Clinton vs Trump – an orchestrated election?
By Peter Ewart
Day by day, the US presidential election campaign descends into more confusion and chaos. As author Howard Kunstler comments: “The two major parties could not have found worse candidates for president.” And furthermore that “the struggle between them has turned into the most sordid public spectacle in US electoral history” (1).
How did this come about? From the beginning, there has been an impression that both candidates “wanted” each other as opponents. Now, in explosive emails leaked through Wikileaks, evidence has emerged that supports that claim, especially in regards to the Hillary Clinton campaign wanting Donald Trump to be the Republican opponent.
For example, in a leaked memo to the Democratic National Committee a year and a half ago in April of 2015, the Clinton campaign outlines its strategy to promote “Pied Piper” candidates who take extreme conservative positions (2). Out of the 17 Republicans running, 3 candidates are put forward as “Pied Pipers.” They are Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and … Donald Trump. The Pied Piper reference, of course, has to do with the old folk tale of a Pied Piper leading the naïve children of a village off into the mountains to be lost forever.
The memo goes on to say that the Clinton Campaign and the DNC “need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to [take] them seriously.” It further talks about how these Pied Pipers, i.e. Cruz, Carson, and Trump, will undermine the Republican Campaign’s efforts to build a “winning general election coalition.” However, it also notes that more needs to be done to damage the credibility of other Republican candidates among “communities of color, millennials, women …and independent voters.”
Furthermore, in response to “the right wing attack machine” which “has been building its opposition research on Hillary Clinton for decades,” the task of the Clinton campaign and DNC is to “have a dossier on the GOP candidates.”
The DNC memo concludes by saying that “in this regard [i.e. dossier], any information on scandals or ethical lapses on the GOP candidates would serve well. We won’t be picky.”
The DNC appeared to follow its own advice. Eight months later, In December of 2015, Guccifier, another hacker, published a 200-page research dossier compiled by the Democratic machine on none other than Donald Trump (3). And what a treasure trove for the Clinton Campaign. To give some examples, just look at the headings of a few of the sections:
- “Trump has devalued and demeaned women repeatedly throughout his career.”
- “Trump’s ex-wife accused him of rape.”
- “Trump on military sexual assaults.”
- “Trump’s campaign is defined by offensive and extreme immigration rhetoric.”
- “Offensive rhetoric towards Hispanics and Latinos.”
- “Offensive and insensitive comments on minority groups.”
- “Bankruptcy ‘a great tool’ and a ‘business tool’.
- “Loving bad markets and ‘amazing’ housing market collapses.”
- “Undocument laborers at Trump projects.”
Under these headings (and there are others) are listed detailed quotes, facts, and other information, both substantiated and unsubstantiated, going back decades. All of which are extremely damaging to Trump’s reputation, or, for that matter, to any other candidate who would try to run with that sort of terrible baggage. Indeed, perhaps the only other candidate who would dare to run with a comparable amount of negative baggage is Hillary Clinton herself.
Now, all of this was taking place at the end of 2015 and early 2016 when the presidential nomination campaigns were still going on. Clinton faced a strong challenge from Bernie Sanders and Trump, although leading, faced challenges from the other 16 Republican nominees.
So, who steps in to define the race and de facto crown the nominee for each party? None other than the Establishment media which, as other leaked emails have shown, has been closely connected to the Clinton machine all along.
As Michael Sainato points out: “The mainstream media was more than willing to do the Clinton campaign and DNC’s work for them by creating a narrative that the 2016 presidential elections was about Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump” (4).
This, of course, was an ideal situation for the Clinton Campaign given all the dirt it had on Trump. It could use this dirt (as the DNC memo stated) to “muddy the waters on any potential attack against her.”
It also worked for Trump who was given a huge amount of media attention compared to other Republican candidates, allowing him to build up an insurmountable lead.
According to some, this was a big surprise for Trump who initially did not believe he had a chance to become the nominee, let alone president.
In that regard, the one variable that did not appear to have been fully factored in by both the Clinton and Trump campaigns, at least in the beginning, was the deep discontent and dissatisfaction of the American people with the status quo and the party elites. On the Democratic side, this worked against a Clinton coronation with huge crowds coming out to support Bernie Sanders and his criticism of Wall Street banks, free trade agreements, and a rigged and corrupt electoral system.
On the Republican side, however, this worked in Trump’s favor who, in his often erratic and demagogic way, criticized many of the same things Sanders was going after, along with questioning US foreign policy and the endless wars in the Middle East. All of this was accompanied by chauvinistic, racist and misogynist comments to form a confused, populist stew. Nonetheless, while offending many, his campaign touched a chord with millions of Americans who are deeply upset about the political and economic direction of the country.
For her part, according to Democratic calculations, Clinton should have been wiping Trump off the map in terms of popular support. But that was not the case. In another leaked email (from Wikileaks), a Clinton ally writes to John Podesta, Clinton Campaign Chair, that: “Right now I am petrified that [to win the election] Hillary is almost totally dependent on Republicans nominating Trump” (5). In other words, admitting that, in order to win, the Clinton campaign desperately needed Trump to be the Republican nominee, and, that if he was not nominated, Clinton would be in deep trouble.
Now, as the election date nears, the Clinton campaign and the Establishment media have adopted a “scorched earth” strategy towards Trump, which includes daily sensational stories about him groping or demeaning women in years past and which he himself has fed into with his outrageous comments on tape and elsewhere. Of course, this dark side of Trump was laid out in some detail in the 2015 dossier. Is there any surprise that it has dominated Establishment media reports in the months leading up to the election, overshadowing everything else?
One thing is clear and has been from the beginning. The U.S. Establishment would never seriously consider handing over the keys of the most powerful government in the world to a rogue oligarch. They are not in the habit of doing such things. Even sitting presidents who go too far off message are dealt with, as U.S. history shows.
No, it never was in the cards of the Establishment to have a candidate like Trump take over the presidency. It appears now that his function all along was to act as a foil, a boogeyman to propel Hillary Clinton into office with a so-called mandate to further the aims of the U.S. oligarchy both at home and abroad.
It is a cynical orchestration on the part of the Establishment and its media, but also an indictment of a corrupted and deeply dysfunctional political process.
Peter Ewart is a columnist and writer based in Prince George, British Columbia. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kunstler, Howard. “The ‘Evil Russia’ meme’s odor of desperation.” Zero Hedge. October 17, 2016. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-17/evil-russia-memes-odor-desperation
- Democratic National Committee memo. April 7, 2015. (Note: To access this memo go to link below, click “Attachments” at top of new page, then click “15040 Strategy on GOP”). https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/1120
- Democratic National Committee. “Donald Trump Report 12/19/15”. From “This looks like the DNCs hacked Trump oppo file.” Gawker. (Note: Click on link below and go to a long page that has commentary and excerpts from the report. Scroll down to the very bottom and that is where the entire 200 page hacked document can be accessed). http://gawker.com/this-looks-like-the-dncs-hacked-trump-oppo-file-1782040426
- Sainato, Michael. “Wikileaks reveals DNC elevated Trump to help Clinton.” Observer. October 10, 2016. http://observer.com/2016/10/wikileaks-reveals-dnc-elevated-trump-to-help-clinton/
- “Bernie, Elisabeth and De Blasio.” Wikileaks. Email to John Podesta. https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/3990