In August of 1946, Mao Zedong sat down with American journalist Anna Louise Strong to discuss the civil war in China between his own Communist forces and the Koumintang Party of Chiang Kai-shek. Slowly, their conversation drifted to the emerging conflict that would occupy the majority of the 20th century: the Cold War between the preeminent Communist power, the Soviet Union, and its counterpart Democratic power, the United States. When asked about the potential for an atomic attack against the USSR by the Americans, Mao offered a now-famous tidbit of wisdom:
“The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the U.S. reactionaries use to scare people. It looks terrible, but in fact it isn’t. Of course, the atom bomb is a weapon of mass slaughter, but the outcome of a war is decided by the people, not by one or two new types of weapon. All reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance, the reactionaries are terrifying, but in reality they are not so powerful.”
What’s interesting about Mao’s quote is how applicable it is in modern America, albeit in a figurative sense now instead of just a literal one. On Friday, Jan. 20, the atomic bomb that was the 2016 United States presidential election finally crashed to Earth, unleashing a fusillade of executive orders, bronzer and orange hair the likes of which the world has never seen.
Two Fridays ago, we the people officially had the biggest paper tiger of modern politics take the reins of our great sovereign nation. And, as people are prone to do when faced with anything that is scary, different and tainted with uncertainty, everybody panicked.
Anti-fascist protesters destroyed property in the capital following the inauguration, leading to 217 arrests. Then, 3 million women marched in Washington D.C., and even more around the world on Saturday, Jan. 21. Various protests transpired around the country the rest of the week.
On Wednesday, Jan. 25, the environmentalist group Greenpeace even flew a giant banner from a crane with “Resist” printed on it, just a couple blocks from the White House. And through it all, the media and corporate cable have fed the collective fear of the public like a mother bird regurgitating its spew into the mouths of her wide-eyed baby birds.
ABC’s popular drama “Scandal” opened its new season with an episode about the assassination of their country’s president-elect, while commercials both advertised a new drama series about a presidential assassination called “Designated Survivor” and endorsed the work of the social justice warriors in D.C., many of whom were really just out to take potshots at Trump and burn American flags.
Trump is the ultimate paper tiger, a misunderstood sheep that has been wrapped in wolf’s clothing by the corporate state. This is not to say the man is above error, because indeed, he is a flawed human being; it’s more that most of the flak thrown his way thus far in his presidency is unfounded.
His messages about “America First” and changing the economic balance of power on the global stage has been viewed as a drastic removal from American ideals—which is rather paradoxical, considering that his so-called “anti-American ideals” are aimed at solving the United States’ various political and economical problems by focusing on what best serves our country rather than the rest of the world and corporations.
However, Trump’s presidency is a great threat to the security blanket of the corporate elite who have spent years now trying to ‘unify’ the world for their own financial gain—men like business magnate George Soros, the man who broke the Bank of England, and former security advisor to former President Jimmy Carter, Polish-born Zbigniew Brzezinski. These men, and those like them, have much to gain through big government, and they will play on the emotions of the public through “social justice” as much as possible in order to gain support in building their great corporate empires.
You see, large government entities can impose many layers of regulations and reforms that render small businesses obsolete. Corporate elitists support socialist ideas in the United States because small businesses would go out of business trying to pay their taxes, wages and benefits. When this happens, large corporations swoop in and buy these businesses.
To put this concept into relatable terms, imagine all the pizza shops in West Chester going out of business trying to support a $15 minimum wage. These businesses would have to raise their prices and reduce their workforce in order to stay afloat, and ultimately most would likely tank. Seeing that the competition is being run out of town opens the door for large corporations to be the only option, and so instead of debating whether you want a CBR from Calio’s, a Fat Boy Pizza from Amore, or a Munchies Pizza from Chris’s, now you only get to pick food from the inferior Domino’s and Pizza Hut menus. Scary thought, right?
When Trump says he wants to put “America First,” this is how he means it: Small businesses here need to be able to flourish for our democracy to maintain itself. In that regard, Trump is only a paper tiger to Main Street America. The only part of America who is truly being threatened by Trump’s presidency is Wall Street, and they will pay every penny they have to in order to make you believe his sights are on us.
Scott Vogel is a second-year student majoring in English. He can be reached at SV845618@wcupa.edu.