Although no major changes were made to the situation in the Korean peninsula, that was not expected for a summit called on such short notice. Indeed, no major changes can ever happen so long as the militarist institutions control the dominant frame-setting party of an era.
A recent post reviewed the status of where the three main nations are in their re-alignments. South Korea is the furthest along, beginning with Kim Dae-jung's election in 1997, and which the current president Moon Jae-in is also a part of. The old militarist coalition is so weak that their most recent president got impeached and removed from office. North Korea is beginning its re-alignment under Kim Jong-un, seeking peace and re-unification with the South, and achieving nuclear weapons status in order to protect that process from American militarist interference.
Sadly, though, the re-alignment has not yet begun here. Trump is a disjunctive, end-of-an-era president, who mixes up the old way and the new way, ultimately constrained by the sclerotic Establishment of his long-dominant party.
In true disjunctive fashion, he reiterated at the press conference (going back to campaign trail speeches) that he wants the US armed forces out of Korea altogether -- something no one else from our Reaganite era would have said, whether they were dominant Republicans or opposition Democrats. Winding down our presence there will have to wait for a new era when the militarist institutions are not in control of the dominant party, meaning the Bernie re-alignment.
At least for now, though, we do appear to be getting a little hint of what's to come, again in true disjunctive fashion. If it's true, according to Trump, that we will be freezing the US-SK wargames right on the NK border, that will be a first step toward real change. The Pentagon and other parts of the Deep State can easily sabotage this promise, and are already undoubtedly hard at work to undo it before it really goes into effect. But if they are unsuccessful, the freezing of the wargames will be one crucial step that Trump takes to pave the way for the post-Reaganite re-aligners of the upcoming Bernie era.
Even if the Deep State is successful at sabotaging the freezing of wargames, at least Trump called them out as "provocative," which they certainly are. Gee, why are you guys developing nuclear weapons when we keep simulating invasions and nuclear attacks right along your border, year after year like clockwork? He also called them a huge waste of money, which they certainly are. Hopefully at least one of those phrases manages to shift the consensus here on these pointless provocations.
Lastly, the media are trying their hardest to shut themselves out from the re-alignment. You don't see the finance sector -- the senior partner of the Democrat coalition -- trying to stir up nuclear war with North Korea. Not really the tech sector either. But all of these ignorant morons in the press, closely partnering with the intel faction within the Deep State, keep trying to out-hawk the Republican president on North Korea.
First of all, nobody will ever buy the idea that a liberal Democrat coalition will out-hawk a conservative Republican coalition. So why bother? It's futile. If voters, donors, or elite institutions wanted hawkish policies on North Korea, guess who they're going to support -- not the liberals or even moderates, and not the Democrats.
More importantly, they still fail to recognize that the opposition's job during a disjunctive phase is to out-do the would-be re-aligner from the dominant party, on the issues that make him an unorthodox end-of-an-era figure. That would be populism, industrial protectionism, and anti-interventionism for Trump. When the opposition tries to oppose the disjunctive leader by countering his unorthodox qualities, they fail to imitate the successful, and secure their irrelevance.
Nobody wants elitism, free trade deals, or global military occupation by Uncle Sam -- if we did, we would have voted for literally anyone other than Trump in the 2016 primary, and we would have voted for neoliberalism incarnate in the general election. Cycles only run in one direction, so if that is what the opposition is offering to counter the dominant-party leader, then they are done for. We can't re-wind the cycle back before all of these unorthodox ideas won a primary and general election against all odds.
Rather, the job is to steal these unorthodox positions from the would-be re-aligner, who again has very little ability to deliver the goods on them, being constrained so tightly by the dominant party that he belongs to, and which built the entire system he is trying to alter against their vested interests.
In this case, it means the opposition will be a Democrat like Tulsi Gabbard, who is even more eager and willing than Trump to pull America's military presence out of the Korean peninsula. And not belonging to a party that is controlled by the military or the weapons manufacturers, she could actually deliver the goods on that issue.
The losers on the Democrat side will be those who want to manage the status quo, only with a more liberal or diplomatic approach. But it's not the '90s anymore, and no one wants the West Wing version of the opposition. All these dumbass wonks who want to oppose Trump by drawing out our military exit from Korea for as long as possible, will have no future in the upcoming re-alignment period. Their places will be taken instead by those who compete over how fast and unconditionally we can just get the fuck out of Korea already, after 70 years of pointless and wasteful occupation.
During re-alignment, the name of the game is cutting the Gordian Knot. In Korea, it means simply pulling out, and letting the North and South work things out under their already serving re-aligning figures.
The more that the Democrats adhere to countering the highly favored unorthodox positions of the disjunctive president, the more that they will end their party as it currently exists. That would make them like the Whigs in the end of the Jacksonian era, right before the Civil War. They would be replaced by Bernie's populist party, akin to Lincoln's Republican party.
Each major episode we see of Democrats trying to out-do Trump on adherence to Reaganite orthodoxy, we increase the odds that they do end up committing suicide as a party, just like the Whigs, and even running their own third-party candidate in 2020, akin to the Know-Nothing Fillmore candidacy of 1856, which prolonged the disjunctive end of the Jacksonian era, and made the Civil War far worse for having pressure-cooked an additional four years.
And now we have a better sense of which factions among the opposition that obstruction would come from. It's not the banks or broader finance sector, at least on the militarist issues -- a great relief, given their senior rank in the Democrat coalition. The tech sector is more squishy, eager to partner with the intel agencies and Pentagon, and folding like crazy under the pressure to keep Russia and other figments of our imagination from hacking the election. But that seems to be more a cover-your-ass reaction by the tech sector, in the face of such hysteria from other sectors in their coalition.
No, the main source of obstruction is the media and their partners in the intel agencies. They are defined by shaping the consensus on some issue, so they are the most naturally inclined toward resisting a re-alignment away from the old way and toward the new way. The finance sector can adapt, as long as they know what the new rules are. Same with tech. They're more opportunistic, working with what they've got. The consensus-shapers in the propaganda sector -- at the nexus between the media and the intel agencies -- cannot just go along with a paradigm shift, since it would mean someone else had been re-shaping the consensus, not them.
When it comes to Bernie vs. Pence in 2020, watch out for Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper launching a vote-splitting ticket for the Neutral Consensus Respecter party.