• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

SPRING FUNDRAISER

Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Trump Told the Truth Where It Counted…for His Reelection

Much of the liberal commentary on Donald Trump’s State of the Union address a few days ago has focused on the outright lies he made, especially his saying that his administration was promoting the interest of people with pre-existing conditions from the medical insurance companies seeking to disqualify them. Yes, he lied, and he lied about undocumented immigrants being mainly “criminal aliens” and sanctuary cities as harboring criminals.

But where it counted for him, he told the truth. He began his speech with the state of the economy, and here he engaged in the usual exaggeration. But amidst those exaggerations were truths directed at the people who made him president, the white working class in the Rust Belt who accounted for the 79,000-plus votes that put him over the top against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

He said during the 2016 campaign that he would take the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). He did. He said he would scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He renegotiated it to brazenly benefit the United States. He said he would stand up to China, which he said was stealing American jobs and technology. He could point to his initiating a trade war with Beijing as a fulfilment of that promise.

Whether or not those acts will actually benefit the Rust Belt will long be a subject of debate. Neoliberals will continue to hold that, according to their theory, “on balance” or “in the long run,” the “aggregate data” will indicate a “loss” for the United States. But that is not what matters for those workers who deserted to Trump or stayed at home on election day in 2016.

What matters is that Trump stuck to his promises on reversing those policies that they felt were responsible for their loss of jobs or income. And to remind them that he kept the faith and that he expected them to keep the faith in return, he even mentioned some of the states by name in the course of the speech: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

There’s much theorizing out there that Trump’s social media disinformation machine brought him victory in 2016 and will bring him victory again in 2020. Sure, the machine blasted out and is blasting out the lies non-stop. But hey, people are not stupid. The workers in those states will probably take the rest of the speech with a grain of salt, but their key takeaway will be Trump’s reminding them he kept the faith on the TPP, NAFTA, jobs, and China.

In the coming elections, the Democrats will again win the popular vote, perhaps by an even wider margin this time, despite the Trump disinformation machine. But the final outcome will again hinge on the Electoral College vote. With the blue state/red state divide remaining firm when it comes to most states, the 2020 elections will again turn on the swing states of the Mid-West, on the white working class in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and other Rust Belt states.

They’ve had four years to work on it, but Democrats still have absolutely no strategy to counter Trump’s triumphalist message to the workers in those states that deserted their traditional party of choice in 2016. They have to get their act together, or it’s four more years of Trump insanity.

This article first appeared on FPIF.

More articles by:

Walden Bello, a columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus,  is the author or co-author of 19 books, the latest of which are Capitalism’s Last Stand? (London: Zed, 2013) and State of Fragmentation: the Philippines in Transition (Quezon City: Focus on the Global South and FES, 2014).

June 01, 2020
Joshua Frank
It’s a Class War Now Too
Richard D. Wolff
Why the Neoliberal Agenda is a Failure at Fighting Coronavirus
Henry Giroux
Racial Domestic Terrorism and the Legacy of State Violence
Ron Jacobs
The Second Longest War in the United States
Kanishka Chowdhury
The Return of the “Outside Agitator”
Lee Hall
“You Loot; We Shoot”
Dave Lindorff
Eruptions of Rage
Jake Johnston
An Impending Crisis: COVID-19 in Haiti, Ongoing Instability, and the Dangers of Continued U.S. Deportations
Nick Pemberton
What is Capitalism?
Linda G. Ford
“Do Not Resuscitate”: My Experience with Hospice, Inc.
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Who Are the Secret Puppet-Masters Behind Trump’s War on Iran?
Manuel García, Jr.
A Simple Model for Global Warming
Howard Lisnoff
Is the Pandemic Creating a Resurgence of Unionism? 
Frances Madeson
Federal Prisons Should Not be Death Chambers
Hayley Brown – Dean Baker
The Impact of Upward Redistribution on Social Security Solvency
Raúl Carrillo
We Need a Public Option for Banking
Kathy Kelly
Our Disaster: Why the United States Bears Responsibility for Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis
Sonali Kolhatkar
An Open Letter to Joe Biden on Race
Scott Owen
On Sheep, Shepherds, Wolves and Other Political Creatures
John Kendall Hawkins
All Night Jazz All The Time
Weekend Edition
May 29, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Tim Wise
Protest, Uprisings, and Race War
Nick Pemberton
White Supremacy is the Virus; Police are the Vector
T.J. Coles
What’s NATO Up to These Days? Provoking Russia, Draining Healthcare Budgets and Protecting Its Own from COVID
Benjamin Dangl
Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia
Kevin Alexander Gray - Jeffrey St. Clair - JoAnn Wypijewski
There is No Peace: an Incitement to Justice
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Few Good Sadists
Jeff Mackler
The Plague of Racist Cop Murders: Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Joshua Frank
In Search of a Lost Socialism
Charles Pierson
Who are the “Wrong Hands” in Yemen?
David Schultz
Trump isn’t the Pope and This Ain’t the Middle Ages
Andrew Levine
Trump Is Unbeatable in the Race to the Bottom and So Is the GOP
Ramzy Baroud
Political Ambiguity or a Doomsday Weapon: Why Abbas Abandoned Oslo
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
A Growing Wave of Bankruptcies Threatens U.S. Recovery
Joseph Natoli
Conditions Close at Hand
N.D. Jayaprakash
No Lessons Learned From Bhopal: the Toxic Chemical Leak at LG Polymers India 
Ron Jacobs
The Odyssey of Elias Demetracopoulos
J.P. Linstroth
Arundhati Roy on Indian Migrant-Worker Oppression and India’s Fateful COVID Crisis
Melvin Goodman
Goodness Gracious, David Ignatius!!
Roger Harris
Blaming the COVID-19 Pandemic on Too Many Humans:  a Critique of Overpopulation Ideology
Sonali Kolhatkar
For America’s Wealthiest, the Pandemic is a Time to Profit
Prabir Purkayastha
U.S. Declares a Vaccine War on the World
David Rosen
Coronavirus and the Telecom Crisis
Paul Buhle
Why Does W.E.B. Du Bois Matter Today?
Mike Bader
The Only Way to Save Grizzlies: Connect Their Habitats
Dave Lindorff
Pandemic Crisis and Recession Can Spark a Fight for Real Change in the US
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail