The Spark

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

Trump’s “America First” = Workers Last

Jan 23, 2017

In his inaugural speech, Donald Trump mentioned the grim reality many working-class people in this country have lived through for decades: disappearing good-paying jobs; increasing poverty; schools that deprive children of an education; the crumbling infrastructure.

And for these ills, Trump blamed the politicians in Washington. No doubt, that will also ring true with many working-class Americans who have seen, for decades, Republicans and Democrats taking turns to oversee – and invent excuses for – the deteriorating conditions.

But Trump did not say a word about those who have pocketed the huge government “bailouts” and other handouts: big banks and corporations – that is, big capitalists.

In fact, it’s also these same big capitalists who make jobs disappear – by sometimes moving them, as Trump mentioned. But more often than that, companies just lay off workers and speed up production to increase profit. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, in the past 30 years, the U.S.’s manufacturing output increased by 86 percent, while the number of production jobs fell by about five million.

Not a word about any of that. No, instead, Trump blamed other countries for “stealing our companies and destroying our jobs”!

This is Trump’s message to the working class: if you want “our jobs” back, you must turn against “foreign workers.” And as we know from Trump’s campaign speeches, by “foreign” Trump means not only workers in other countries, but also immigrant workers in this country.

This is Trump’s poison – to turn workers against each other. To divide the working class, so that each part of the working class is weaker in the face of the ongoing, big attack by the capitalist class.

Donald Trump is every bit a spokesman of the capitalist class, as much as the Democratic and Republican politicians he blames. And now he’s leading the attack against the workers he claims to defend.