Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 12 Share on Twitter 2 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/29/18

How To Stop Trump...

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     (# of views)   3 comments
Author 47089
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Robert Reich
Become a Fan
  (128 fans)

From Robert Reich Blog


(Image by pixabay.com)   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

Why did working class voters choose a selfish, thin-skinned, petulant, lying, narcissistic, boastful, megalomaniac for president?

With the 2018 midterms around the corner, and prospective Democratic candidates already eyeing the 2020 race, the answer is important because it will influence how Democrats campaign.

One explanation focuses on economic hardship. The working class fell for Trump's economic populism.

- Advertisement -

A competing explanation -- which got a boost this week from a study published by the National Academy of Sciences -- dismisses economic hardship, and blames it on whites' fear of losing status to blacks and immigrants. They were attracted to Trump's form of identity politics -- bigotry.

If Democrats accept the bigotry explanation, they may be more inclined to foster their own identity politics of women, blacks, and Latinos. And they'll be less inclined to come up with credible solutions to widening inequality and growing economic insecurity.

Yet the truth isn't found in one explanation or the other. It's in the interplay between the two.

- Advertisement -

Certainly many white working class men and women were -- and still are -- receptive to Trump's bigotry.

But what made them receptive? Racism and xenophobia aren't exactly new to American life. Fears of blacks and immigrants have been with us since the founding of the Republic.

What changed was the economy. Since the 1980s the wages and economic prospects of the typical American worker have stagnated. Two-thirds now live paycheck to paycheck, and those paychecks have grown less secure.

Good-paying jobs have disappeared from vast stretches of the land. Despite the official low unemployment rate, millions continue to work part-time who want steady jobs or they're too discouraged to look for work.

When I was Secretary of Labor in the 1990s, I frequently visited the Rust Belt, Midwest, and South, where blue-collar workers told me they were working harder than ever but getting nowhere.

Meanwhile, all the economy's gains have gone to the richest 10 percent, mostly the top 1 percent. Wealthy individuals and big corporations have, in turn, invested some of those gains into politics.

- Advertisement -

As a result, big money now calls the shots in Washington -- obtaining subsidies, tax breaks, tax loopholes (even Trump promised to close the "carried interest" loophole yet it remains), and bailouts.

The near meltdown of Wall Street in 2008 precipitated a recession that cost millions their jobs, homes, and savings. But the Street got bailed out and not a single Wall Street executive went to jail.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Rate It | View Ratings

Robert Reich Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Trump Cornered

The Republican's Big Lies About Jobs (And Why Obama Must Repudiate Them)

Paul Ryan Still Doesn't Get It

What Mitt Romney Really Represents

What to Do About Disloyal Corporations

The Gas Wars