(ANTIMEDIA) Pundits and political commentators the world over have been trying to decipher the Trump phenomenon for months. He’s running against the media, he’s running against the Democrats, and he’s even running against the Republican Party. Each time he says something that would normally be a major gaffe, his poll numbers seem to spike.
Nobody has been able to pinpoint the source of Trump’s popularity, so perhaps it’s time start examining a seemingly unlikely catalyst for his meteoric rise: Hillary Clinton.
It’s easy to say all of Trump’s supporters are simply closet racists coming out of the woodworks now that the presidential candidate has validated their views — and for a sizable percentage of his followers, this is probably true. However, recent polling has shown Trump’s supporters and Bernie Sanders’ supporters actually have some things in common, though few would accuse Sanders’ supporters of bigotry; both groups despise so-called free trade deals like NAFTA and the upcoming TPP, and according to Pew Research Center, both tend to be more skeptical of U.S. entanglements in foreign interventions than other voters. These two major issues highlight exactly how Hillary Clinton has given rise to Donald Trump.
We’re going build a big, beautiful wall.
Donald Trump gains a great deal of support from the widespread perception that he is the toughest guy on immigration in the 2016 presidential race — and according to his rhetoric, he is. But to understand why Americans are so insecure about immigration from Latin America, we have to understand why so many individuals are leaving the region in the first place. This is where Hillary Clinton’s role in Trump’s popularity starts to become more clear.
NAFTA is a trade agreement passed in 1994 by Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress at that time. It was billed as a massive, job-creating trade deal that Bill Clinton described as “ a force for economic growth and social progress.” However, the trade bill’s effects — whether intentional or a consequence of politicians’ lack of foresight — would lead to the decimation of American manufacturing jobs and the destruction of the Mexican peasant-farmer industry.
As a result of NAFTA, manufacturing jobs were moved to Mexico in favor of extremely low paid workers south of the border. At the same time, subsidized American corn flooded Mexican markets — yet another consequence of NAFTA — putting millions of farmers out of work. According to McClatchy Newspapers, “a flood of U.S. corn imports, combined with subsidies that favor agribusiness, are blamed for the loss of 2 million farm jobs in Mexico. The trade pact worsened illegal migration, some experts say, particularly in areas where small farmers barely eke out a living.”
The number of Mexican economic refugees fleeing Mexico began growing exponentially as soon as trade deal was passed — and this influx of immigrants is why Trump’s “build-a-wall” rhetoric is working. Though he may capitalize on the ramifications of NAFTA, Hillary Clinton was a staunch, active proponent of the trade deal; she even helped Bill Clinton get it passed.
Trump may run against “bad deal” trade agreements, even as he ignores the fact that it’s these very agreements that caused the Latin American immigration problem. But Hillary Clinton’s decades-old corporatist agenda is directly responsible for his successful strategy.
But why stop at Mexico, Hillary?
Hillary has also been a long-time proponent of overthrowing sovereign governments, as was the case with the Honduran military’s coup in 2009. As many may recall, the Latin American immigration crisis in the summer of 2014 saw individuals coming primarily from other nations besides Mexico — including Honduras. This is likely — at least in part — because Hillary Clinton provided material support to the movement that ousted an elected government from power by force.
The coup has unleashed dire consequences for the country. Honduras is now completely destabilized and one of the most violent places in the Western Hemisphere. Such conditions have also made the nation a source of many of the refugees arriving at America’s doorstep. The Honduran military’s seizure of power, outlined in Hillary’s recently released emails, is helping Donald Trump win the Republican nomination because of the vast wave of immigration — and, as a result, reactionary anti-immigration sentiment — it has precipitated.
“We need to ban Muslims from entering the country until we figure out what’s going on.”
Hillary Clinton has scoffed at Donald Trump’s policy of banning Muslims from entering the United States, calling his rhetoric “shameful” and “dangerous.” She even said: “Donald Trump has made a name for himself in this election by trafficking in prejudice and paranoia.”
She’s right, but it’s also her fault. Here’s why:
Hillary Clinton has supported war in the Middle East at every possible opportunity. She rightly claimed in a tweet that Trump’s anti-Muslim agenda makes us less safe — but she apparently thinks her support for bombing the very countries sending the refugees are making us more safe.
Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq. The destabilization in Iraq caused by the U.S. invasion and occupation directly led to the rise of ISIS and other terrorist groups, which filled the vacuum of power once Saddam Hussein was deposed. ISIS has now expanded its terror organization from Iraq into nearly every corner of the Muslim world.
Further, Hillary supported the overthrow of the Libyan government in 2009, effectively acting as the weight that tipped the scales in favor of intervention. She has defended these actions, but Libya is now a failed state embroiled in a civil war of epic proportions; dozens of factions and foreign interests vie for control of the country’s resources.
Fifty-thousand people have died so far, and now Libya is experiencing a refugee crisis of its own, exporting thousands of fearful women and children — as well as radicalized fighters — to Europe and beyond. Gaddafi warned the West this exact scenario would unfold should he be overthrown, but his warnings went unheeded. In a sick and twisted way, Clinton found Gaddafi’s demise funny.
Libya isn’t the only place where Hillary’s actions have bolstered Donald Trump’s platform. A short skip across the Mediterranean Sea to Syria shows that Hillary has a habit of overthrowing Middle Eastern governments for geopolitical reasons; she supported the initiation of the Syrian Civil War, which has subsequently opened the door for radical jihadists to operate in the eastern part of the country.
According to recently released State Departments emails, her strategy was simple: “The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad,” one of her aides wrote in an outline of her strategy.
This strategy has led to the deaths of 300,000 innocent Syrians and the creation of another 10,000,000 refugees, who Donald Trump is effectively campaigning against.
The search is over for anyone seeking the underlying reasons for Trump’s popularity. We can blame Hillary Clinton, her neoliberal economics peers, and her neoconservative foreign policy buddies — like the notorious Henry Kissinger. She has been a longtime proponent of the political establishment’s sellout of the American working class, as well as policies that have decimated foreign countries — whether economically or militarily. Her role in creating refugees, both south of the border and in the Middle East, has helped create the environment for Trump to thrive, and now she’s running against his policies — which are simply a reaction to hers.
So remember this: next time you hear Donald Trump say something reprehensible about a minority group, it’s at least partially Hillary Clinton’s fault that his message is resonating with so many voters.
This article (Here’s Why Hillary Clinton Is Actually to Blame for the Rise of Donald Trump) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Nick Bernabe and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Original artwork by Anti-Media. If you spot a typo, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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