October 25, 2019


How America's far-left could help re-elect Donald Trump: Spoiler candidates risk splitting the Democrat vote next year (EDWARD LUCE, 10/25/19, Financial Times)

But for Ms Stein, Mr Trump might still be trying to make a comeback in reality TV. A Gabbard candidacy could accomplish the same for Mr Trump next year. Little wonder that conservative influencers, such as Fox News' Tucker Carlson, have been welcoming the Hawaiian congresswoman on to their show.

Such scenarios are of little concern to America's far-left, which cheered Ms Gabbard last week for dubbing Mrs Clinton the "queen warmonger". Though a far smaller strand of the electorate, America's hard left sees things in much the same way as Jeremy Corbyn, Britain's Labour leader. In capsule, they trace the world's biggest problems to American imperialism. Barack Obama is as big a culprit as George W Bush by that measure. The latter may have invaded Iraq. But the former, in Ms Gabbard's view, attempted "regime change" in Bashar al-Assad's Syria, and overthrew Libya's Muammer Gaddafi.

Mr Trump's presidency provides two guilty pleasures for America's far-left. First, his take on America's global role is remarkably similar. In spite of his Make America Great Again slogan, Mr Trump is a foe of American exceptionalism -- the idea that the US plays a providential role in world history. Mr Trump is happiest when shocking the bourgeois with remarks about how the US has interfered in foreign elections and killed countless bystanders. The fact that some of his observations are true adds frisson. For an exceptionalist, American history is about defeating Nazism, communism and world poverty. For an anti-exceptionalist, such as Ms Gabbard, US foreign policy is about exporting perpetual war to faraway places.

Posted by at October 25, 2019 12:00 AM