By C.J. Polychroniou
Noam Chomsky speaks in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 12, 2015.Ministerio de Cultura de la Nacion Argentina
But what exactly does Trump’s victory mean and what can one expect from this megalomaniac when he takes over the reins of power on Jan. 20, 2017? What is Trump’s political ideology, if any and is “Trumpism” a movement? Will U.S. foreign policy be any different under a Trump administration? Some years ago, public intellectual Noam Chomsky warned that the political climate in the U.S. was ripe for the rise of an authoritarian figure. Now, he shares his thoughts on the aftermath of this election, the moribund state of the U.S. political system and why Trump is a real threat to the world and the planet in general.
Q. Noam, the unthinkable has happened: In contrast to all forecasts, Donald Trump scored a decisive victory over Hillary Clinton, and the man that Michael Moore described as a “wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full-time sociopath” will be the next president of the U.S. In your view, what were the deciding factors that led American voters to produce the biggest upset in the history of U.S. politics?
A. Noam Chomsky
Before turning to this question, I think it is important to spend a few moments pondering just what happened on Nov. 8, a date that might turn out to be one of the most important in human history, depending on how we react.
The most important news of Nov. 8 was barely noted, a fact of some significance in itself.
On Nov. 8, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) delivered a report at the international conference on climate change in Morocco (COP22) which was called in order to carry forward the Paris agreement of COP21. The WMO reported that the past five years were the hottest on record. It reported rising sea levels, soon to increase as a result of the unexpectedly rapid melting of polar ice, most ominously the huge Antarctic glaciers. Already, Arctic sea ice over the past five years is 28 percent below the average of the previous 29 years, not only raising sea levels, but also reducing the cooling effect of polar ice reflection of solar rays, thereby accelerating the grim effects of global warming. The WMO reported further that temperatures are approaching dangerously close to the goal established by COP21, along with other dire reports and forecasts.
Another event took place on Nov. 8, which also may turn out to be of unusual historical significance for reasons that, once again, were barely noted.
On Nov. 8, the most powerful country in world history, which will set its stamp on what comes next, had an election. The outcome placed total control of the government—executive, Congress, the Supreme Court—in the hands of the Republican Party, which has become the most dangerous organization in world history.
Apart from the last phrase, all of this is uncontroversial. The last phrase may seem outlandish, even outrageous. But is it? The facts suggest otherwise. The party is dedicated to racing as rapidly as possible to destruction of organized human life. There is no historical precedent for such a stand.
Is this an exaggeration? Consider what we have just been witnessing.
During the Republican primaries, every candidate denied that what is happening is happening—with the exception of the sensible moderates, like Jeb Bush, who said it’s all uncertain, but we don’t have to do anything because we’re producing more natural gas, thanks to fracking. Or John Kasich, who agreed that global warming is taking place, but added that “we are going to burn [coal] in Ohio and we are not going to apologize for it.”
The winning candidate, now the president-elect, calls for rapid increase in use of fossil fuels, including coal; dismantling of regulations; rejection of help to developing countries that are seeking to move to sustainable energy; and in general, racing to the cliff as fast as possible.
Trump has already taken steps to dismantle the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by placing in charge of the EPA transition a notorious (and proud) climate change denier, Myron Ebell. Trump’s top adviser on energy, billionaire oil executive Harold Hamm, announced his expectations, which were predictable: dismantling regulations, tax cuts for the industry (and the wealthy and corporate sector generally), more fossil fuel production, lifting Obama’s temporary block on the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Noam Chomsky on global warming: ‘We’re really regressing back to the Medieval period…without rapid change ‘chances for a decent future are not very high’ – ‘Every country in the world is taking at least halting steps toward trying to do something about [AGW]. The US is also taking steps, namely to accelerate the threat’
Noam Chomsky Proposes Facism As A Solution To Global Warming?! – Chomsky warns that if ‘catastrophic effects’ of warming were due in 10 years ‘we’d probably have a fascist takeover-with everybody agreeing to it, because that would be the only method for survival that anyone could think of. I’d even agree to it, because there’s just no other alternatives right now’
UPDATE: Chomsky now attempts to retract his ‘death knell’ comment! ‘If I said the [GOP] elections are a death knell, I went too far. But I think it’s fair to say that they do threaten that outcome’ – Climate Depot Response to Chomsky: ‘If’ you said it? You clearly did say it on video. You now admit you ‘went too far?’ But we all thought you were a brilliant ‘linguist’! How could you say what you don’t mean? Aren’t you at least supposed to be the expert at using language? Note: Chomsky is reading and responding to emails([email protected])
Noam Chomsky on skeptics: ‘It is important to bear in mind that those who orchestrate the campaigns know as well as the rest of us that the ‘hoax’ is real and ominous…’ – ‘…but they are pursuing their institutional role: maximizing short-term profit and putting aside ‘externalities,’ in this case the fate of the species’ (Note: Chomsky is reading and responding to emails: [email protected])
Noam Chomsky: GOP election victory amounts to ‘death knell for the human species’ – GOP’s rejection of man-made climate fears means ‘we’re essentially saying — let’s kiss each other goodbye’