There is a narrative being spread that Trump’s victory in the US election is “BREXIT x 10”. Whilst there may be some parallels it presupposes that the Leave vote split neatly along ideological lines; that an out vote was to stop immigration and an act of xenophobia. In many case it was anything but.
Many Socialist voted out (they prefer to call it LEXIT) because they view the EU as a means for the Capitalist Club to have a pan national method to keep hundreds of millions of workers under their thumb. This was the position of Tony Benn and his protege Jeremy Corbyn until the latter changed his mind to try and manage (unsuccessfully) a unruly Party. The LEXIT argument was suppressed by the media. It only national airing came when former Labour MP Dave Nellist appeared on Any Questions?
Many Leave voters weren’t voting for a programme to destroy services and oppress minorities. They were making a case for Socialism in the UK which would not be possible under EU law mainly due to state aid rules. In fact some argued for an end to immigration control so that we can get our economy moving and get things done such as building the 2 million homes we need NOW let alone over the next decade.
Film director Michael Moore correctly identified that more people voted for Hillary meaning, “it’s not the country that’s fucked up, it the archaic electoral college system”. This 18th century method of choosing the President thwarted Al Gore in 2000 ushering in an era of naked neo liberal economics and war overseas. Now it has placed a racist, misogynist at the controls.
Mike has produced a five point plan for what people can do to stop the ravages of a Trump presidency. You can read it here. https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/nov/09/michael-moore-donald-trump-morning-after-to-do-list-facebook
Mike’s ideas are sound enough but he makes the fatal mistake of thinking that the Democratic Party can deliver for those Rust Belt states such his home patch Michigan. Hillary was a god awful candidate and the system made Bernie’s surge all the more extraordinary.
The Vermont Senator, a self declared Socialist (but more of a state capitalist if truth be told) was remarkable for staying in the race for so long. It was only the so called super delegates that stuffed him in the end.
We have precedence here. In 1944 Henry Wallace, the serving Vice President was booted off the ticket by Democratic Party grandees due to his admiration for the USSR. Imagine if he, and not hawkish anti communist Harry Truman had succeeded FDR in the spring of ’45. Would we have witnessed the savagery of nuclear and the arms race?
Mike’s point regarding Dem congress and senate members being willing to lead a fightback has a direct parallel here in the UK. Our Labour politicians will do anything to get out of taking responsibility. Hence Local Government, despite being dominated in many areas by Labour run Councils has been left to rot with Labour people acting as the midwives for eye watering cuts. They want to ensure their seat on the gravy train remains intact, and when the very few defy the leaders and do what their residents want they are expelled.
John Oliver, Trevor Noah and all the East Coast based satirists, along with the mainstream media also have to take their fair share of the blame in the way that they dismissed Trump, and more importantly his voters as stupid white men. They made working class people once again the butt of the joke. Patronising the electorate with snobbery is always going to end badly.
When did a person ever change their mind by having the piss taken out of them? It’s hard to lighten up when you are living in a Society where 99% of all newly created wealth in 2015 was hoovered up by the top 1%; socialism for the rich as it was earned mainly off the back of Federal subsidies.
Author and political activist Naomi Wolf served as an advisor to the Clinton/ Gore Administration and she absolutely nailed it when Today Programme reporter Jim Naughtie asked her why 53% of working class women had voted for Trump.
Her answer was that Hillary had nothing to offer them other than the glass ceiling argument. The fact is she was deaf to their needs. No cares about Hillary achieving her destiny to be the first woman President when they are working two minimum wage jobs, struggling to pay their way and their kids haven’t the faintest hope of going to college. The hubris in her closing speech before the vote stunk of entitlement and there wasn’t even a sliver of hope or enthusiasm in the general population for her campaign. The contrast with Obama, Bernie, and it has to be said the Donald could not have been more stark.
Trump polled 59 million which was less than John McCain and roughly the same as Mitt Romney last time. The sad truth is that the Trump voters piled down the polling stations with intent whereas Dem supporters were saying, “Do I HAVE to?”.
The Democratic Party has lost 11 million votes since 2008 due to Obama being held hostage by a hostile Hill and having such a terrible candidate in Hillary.
This establishment disaffection is spreading across the world. A new Workers Party is needed to tap into the Bernie/ Corbyn/ Syriza surge to ensure right wing populism and all that stands for doesn’t win the day.
Danny Marten and Dermot Rathbone wrote in 2009, “If the Left cannot step up to the plate the ensuing vacuum could well leave the way open for a demagogue to take control either here or across the pond”. Just saying like.