Published at 08:15 on 20 July 2016
Democrats should stop being so smug about the Trump phenomenon being just a GOP problem. Because it’s not. It’s a problem of class society, a society in which both major political parties play a role in maintaining.
The Democrats have been co-participants in that society getting more unequal and hostile to working people. If you go here, you can see how certain key trends such as income inequality and union membership, started getting worse (from a leftist point of view) not under Reagan, but under Carter, and that this worsening trend did not substantially change during the presidencies of either Clinton or Obama.
It’s not for nothing that the right-wing (and they are right-wing, not “libertarian,” they continually cheer on the power of the rich to infringe on the liberties of everyone else) Mises Institute has good things to say about Jimmy Carter’s economic policies.
And it’s not just Carter. Clinton was an aggressive free-trader, helping ram NAFTA through Congress over the objections of many congressmen in his own party. NAFTA turned out pretty much like those of us on the Left said it would: it increased, not decreased, desperation in Mexico, resulting in more, not less, illegal immigration to the US.
Then you have the failure of the Democrats to hold anyone in the Bush Regime responsible for their excesses. Nobody important was prosecuted (or even seriously investigated!) for war crimes like orchestrating a system of systematic torture and abuse of detainees.
Finally, there’s how neither Clinton nor Obama did much to undo the damage of Reagan’s deregulation of broadcast media, a policy that has allowed an increasingly rightward tilt in same. So you end up with overall economic situation in which the working class is both doing significantly worse and is being more heavily propagandized by right-wing voices.
To all this you add how, as I observed a long time ago, there’s a natural tendency of bourgeois states to sometimes turn fascist. And given that all three of the following are or have happened (as we have seen above):
- A worsening of the economic condition of the working class.
- An increase in the amount of right-wing propaganda directed at the working class.
- Real-world evidence the rule of law doesn’t matter and that leaders who ignore it will get away with it.
Is it any surprise that someone like Trump has appeared on the scene and been so successful?