Politicians pursuing their own personal interests when they make political decisions is hardly novel. For instance, Dick Cheney, who shows no remorse for his crimes when he says that “he would torture prisoners again”, is just one example. His role at Halliburton, the world’s largest oil field services company with multi-billion dollar contracts with oil corporations including Chevron, is at least an indication that he had a not so ulterior motive when he was a part of the decision-making process that culminated in the illegal war in Iraq and he is, of course, not an isolated figure.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise to discover that the climate change denier, Donald Trump, has ushered in his “energy revolution” by allowing the construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines, which had been blocked by the Obama administration. After all, while the world still waits for this particular crook’s tax returns, financial disclosure forms proving that he invested in Energy Transfer Partners, operators of the controversial pipeline, are there for everyone to see along with the information that the company’s CEO donated to Trump’s campaign.
Nevertheless, with federal tax credits for wind and solar power set to continue for at least three years, and with the majority of US states having energy mandates of their own, the hoped for return on investment might not be there, even if the “folks in the fossil fuel industry” are rubbing their hands in glee at the moment. Furthermore, yesterday’s green light for the oil industry will see concrete opposition to the new administration from native Americans and environmental activists.
Indeed, this is a precursor of what is to come, as every action from Trump’s administration will provoke a reaction. For instance, what might be expected if Trump carries out his threat and “impose a border tax of 35 percent on (German) vehicles imported to the U.S. market”? After all, “German carmakers employ about 33,000 workers in the United States and German automotive suppliers about 77,000 more”.
Of course, it is a trade war that is being talked about here and, while that won’t benefit anyone, it is difficult to see how that will lead to a greater conflict. Nobody is seriously predicting a war between Europe and the United States. As mentioned in last Saturday’s post , however, such a war with China is a real possibility and this is where Trump, with his own personal interests and agenda, is an even greater risk than the just as despicable Dick Cheney was.
Whereas with Europe there is likely to be a compromise, which will mean that war will be avoided at all costs, the outcome of a trade war with China is less likely to predict and all the more so since China might even be capable of winning such a trade war. However, a victory for Beijing, which would follow on the heels of a trade war with Europe and discontent at home, would probably be one that might even lead to a scenario where Trump’s last card to save his presidency would be to provoke “a real war that could allow him to cling to power”.
Mismanagement, actions that provoke a reaction, incompetency, conflicts, and scandals will very much be the trade marks of this presidency. It can only be hoped that should Trump try to sell himself as a symbol of national unity by provoking an all out war with China, all and sundry see him for the self-serving egomaniac that he his, and, even if Cheney and his bedfellows got away with their own little mass murders, this particular capitalist absurdity will be stopped before he leads us all down tthe road to armageddon .