The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Trump’s Demagogic Pull of White Workers

Feb 29, 2016

According to opinion polls, Donald Trump sits on the top of the Republican heap because of the support of parts of working class and lower middle class voters – mostly, but not only, white. Trump styles himself as “honest” and “fearless,” a political outsider. A true demagogue!

Faced with worsening unemployment and falling living standards, Trump appears to oppose the policies of politicians, government officials and the Republican Party for the loss of jobs in this country. As opposed to the official Republican position, Trump says he will not cut Social Security and other entitlements. He even says he is for continuing to fund Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions and healthcare for poorer women – which is exactly the opposite of what the Republican Party says.

Trump attacks the presidency of George W. Bush for its military actions using stronger language than the Democrats ever have. Trump blames Bush for the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon – thus playing into the suspicions of many that 9/11 was an inside job. And Trump blames Bush for invading Iraq, saying that it was the worst decision ever made.

But all of this is pure demagoguery. For at the same time, Trump says that the U.S. government should take over the oil fields in Iraq, make the oil fields into a colony – which would mean carrying out a new war and occupation of Iraq! A demagogue – that’s exactly what he is.

What is Trump’s answer to jobs? He says he opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership for supposedly allowing jobs to be shipped overseas. In fact, Trump is blaming unemployment on other working people, workers in other countries. This is one of the oldest political tricks in the book. Trump is merely trying to deflect peoples’ anger away from the capitalist class, the banks and the big corporations that are robbing and plundering the working and lower middle classes. It is a rhetoric designed to divide the working class against itself.

Finally, by Trump openly attacking Mexican and Muslim immigrants, he taps into longstanding prejudices and racist attitudes in some sections of the working class. And not just among white workers, but others faced with high unemployment, as well as crime and violence in their neighborhoods. By saying this openly, Trump fans the flames of racism and violence inside the working class, making it more acceptable.

And behind his support for funding Planned Parenthood, Trump also says he is “pro-life.” By opposing a woman’s right to choose, he opposes the most basic rights for women.

Any worker who votes for this kind of poison is, in fact, supporting big, destructive attacks against the whole working class.