Geopolitics of American elections
The Hundred Years’ Consensus of American Elites
The very expression "geopolitics of American elections" sounds very unusual and surprising. Since the 30s of the XX century, the confrontation between the two main American parties - the "reds" Republicans (Great Old Party - GOP) and the "blues" Democrats - has become a competition based on agreement with the basic principles of politics, ideology, and geopolitics accepted by both sides. The political elite of the United States was based on a deep and complete consensus - first of all, on loyalty to capitalism, liberalism and the consolidation of the United States as the main power of the Western world. Regardless of whether we were dealing with the "Republicans" or with the "Democrats", one could certainly be sure that their view of the world order is almost identical - globalist,
- Atlanticist and
This unity had its institutional expression in the Council on Foreign Relations - CFR, that was created during the conclusion of the Versailles agreement as a result of the First World War and brought together representatives of both parties. The role of CFR steadily increased, and after the Second World War it became the main headquarters of the growing globalism.
In the early stages of the Cold War, the CFR allowed systems to converge with the Soviet Union basing on common Enlightenment values. But due to the sharp weakening of the socialist camp and Gorbachev's betrayal, the “convergence” became unnecessary, and the global world building was in the hands of one pole - the one who won the Cold War.
The beginning of the 90s of the XX century became a minute of glory for globalists and the CFR itself. From that point on, the consensus of American elites, regardless of party affiliation, was further strengthened, and the policies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, or Barack Obama - at least on the main issues of foreign policy and loyalty to the globalist agenda - were practically the same. On the part of the Republicans, the "right-wing" analogue of the globalists, represented primarily by the Democrats, was seized by neoconservatives, who ousted the paleoconservatives since the 80s, that is, those Republicans who followed isolationist traditions and remained faithful to conservative values, which was peculiar to the Republican party in the early XX century and earlier in American history.
Yes, Democrats and Republicans had disagreements in tax policy, in questions of medicine and insurance (here the Democrats were economically leftist, and the Republicans rightist), but this was a dispute within the framework of the same model, which did not affect the main vectors of internal politics, not to mention foreign. In other words, elections in the United States had no geopolitical significance, and therefore such a word-combination as "geopolitics of American elections" was not used due to its meaninglessness and emptiness.
Trump breaks the consensus
Everything changed in 2016, when the current president of the United States, Donald Trump, unexpectedly came to power. In America itself, his arrival became something completely exceptional. Trump's entire campaign program was built on criticism of globalism and the ruling American elites. In other words, Trump threw down a direct challenge to the bipartisan consensus, including the neo-conservative wing of his party, the Republicans - and ... won. Of course, 4 years of Trump's presidency showed that it is simply impossible to completely rebuild American policy in such an unexpected way, and Trump had to make many compromises - including the appointment of neoconservative John Bolton as his National Security Advisor, but against all odds he tried to follow his line, at least partly, that infuriated the globalists.
Thus, Trump dramatically changed the very structure of relations between the two main American parties. Under him, Republicans have partly returned to the positions of American nationalism inherent in the early GOP – from where is “America first!” or “Let’s make America great again!” This caused radicalization of the democrats themselves, who, starting from the confrontation between Trump and Hillary Clinton, actually declared a real war to Trump and all those who supported him - political, ideological, media, economic, etc.
For 4 years this war did not stop even for an instant, and today - on the eve of new elections - it reached its climax. It manifested
- in the broad destabilization of the social system,
- in uprising of extremist elements in major US cities (with almost open support of anti-Trump forces from the Democratic Party),
- in direct demonization of Trump and his supporters, who, in the event of Biden's victory, face the most real lustration, regardless of what post they held,
- in accusing Trump and all American patriots and nationalists of fascism,
- in attempts to present Trump as agent of external forces - primarily Putin, etc.
This kind of bitterness of inter-party confrontation, in which a part of the Republicans themselves - primarily neoconservatives (such as Bill Kristol, the main ideologue of the neocons) - opposed Trump, led to a sharp polarization of the entire American society. And today in the fall of 2020 - against the backdrop of the ongoing COVid-19 epidemic and its associated social and economic consequences - the election race is something completely different from what it was in the last 100 years of American history - starting with Versailles, Woodrow Wilson's 14 Globalist Points and the creation of the CFR.
90s: a minute of glory for globalists
Of course, it was not Donald Trump who personally broke the globalist consensus of the American elites, putting the United States on the brink of a full-fledged Civil War. Trump has become a symptom of deep geopolitical processes since the early 2000s.
In the 90s of the twentieth century, globalism reached its climax, the Soviet camp laid in ruins, direct agents of the United States were in power in the leadership of Russia, and China was just beginning to obediently copy the capitalist system, which created the illusion of the coming “end of history” (F. Fukuyama ). At the same time, globalization was openly opposed only by the extraterritorial structures of Islamic fundamentalism, in turn controlled by the CIA and US allies from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, and a few "rogue States" such as Shiite Iran and still communist North Korea, not representing great danger by themselves. It seemed that the domination of globalism was total, liberalism remained the only ideology that subdued all societies, and capitalism remained the only economic system. Before the proclamation of the World Government, and this is the goal of the globalists and in particular, the culmination of the CFR strategy, there was only one step left.
The first signs of multipolarity
But since the early 2000s, something has gone wrong. With Putin, the disintegration and further degradation of Russia stopped, the final disappearance of which from the world arena was a necessary condition for the triumph of the globalists. Having embarked on the path of restoring sovereignty, Russia has traveled a long distance in 20 years, becoming one of the most important poles of world politics, of course still inferior to the power of the USSR and the socialist camp, but no longer slavishly submissive to the West, as it was in the 90s.
Parallel to this, China, armed with economic liberalization, retained political power in the hands of the Communist Party, avoiding the fate of the USSR, collapse, chaos, “democratization” by liberal standards, and gradually became the largest economic power comparable to the United States.
In other words, there were prerequisites for a multipolar world order, which, along with the West itself (the United States and NATO countries), had at least two more quite weighty and significant poles - Putin's Russia and China. And the further, the more clearly this alternative picture of the world emerged, in which, along with the liberal globalist West, other types of civilizations, based on the poles growing in their power - communist China and conservative Russia, were increasingly making themselves known.
Elements of capitalism and liberalism are present in both countries. This is not yet a real ideological alternative, not counter-hegemony (according to Gramsci), but this is already something. Not becoming multipolar in the full sense, in the 2000s the world ceased to be unambiguously unipolar. Globalism began to choke, stray from its intended trajectory. This was accompanied by an emerging split between the United States and Western Europe. In addition, the countries of the West began the rise of right and left populism, in which the growing discontent with the society with the hegemony of the liberal globalist elites was manifested.
The Islamic world also did not stop its struggle for Islamic values, which, however, has ceased to be strictly identified with fundamentalism (in one way or another controlled by globalists) and began to acquire clearer geopolitical forms –
- rise of Shiism in the Middle East (Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, partly Syria),
- growth of independence - up to conflicts with the USA and NATO - of Erdogan's Sunni Turkey,
- oscillations of the Gulf countries between the West and other centers of power (Russia, China), etc.
Trump's moment: the great turn
The 2016 US elections, which were won by Donald Trump, were underway exactly in this context - at the time of a serious crisis of globalism and, accordingly, the ruling globalist elites.
In that very moment, from over the foreside of the liberal consensus, a new force emerged - that part of American society that did not want to identify itself with the ruling globalist elites. Trump's support has become a vote of no confidence in the strategy of globalism - not only democratic, but also republican. Thus, the split was revealed in the very citadel of the unipolar world, in the headquarters of globalization.
From under the thickness of contempt they appeared - the deplorables, silent majority, dispossessed majority (W. Robertson). Trump has become a symbol of the awakening of American populism.
So real politics returned to the United States, again it came to ideological disputes, cancel culture, BLM, the destruction of monuments of American history became an expression of a deep split in American society on the most fundamental issues.
The American consensus has collapsed. From now on, elites and masses, globalists and patriots, democrats and republicans, progressives and conservatives have turned into full-fledged and independent poles - with their own alternative strategies, programs, views, assessments, value systems. Trump blew up America, shattered elite consensus, derailed globalization.
Of course, he didn't do it alone. But he boldly - perhaps under some ideological influence of the atypical conservative and anti-globalist Steve Bannon, a rare case of an American intellectual familiar with European conservatism, and even with the traditionalism of Guenon and Evola) - went beyond the dominant liberal discourse, opening there the newest page of American political stories. On this page, this time we clearly read the formula "the geopolitics of the American elections."
US elections 2020: everything is at stake
Depending on the outcome of the November 2020 elections, will be determined
- the architecture of the world order (transition to nationalism and de facto multipolarity in the case of Trump, continuation of the agony of globalization in the case of Biden),
- the global geopolitical strategy of the United States (America first in the case of Trump, a desperate push towards the World Government in the case of Biden),
- the fate of NATO (its dissolution in favor of a structure that more strictly reflects the national interests of the United States - this time as a state, and not as a stronghold of globalization in general in the case of Trump or the preservation of the Atlanticist bloc as an instrument of the supranational liberal elites in the case of Biden),
- the dominant ideology (right-wing conservatism, American nationalism in the case of Trump, left-liberal globalism, the final elimination of American identity in the case of Biden),
- polarization of Democrats and Republicans (continued growth of paleoconservative influence of the in the GOP in the case of Trump) or a return to a bipartisan consensus (in the case of Biden, with a new increase in the influence of the neocons in the GOP),
- and even the fate of the Second Amendment to the Constitution (its preservation in the case of Trump, and its possible repeal in the case of Biden).
These are such important moments that the fate of Healthcare, Trump's wall, and even relations with Russia, China and Iran turn out to be something of secondary importance. The United States is so deeply and fundamentally divided that the question now is whether the country will ever survive such an unprecedented election. This time, the struggle between Democrats and Republicans, Biden and Trump, is a struggle between two societies aggressively opposed to each other, and not a meaningless spectacle, on the results of which nothing fundamentally depends. America has come to a fatal line. Whatever the outcome of these elections, the United States will never be the same. Something has changed irreversibly.
That is why we are talking about "the geopolitics of the American elections," and that is why it is so important. The fate of the United States is in many ways the fate of the entire modern world.
The most important concept of geopolitics since the era of Mackinder, the founder of this discipline, is "Heartland". It stands for the core of the "Land Power" civilization opposed to the "Sea Power" civilization.
Both Mackinder himself and especially Carl Schmitt, who developed his ideas and intuition, involved the confrontation between two types of civilizations, and not just the strategic disposition of forces in a geographical context.
The “Civilization of the Sea” embodies expansion, trade, colonization, but also “progress”, “technologies”, constant changes in society and its structures, reflecting the very liquid element of the ocean - the liquid society of Z. Bauman.
It is a civilization without roots, mobile, moving, “nomadic”.
The "Civilization of Land", on the contrary, is associated with conservatism, constancy, identity, stability, with a general meritocracy and unchanging values, culture with roots, settledness.
Thus, Heartland also acquires a civilizational meaning - it is not just a territorial zone, as far as possible from the shores and sea spaces, but also a matrix of conservative identity - an area of strong roots, a zone of maximum concentration of identity.
By applying geopolitics to the contemporary structure of the United States, we get an amazingly clear picture. The peculiarity of the United States is that the country is located between two oceanic spaces - between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Unlike Russia, the United States does not have such an unambiguous shift of the center to one of the poles - although the history of the United States began from the East Coast and gradually moved westward, today, to a certain extent, both coastal zones are sufficiently developed and represent two segments of a strongly marked "civilization of the sea".
States and electoral geopolitics
And then the most interesting begins. If we take the political map of the States and splash it in the colors of the two main parties according to the principle of which governors and which parties dominate in each of them, then we get three stripes -
- The East Coast will be blue, large metropolitan areas are concentrated here and, accordingly, the Democrats dominate;
- The central part of the USA - fly over zone, industrial and agricultural zones (including “One-storied America”), that is, the Heartland itself - is colored almost entirely in red (the Republicans’ zone of influence);
- The West Coast is again megacities, centers of high technologies, and, accordingly, the blue color of Democrats.
Welcome to classical geopolitics - that is, to the front line of the "great war of the continents."
USA 2020 consists, therefore, not just of many (several), but precisely of two civilizational zones - of the central Heartland and two coastal territories, representing more or less the same socio-political system, sharply different from Heartland. The coastal zones are the area of the Democrats. It is there that the hotbeds of the most active BLM, LGBT +, feminism and left extremism (terrorist Antifa groups) protest are located, involved in the election campaign of the Democrats in favor of Biden and against Trump.
Before Trump, it seemed that the United States were only coastal zones. Trump gave voice to American Heartland. Thus, the US red center was activated and brought into action. Trump is the president of this "second America", which is practically not represented in the political elites and has almost nothing to do with the agenda of the globalists. This is America of small cities, Christian communities and sects, farms or even large industrial centers, devastated and desolated by the delocalization of industry and the shift of attention to areas with cheaper labor.
This is an abandoned, betrayed, forgotten and humiliated America. This is the homeland of deplorables, true Native Americans - Americans with roots, no matter - white or non-white, Protestant or Catholic. And this America of Heartland is rapidly disappearing, crowded by coastal zones.
Ideology of the American Heartland: Old Democracy
It is significant that the Americans themselves recently discovered this geopolitical dimension of the United States. In this sense, the initiative to create a whole Institute for Economic Development focused on plans to revive micro-cities, small towns and industrial centers in the heart of the United States is substantive. The name of the institute speaks for itself "Heartland forward", "Heartland forward!" In essence, this is a geopolitical and geoeconomic interpretation of Trump's slogan "Let’s make America great again!"
In a recent article of the conservative magazine “American Affairs” (Fall 2020. V IV, no. 3), political analyst Joel Kotkin publishes the flagship material “The Heartland's Revival”, dedicated to the same theme - the revival of the Heartland. And although in the full sense J. Kotkin has not yet reached the assertion that the "Red States", in fact, represent a different civilization than the coastal zones, he comes close to this conclusion - from his pragmatic and more economic position.
The central part of the United States is a very special area with a population dominated by the paradigms of "old America" with its "old democracy", "old individualism" and "old" concept of freedom. This value system has nothing to do with xenophobia, racism, segregation, or any of the other pejoratives that arrogant intellectuals and journalists of metropolitan areas and national channels usually reward ordinary Americans with.
This is America with all its distinctive features, but former America - traditional, slightly frozen in its original will for individual freedom from the era of the founding fathers. It is most clearly represented in the Amish sect, still dressing in the style of the 18th century, or among the Utah Mormons, professing a grotesque but purely American cult that resembles "Christianity" only very distantly. In this old America, a person can have any beliefs, say and think whatever one likes.
This is the origin of American pragmatism - nothing can limit either the subject or the object, and all relations between them are clarified only in the process of robust action. And again, such an action has one criterion - it works or it doesn’t work. And that's all. No one can dictate to such "old liberalism" that a person should think, speak or write. Political correctness makes no sense here. It is desirable only to clearly express your thought, which can theoretically be anything you like. This freedom to anything, anything, is the essence of the "American Dream."
Second Amendment to the Constitution: Armed Defense of Freedom and Dignity
The American Heartland has more than just economics and sociology. It has his own ideology. This is a native American ideology - moreover, it is more republican, partly anti-European (especially anti-British), recognizing the equality of rights and inviolability of freedoms. And this legislative individualism is embodied in the free right to possess and bear arms - The Second Amendment to the Constitution is a summary of the entire ideology of such a "red" (in the sense of the color of the GOP) America. “I don’t take yours, but you don’t touch mine either.” This is the recapitulation for a knife, a pistol, a rifle, but even an assault rifle or machine gun. This applies not only to material things - it also applies to beliefs and ways of thinking, and free political choice, and self-esteem.
But the coastal zones, the American territories of the "Civilization of the Sea", the blue States are encroaching on this. Such “old democracy”, such “individualism”, such “freedom” have nothing to do with the norms of political correctness, more and more intolerant and aggressive cancel culture, with the demolition of monuments to the heroes of the Civil War or kissing the feet of African Americans, transgender people and body positive freaks. The "Civilization of the Sea" sees "old America" as a bunch of deplorables (in the words of Hillary Clinton), as a kind of "fascistoids" and "subhumans." In New York, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco, we are already dealing with a different America - with the blue America of liberals, globalists, postmodern professors, advocates of perversion and offensive prescriptive atheism, expelling everything resembling religion, family, tradition out of the permissible zone.
The Great War of the Continents in the USA: the Proximity of the End
These two Americas - the America of the Land and the America of the Sea - have come together today in an irreconcilable struggle for their president. Moreover, both Democrats and Republicans obviously do not intend to recognize the winner if he comes from the opposite camp. Biden is convinced that Trump "has already falsified the election results," and his "friend" Putin has "already intervened in them" with the help of the GRU, Novichok, the Olga trolls and other multipolar ecosystems of "Russian propaganda." Consequently, the Democrats do not intend to recognize Trump's victory. This is not a victory, but a fake.
Almost the same is also considered by the most consistent Republicans. Democrats use illegal methods in the election campaign - in fact, a "color revolution" is taking place in the United States itself, directed against Trump and his administration. And behind it are completely transparent traces of its organizers, one of the main globalists and opponents of Trump George Soros, Bill Gates and other fanatics of the "new democracy", the brightest and most consistent representatives of the American "civilization of the Sea." Therefore, the Republicans are ready to go to the end, especially since the bitterness of the Democrats in the past 4 years against Trump and his appointees is so great that if Biden ends up in the White House, political repression against part of the American establishment - at least against all Trump's appointees - will have unprecedented scope.
This is how a bar of American chocolate breaks before our eyes - the outlined lines of a possible break become the fronts of a real war.
This is no longer just an electoral campaign - this is the first stage of a full-fledged Civil War. In this war, two Americas collide - two ideologies, two democracies, two freedoms, two identities, two mutually exclusive value systems, two politicians, two economies and two geopolitics.
If we understood how important the “geopolitics of the American elections” is now, the world would hold its breath and would not think about anything else - including the Covid-19 pandemic or local wars, conflicts and disasters. In the center of world history, in the center of determining the fate of the future of humanity, there is precisely the "geopolitics of the American elections" - the American stage of the "great war of the continents", the American Land against the American Sea.