pundits:
Last I checked, there's nothing in the Constitution that prohibits a well-paid athlete from protesting inequality and injustice.#TakeAKnee— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) September 24, 2017
It is now up to us as fans to join in these protests. Sit and sing; kneel with hand on heart; whatever works for you. https://t.co/Dp7e5H9K4t— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) September 24, 2017
Kneeling in protest has a history much longer than the "Star Spangled Banner" has been the National Anthem. https://t.co/Qa0fWQTicA— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) September 24, 2017
My goal here is only to point out that manipulation is happening, not to discourage people from protesting the draconian abuses of America’s increasingly militarized police force. Please do protest these things loudly and aggressively?—?but don’t do it because of Trump. Making it about Trump means entering into the same establishment partisan bullshit that saw this epidemic go completely unaddressed throughout Obama’s two terms and aligning yourself with the neoliberal neoconservative oligarchic one-party system. You might be saying some of the same things as the Democratic establishment loyalists, but please be acutely aware at all times that these people are not your friends, and they will not help you.
Just as Trump doesn’t actually give a shit about the flag, establishment Democrats don’t actually give a shit about black lives. For decades the Democratic party has been using the fake two-party system to blackmail minorities into supporting a party that acts completely contrary to their socioeconomic interests under the threat that Republicans will be even worse. Republicans and Democrats have been playing a good cop/bad cop routine to coerce America’s most disadvantaged populations into supporting the bloodthirsty plutocratic establishment under the threat that if they don’t they will have their civil rights taken away. Make no mistake: the “good cop” in this schtick has been just as complicit in this exploitation as the “bad cop”. They’ve both been working together toward the same exact goal.
Don’t be a partisan hack. None of the people controlling either of America’s two major parties have ever cared about you. They use wedge politics to keep you fighting one another about nonsense like how much respect should be accorded to a fucking piece of cloth while expanding the police state, expanding the military budget of their neoconservative war campaigns, bolstering the oppressive neoliberal Walmart economy that is choking America to death, and expanding their Orwellian surveillance system. The more they can rally you along partisan lines against a fake enemy they’ve manufactured themselves, the longer they can keep you from turning and facing the real enemy.