Saturday, July 20, 2019

Trump Is Back Under Bolton’s Thumb — Paul Craig Roberts

I don't think that this quite correct. John Bolton is the frontman in the administration for casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a rabid supporter of Zionism and a major contributor to Trump's political campaign. It is not an exaggeration to say that Trump owes his 2016 victory in large part to Adelson's legal bribery.

OK, course, Trump gave no quid pro quo for the funding, so it is not bribery in the legal sense. However, anyone who thinks that political contributions, especially large ones, don't come with strings attached is very naive about how the world works.

The dilemma that Trump has faced and still face is that Adelson's money is needed for his political campaigns and this requires that he play the role that his backer demands, which ties his own hands regarding preferred policy and strategy.  This is especially the case now that the 2020 presidential campaign is upon us.

I don't see Trump caving to Bolton. I see Sheldon Adelson with a gun to Trump's temple in the form of campaign funding.

This is a big reason that for anything like representative democracy instead of plutonomy to prevail in the US, campaign finance has to be reformed, the revolving door locked, and lobbying outlawed. This would require nullifying SCOTUS's Citizen's United decision.

Complicating the problem is that this is a bipartisan issue. Electing the opposition party will not affect it, judging from the past. The lesson is that money doesn't mix with politics in a liberal democracy, not that there are any now, or have been any historically. Bourgeois liberalism is liberalism in name only.

Paul Craig Roberts
Trump Is Back Under Bolton’s Thumb
Paul Craig Roberts | formerly Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and a columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate

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