If the US people are in shock at the Trump victory in the US Presidential Elections on November 9, it is no wonder that the rest of the world was also taken by surprise. We all need to analyse what interests Trump represents, how this happened, and how to organise against the government he will lead from January 20 next year.
What does Trump represent?
Donald Trump has been elected on policies that discriminate on the basis of race, religion and gender, and he rejects the urgent need for government action on climate change. He will strongly support new fossil fuel projects.
He promises a massive attack on migrant workers in the United States.
Despite his anti-establishment rhetoric, his policies for deregulation, a 57 per cent business tax cut, and savage spending cuts and a freeze on public sector hiring will benefit the rich and make inequality worse.
While he opposes some trade agreements, like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, he does so because he considers these were ‘bad deals’ for the USA, not because he supports a fair trade system based on human rights, labor rights and environmental sustainability.
In other words, Trump talked big about how badly American workers had fared under globalization, but he himself will be the crudest expression yet of the neo-liberal agenda in the USA.
While Trump has been described as ‘isolationist’, he has promised a massive increase in military spending, plus demands that US allies pay for more of the overall military task carried out by the USA. He has made a list of the African countries he would “kick out” of the USA, including several that aren’t actually in Africa, such as Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. He particularly aimed at Nigeria and South Africa. He even said that Africa should be recolonized!
So the best way to interpret Trump’s main slogan, “Let’s Make America Great Again”, is: “Let’s go back to a white-run US Empire that everybody fears”.
How did Trump come to win?
Trump’s campaign defeated first the Republican Party and then the Democratic Party because he denounced the disastrous mainstream neo-liberal policies. The Obama Administration failed to help the people who were hit so hard by the Great Recession since 2008, and instead allowed monopoly finance capital to protect itself at the expense of the great mass of the people. While Bernie Sanders understood this, and developed a popular pro-worker, pro-peace program to address it, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party leaders determined to block his socialist solutions.
While most trade union members strongly supported Sanders, the pragmatism of the union leaders meant that union resources mainly went to Clinton.
Broadly, the Democrats and the unions, accepting neo-liberalism, failed their constituents and their members, making it easy for Trump to cynically capture many of their votes.
How to organize against the Trump government
Trump will start his program on January 20 next year, the day of his inauguration. He will definitely declare China a “currency manipulator” which will trigger 45 per cent tariffs on US imports from China. This alone will have a global economic impact.
The union movement all over the world is struggling to lift minimum wages, to gain job security, to build a stronger public sector, and to build stronger trade unions to enable effective collective bargaining. These basic campaigns are very important to defend and improve living standards, but there must also be a much more powerful attack on neo-liberalism itself, which has led to the Trump disaster. This campaign must include the rights of migrant workers and oppose racism.
Strengthen the union movement in US and other countries!
Launch education to enable our organisations to take up the struggles for workers’ alternatives to neo-liberalism.
The Global Capitalist Crisis we have been experiencing since 2008 is now changing its shape with the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, and Trump coming to power in the USA. The conflict among the big capitalist powers is severe, and instead of the cooperative arrangements since World War II of the United Nations and the European Union being used to manage the crisis, the US and the UK are lashing out on their own. The prospect is for a much more severe global economic crash and for more wars.
Launch education to connect the current wars and danger of greater wars with neo-liberalism!
Climate Change is already a real and present global danger to people and the environment. Trump is a ‘climate denier’, who will undermine the weak global efforts committed to in Paris one year ago to reduce carbon emissions and keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5 – 2 degrees Celcius over pre-industrial levels.
Strengthen people’s movement against climate change! Climate Justice Now!
Launch education to enable workers to link their actions on climate change to their opposition to neo-liberalism and to US imperialism!
Support people’s struggles against racist and neo-liberal Trump government!
Dec 2016. Authorised by WORKINS (Workers international Struggle Initiatives) and ILPS Workers Commission (International League of Peoples Struggles) www.ilps.info