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Chris Hedges on Donald Trump’s ‘Naked Kleptocracy’

Posted on Jan 13, 2017

Truthdig contributor Chris Hedges recently appeared on the RT show “Watching the Hawks” to analyze the future of American politics under Donald Trump. Hedges is asked what he sees as the most compelling or intriguing aspect of the U.S. election.

“Utter blindness of the Democratic Party,” he answers. “And I would have to add the Republican elites, epitomized by Jeb Bush and others.”

Hedges, who once characterized the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as between neoliberalism and fascism, expands on the ideological forces at play behind Trump’s popularity.

Americans who voted for Trump “picked a faux populist,” Hedges says. “They picked a figure who’s a con artist, who told them what they wanted to hear.”

As for the incoming Trump administration, Hedges believes it will be “a naked kleptocracy.”

Hedges, referencing his Truthdig column “Con vs. Con,” notes that Trump is a con man—but his way of deceiving the American public is more “naked” than that of the political establishment.

Hedges says he doesn’t believe that, moving forward, the Democratic Party will recognize its blind spots. He argues, for instance, that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer “is the go-to guy if you want Wall Street money in the Democratic Party” and that Schumer “epitomizes all the characteristics that the electorate turned against.”

President-elect Trump, Hedges continues, won’t be able to stand up to these establishment forces because Trump is “malleable and easily manipulated.”

“I just don’t see him having either the experience or the fortitude to stand up against the deep state,” Hedges says. “And let’s be fair, Obama didn’t either.”

He also discusses what he considers the faux threat of Russia and the growing “new McCarthyism” in the United States.

Finally, Hedges is questioned about the future of the American political system: Is there anything to be hopeful for?

“I don’t think we can talk about hope until we grow up,” Hedges concludes.

Watch the full segment below:

—Posted by Emma Niles

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