Red scare tactics serve to absolve the US political and economic system for creating Donald Trump, writes MATTHEW TURNER
AMID a tense stand-off in the Middle East between Russia and the United States, it is not surprising that tensions are rising by the day. Rhetoric coming out of the White House and the Kremlin is increasingly antagonistic, which has had damaging implications for the battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
This election can be characterised by the blatant red scare tactics by Clinton and the Democrats, largely aimed at insinuating that Trump, WikiLeaks, and even Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein are de-facto Kremlin agents.
It feels like we are in the 1960 election rather than 2016.
The neo-McCarthyism adopted by the Clinton campaign to deflect any reasonable criticisms one may have of her flawed candidacy is unnecessary and paranoid.
Not only this, but it draws attention away from the real issues and problems that the US faces as a nation — many of which Clinton and fellow centrists have been the root cause of.
Whenever Clinton pivots to Trump’s or WikiLeaks’s alleged “associations” with Russia in response to valid criticism of her campaign, you know that she is as guilty as sin.
Of course, the baseless red-baiting claims made by Clinton are being repeated by her friends in the press.
As a uniting figure between both moderate Republican and Democrat establishment media, she has led swathes of commentators to publish scare stories relating to Trump and the Russian government.
Moreover, there has been a clear campaign to liken Trump to a host of enemies of the United States, including Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and the former president of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
A Clinton-supporting fund raising group has even made a website to collate these moronic articles (putintrump.org).
Equipped with a hammer and sickle — despite Trump and Putin both taking the side of the super-rich against the working class — this website serves as an example of the pernicious cold war atmosphere that is poisoning US political discourse.
Interestingly, these absurd comparisons also have another purpose — to absolve the US political and economic system of creating a proto-fascist presidential candidate.
By likening Trump to a foreign, largely anti-Western figure, they are purposely ignoring the fact that it is the hyper-capitalist US system that has given Trump and his jingoistic rhetoric the opportunity to thrive.
One only has to look at the writings of Leon Trotsky, who described the rise of nazi Germany as “capitalist society puking up undigested barbarism,” to realise the interconnectedness between the two.
As advocates of the neoliberal economic order, it is not surprising that much of the commentariat is rushing to disassociate the rise of Trump with the broken system they are compelled to defend.
It goes without saying that political attacks on a rival candidate devoid of any intellectual capacity are deemed fair game during a presidential election. However, it is Clinton’s attacks on whistle-blower WikiLeaks and founder Julian Assange that reveal her true intentions — demonising any threat to her candidacy as a wider Russian plot.
It was WikiLeaks that revealed that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) contrived with the Clinton campaign to undermine primary challenger Bernie Sanders — which broke the DNC’s so-called “neutrality” rules.
Evidently, anything remotely redistributive and socialist in its approach was treated with disdain by what is a neoliberal Democratic establishment full of ideologues and representatives of big business.
Instead of addressing why Hillary Clinton and her useful idiots in the DNC were actively working against a progressive movement inside their own party, she immediately went on the attack, claiming WikiLeaks was acting on behalf of the Russian government in an attempt to destabilise her candidacy.
Months and several damaging leaks later, the Clinton campaign has still not addressed the plethora of misdemeanours that have been revealed about her and her campaign’s conduct.
Instead, she has claimed in national presidential debates that WikiLeaks is colluding with the Russians without a single shred of evidence to back up her assertions.
It appears that McCarthyism is alive and well after all; being used to not only ramp up mind games in the geostrategic battle for the Middle East but also delegitimise the damning content of the leaks in question.
The topics of the presidential debates further illustrate the absurd nature of the anti-Russian point-scoring throughout the campaign. In all four presidential debates, Russia was mentioned 178 times and was the most discussed topic.
Meanwhile, the national debt, social security, the Supreme Court, racism, income inequality, climate change and privacy were mentioned a total of 83 times combined.
Instead of addressing the issues that will impact working Americans every single day, Clinton is favouring hawkish, unhinged discourse towards a foreign superpower.
Even worse, all of her claims have been proven to be intellectually and morally bankrupt.
There are hundreds of different issues to attack Trump from; he is almost certainly the US’s worst presidential candidate in modern history.
Instead, Clinton and her campaign are irresponsibly engaging in mind games with Putin’s Russia in order to whip up anti-Kremlin sentiment while hiding the serious flaws with her as a candidate.
It is a far cry from the rhetoric Clinton was espousing in her primary battle against Sanders and, as suspected, it appears it was all spin to pander to the centre-left.
Her intentions are clear: to escalate conflict with Moscow while painting anyone who does not want to maintain the status quo as a Russian plant.
For what it’s worth Hillary, I for one am not expecting a Kremlin-stamped, Putin-signed cheque through the post anytime soon.