I just want to briefly document some of the ways I’m seeing the 2015/2016 anti-establishment sentiment of Trump’s base being hijacked and re-routed into supporting some highly conspicuous pro-establishment interests this year.
In 2016 and 2017, much of the anti-establishment sentiment on what passes for America’s political “left” today was co-opted and re-routed into supporting longstanding establishment agendas against WikiLeaks, Russia, and Syria. I watched many Bernie Sanders supporters I’d fought alongside in 2015 and 2016 succumb one by one to the establishment Russiagate mind virus; it felt like watching a zombie apocalypse unfold, infection by infection.
Fearmongering about Trump was used to herd people who support peace into cheering for ancient neoconservative agendas against Russia, making everyone terrified of a country they’d previously never thought much about using still-unproven and plot hole-riddled claims about hacking and election meddling. This in turn was used to create narratives about “Russian propaganda”, which was used to poison the well against anyone who questioned the warmongering establishment Syria narrative. It was also used to turn people against WikiLeaks who had supported it since its publications about Bush administration war crimes, and in the case of Berners even during the 2016 DNC/Podesta email drops.
In exactly the same way, I’ve been watching a lot of Trump supporters herded into supporting longtime neoconservative agendas they would surely have claimed to oppose in 2016. Because of the establishment psyop known as “QAnon” and Trump’s near-total abandonment of the anti-interventionist platform he campaigned on, a good chunk of Trump’s base who in 2016 would never have been on board with attacks on WikiLeaks or another regime change agenda in the Middle East are now fully on board with both of those things.
It's nice having so many conservative allies in my fight to defend #WikiLeaks from establishment propaganda. I'm really gonna miss you guys next time they leak something about a Republican.
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) November 19, 2017
Seven months. Turns out all it took was some criticism of QAnon and the publication of information ICE agents made public themselves. https://t.co/Tw9qf7UxYG
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) June 28, 2018
The WikiLeaks Twitter account has criticized the QAnon phenomenon multiple times, initially because of false, damaging rumors among Q enthusiasts that WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange was no longer at the Ecuadorian embassy, then later because of its calls for regime change in Iran, which of course brought the wrath of the blind-faith Q followers down upon them and widespread rumors that they are now “compromised”. This despite the fact that the transparency advocacy organization has always since its inception stood in opposition to US regime change interventionism, and the fact that it would have every incentive in the world to oppose the false narrative that Assange no longer needs assistance being freed from his arbitrary detention at the embassy.
Anti-WikiLeaks sentiment among the MAGA crowd escalated much further when the outlet published a searchable database of the LinkedIn information of ICE agents. Because of the right-wing support for US policing institutions, as well as their support for tight immigration control, this brought about a blind, irrational backlash from Trump supporters. The word “doxxing” has been absurdly thrown around despite the fact that the database consists solely of employment information that ICE agents had already made public themselves.
This sentiment appears to arise largely from the impression Trump supporters may have gotten from their casual WikiLeaks support in 2016 that every single thing WikiLeaks releases contains earth-shattering, paradigm-shifting information. In reality the database simply makes it a bit easier to bring transparency and accountability to a faceless, nameless, powerful government organization. Not every WikiLeaks publication is a major bombshell, but the assumption to the contrary by right-wing casual observers makes it seem as though they’d provided a vast amount of information on ICE agents that didn’t exist anywhere previously.
Make a note of which Trump supporters who were dutiful skeptics about Russiagate and Syria turn into worthless foam-brained sheep about Iran.
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) April 30, 2018
I tweeted this two months ago. It's been a very disappointing but informative two months. https://t.co/AsO41Sn2cr
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) June 29, 2018
The support for interventionism in Iran has been even more disappointing. CIA agents ramped up covert operations in Iran last year, just like they did with Libya and Syria, and now just like in Libya and Syria we are seeing protests across the country, some of them highly suspicious-looking. Just as with Libya and Syria, it is entirely likely that we will soon see violence of suspicious origin erupt as a result of these protests, and just like with Libya and Syria we can then expect to see widespread condemnation of Tehran and loud calls for western humanitarian interventionism.
Instead of remaining vigilant about these very real risks, many Trump supporters who’d kept their skepticism goggles firmly in place during Russiagate and Syria interventionist propaganda have removed them completely due to sheer partisan hackery, and now they’re loudly cheering on the Iranian protesters. Critical thinking is completely dead in those circles. They regurgitate party lines in support of a longstanding neoconservative agenda against one of George W Bush’s “Axis of Evil” countries, then claim they’re doing it because “Trump is fighting the deep state.” Ridiculous.
Back during the Bush years, it was very easy to funnel America’s political right into their proper pens using the echo chambers of Fox News and AM radio. Karl Rove could issue a decree at some think tank round table on Monday morning and it would be standard water cooler conversation among US conservatives by Tuesday afternoon. In today’s modern media environment things are much more difficult to control, so they’ve had to come up with new means of manipulation like QAnon, Trump’s Twitter account, and the various young MAGA pundits who understand the new media environment. And, while there do remain critical thinkers on the American political right, for the most part this establishment propaganda system seems just as streamlined and effective as during the Bush administration.
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Jonbo Diddly / August 1, 2018
All totally predictable. Unlike the real left i.e. CJ, Counterpunch, Truthdig, TRNN, (as opposed to the corporate democrat supporting liberal msm) the alt-right aren’t seriously anti-war or military intervention, they’re just selective as to which targets, and they were going be right behind an attack on Iran (and antagonism towards China) when it came about. It was also guaranteed that as soon as WikiLeaks started releasing information that undermined the policies of the Trump administration, they would be calling Assange a traitor and baying for his blood.
lynn allen Young / July 1, 2018
It’s “Rule # 1 A. and B. As in , ” follow the money” , ” follow the zionist , neo-con agenda ” . it. doesn’t. change .
the goals , the motivation. do not change . the methods change….. the faces ( at least some of them) ….change. devices to con, confuse, distract ,and delude are modified and/or recast according
to Zio-con PR needs of the day. The goals remain the same. the elimination of the Palestinians (as a factor in the politics of their own country)and as an ethnic /cultural entity. Check . the 7 regime changes outlined by Wesley Clark , proceeding
apace, Check. a war ( mostly fought with American blood and treasure) to flatten all the opposition to
Zio-con/Israel hegemony in the Mid-East . it’s in the works. Check
Been watching U.S. politics 50 years. never seen such a ” red herring ” feast. Trump is a multi-colored
herring (mostly red) , but , regardless of what he says , he will always , always come down on the Zionist/AIPAC side with what he does. Caitlin is right . that’s rule # 2. So if rule #2 causes you consternation , I refer you to rule #1.
Elkojohn / June 30, 2018
Left-wing warmongers have a preference for military interventions in Nicaragua, Syria, Russia, and N.Korea.
Right-wing warmongers have a preference for military interventions in Cuba, Venezuela, Iran and China.
The U.S. espionage/covert-action agencies are kept very busy trying to keep both sides happy; and therefore, the deep-state commanders have their agenda in full play.
Authentic, right-wing libertarians could stick with the Ron Paul Institute to sort things out for them re: foreign interventions.
Authentic, anti-capitalist, anti-establishment, anti-war folks have Caitlin Johnstone doing an outstanding job of sorting things out. She is consistent in her humanitarian values, which I greatly appreciate,
”First, Do No Harm.”
The Good News:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explains ”moral socialism”
The Bad News:
The Berniecrats and 3rd party voters will be blamed for allowing Trump to appoint another Supreme Court Justice.
More Bad News:
Another U.S. mass shooting in Maryland:
or a symptom of deep-seated alienation
within the toxic U.S. culture of violence–??
Praedor / June 30, 2018
I cannot classroom to be a full on Trump supporter but i do love a lot of what he’s doing (enforcing the border, reining in immigration, killing TPP, NAFTA, talking to Kim Jong Un, and gen we ally driving far lefties batshit insane). Wikileaks is a gray area to me. I have been a strong supporter of Wikileaks but recently I’ve had to wonder if Wikileaks has been compromised in Assange’s absence: there is no valid excuse for them to doxx hundreds of ICE agents, putting both them and their families in danger. There is no “free speech” argument or valid public interest in doxxing law enforcement personnel (or anyone else save people who have doxxed others). That they did this kills my support for them. So, if they are not compromise and actually choose to do this, then they are dead to me. Time to shut them down.
Rob / June 30, 2018
I always felt that the personal demonization of Trump by the Democratic Party leadership would turn out badly, and what Caitlin describes is but one example of it. People have forgotten that Trump is but the latest monstrosity birthed by an increasingly racist and fascistic Republican Party. Focusing so much attention on the man rather than the party has allowed the neocons to exploit the chaos and spread their tentacles into places that few people would have expected they could reach. Much of the blame belongs to Team Clinton, which could not accept their defeat in 2016 and grabbed the nearest alibi they could find–Russian meddling. Thanks, Hillary, you wicked witch.
JR / June 30, 2018
Trump supporters are intensely stupid. If you do not believe this, watch this (it’s real):
Trump has no idea what he should be doing as President. He’s only interested in dismantling and has yet to come up with a single unique or beneficial idea for anyone. Anyone that supports this man is a brain dead fool who has abdicated all critical thought and independent analysis. Like the video shows so clearly, they are incredibly easy to fool and manipulate into supporting and saying anything. It’ll blow your mind.
Robert Edwards / June 30, 2018
Spot on Caitlin, Yes, all those great ideals in the progressives and the left have been co-opted by the neo-cons – intentionally done to stop them in their tracks so they can be demonized, like they did with liberalism, socialism, and communism – they were able, through propaganda and negative innuendos to turn these nouns into the devil himself. So, we must think of another term to express our independence and political correctness – perhaps Agrarianism, this too, if it became the banner for progressives, would be co-opted and turned into a nasty word. We must reestablish the true meaning of Liberalism and Progressivism. We must bring back integrity into our vocabulary, regardless of the snakes on the hill and in MSM.
Marko / June 30, 2018
The day before yesterday I overheard two Freemasons talking and one of them said that Qanon followers crave a sense of belonging to something powerful. Something bigger than themselves. This made sense to me because I’d seen similar sentiments expressed by some Qanon newbies. Then that night I had a dream where I was instructed to immediately check what Q was saying in the newest posts. I came across this :
Is that weird , or what ? Frankly , I’m kinda spooked about it ……
jeffmontanye / June 30, 2018
trump has introduced the one state solution (in israel/palestine) as an outcome acceptable to the u.s., that is israel sovereign in all of palestine and “palestinians” full voting citizens of israel. this is in addition to the two state solution. in light of this, and trying to find a way that it might be a beneficent plan, some of trump’s actions could be more part of the solution than part of the problem. for instance moving the recognized capital from tel aviv to jerusalem supports the idea of israel sovereign in all of palestine and weakens the idea of a palestinian state. nixing the iran deal also makes iran less comfortable and, potentially, more likely to join a peace deal that involves making peace with israel in return for voting israeli citizenship for the disenfranchised in palestine now. it gives iran something it wants (end to sanctions) while also, immediately, giving the israelis something they want now (an apparently more stringent policy toward iranian nuclear development).
similarly, the pushback trump has managed against the fbi and the cia have deeply undercut their support within the republican base. in order to really turn the tables on the neocon war biparty though, the busting of the corruption regarding the election of ’16 must be expanded to include the attacks of ’01 and another very poor robert mueller investigation. for many reasons, not least the fate of the kennedy brothers, this trump led counterattack must be carefully done.
Barbara J. Witt / June 30, 2018
What’s pretty insane is thinking that if you’re on the ‘red’ side, you should listen to all the red side people because they are …on the red side, and therefore correct. And those blue people you chat with because you’re blue side, they’re all smart, good, and know what they’re taking about. It’s as tho we see the other side as total idiots, and know-nothings, but anyone on ‘our’ side has done their homework and is worth listening to. Does anyone really believe that all Trump supporters are baboons and all Hillary people are wise, or vice versa? 99% of Americans know very little about history, politics, foreign policy, anything–but they talk like they have the truth, without really questioning themselves (am I right?). They see ‘fellow Trump supporter’ and believe a ridiculous article he’s posted. Or a former Hillariy person watches Rachel Maddow and believes because Rachel’s on the same side, Rachel wouldn’t lie? If that person tells you what she heard on Rachel, do you automatically believe her? What if no one doubts the misinfo in a tweet about Trump, because they’re on the same team.
I hope people realize they are on their own, and they have to be, because the guy on Twitter lecturing you about some issu probably never read anything about it, but heard a segment on CNN and is simple repeating it (incorrectly). Use your own core values, your intuition and read every side (your side, the other side, and many more sides) of any issue. You must know what the other side is saying before you criticize it, because for all you know, they aren’t saying what some ashole is telling you their saying. They may be saying something that could even be good for you and the country. Do you even listen to them, or have you stopped being able to find out what it is you hate before you hate it.
Geoff Ryan / July 8, 2018
Personally, I tend to think all Trump supporters are sheep and all Clinton supporters are lemmings. I also assume most of humanity is pretty gullible. I worked in marketing and advertising for a while. It’s shocking how easy it is to get people to believe nonsense. Critical thinking is a rare and precious thing.
John Allen aka Ol' Hippy / June 30, 2018
I find it astonishing that people can change their stance on certain political actions to just ‘follow the crowd’ as if the ‘crowd’ knows what’s right or correct disseminated by the constant blitz of the media propaganda machine. The manufacturers have indeed been working overtime in step with the neocon’s terrorization of the ME. Iran is in the sights of these monsters. Ever since Trump shredded the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal the monsters have been gunning for a war. This is Israel’s war. Let them fight it and leave the US out of it. The Israeli govt seems to have a fatal strategy in the hegemony over their ME neighbors. The neocons are in bed with their government. The media is in bed with their govt. It’s not the US’s place to rubblize states in the ME. War is never the answer. I wish folks could look inside and determine if murdering women and children in the name of unthinking patriotism is morally justified. Start thinking for yourselves for a change, drop identity politics and critically examine if what ‘they’ say is moral. only you can answer this question.
Arby / July 1, 2018
People ‘can’ indeed change their minds. That is because we have been given free moral agency by the Creator who designed us. We can change our minds about evil, rejecting it one day and embracing it the next. But no one is exempt from consequences, which isn’t to say that the powerful and those who align themselves with the powerful don’t enjoy a great deal of impunity for their crimes. They do – for now.
I hate being abused. The captchas on this site, and other sites, is AWFUL!!!