by James Howard Kunstler, October 12, 2016
Last night’s debate raises some interesting questions, such as: would the Romans have elected Caligula if given the chance to vote? Can the Republican party recover from Donald Trump? If the party poobahs “pull the plug” on Trump, as some are threatening to do (that is, cut off funds to his campaign), will they go down the drain with him anyway? Is the USA a nation or just the world’s biggest comedy club? Where is the Deep State when you really need it?
That odor wafting across the land is the smell of Republicans with their hair on fire. Yet the gloat of astonishment on Hillary’s face as she witnesses the Queeg-like crack-up of her rival will eventually fade as she discerns the wreckage awaiting her in the oval office. Weep for your country!
The only good to come out of this sordid election is the certainty that a lot of political debris will be swept away in the Fourth Turning underway. Out of the miasma of idiocy and posture that is this election campaign, the hard-edged realities of our time will emerge and the TV audience will come to the stark recognition that it is not just another mere entertainment.
The other major nations of the world are not so much ganging up on America, as Hillary would have it, but reasonably attempting to ring-fence the mad bull that the USA has become — as the two candidates vie to start World War Three with China and Russia respectively. The last resort of the scoundrels in today’s version of the “yellow press” is to blame Russia for attempting to meddle in our election. War, children, it’s just a shot away.
It is getting to be too late to sort out all the confusion sown by this horrific campaign. From here on its really more a matter of the dust settling. In background of it all looms the train-wreck of global finance, which will be the true determinant of what the American people will have to do in the years ahead. During the weeks of the election distraction, the European banks struggle to conceal their insolvency while the politicians of Euro-land desperately try to paper over the cracks in these fracturing institutions. Few can tell what is actually happening in China’s banking system, but it’s sending out ominous tremors that are hard to ignore. But be sure it is all daisy-chained right into Wall Street and the US banks. The potential for wrecking markets and currencies around the world is extreme at this moment. It may only be a matter of whether it happens before or after the election.
Then we’ll see what happens when financial institutions can’t trust each other. Trade stops. Economies crumble. Pretenses evaporate. If it gets bad enough, the shelves of the supermarkets go bare in three days and you’re living in a permanent hurricane disaster without the wind and rain. Believe me, that will be bad enough. Hillary, if elected, will not get to play FDR-2. Rather, she’ll be stuck in the role of Hoover, the Return, presiding over a freight elevator of an economy with a broken cable. Expect problems with the US dollar. Expect “emergency” actions. Expect the unintended consequences of those actions.
If there is one outstanding upshot of these “debates” it must be their staggering failure to reassure the American public that they can expect effective leadership through the hardships ahead. There must be many others out there like myself wondering who will emerge from the rubble? I suspect it will be someone we haven’t heard of before, just as Bonaparte was unheard of in France in 1792. This is not entirely a nation of clowns, though it feels like that lately.
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