Joe Biden speaking at the US Council on Foreign Relations (January 2018)
To better understand the recent US presidential election and international political and media reactions to it, SPR recommends its two articles, The American Empire and Its Media (2016, available in 12 languages), and its sequel Trump, the Media, and Geopolitics (2017, in English and German).
The US presidential election is only superficially a battle between two political parties, since the US establishment, primarily represented by the US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), encompasses both of these parties. Indeed, the CFR establishment has to keep at bay factions in both parties, notably the “socialist” (e.g. Bernie Sanders) and pacifist (e.g. Tulsi Gabbard) factions of the Democratic party, and the isolationist and nationalist faction (e.g. Trump) of the Republican party.
A Jeb Bush against Hillary Clinton race in 2016 would have been business as usual (as both are from CFR families). In a Jeb Bush against Bernie Sanders race, CFR compliant media would have supported Republican Jeb Bush. A Trump against Sanders race would have been a CFR nightmare that was only prevented by sabotaging the Sanders campaign twice (in 2016 and 2020).
1945 to 2017: CFR members in key positions of the American Empire. 🔎
Trump is pro-Israel, pro Wall Street, pro-military, pro fossil fuels, and yet CFR compliant media did not accept him. This is because his isolationist policies endangered the American Empire and its domestic and international power structure. His personality had nothing to do with it. Importantly, most of the Republican national security establishment opposed Trump, too.
CFR compliant media did support, however, Trump’s limited imperial actions, like his missile strikes against Syria (in response to staged chemical attacks), his killing of Iranian General Soleimani, as well as his (attempted) regime changes in Venezuela, Bolivia and Belarus.
The conservative media empire of Rupert Murdoch (Fox News, New York Post, WSJ) is a special case. Murdoch in fact left the CFR in 2014.