Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Opinion

Expert strata, facilities & building management services

The end of the American Empire

By John Hargreaves - 14 November 2016 14

 

Donald Trump. Photo: iStock

Every pundit in the world is making comment on the success of The Donald in the US Presidential election. So, I thought I would add my two-bob’s worth.

Most sentient beings in the world are aghast at the possibility of a misogynistic, narcissistic, xenophobe with delusions of grandeur having his hands on the trigger which could end the world as we know it!

Me too! I’m scared that he will align himself with his Russian equivalent, who is a misogynistic, narcissistic, xenophobe with delusions of grandeur also, and between them poke the dozing Chinese dragon.

But before I go there, one of the most interesting facets of this election is the overwhelming proof that the ordinary voter has been governed by “the establishment” ever since Eisenhower (for those who don’t know was a five-star general in WWII and a dinky die war hero as opposed to a professional politician). Every President since then has been engaged in politics most of their lives either as a Governor of a state or a member of Congress. Clearly, most voters have opted for change.

Trump presented himself as a self-made billionaire businessman and not a politician. The voters were fooled into thinking that he was not a politician. Rubbish! We all know that being a “politician” in business is prerequisite for success.

As an aside, cop the similarity between Clive Palmer and Donald Trump. Hot air, extreme language, flaunted wealth and delusions of being the closest thing to God you can imagine. And… they will save the world and make [insert whatever here] great again.

We saw many empires come and go during our history lessons at school. Persian, Greek, Roman, Chinese, Ottoman, Japanese, Russian, British and now the American Empire.

Globally, Putin is trying to bring back a Russian Empire and we’ll see how this plays out. All of those mentioned above came about and were sustained militarily and disappeared when societal and political decline set in. The new Chinese empire is based on an economic takeover of territory through alliances (for the moment) and they are creating an economic dependence of their neighbours prior to the predictable acquisition of territory.

Their forays in the 20th century into Vietnam and Tibet, one repulsed and the other surrendered, show that the military option is just not being deployed for the moment but it stands ready to be so. The furore over the South China Sea is the most recent indication of territorial expansion by the Chinese in total ignorance of international law. The same is said of Russia in relation to the Ukraine.

The US of course has a history of being everybody’s big brother and protector and a simple glance at the chaos in the Middle East will see the folly in this approach and the obvious mistakes which keep being repeated (and Australia blindly follows as in the case of Vietnam of the 1960s).

But now you can see that the US is being largely ignored by the two superpowers, Russia and China. It was the most powerful nation in the world but I’m not sure anymore.

One thing is certain though. Trump’s infatuation with Putin will mean a closer alliance between those two nations. Trump makes the mistake of trusting the Russian bear. They are not in the same league. Russia will rise in prominence and the US will decline further. China will rise further and come through a gap when the relationship between Russia and the US ends in tears.

Trump has said that he will review the relationship the US has with Asia both economically and militarily. He has said that he won’t necessarily back NATO in its campaigns. In some cases, this may seem reasonable but it is flawed on two bases.

The first is the notion of collective security. One can’t pick and choose which campaign to be involved in when in a collective which says that nations bind together to defend each other in times of crisis. One is either in or out. In Australia’s case, most people want us to be in a collective, like ANZUS, but I’m not convinced. NZ pulled out and so should we.

Someone said that the US and Australia are much alike and are only divided by a common language. Amusing but true because we have copied so much of the American way of life.

Whether Trump likes it or not, his country has coastlines on both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and across these ditches lie either friend or foe. The US is too big to be neutral in any conflict affecting either ocean. Trump can’t have it both ways.

However, if President Trump wants to change or cancel the alliance with Australia, I’m in. I would like this large but little nation to adopt the stance of New Zealand. We should stay out of other people’s conflicts and remember that in times of threat to Australia, other nations will come to the fore because of their own self-interests. We don’t need to attract the enemies of the US to our shores. We don’t need to invite unnecessary attention to our military insignificance.

This US election is stark proof of the need for compulsory voting. The US has the President it voted for and will pay a penalty for having the Republican Party control the Congress and the White House. Trump et al will not be able to say, “it was rigged”. They will not be able to say, it’s not our fault. We have Republican behemoth running the US. Let’s see if they stay united or self-destruct.

I’m hoping that as with Clive Palmer, Donald Trump is a one term wonder and that during the next four years, the global tensions are not exacerbated and sleeping giants not awoken.

We live in interesting times. Scary times. Dangerous times.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
14 Responses to
The end of the American Empire
dujdjicndjdb 1:29 am 19 Nov 16

I do not agree with almost all of what you say Iam very much against Mr Trump and most of what he stands for. I also hate all of his big can do anything type hypocritical personality, with his daddies 10 million start in life. But let me ask you since you say he is a xenophobic misogynistic etc have you actually met the guy? how did you jump to that conclusion? Do you have a doctorate in American republican politics or have studied his thoughts deeply? you know these eccentrics Obama Trump Clintons all have massive top 1% iq which me and you are most likely far from. Lets leave these wacko geniuses and look at our own politics as America is definitely not on its way down it is just on its way to the same shithole flatline it started many decades ago after their real leaders like JFK, George w not the dumb one and the Cherokee chiefs died and the industrial boom finished.

dujdjicndjdb 1:29 am 19 Nov 16

John, I do not agree with almost all of what you say. I am very much against Mr Trump and most of what he stands for. I also hate all of his big can do anything type hypocritical personality, with his daddies 10 million start in life. But let me ask you since you say he is a xenophobic misogynistic etc have you actually met the guy? how did you jump to that conclusion? Do you have a doctorate in American republican politics or have studied his thoughts deeply? you know these eccentrics Obama Trump Clintons all have massive top 1% iq which me and you are most likely far from. Lets leave these wacko geniuses and look at our own politics as America is definitely not on its way down it is just on its way to the same shithole flatline it started many decades ago after their real leaders like JFK, George w not the dumb one and the Cherokee chiefs died and the industrial boom finished.

dungfungus 7:57 am 17 Nov 16

justin heywood said :

dungfungus said :

justin heywood said :

Some interesting points there, especially

“Trump’s infatuation with Putin will mean a closer alliance between those two nations. Trump makes the mistake of trusting the Russian bear. They are not in the same league.

Anyone who has even a vague interest in Russia under Putin will have noted that he has gotten away with much of his activities (Georgia, Ukraine, Syria etc) because America has been actively promoted as Russia’s great enemy.

Recent rhetoric aside, I doubt that Putin would be genuinely interested in working with Trump. What common global interests do they have?

Putin now may well push the boundaries of what the ‘international community’ will accept even further.

” What common global interests do they have?”

http://www.afr.com/news/world/us-election/donald-trump-and-russia-president-vladimir-putin-agree-to-fight-terrorism-20161114-gspb61

Ah, you’re a lot less cynical than me Dungers.

I try not to offend anyone.

devils_advocate 8:30 am 16 Nov 16

As if Billary is some kind of saint. I will take a chauvinist real estate developer over a duplicitous, war-mongering influence-peddlar any day of the week.

justin heywood said :

Recent rhetoric aside, I doubt that Putin would be genuinely interested in working with Trump. What common global interests do they have?

Stability in the middle east, for one. If you don’t know anything about post-Soviet history, the conflict in Chechniye would be a good place to start.

justin heywood 3:09 pm 15 Nov 16

dungfungus said :

justin heywood said :

Some interesting points there, especially

“Trump’s infatuation with Putin will mean a closer alliance between those two nations. Trump makes the mistake of trusting the Russian bear. They are not in the same league.

Anyone who has even a vague interest in Russia under Putin will have noted that he has gotten away with much of his activities (Georgia, Ukraine, Syria etc) because America has been actively promoted as Russia’s great enemy.

Recent rhetoric aside, I doubt that Putin would be genuinely interested in working with Trump. What common global interests do they have?

Putin now may well push the boundaries of what the ‘international community’ will accept even further.

” What common global interests do they have?”

http://www.afr.com/news/world/us-election/donald-trump-and-russia-president-vladimir-putin-agree-to-fight-terrorism-20161114-gspb61

Ah, you’re a lot less cynical than me Dungers.

HenryBG 1:22 pm 15 Nov 16

Russia is not a superpower.
Its economy is on the rocks and its population is shrinking – it’s basically Mexico with snow and nuclear weapons.
Trump having the button in his pocket is far less scary than Hilary being in the same position.
The same popular alignment with Nationalism will happen here if people in positions of influence continue trying to ram their delusional world-view down our throats.

dungfungus 12:28 pm 15 Nov 16

justin heywood said :

Some interesting points there, especially

“Trump’s infatuation with Putin will mean a closer alliance between those two nations. Trump makes the mistake of trusting the Russian bear. They are not in the same league.

Anyone who has even a vague interest in Russia under Putin will have noted that he has gotten away with much of his activities (Georgia, Ukraine, Syria etc) because America has been actively promoted as Russia’s great enemy.

Recent rhetoric aside, I doubt that Putin would be genuinely interested in working with Trump. What common global interests do they have?

Putin now may well push the boundaries of what the ‘international community’ will accept even further.

” What common global interests do they have?”

http://www.afr.com/news/world/us-election/donald-trump-and-russia-president-vladimir-putin-agree-to-fight-terrorism-20161114-gspb61

dungfungus 11:46 am 15 Nov 16

John Moulis said :

I was working at the Royal Australian Mint on that November day in 1980 when Ronald Reagan won the presidential election. We had heard about how Reagan was itching to press the button to start nuclear war and how he was just a faded Hollywood actor who had no idea how to run the US.

Eight years later what had happened? Reagan’s administration ended the arms race by engaging with Gorbachev and set in motion the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War and the introduction of democracy to Eastern Europe which happened a few months after he left office.

I feel that everybody should just take a chill pill because the signs are already apparent that a Trump administration will be nowhere near as disastrous as the naysayers are predicting.

Exactly, especially after the disasters that the Jimmy peanut farmer presided over before Reagan.

I was working in San Francisco at the time and a popular bumper sticker was “why not an actor for President? We’ve got a clown in the job now”

John Moulis 10:21 am 15 Nov 16

I was working at the Royal Australian Mint on that November day in 1980 when Ronald Reagan won the presidential election. We had heard about how Reagan was itching to press the button to start nuclear war and how he was just a faded Hollywood actor who had no idea how to run the US.

Eight years later what had happened? Reagan’s administration ended the arms race by engaging with Gorbachev and set in motion the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War and the introduction of democracy to Eastern Europe which happened a few months after he left office.

I feel that everybody should just take a chill pill because the signs are already apparent that a Trump administration will be nowhere near as disastrous as the naysayers are predicting.

justin heywood 3:21 pm 14 Nov 16

Some interesting points there, especially

“Trump’s infatuation with Putin will mean a closer alliance between those two nations. Trump makes the mistake of trusting the Russian bear. They are not in the same league.

Anyone who has even a vague interest in Russia under Putin will have noted that he has gotten away with much of his activities (Georgia, Ukraine, Syria etc) because America has been actively promoted as Russia’s great enemy.

Recent rhetoric aside, I doubt that Putin would be genuinely interested in working with Trump. What common global interests do they have?

Putin now may well push the boundaries of what the ‘international community’ will accept even further.

dungfungus 2:06 pm 14 Nov 16

One of the reasons I don’t watch much American TV drama and go to see Hollywood movies is that the leading man is usually a misogynistic, narcissistic, xenophobe with delusions of grandeur and this is the role model a lot of impressionable people are identifying with.

The election was won in the states where a lot of those people live.
Trump knew this, he is a very smart man whether you like him or not and your narrative shows he isn’t on your side of politics.

Accordingly, we should not be excessively judgemental about the leaders of other countries unless of course they pose a threat to us and their is no evidence that Trump has any intentions of doing this.

Perhaps you caninstead direct some of the criticism you have towards the leaders of other countries that are posing a threat to our security.

Blen_Carmichael 12:00 pm 14 Nov 16

“We should stay out of other people’s conflicts and remember that in times of threat to Australia, other nations will come to the fore because of their own self-interests. We don’t need to attract the enemies of the US to our shores.”

What you’re saying is that we eschew the existing alliance and bet that in the event we’re attacked, other nations (presumably the USA) will come to our aid because it’s in their interests. That’s a big gamble when we have, as you yourself state, “military insignificance”. And why do you presume the USA would come to our aid when Trump foreshadows an isolationist phase? If not USA, who do you think we can rely on? Japan? Indonesia? New Zealand? PNG? Tuvalu, perhaps?

Remember John Curtin? “Without any inhibitions of any kind, I make it quite clear that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom.” He’d been a supporter of appeasement in the 1930s and was opposed to deploying Australian troops against the Axis forces during 1939-40. Didn’t this Labor man suddenly become a big fan of alliances with the USA in December 1941?

Incidentally, if you ever get an opportunity, Phillip Ayres’s biography of Owen Dixon provides a sobering insight into Australia –USA relations during the Pacific War. Let’s just say the Labor government didn’t impress with its shrill demands, its appeasement of militant unions, and its initial refusal to introduce conscription for overseas service (the American newspapers, justifiably, were scathing of this given American conscripts were being sent to protect Australia). Not our finest hour.

It irks people, understandably, that we’re a junior partner in the ANZUS alliance. But I expect the people who demand its termination would be the first (and the loudest) in demanding US assistance in the event we were attacked.

DLsposts 10:32 am 14 Nov 16

Maaate, The “Dragon” is not asleep…and as it’s “economic miracle ” is no different than post WW2 US and Europe realignment of Capital..Hubris in dealing with any country has its own ramifications and both US and Russia are at this stage both comparators to Where China is heading … each defining their own “rules” for getting there…. all three hopefully don’t end up like Uroboros…. for no heaven can help us if that happens

bikhet 9:27 am 14 Nov 16

Sorry Mr Hargreaves, not worth two bob – probably not even five cents. You OP ignores the bigger, and more interesting issues raised by the rise of Mr Trump. Some examples:

1) The implications for existing political parties of the fracturing of the old voting blocs and the rise of new(ish) parties – examples being AfD, FN, UKIP and Brexit, One Nation etc. This is a problem for both centre right and centre left. The centre right has the risk being pulled further right and abandoning the centre, but the left can’t colonise the centre because of its reliance its traditional power base – the unions. What will happen to the centre?

2) The potential fracturing of the Republican Party in the U.S.A. There has been some strain between its various parts (business, evangelicals, nativists, etc) is the past. Will Mr Trump’s presidency bring this to a head?

3) Where now for the Democratic Party in the U.S.A. Will it find a new path or take the Warren/Sanders path. While the latter may be popular on the coasts, they’re poison in fly-over country. (As an aside, that the expression “fly-over country” exists is an indication of the disconnect between Davos Man and the bulk of the voters.)

I do like your drawing of the parallel between Mr Trump and Mr Palmer – it’s one that has occurred to me before. And while I may have denigrated your OP I, like you, hope that Mr Trump is a one-hit wonder. The U.S.A. can do better.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site