Feb 6, 2017
The following is part of a speech made by Gary Walkowicz, one of the candidates of the Working Class Party.
When we started the campaign to put the Working Class Party on the ballot, we said that the bosses have two parties and that the working class has none. We said that the working class needs its own party.
When the working class has no party, no voice in elections, it opens the door for a demagogue like Donald Trump to portray himself as someone who will fight to make things better for workers.
Nothing could be, or will be, further from the truth. Donald Trump is a ruthless real estate speculator, who was born rich and got even richer by exploiting workers, cheating students from working families and ripping off small businesses.
As president, Trump is going to serve the interests of the exploiting class that he is part of, as we can already see by the people that Trump has named to his cabinet, millionaires and billionaires all.
Trump won a close election by getting the votes of many workers, mostly, but not only, white workers who in the past must have voted for the Democratic Party, or not voted at all.
Why did they vote for Trump? For the past eight years or so, coming out of the Great Recession, we have been told every week that the economy is recovering, that things are getting better. But the problem is, things got better only for the rich, not for the working class. For the working class, our standard of living has gone down.
We were told every month that there are more jobs. But for the working class, all the “new jobs” are part-time jobs, temporary jobs, low-wage jobs.
The working class vote for Trump was, first of all, a vote of people who were angry, people who were voting against the party who held the White House, people who were voting for “change.”
While Clinton and the Democrats talked about continuing the “progress” that has been made under Obama, Trump constantly talked about the loss of jobs, blaming it on trade treaties and promising to create twenty-five million new jobs.
Working people who are looking for the new jobs and the improved standard of living that Trump promised are going to find out that Trump made promises that he will not keep.
For the working class, Trump could be more dangerous than just another lying politician. The ideas that Trump puts forth divide the working class. Trump tolerated and encouraged the violent racism of this society against black people, accepting the support of racist white nationalist organizations. Trump attacked immigrants from Mexico, fraudulently blaming them for jobs lost and crime. Trump demonized Muslims, proposing to keep people out of the country based on their religion.
Certainly some workers voted for Trump because they agreed with him on these racist ideas.
But there were probably more white workers who voted for Trump, not because of his racist lies, but instead they thought they could ignore his racism; that it didn’t concern them; that it didn’t affect them. But it does.
Trump’s message about jobs is dangerous because he would have us believe that the reason we have lost jobs in this country is because the jobs are being taken by workers in other countries. That is the core of the message that Trump pushes when he blames trade treaties, like NAFTA, for the millions of manufacturing jobs that have been lost in this country over the past couple decades.
And it was not just Trump. Politicians from both parties, including Bernie Sanders, and also union leaders, have pushed the same ideas.
Today, factories in the U.S. are putting out twice as much production as they did 30 years ago, but with many fewer workers, because the corporate bosses have imposed a vicious speed-up, with one worker doing the jobs of two or three people. That’s why millions of jobs have been lost. The bosses use automation, not to make our jobs easier, but to eliminate jobs.
The danger is that if workers believe Trump and his like, then we are disarming ourselves, we are not seeing who the real enemy is – our very own bosses here in this country.
The working class needs its own party to tell the truth and expose the lies of Trump and his capitalist friends. The working class needs its own party, one that would fight against the divisions in the working class. The working class needs its own party to stand alongside those workers who are ready to make a fight.
The working class has the power to take the wealth we have produced and use it to provide all working people with a decent standard of living. But we won’t be able to do this if we are divided.