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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/12/16

Trump escalates conflict with congressional Republicans

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Message Patrick Martin

"It's fortunate that we are less than a month from the election because we are running out of words to describe him: this phony, this liar, this blowhard, this cheat, this bully, this misogynist, this demagogue, this predator, this bigot, this bore, this egomaniac, this racist, this sexist, this sociopath. I will not go on. It's pointless. Everyone knows, not least his supporters."

Cohen and his like are hostile to acknowledging the widespread economic desperation that is driving millions of working people to vote for and support the billionaire demagogue. But as Times columnist David Leonhardt pointed out on the same page Tuesday, tens of millions of Americans confront economic stagnation and generally deteriorating conditions of life. He wrote:

"The typical household, amazingly, has a net worth 14 percent lower than the typical one did in 1984, according to a forthcoming Russell Sage Foundation publication. The life-expectancy gap between the affluent and everyone else is growing. The number of children living with only one parent or none has doubled since the 1970s (to 30 percent). The obesity rate has nearly tripled (to 38 percent). About eight million people have spent time behind bars at some point in their life, up from 1.5 million 40 years ago. While college enrollment has grown, the norm for middle-class and poor students is to leave without a four-year degree."

Cohen dismisses this social layer as "the losers to turbo-capitalism," but they comprise, as Leonhardt suggests, the vast majority of the working class and large sections of the middle class, for whom living standards have declined or, at best, stagnated.

Hillary Clinton, the handmaiden of the stock exchange and the Pentagon, has no credibility as a defender of working-class jobs and living standards. It is the complacent, right-wing defense of capitalism and imperialism by the Democratic Party -- given a "progressive" coloration by its pseudo-left apologists, who share its obsession with the politics of race, gender and sexual orientation -- that provides an opening for fascistic demagogues, whether Trump himself or a more politically skilled successor.

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Patrick Martin writes for the World Socialist Website (wsws.org), a forum for socialist ideas & analysis & published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).
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