Donald Trump VS. Deep State
Andrew Korybko, a political analyst, journalist and regular contributor to a number of online magazines, as well as a member of the expert council of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Forecasts at the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, gave an interview to the Geopolitica.ru portal and discussed the course of the presidential race in the United States, its background and possible impact on the further development (or decline) of America.
Now we are all witnesses of a real drama unfolding within the frames of a separate presidential race - if the previous Trump-Clinton campaign was more like a show, then the current Trump-Biden looks like the beginning of a civil confrontation. Let's rewind this story to the moment when Donald Trump became president. Based on the concept of the “deep state”, which you often write about, was Trump at the time of his victory in 2016 an opposing figure or was he himself part of the establishment?
I define the “deep state” as the permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (even though other elements can be included in this definition, those three form the unchanging core), and the discussion of their dynamics refers to disagreements and factionalism within them. Trump was veritably against the prevailing Obama-era liberal-globalist deep state faction, which actively opposed him even before he won the election, but he cannot by definition be against the deep state in and of itself because it's impossible for any leader to preside over a country without cooperating with elements of those three aforementioned permanent bureaucracies (ideally, from their perspective, ideologically friendly ones). Trump's goal was to make that friendly faction with which he most closely identifies, the “America First” /”Make America Great Again” pro-sovereignty nationalists, the new establishment. He hasn't succeeded in that task for various reasons so it can be said that he's still fighting against hostile deep state elements up to the present day.
What do you think, could the “deep state” let Trump win and rule the White House for next four years just to prevent Clinton from coming to power? After all, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were responsible for some painful moments such as the murder of J. Christopher Stevens in Libya. Moreover, they obviously missed the situation in Crimea in 2014, and even CNN assessed the Obama-Clinton tandem as weak and incapable of decisive action.
No, because the prevailing Obama-era liberal-globalist deep state faction is adamantly against everything that Trump stands for. Supportive elements within those bureaucracies aren't powerful enough on their own to change the current situation with vote audits and recounts since it's also beyond their direct control and presently in the realm of the courts (which some include as part of the deep state). Many judges are ideologically biased and therefore disinclined to support the Trump team's cases and possible appeals. Still, he might get lucky, it remains to be seen, but I do not believe for a second that the hostile elements against him will suddenly change their minds. With all respect, that's completely unrealistic in my personal opinion.
Do you think Donald Trump has shown himself to be a successful president over these four years?
Yes, for the most part. He did the best that he could to “Make America Great Again” according to what he understood that vision to be (the implementation of which sometimes differed from a few of his supporters' expectations especially on the foreign policy front) and in the face of tremendous opposition from the hostile elements of the Obama-era liberal-globalist deep state. Trump did a lot to revive pro-sovereignty nationalist sentiments across the world and set a shining example by pulling out of some globalist institutions and pacts such as the World Health Organization and the Paris Agreement. Still, he was stymied by the continual opposition to his desired rapprochement with Russia (what I've previously described as a “New Detente”), hence his hostility towards that country as a sort of “deep state compromise”. Overall, though, I especially love how Trump did his utmost thus far to restore interest in traditional American culture (“Americana”) and the country's socio-cultural conservative beliefs. He also took a very strong stand against illegal immigration.
Of course, the coronavirus pandemic became a kind of “wild card” for many political and economic processes. But how exactly did both candidates use COVID-19 during the elections?
Trump felt compelled to implement a short-term lockdown as cases grew and he was led to believe -- whether sincerely or not, rightly or wrongly -- that the virus was more lethal for the majority of the population than it's since proven itself to be. He then wanted to open up the country in order to revive what had hitherto been the best-performing US economy in history, but Democrat governors politicized the pandemic in order to keep their states closed and thus prevent that same historic economy from recovering before the elections. They hoped that the resultant hardship and incessant fearmongering would turn voters against Trump, as well as make the population more dependent on the government for subsistence, thereby facilitating their efforts to impose their long-desired vision of “Big Government” on the people should Biden succeed in seizing power through the fraudulent election. Make no mistake though, the virus is real and it's very deadly for some at-risk members of the population, but it's also been completely politicized against Trump and in pursuit of grander ideological ends.
Trump-Clinton campaign was a huge breakthrough for using social media in the name of politics. Which media have played a larger role in the current campaign - the old ones like CNN and FOX or the new ones like Twitter?
Both played an important role this time around but in a different way than before. Four years ago, people had much more freedom to discuss their views on social media, and traditional media was powerless to cope with the Trump phenomenon, thus inadvertently feeding into it by constantly reporting on everything related to him. Nowadays, however, they learned how to more effectively control the mainstream narrative, while their Big Tech1 allies shadow ban or outright censor views that go against the Democrats' preferred ones. It was that stifling of free speech on social media, especially related to the Hunter Biden corruption scandal and everything that came after the election, which showed how different the information environment had become.
How did it come about in the USA that the POTUS is limited in publishing his opinion on the international platform of social networks?
It's very simple actually and it's because those are technically private companies whose users agree to so-called “terms of service” in exchange for using those platforms for free. The argument from opponents, however, is that they're so powerful nowadays that they function more as public utilities and/or media platforms and therefore are obliged to follow relevant legislation, though that has yet to be litigated into law in pertinence to the platforms in question. For that reason, they can continue2 shadow blocking him as much as they like and could even technically deplatform him too, though they've thus far held off on doing so while he's still the president out of fear that it would provoke him into litigating them into functioning as public utilities and/or media platforms instead of simply being “private internet companies” like they nominally are.
Which, in your opinion, of the sides of the conflict "Democrats-Republicans" is more actively demonizing the enemy?
The Republicans had been comparatively more civil in terms of how they represented the Democrats until the latter began their all-out ideological crusade against the former by referring to them as “fascists”, “racists”, etc. and trying to get private citizens “canceled” for holding different views than their own. Since then, some Republicans – most notably Trump, those closest to him, and some key influencers on their side – began calling a spade and spade and calling the Democrats out for their social fascist tactics. They also began drawing attention to many of their supporters' embrace of socialism -- whether it's “real” socialism or not is unimportant in this context -- in order to highlight their ideological differences. Both sides now see each other as existential threats to the fabric of America's being, and no compromise is possible except with the weakest members of each party, notably the so-called “Republicans In Name Only”3 (RINOs) who oftentimes tend to side with the Democrats out of naive short-term interest. To the Democrats' credit, their side is more ideologically unified and politically militant, though their physical militancy must be universally condemned as an manifestation of urban terrorism whenever they burn, loot, riot, and on rare occasions even murder across America's main cities with impunity in the name of so-called “social justice” causes.
Let’s speak about the influence of traditional media on elections. Why do you think FOX News stopped supporting Trump when counting votes?
Fox News is run by RINOs who naively believe that they can carve out a niche for themselves within the Democrats' envisioned “New American Order”. Except for a few anchors like Tucker Carlson and occasionally (but not always) Hannity, they're regarded as sellouts by most patriotic Americans who feel betrayed by them turning their back on their base for purely self-interested political and economic reasons that are sure to backfire against them with time.
Is there any possibility that the Supreme Court will side with Donald Trump in the recount cases? Or is the lawsuit in this case just a way to win some time?
That's certainly a possibility, but a relevant case or cases (which involve both recounts and audits) must first make it to that level by going through the legal process. It's too difficult to tell what the outcome will be at this point because it's not yet known which case or cases -- if any -- will get to that point. But in regards to the second part of the question asking whether this is just a way to win some time, no, it's not, since Trump and his team sincerely believe that they were cheated out of their rightful victory and therefore aren't doing this just for show.
Four years later Donald Trump will be at the same age as Joe Biden is now. If he's not the Republican nominee in 2024, then who? Are there such charismatic, bright Republican politicians who haven't bored everyone yet and are able to unite their electorate in the same way as Trump did?
It's way too early to tell who the nominee would be since too much can happen then and now. Rather, it's much better to touch upon some of the trends taking place within the Republican Party. It's recently attracted more support from Hispanics which speaks to its ability to connect with the traditional values of working-class legal immigrants and their immediate descendants. Overall, the party has sought to rebrand itself as the pro-sovereign, traditional value-supporting movement for all working-class Americans regardless of identity politics, which puts it in direct opposition to the Democrats' role as the elite-run political platform of the liberal-globalists which weaponizes identity politics for divide-and-rule purposes. Regardless of whoever is certified as the winner of the latest elections, America's socio-economic divisions will continue to widen and will probably be even more acute by 2024 than they are today. Both parties will therefore likely double down on their respective messages to Americans in order to politically capitalize on that during the next elections.
1 Big Tech or GAFA (sometimes GAFAM, sometimes the Gang of Four) is the unofficial name of the largest American online services and companies that create computer hardware and software, which are leaders in the world market. These include Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and sometimes Microsoft. The term was popularized by Eric Schmidt, a technical consultant for Alphabet and a member of the Science and Technology Council under US President Barack Obama. According to Scott Galloway, professor at the Stern School of Business at New York University, these companies are successfully evading taxes and invading users' privacy.
2 A number of Donald Trump's public Twitter posts during the 2020 election tally were flagged by Twitter as inaccurate posts, and the ability to retweet these posts was also blocked.
3 RINO (Republicans in name only, often used with a visual image of a rhino) is a derogatory term for too moderate members of the Republican Party, who, under certain conditions, are capable of supporting the political decisions of their opponents. According to the resource https://politicaldictionary.com/, this term was used in the mass media in the early nineties of the last century, in 1992 it was used without an abbreviation, but as an independent definition in the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper. At the time of this writing, the term RINO is in the fourth position for queries on politicaldictionary.com.