How Neoliberal Fundamentalism Helped Make Trump President
Publisher: Counter Punch
Date Written: 02/03/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22186
A common, headache-inducing media narrative has surfaced since the election in 'mainstream' liberal U.S. publications they can no longer trust, such as The Washington Post or New York Times: that the true decline of U.S. democracy, the true dominance of U.S. corporate power in public life, and the true deterioration of the 'American Dream' has at last begun to arrive with the victory of Donald Trump.
The clear point of these narratives is to misdirect all public outrage at the 'individuals rather than the institutions', an outcome supremely convenient to a U.S. oligarchy by now firmly in control of America's thoroughly undemocratized institutions. T. J. Coles' work is an important contribution in part because it helps readers to perceive these manipulative discourses. Coles' latest incisive look at the history of American neoliberalism (highlighting Trump's role within it) is titled President Trump, Inc.: How Big Business and Neoliberalism Empower Populism and the Far-Right. It reverses those misleading media narratives and begins by placing the blame for Trumps electoral grotesquerie squarely at the feet of those bipartisan-supported neoliberal institutions which created the conditions for his rise. Coles does this by building a brusque-but-robust case for how neoliberalism's sustained failure at home and abroad to promote any interests other than those of its most affluent proponents has steadily created the political conditions necessary for the global emergence of far-right populism, including America's 'alt-right'.