So far, none of the commentary on the 2016 election process has gone beyond the “conventional wisdom” about how political campaigns are supposed to be run. Trump has broken all those rules, and the Republican Party has gladly celebrated each breach. The much-misunderstood Karl Marx was right: the end justifies the means (or, it doesn’t). Marx was talking about socio-economic and political justice; Trump and the Republicans are talking corporate commerce.
A perfect illustration of the clash between commercial (corporate) interests and socio-economic (political) justice is the current confrontation at Standing Rock Sioux reservation between the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Dakota Access Company oil pipeline project. Apparently, Dakota Access used information filed with the court by the Standing Rock Tribe to locate and deliberately bulldoze sites sacred to the Sioux Nation:
JAN HASSELMAN (Attorney for Standing Rock Tribe on September 3, 2016): “We’re disappointed with what happened here today. We provided evidence on Friday of sacred sites that were directly in the pipeline’s route. By Saturday morning, those sites had been destroyed. And we saw things happening out at Standing Rock—dogs being put on protesters—that haven’t been seen in America in 40, 50 years.”
To date, Dakota Access has not responded to the protests, nor to questions about the deliberate bull-dozing of sites identified by the plaintiffs in the case, nor the use by the corporation of dogs to attack peaceful protesters. Of course, in the conventional world, parties to a lawsuit generally do not comment on current litigation. Further, in the conventional world, parties to a law suit do not use information provided by the opposition to destroy evidence that might have a negative impact on the outcome.
Like it or not, “conventional wisdom” no longer applies – not to the Standing Rock litigation, nor to the 2016 U.S. Presidential race. The commercial-corporate and political nexus is Donald Trump:
Trump’s Connection to Dakota Access Pipeline
By Steve Horn
EcoWatch.com September 7, 2016
Continental Resources—the company founded and led by CEO Harold Hamm, energy adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and potential U.S. Secretary of Energy under a Trump presidency—has announced to investors that oil it obtains via fracking from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale basin is destined for transport through the hotly-contested Dakota Access Pipeline.
The company’s 37-page September 2016 Investor Update presentation walks investors in the publicly-traded company through various capital expenditure and profit-margin earning scenarios.. . . Dakota Access is slated to carry the fracked Bakken oil across South Dakota, Iowa and into Patoka, Illinois. From there, it will connect to the company’s Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline (ETCOP) line, which terminates in Nederland, Texas at the Sunoco Logistics-owned refinery.
From there, contrary to company claims, the oil will not be used domestically but shipped overseas. So the proceeds will add nothing to the U.S. economy – once the temporary pipeline jobs are finished.
Much has been made of Trump’s apparent (denied then acknowledged) personal relationship with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin. Pundits and editors of major news organizations continue to be puzzled and outraged by the “cluelessness” evidenced by Trump of the repercussions of such an unholy alliance. Naifs on the left might celebrate the “conventional wisdom” that this means the possibility of peaceful coexistence at last. But in Trump’s world, where the Apprentice wins by any means necessary, the relationship is, in Trump’s words, “nothing personal; it’s just business.”
What Trump is likely betting on is that Putin’s techies did in fact hack into the Democratic National Committee’s emails, and will continue to attempt to alter the outcome of the U.S. election in Trump’s favor — not because Putin is enamored of Trump, but because he at last would have access to all of the political, social, and economic power of the United States of America.
Trump’s world is like a gas station owner who consistently keeps her prices two cents below the competition across the street, until the competition goes out of business. Then she buys that business and makes it into an even bigger truck stop, selling cigarettes, beer, and women, until the mafia closes it down, triggering bankruptcy, and a very lucrative settlement. The business is a loss on the income tax forms, and the original owner wins.
Following this scenario on the global stage – which Trump will do – would have interesting consequences for the future of humanity as the dominant species on the planet. But the oligarchs don’t care about the future of humanity. All they care about is this life here and now.
Don’t take it personally, it’s just business.
Ultimately, somebody would get fired. Anybody want to really bet on who?