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The US Is No Longer a Democracy
Paul Craig Roberts

The GEOFOR editorial board asked Paul Craig Roberts, chairman of the Institute for Political Economy, USA, PhD in economics and U.S. undersecretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration to comment on the prosecution of Donald Trump, and to find out whether it could lead to the former president’s actual incarceration, and how it would affect the presidential election in 2024.

GEOFOR: Dear Mr. Roberts: At the beginning of the 20th century, Eugene V. Debs already ran for president of the United States while in prison. In the 21st century, they are trying to exclude Donald Trump from the presidential race in every possible way. To what extent will the ongoing investigation hinder him in his quest to occupy the Oval Office and what consequences can Alvin Bragg’s desire to put the ex-president behind bars lead to?

Dr. Paul C Roberts: If Democrats thought they could defeat Trump in the next presidential election, they would not go to so much trouble to prevent him from campaigning.  The Democrats know that Trump won reelection and that the election was stolen from him in so-called “swing states” where Democrats control the large cities and thereby control the election procedures and vote counts.  As Biden currently only has 37% support, Democrats know they cannot again steal the election.

The Democrats’ plan is to keep Trump tied up in court procedures so that he cannot campaign.  The Democrats know, and many expert attorneys and former prosecutors have told them, that they don’t have a real case.  But New York is totally in Democrat hands and is very corrupt.  It is even possible that a NY jury would convict Trump based on the personal animosity Democrats feel toward Trump.  However, the conviction would be overturned.  Moreover, it is impossible for a state to put a former president in prison.  Federal law requires former presidents to be protected by Secret Service agents, and the Secret Service agents cannot be put in prison.

Bragg is a NY state prosecutor.  He charges Trump under NY state law for misreporting the payment to the porn star who extorted Trump with the threat to make public accusations during his first presidential campaign.  Trump’s lawyers advised to just give her the money. Bragg says the money was reported as a legal expense to one of Trump’s companies and that it should have been reported as a Trump campaign contribution to his campaign. There is no proof that Bragg is correct.  It is just his personal opinion.  Under NY law misreporting is a misdemeanor, not a felony.  The felony charge is a federal one that Bragg has not revealed.  So it is an indictment based on an unrevealed charge, which makes no sense.  Moreover, it is not possible for a state prosecutor to prosecute a federal offense.   That requires a federal prosecutor in a federal, not state, court.  The prosecution has the real possibility of backfiring on the Democrats and ruining Bragg.

In other words, the charge is no more real than Russiagate, the failed impeachments, Insurrection gate, documentgate, and now strippergate.  The Democrats get away with this because the TV and print media are aligned with the Democrats.

Also aligned with the Democrats is the national security state apparatus–CIA, NSA, FBI, Pentagon and military industries.  They are aligned with the Democrats against Trump, because one of Trump’s two main goals was to “normalize relations with Russia.”  To the military/security complex, that means taking away the enemy threat that justifies their budget and power.

It is not yet clear, but Bragg’s prosecution might be hurting Democrats and helping Trump. Trump’s supporters know that how an expense is reported is not a prosecutorial offense and that what is happening is just a continuation of the orchestrated attacks on Trump.  Democrats have been conditioned by media to hate Trump, and their opposition to him is based on personal animosity, not on issues.

I believe that there is a deeper element in the Democrats’ attacks on Trump.  The ruling elites are teaching all future presidential candidates as well as candidates for the House and Senate what happens to those who attempt to represent the people instead of the ruling elites.  The Republican Party itself is an establishment party, and for the most part its members want rid of Trump, who is destabilizing for the elites who control the narratives.  Essentially, the elites don’t want any leaders. They want puppets like Biden and Obama. If the Kremlin thinks Biden is America’s leader, the Kremlin is mistaken. Biden is a puppet of the oligarchy.

GEOFOR: Experts today are increasingly talking about a deep split in American society, I mean the likely struggle between Trump and Biden for the presidency in 2024. Recent BBC News polls have shown that the population would like to see new faces in the race for the White House. Tell me, so what is the real situation in the United States and what can the world expect from the upcoming election campaign?

Dr. Paul C Roberts: Polls such as the BBC poll are concoctions to plant the idea in the people that it is “time to move on.”  The hope is that it will affect the less fervent Trump supporters and erode some of Trump’s support. Few polls are real. The Rasmussen Poll tends to be more honest and thereby more reliable.

What has happened to American society is that powerful interest groups have replaced democracy with oligarchy.  Trump and a majority of the American people recognized that fact, and Trump said he was going to turn power back to the people.  The oligarchy is determined to prevent their loss of control.  That is what the real fight is.  It has nothing to do with Trump and Biden except that Biden is willing to be a puppet and Trump is not.

There is a deeper element in the real conflict.  The Democrats have become the home of a new ideological element that attacks Western civilization as racist and oppressive, and that seeks to normalize all forms of perversity, such as pedophilia and homosexuality, to destroy the confidence of white youth by teaching them in schools and universities that they are racists oppressors, and to confuse them about their gender by teaching that many are born into the wrong bodies.  Many see this as the program of cultural Marxism designed to overthrow existing society by discrediting society’s social norms and institutions.

GEOFOR: More and more often you can see reports of a possibility of recession in the United States, much attention is paid to the disputes between Republicans and Democrats about the likely increase in the debt ceiling. Will the politicians be able to reach agreements on the “X hour”? Is the threat of a government shutdown still real? Or is the future even direr?

Dr. Paul C Roberts: The debt ceiling events are always dramas in which the two parties argue over spending priorities. Other than this, they are meaningless.  The US economic problem is that the US has assured itself large trade deficits by moving its manufacturing offshore (when offshored US production is brought to the US to be sold it enters as imports), and the US has undermined its financial dominance by using the dollar’s role as world reserve currency as a weapon to coerce other countries to align their foreign and economic policies with Washington. The sanctions against Russia and other countries and the seizure of Russia’s central bank reserves have caused other countries to cease using dollars for their foreign trade transactions. This means the demand for dollars is reduced, but the supply is increasing due to trade and budget deficits.  Sooner or later there will be downward adjustments in the dollar’s exchange value against other currencies.  For an import-dependent country that has offshored its manufacturing, this means a high rate of inflation.

Moreover, inflation caused by a weakening currency is not subject to correction by monetary policy. What Americans face is falling living standards.  The only solution is to bring industry and manufacturing back to America and again become self-sufficient.

GEOFOR: We cannot bypass this issue and ask you to share your expert opinion on the Tucker Carlson case. In particular, do you envision a political career for him?

Dr. Paul C Roberts: Tucker Carlson was fired because he told truth against the ruling oligarchy.  The same happened to Matt Taibbi who was fired from Rollingstone Magazine, to Glenn Greenwald forced out of The Intercept, to James O’Keefe the founder of Project Veritas, and other truth-tellers.  The worst case is Julian Assange who has been incarcerated for a decade without due process of law.

In the United States, indeed, throughout the Western world, it is no longer permissible to tell the truth.  Media functions as a propaganda ministry to uphold official narratives, everyone of which is a lie.  We have reached the point where telling the truth is libelous.  The precedent was established by Fox News paying $787 million to Dominion Voting Machines for reporting that the machines could be hacked, programed to report votes differently than they were cast, and can be connected to the Internet and subject to manipulation.  There was no real case against Fox News, but the organization preferred to create a precedent that would restrain future Tucker Carlsons.

Trump, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, and Tucker Carlson are seen by traditional Americans as leaders who would stand up for the people against the oligarchy.  But the oligarchy will not permit any leader.  That is clear from the unrelenting attacks on Trump.  I am convinced that DeSantis and Carlson would suffer the same attacks as Trump and that if any one of them survived the attacks and was elected president, he would be assassinated.

The US is no longer a democracy.  Power has been taken from the people. Probably a violent revolution would be required to reestablish democracy in America.

On the other hand, the ejection of Tucker Carlson and other truth-tellers from TV and print media could have the effect of strengthening the alternative independent media against the presstitute media, which is clearly declining in viewership.  The alternative media, if it can fight off the ruling elite’s efforts to criminalize it, could erode the elite’s hold on the country and bring back accountability to the people if the people value their constitutional rights enough to fight for them. Absent forceful resistance, Americans are doomed to tyranny.

Hon. Paul Craig Roberts is the John M. Olin Fellow at the Institute for Political Economy, Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. A former editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal and columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service, he is a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate in Los Angeles and a columnist for Investor's Business Daily. In 1992 he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists.

He was Distinguished Fellow at the Cato Institute from 1993 to 1996. From 1982 through 1993, he held the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. During 1981-82 he served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy. President Reagan and Treasury Secretary Regan credited him with a major role in the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, and he was awarded the Treasury Department's Meritorious Service Award for "his outstanding contributions to the formulation of United States economic policy." From 1975 to 1978, Dr. Roberts served on the congressional staff where he drafted the Kemp-Roth bill and played a leading role in developing bipartisan support for a supply-side economic policy.

In 1987 the French government recognized him as "the artisan of a renewal in economic science and policy after half a century of state interventionism" and inducted him into the Legion of Honor.

Dr. Roberts' latest books are The Tyranny of Good Intentions, co-authored with IPE Fellow Lawrence Stratton, and published by Prima Publishing in May 2000, and Chile: Two Visions - The Allende-Pinochet Era, co-authored with IPE Fellow Karen Araujo, and published in Spanish by Universidad Nacional Andres Bello in Santiago, Chile, in November 2000. The Capitalist Revolution in Latin America, co-authored with IPE Fellow Karen LaFollette Araujo, was published by Oxford University Press in 1997. A Spanish language edition was published by Oxford in 1999. The New Colorline: How Quotas and Privilege Destroy Democracy, co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, was published by Regnery in 1995. A paperback edition was published in 1997. Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, co-authored with Karen LaFollette, was published by the Cato Institute in 1990. Harvard University Press published his book, The Supply-Side Revolution, in 1984. Widely reviewed and favorably received, the book was praised by Forbes as "a timely masterpiece that will have real impact on economic thinking in the years ahead." Dr. Roberts is the author of Alienation and the Soviet Economy, published in 1971 and republished in 1990. He is the author of Marx's Theory of Exchange, Alienation and Crisis, published in 1973 and republished in 1983. A Spanish language edition was published in 1974.

Dr. Roberts has held numerous academic appointments. He has contributed chapters to numerous books and has published many articles in journals of scholarship, including the Journal of Political Economy, Oxford Economic Papers, Journal of Law and Economics, Studies in Banking and Finance, Journal of Monetary Economics, Public Finance Quarterly, Public Choice, Classica et Mediaevalia, Ethics, Slavic Review, Soviet Studies, Rivista de Political Economica, and Zeitschrift fur Wirtschafspolitik. He has entries in the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Economics and the New Palgrave Dictionary of Money and Finance. He has contributed to Commentary, The Public Interest, The National Interest, Harper's, the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Fortune, London Times, The Financial Times, TLS, The Spectator, Il Sole 24 Ore, Le Figaro, Liberation, and the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. He has testified before committees of Congress on 30 occasions.

Dr. Roberts was educated at the Georgia Institute of Technology (B.S.), the University of Virginia (Ph.D.), the University of California at Berkeley and Oxford University where he was a member of Merton College.

He is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, The Dictionary of International Biography, Outstanding People of the Twentieth Century, and 1000 Leaders of World Influence. His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: [email protected]

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