As Trump slashes and burns his way through environmental regulations, including the Paris Accord, he continues to bet that political polarization will work in his favor. Not only are his anti-scientific, anti-environmentalist positions firing up some within his base, but those positions are driving a deep wedge within organized labor.
Bernie Sanders has the highest approval rating of any politician in the country with 61 percent approving, with only 32 percent disapproving, according to a March 15 Fox News poll. The Sanders 29-plus percent favorable/unfavorable gap is far superior to Trump’s negative 8 percent.
It is frightening to see Trump unleash ICE on powerless immigrants, but bend over backward to placate financial elites. A bully attacks the weak and cowers before the powerful.
Resist Trump is a protest by spontaneous combustion trigged by tweets and Facebook posts. Too often, however, such uprisings lack staying power. We should know by now that without organizational infrastructure such wondrous uprisings are fragile at best.
If Republicans achieve veto-proof control in 38 states, they can do something that has never been done before—hold a constitutional convention, and then ratify new amendments that are put forth. They could outlaw the New Deal and its social democratic programs. And if they get crazy enough, they could end separation of church and state and undo other portions of the Bill of Rights.
Declining income brings with it a host of related social problems. As localities are starved for revenues, public safety and the sense of community deteriorate. The social fabric of decent living is imperiled. Extreme inequality fueled both the Sanders and the Trump revolts. While Sanders offered concrete plans to reverse it, Trump and the Republicans are sure to make it worse.
Five years ago Goldman Sachs played the arch-villain of the financial crash, the very essence of a greedy, rapacious bank that profited while ripping off its own customers and the American people. Is there a way to counter the Goldman Sachs occupation of the Trump administration? The answer might be a new Occupy Wall Street movement.
While resistance is critically important, we will fail unless resistance is contained within a long-term strategy to reverse runaway inequality and upend neoliberalism. If we don’t build an alternative movement, our defensive struggles could enhance Trump’s popularity rather than to diminish it.
History warns us to be very, very careful when using the phrase “white working class.” The reason has nothing to do with political correctness. Rather, it concerns the changing historical definitions of who is “white.” When we invent the white working class, we whitewash an increasingly diverse manufacturing workforce.
The stage is set for an epic struggle between Trump’s right wing populism and a Sanders-style social democracy. Which one will resonate with the people?
Trump boasted he would make the Carrier cry uncle if they tried to move to Mexico: “I’ll get a call from the head of Carrier and he’ll say, Mr. President, we’ve decided to stay in the United States. That’s what’s going to happen—100 percent.” Will he follow through on this promise?