Donald Trump Is the Mirror and Hillary Clinton Is the Mask
Donald Trump Is the Mirror and Hillary Clinton Is the Mask
If Donald Trump is the mirror we don’t want to look into, then Hillary Clinton offers us the mask we put on to avoid seeing our reflection.
By Chris Agnos /

Disclaimer: I do not support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president. I think the scope of the political debate is far too narrow for the kinds of actions that need to take place to prevent the extinction of most of the life on earth, including human beings. Stepping outside this narrow debate enables me to take a more objective stance when watching the circus that stands for presidential elections in America these days.


Self-identified liberals around the country have been in a state of shock and disbelief over the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.

“Oh my God! Did you see what he said? How could he actually be running for president?”

The problem is that the latter question is often a rhetorical one. Very little effort, if any, is spent trying to understand how such a !@$#%^& actually won the Republican nomination. But the truth is there is something rotten at the core of America, and Donald Trump is unknowingly trying to force us to look at it. Donald Trump is the mirror that we don’t want to look into.

Could Donald Trump be the mirror we don't want to look into?

Donald Trump Reflects Back To Us A Predatory Capitalist System Gone Horribly Wrong

Yes, there is a little piece of Donald Trump within all of us. It is the part of ourselves that we loathe and, therefore, want to rebuke and distance ourselves from. Many want to hide behind a new language of political correctness. We don’t want to understand how Donald Trump rose to such heights because the reason for it scares us. What scares us most is how much we actually share in common with the man.

Donald Trump is a product of a predatory capitalist system gone horribly wrong. Yes, Donald Trump is misogynistic, but look at the way business of all kinds use half-naked woman to sell products and services.  Yes, Donald Trump doesn’t care about anything but American interests, but neither does any American who condones the government spending trillions of dollars exporting war and chaos on to the rest of the world. Yes, Donald Trump doesn’t care about climate change, but neither does our economic system that only allows people to meet their needs through unsustainable products like factory farmed meat and Walmart. Yes, Donald Trump is an egomaniac that only cares about himself, but so is any American who believes in the idea of American exceptionalism, that Americans are somehow more special than the rest of the world.

I’m not trying to insult anyone or blame anyone for being this way. The truth is to function well in this predatory capitalist system gone horribly wrong, one must develop, or at the very least tolerate, many of these views. Do you call out every misogynistic comment in the workplace? Calling out your boss for his misogynistic comments may cost you your job. “Do you make the attempt to understand the needs and concerns of our so-called “enemies?” Probably not because doing so might have others label you a “terrorist sympathizer.” Are you making the necessary lifestyle changes and/or sacrifices required to reduce your carbon footprint, passing on that Hawaiian vacation to avoid the carbon emissions? It is one thing to believe in climate change and quite another to actually find out what you can do about it.

unit image

Donald Trump is not an isolated case for the values we despise.

The System Forces Us To Behave This Way

But it really isn’t our fault. This predatory capitalist system gone horribly wrong requires its participants to some degree to act predatory, or at least enforce inhumane practices. Imagine you work at a sandwich shop. You sell hundreds of sandwiches every day and then one homeless and hungry man walks into the shop and asks if there is anyway you can make him a sandwich even though he has no money. Here you are standing in a store surrounded by an abundance of sandwiches, so much abundance that every week you have to throw out a portion of the unsold food, and you have a high probability of losing your job if you gave the hungry man a sandwich.

It feels unnatural at every level of our being to deny access to food to someone in need of it, or deny access to medicine to those unable to pay for it, essentially telling people that you don’t deserve to live unless you are able to play a role in our economy focusing almost entirely on selling product. Anyone working at the intersection of Capitalism Road and People Avenue have to face this feeling daily. Some of us grow thick skin and create narratives that justify this systemic denial of physical and emotional needs, while others must find some other kind of coping mechanism, which can easily turn into an addiction to alcohol, drugs, shopping, or anything else that can get our minds off of this feeling.

unit image

Do you ever feel like what your mind is telling you to do and what you heart is telling you to do is ripping you apart at the seems?

If Donald Trump Is The Mirror, Then Hillary Clinton Is The Mask

Donald Trump is a mirror of these values, reflecting back to us the extreme version of this predatory capitalist system gone horribly wrong, providing us with an opportunity to look deep within the roots of it. But if Donald Trump is the mirror we don’t want to look into, then Hillary Clinton offers us the mask we put on to avoid seeing our reflection. She tells us that we are already great, repeating tired old mantras of American exceptionalism that help the majority of people to feel more powerful and overlook the daily atrocities committed both at home and overseas in our name.

Clinton tells us there is no need to look into that mirror, that there is nothing wrong with our economic system and the problem is a result of bad characters like Donald Trump. Nothing could be further from the truth. For decades now, American politics have operated in a realm of its own with a completely different set of logic and procedures than the rest of the world. That’s because a predatory capitalist system gone horribly wrong requires a different set of logic to maintain it. Common sense actions, such as using the precautionary principle in both the public and private sectors, are disregarded as politically infeasible because they challenge the money interests of a capitalist class. This class of billionaires have gotten extraordinarily proficient at using their wealth to compromise government to maintain their control and unrivaled access to everything the world has to offer. Agricultural subsidy practices, militarization, spying on citizens, imprisoning non-violent crimes like drug use, arming rebel groups, supporting oppressive regimes: all of these actions defy common sense if our goal is to promote peace and prosperity as Clinton’s narrative tells us but are deemed not only necessary, but logical in the realm of American politics.


unit image

Hillary Clinton enables people to live in the fantasy that America is a force for peace in the world.

Where Is The Truth?

More than ever, both liberals and conservatives know that their government has been bought by corporations and the elite who have essentially legalized corruption and rigged the entire economy to favor a small minority. The people are beginning to wake up to the increasing gap between what politicians say they will support and what they actually do support. As Hillary Clinton said in a recently released WikiLeaks e-mail, “You need to have a public position and a private position on every issue,” essentially saying that she wears one mask when she speaks to the people and a different mask when she talks to the business interests that fund her campaign. Let the truth be damned.

Americans want to think they are the good guys. But are we? We like this feel good narrative. But if we really looked at what role we play in the world, are we more like Luke Skywalker and the rebels or Darth Vader and the evil empire? For the longest time, American political leaders have been telling us that “we are the good guys,” that “we stand for promoting freedom and democracy around the world,” that “we stand up against injustice.” But the values of predatory capitalist system gone horribly wrong are the antithesis of these ideals and Donald Trump is doing us all a favor by showing us our own reflection. If we resist the desire to put on that mask and instead allow ourselves to look in the mirror and see our economic system as what it really is – a planetary death star hellbent on converting all of the natural world into a gigantic pile of money – perhaps we have a small chance to realign our values with our actions and create a new kind of economics that allows all beings in the world a chance for peace and prosperity.

unit image

Is the sun setting on speaking the truth?

4.5 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 29,308 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
For Those Who Don't Want to Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils
Peter White · 16,041 views today · Ranked-choice voting is catching on, and Maine might become the first state to help citizens vote for candidates they actually want.
10 Quotes From an Oglala Lakota Chief That Will Make You Question Everything About Our Society
Wisdom Pills · 10,468 views today · Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 10,409 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Anarchists - What We Stand For
unknown · 10,371 views today · Anarchism : The word “anarchy” comes from Greek and means “no rulers”. As a political philosophy, anarchism is based on the idea that organization does not require rulers—that...
HyperNormalisation (2016)
161 min · 8,738 views today · We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless...
Donald and Hobbes Is Genius
Various · 4,997 views today · Some clever folk have been replacing precocious 6-year-old Calvin, from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, with Donald Trump and the results are, well, take a look...
Our Obsession With 'Good Immigrants' Breeds Intolerance
2 min · 3,744 views today · Society sets the bar so high to become a 'good immigrant', argues writer Nikesh Shukla, that normal immigrants are demonised. He says non-Brits in the public eye have a simple...
My Cuba - An Intimate Look at the Pleasures and Struggles of 6 Different People's Cuba
150 min · 1,988 views today · Cuba - diverse, vibrant and complex - is undergoing immense change. But what does it mean to be Cuban in this time of change? Six people. Six films. From the comedy and ballet...
Bird Watching on Lesvos Island - A Poetic Call to Stand With Refugees
3 min · 1,960 views today · Born in Darfur, Sudan and raised in Philadelphia, Emi Mahmoud is the 2015 World Poetry Slam Champion and the Women of the World co-Champion of 2016. From a young age Emi...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,872 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
The Important Difference Between Love and Being Loved
2 min · 1,567 views today · We talk of love as if it were just one thing: in fact, it’s two very different moves, Loving and Being Loved. You start to grow up when you stop focusing on the latter and get...
Planet Earth II Could Be Best Nature Doc Ever Made
3 min · 1,334 views today · 10 years ago Planet Earth changed our view of the world. Now we take you closer than ever before. This is life in all its wonder. This is Planet Earth II. A decade ago, the...
The Untold History of Palestine & Israel
22 min · 1,299 views today · Previewing Abby Martin’s on-the-ground investigation in Palestine, The Empire Files looks at the long history of Zionist colonization, expansion and expulsion of Palestine’s...
Introversion Is Not a Personality Fail
Cat Elz · 1,252 views today · A few years ago, I got into an argument with my now mother-in-law over my supposedly “backwards” ways. My transgression? I did not attend a party of my now husband’s (then...
Donald Trump Is the Mirror and Hillary Clinton Is the Mask
Chris Agnos · 954 views today · Disclaimer: I do not support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president. I think the scope of the political debate is far too narrow for the kinds of actions that need to...
Alliance of 600,000 British Doctors Calls for 'Imperative' Coal Phase-Out
Nadia Prupis · 938 views today · Doing so would constitute 'double win for tackling the twin health threats of air pollution and climate change,' report states
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 895 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
Lessons in the Calais Jungle: Teaching Life Stories and Learning About Humanity
Aura Lounasmaa · 802 views today · I am part of a team of academics teaching a course to residents in the Calais Jungle, a camp for migrants and refugees outside the French city. Life Stories in the Jungle has...
Are You Lost in the World Like Me?
3 min · 735 views today · Animated film by Steve Cutts for 'Are You Lost In The World Like Me?', taken from These Systems Are Failing- the debut album from Moby & The Void Pacific Choir. 
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Donald Trump Is the Mirror and Hillary Clinton Is the Mask