Nov 14, 2016
Working people are fed up. Living standards have declined for decades. Jobs have dried up. Wages and benefits have fallen. Meanwhile, the government at federal and state levels has starved the public schools of money. It has squeezed Social Security retirement pensions for the elderly. It has let vital infrastructure, like roads, parks, water and sewage systems, crumble and decay.
It has been a sustained, continuous attack. And it provided a gigantic opening for Trump to pretend to be the champion of ordinary working people. He grabbed it. He made promises. A promise to create 25 million good paying jobs. A promise to fix the health care system. A promise to end the wars. And a promise to clean up Washington, get rid of the influence of lobbyists. A real champion of the working class.
Some champion! This is the same billionaire who used bankruptcy to not pay his workforce, paid sub-minimum wages to undocumented immigrants, and paid next to nothing to workers in overseas factories who manufacture his luxury clothing and accessory lines.
Trump’s victory was due less to what he did than on what the Democrats have done. The Democratic Party stopped pretending – a long time ago – to have anything to do with working people. They were ready to jettison their old base of support from the union apparatuses and the 1960s black movement in favor of the more privileged layers of the society. They were open in carrying out the dirty work for the capitalist class.
Bill Clinton, as president, slashed the social safety net for the very poor, those unable to work – and for their kids. He built up the massive prison-industrial complex in order to soak up the growing numbers of unemployed and turn them into a slave labor force. He bombed Bosnia and Iraq, in preparation for Bush’s war later on.
Obama’s big reform of health care was a scam to soak taxpayers, handing over hundreds of billions of dollars to private insurance companies, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. He continued Bush’s destructive education reform under another name, slashing public education spending, closing schools and firing teachers. Obama also continued Bush’s endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while starting up new ones in Syria, Libya and Yemen in order to further the domination of U.S. capitalists over the rest of the world, enriching the military contractors, oil companies and banks.
As for Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, she was the candidate of Wall Street and Silicon Valley billionaires, not to speak of big parts of the Republican Party establishment.
Democratic policies provided the opening for Trump, a despicable billionaire, who openly appealed to the most vile racist, anti-immigrant prejudices, who openly bragged about how he took advantage of women – and who would divide the working class if he could.
Trump now follows in Obama’s foot steps, just like Obama followed Bush. If anyone doubts it, notice how fast Trump began to revise his positions on “Obamacare,” on immigration – and tomorrow it will be on jobs. Notice who makes up his transition team: the same Washington insiders and lobbyists he had vowed to get rid of.
The capitalist class has two parties that speak for it, two parties that act for it.
The working class has none. This is the big problem of our day.
We need our own political organization, our own party. Period.