‘Trump won White House via social media; mainstream media never saw it coming’

Pepe Escobar
Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online. Born in Brazil, he's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of "Globalistan" (2007), "Red Zone Blues" (2007), "Obama does Globalistan" (2009) and "Empire of Chaos" (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is "2030", also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015.
Traders at BGC Partners look at screens after Donald Trump won the U.S. Presidential election, in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. © Toby Melville
Both parties in the US, Wall Street and big corporate media were absolutely certain Hillary was going to win by 98 percent, but with his mantra “Make America Great Again” Trump proved them all wrong, political analyst Pepe Escobar told RT.

As soon as the polls started to close, stock markets worldwide struggled to handle the results.

Dow Jones futures were slightly up at first but as the likelihood of Donald Trump winning the election increased they plunged over 700 points in a matter of hours. 

The US Dollar index, Brent crude and the Mexican peso also suffered following the news.
In the meantime, the value of gold has gone up over $1,300 per troy ounce.

RT: Why have we been seeing such a reaction? What is so wrong with Donald Trump that the markets didn’t like him?

Pepe Escobar: The famous unknown quantity. Everybody is absolutely flabbergasted. What the hell is going on – nobody knows. People are saying that Deutsche Bank could collapse in the next few hours. Anything is possible. But this is a normal panic reaction, in fact. Because what we just saw is a sort of geopolitical 9/11, in fact. Trump, who is an absolute master of communication, he actually threw the bomb but survived it. The casualties are an enormous spectrum, which includes the war party, of course, both parties of the US, the whole political establishment, Wall Street and big corporate media in the US. People were absolutely sure that Hillary was going to win by 90 percent or even 98 percent. Trump emitted some really good signs in his very short shambolic acceptance speech when he talked about an infrastructure program for the West which is absolutely obvious. Anybody who has traveled or used the US infrastructure and compares it to Asia, the big cities in Asia, knows how appalling the whole thing is. This is jobs, this is investment in infrastructure, and it is what the Chinese did. And they are still doing.

The whole American financial system is based on ‘casino capitalism.’ It is basically speculation go-go-go. This maybe won’t be the case from now on because if Trump manages to converge productive investment inside the US toward creating more jobs and rebuilding infrastructure, it is a completely different ballgame.

RT: Will markets get back to normal soon?

PE: Of course, it will rise later. The interregnum is going to be very important. It depends how Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are going to accept something that they never saw coming. It was basically a revolt by 40 percent of the US electorate. If you go to southern Louisiana, for example, if you go to the ‘Rust Belt’, which voted Trump heavily this time, these were Obama states in fact. If you read the book Strangers in Their Own Land, by Berkeley sociologist Arlie Hochschild, you will understand the results. This is the beggars’ banquet, in fact. They need jobs; they need to believe in the ‘America Dream’ again. They used to be middle class, now they are lower middle class and running the risk of becoming a rural proletariat or totally downgraded lower middle class proletariat as well. So, Trump talked to these people directly. If his promises of creating jobs, investing in infrastructure which he translated as “Make America Great Again.” This was the very lofty mantra for something very simple, which is to create jobs inside the US. If this happens, it is not extremely important what is going to happen to Wall Street, in fact. And he ran against Wall Street, he ran against Goldman Sachs, don’t forget that. And the very close links between Goldman Sachs and the Democrats, which are exposed by WikiLeaks practically on a daily basis for months. And people know how this works. They don’t want casino capitalism, they want productive capitalist investment. And it is one of the few things he is good at.

RT: What do you think about the comparisons being made with the Brexit referendum here?

PE: It is practically the same thing. I covered Brexit from Hong Kong and talked to British experts, some of them were telling me “it is going to happen.” Because the UK is not London, if you go to Liverpool, to Manchester, to Yorkshire, it is a completely different story. And if you go to Arkansas, if you go to southern Louisiana, if you go to Georgia, it is exactly the same story all over again. These are the people who have been excluded from this glorified modernity, globalization, which is basically an off-shoot or runs in parallel to casino capitalism. It’s an absolute revolt; it’s a revolutionary feeling, badly articulated. And they found a guy who is an absolute master in understanding mass communication. He won this election to a great extent, not only by traveling and talking to all of these people; he has been humble enough to admit he learned from the urban and rural proletariat all over America… He won this election on social media. No wonder the American networks never saw it coming, they could not even understand the way to communicate very simplified political message nowadays is through social media. Social media is the new journalism; you have to adapt to it…. He didn’t spend almost a billion dollars like the Democrats did, but he connected to people directly, talking about their everyday problems.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.