Both the Republican and Democratic parties are fracturing. As Trump makes it increasingly clear he is not a Republican, members of that party, from Sen. John McCain to former Trump backer Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker, have taken their distance from his presidency. Corker said the White House “has become an adult day care center” with a staff fighting to keep him from “the path to World War III.”
The Democrats are deeply divided between centrist “progressives,” like Hillary Clinton and Sen. Chuck Schumer, and the “revolution” army of Sen. Bernie Sanders. The former hope they can win congressional majorities for the Democrats in 2018, while Sanders’ supporters care more about reforming the party, even if it means losses in the short term.
And behind all these divisions is growing concern about the working class. Under the blows of the continuing crisis of capitalist production and trade, workers are fed up with “politics as usual” and looking for a way to force change. In 2016 many workers backed Trump, noting how different he was from his 16 Republican challengers and the Clintons. They were determined to “drain the swamp.”
The meritocratic layers trying to force Trump from office see the anger and determination to wring change amongst workers and recoil with fear. Unable to see the reality of the disaster these workers face, they see them instead as an increasingly racist, reactionary mob that must be controlled. The impact of their votes must be diluted.
The liberal Swedish Academy of Sciences gave the Nobel economics prize to Richard Thaler Oct. 9. Thaler co-wrote the 2008 book Nudge, which advocates anti-working-class “libertarian paternalism” to get workers to do things that are “good for them,” without workers having a say.
Similar political developments are occurring in a growing number of the world’s major imperialist countries, reflected in the Brexit vote and the recent votes against the long-established governing parties in France and Germany.
There is no end in sight to the carnage workers in the U.S. face. Real wages have declined for nearly 20 years. As a result many workers feel they’ll never be able to make what they had anticipated in the course of their lifetimes.
Never-ending wars, declining life expectancy and rising deaths from drug overdoses are part of a broader social crisis that drives workers to look for alternatives.
Neither Trump, a real-estate mogul who governs in the interests of the propertied owners, nor any other capitalist politician has a way to turn around the conditions workers face.
Liberals, left push violence
The sustained fervor among liberals and the left to oust Trump has introduced a new and ongoing violence into politics.
In June, James Hodgkinson, a campaign volunteer for Sanders, attempted to assassinate as many Republican congressmen as he could at a congressional baseball practice in Virginia, severely wounding Rep. Steve Scalise. Many liberals argued it was Trump and his “extremism” that was responsible.
Following the killing of 59 people at a Las Vegas country and western music festival, by gunman Stephen Paddock Oct. 1, CBS executive Hayley Geftman-Gold said she was “unsympathetic” towards those slaughtered. She complained, “Country music fans are often Republican gun toters.” Echoing the disdain for those killed, the Los Angeles Times labeled country singers and fans as “violent.”
Alongside the vitriol directed at Trump supporters by the middle-class left, goes the drive to restrict free speech on campuses. Some students saying they represented the Black Lives Matter chapter at the College of William & Mary in Virginia shut down Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in the state. They broke up a meeting, scheduled to discuss “Students and the First Amendment,” complaining the ACLU had defended the right of right-wingers to speak in Charlottesville
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