Noam Chomsky, six years before Donald Trump’s election victory:
The United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen . . . Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response. What are people supposed to think if someone says ‘I have got an answer, we have an enemy’? There it was the Jews. Here it will be the illegal immigrants and the blacks. We will be told that white males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves and the honour of the nation. Military force will be exalted. People will be beaten up. This could become an overwhelming force. And if it happens it will be more dangerous than Germany. The United States is the world power. Germany was powerful but had more powerful antagonists. I don’t think all this is very far away. If the polls are accurate it is not the Republicans but the right-wing Republicans, the crazed Republicans, who will sweep the next election.
Trump is not ‘honest’ in general, but he is honest in the sense that matters politically, namely, he bluntly calls out the crookedness of the elite of which he is a part. As Allan Nairn, who called the election for Trump months ago, writes,
The debate on money in politics is perhaps the most painful to watch. Both Sanders and Trump – alone among the candidates, say the system is rotten. But Clinton, as she feels she must, denies that money influences her, and, by way of defence, says, hey, Obama takes more Wall Street money than I do!
Trump’s reply is devastating. It’s one reason he often beats her in polls on ‘honesty’. He says, hey I’m a crook! I’ve been buying politicians all my life! But now I’ll be a crook for you, the American people. Screw this system!
Nairn presents sobering, in fact terrifying, analysis of how bad things are about to get. Worth a read.