Caitlin Johnstone Apr 21
The cool thing about having a predominantly lefty readership is that when I want to criticize the Democratic establishment or the liberal mass media, the people who read my stuff tend to understand the history and nuances behind what I’m talking about. I don’t get a lot of right-wing idiots coming in calling Democrats “leftists” or saying Rachel Maddow looks like a dude hurr hurr hurr; I get mostly intelligent responses and understanding, along with some fair and informed criticism of my own progressivism.
The shitty thing about having a predominantly lefty readership is that when I try to talk about the anti-establishment left’s counterparts on the political right, people have no idea what I’m talking about, because we’ve got our own echo chambers just like other groups have. When I say the alt-right is overwhelmingly opposed to military interventionism and regime change wars, or that it was understandable for them to hope that Trump was going to drain the swamp, bitch slap the globalists and stand up to the deep state, I get a lot of pushback from people who insist that they’re nothing but a bunch of stupid racist warmongering fascists who value nothing but power and money. And when I say that they are mostly decent people with a solid moral code who will not hesitate to turn against Trump if he steps out of line, I’ll likely get people arguing that the Trumpsters will stay loyal to their God Emperor no matter what. Those people will be wrong, and they should spend less time in the lefty echo chamber.
Say what you will about the alt-right, but there is at least as much critical thinking and healthy distrust of authority happening there as there is in the true progressive movement. Trump is already on thin ice with them due to his antics in Syria, which drew condemnation from many key leaders of the movement. If his administration tries to arrest Julian Assange as anonymous sources allegedly within the US government have told CNN it is planning to do, there is no coming back from that. You can’t build someone up as a hero and then execute him months later when he’s no longer useful to you. You can’t turn on the god of all computer nerds when a major part of your online support base had its roots in 4chan. The ultimate underdog who has dedicated his life to standing up to the monolithic might of the deep state is one of the few people Trump’s support base loves even more than Donald Trump, and they’re already letting him know they won’t stand for it.
I had a very interesting interview with Robert David Steele yesterday, who is politically very different from myself and whose fan base is largely on the opposite end of the political spectrum, and while we didn’t agree on everything we strongly agreed that the time has come for the anti-establishment right and the anti-establishment left and all the truth-tellers in between to unify against the deep state, which I happened to have just written about in my last article. I may cringe at Steele’s language sometimes and he and I may never agree about Bernie Sanders being a sheepdog who sold out for a beach house, but I will proudly set aside our differences and fight the manipulations of the deep state by his side, because until the unelected power establishment is overthrown, our ideological differences are functionally irrelevant. Until election integrity is restored and the American people have a voice in what happens to their country that isn’t nullified and neutered by unelected oligarchs, the only fight that makes any sense is against those oligarchs, and if all anti-establishment factions come together and put everything they’ve got into that fight, we can win.
In our conversation, Steele, an early outspoken Trump supporter, told me that he and others in his movement were giving Trump until May 1st to turn away from the deep state agenda trajectory he appears to be on, and then will commence fighting him as one of them. This was before news broke about the administration’s alleged intention to prosecute one of the greatest heroes the world has ever seen in Julian Assange.
There are many arguments to be made for why arresting Assange would be catastrophic and criminal, from the fact that Ecuador is specifically sheltering him from US prosecution for his organization’s leaks to very legitimate fears that it will lead to the prosecutions of other journalists who leak classified information, but from a simple strategic point of view it would also be the stupidest thing that Trump could possibly do. His popularity is already hurting, and alienating the one group that has truly adored him and stuck with him through thick and thin will leave him with no allies but the fickle neocons he is currently catering to, and they will turn on him on a dime the second they can spill a little more blood on a little more sand by doing so.
But the campaign promises keep falling away and long-held positions keep reversing to fall in line with America’s unelected power establishment, so it looks like that may be where we’re headed. This would be very bad for Trump, and absolutely horrific for Assange. But it would also spell death for the deep state and victory for the 99 percent as we the people rise up, and shrug them off like a heavy coat on a warm day.
I promise anyone who’s involved in these plots against Assange: if you harm one silver hair on that man’s head, that will be the end of you. You will have overextended yourself, and we will all unite against you. This will happen. Don’t be stupid.