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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/8/19

Trump Is Achieving His Primary Goal: Division

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From Common Dreams

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But don't be fooled, the president's divide-and-conquer strategy has disguised his efforts to reward his wealthy donors and funnel more wealth and power to those at the top


'Divide and conquer,' writes Reich, 'is one of the oldest strategies in the demagogic playbook: keep the public angry at each other so they don't unite against those who are running off with the goods.'
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Donald Trump's goal is, and has always been, division and disunion. It's how he keeps himself the center of attention, fuels his base and ensures that no matter what facts are revealed, his followers will stick by him.

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But there's another reason Trump aims to divide -- and why he pours salt into the nation's deepest wounds over ethnicity, immigration, race and gender.

He wants to distract attention from the biggest and most threatening divide of all: the widening imbalance of wealth and power between the vast majority, who have little or none, and a tiny minority at the top who are accumulating just about all.

"Divide and conquer" is one of the oldest strategies in the demagogic playbook: keep the public angry at each other so they don't unite against those who are running off with the goods.

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Over the last four decades, the median wage has barely budged. But the incomes of the richest 0.1 percent have soared by more than 300 percent and the incomes of the top 0.001 percent the 2,300 richest Americans they have soared by more than 600 percent.

This enormous imbalance is undermining American democracy.

Martin Gilens of Princeton and Benjamin Page of Northwestern concluded a few years ago that "The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy." After analyzing 1,799 policy issues that came before Congress, they found that lawmakers only respond to the demands of wealthy individuals and moneyed business interests.

No secret here. In fact, Trump campaigned as a populist -- exploiting the public's justifiable sense that the game is rigged against them. But he hasn't done anything to fix the system. To the contrary, his divide-and-conquer strategy as president has disguised his efforts to reward his wealthy donors and funnel more wealth and power to those at the top.

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Trump's tax cuts, his evisceration of labor laws, his filling his cabinet and sub-cabinet with corporate shills, his rollbacks of health, safety, environmental and financial regulations: all have made the super-rich far richer, at the expense of average Americans.

Meanwhile, he and his fellow Republicans continue to suppress votes. Senate Republicans have denounced Democratic proposals to increase turnout, even calling the idea of making election day a federal holiday "a power grab." Of course, it' s a power grab -- for the people.

Trump and his enablers would rather opponents focus on the ethnic, racial and gender differences he uses to divide and conquer. Don't fall for it. We must be united to take back our democracy.

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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.

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2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments  Post Comment


Mrs. Fuxit

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The TRUMP ROYAL FAMILY is an accessory after the fact. 9/11 is now DONALD JUDAS TRUMP's problem. His reputation is on the lyin'. No one

can fire elected public servants who sacrifice lawyers to the gods of justice.

Submitted on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at 2:49:31 PM

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Starbuck

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It was not Donald Trump or Republicans that cranked up the hate machine before the President even took office. You can thank the likes of Maxine Waters, organizations like Antifa and ersatz Republicans like John McCain and Mitt Romney.


Our nation was divided long before Donald Trump came to power. Anyone remember November 2000? Once again, the hate and denial came not from Republicans but from Democrats unable to accept that they lost. Even today I'm sure there will be responses crying about the supreme court, ignoring the fact that the ruling stopped the recount because of "inconsistent standards" in performing the recount in violation of equal protection laws, and not because of the biases of the justices (the equal protection ruling was 7-2 so at least two of the "liberal" judges supported it). The only 5-4 ruling was that it was that an alternative could not be found in time to meet constitutional requirements.


Many argue that the division started with President Obama. In fact, even the Obama administration was not responsible as the great divide was festering long before he took office.


The hate is continued by actual physical violence being perpetrated on Trump supporters, the current neurotic refusal of big name Democrats like Adam Schiff to accept that there was no collusion with Russia, attacks on Trump officials doing nothing more than trying to enjoy time with their families (think Red Hen) encour, blatant attempts to silence conservative voices at major Universities, and essentially the redefinition of hate to be anything that radical neo-libs disagree with.


Refusal to condemn the above actions by other prominent Democrats makes them culpable as well. Silence has become consent.


Top that off with unconstitutional attempts to force President Trump off the ballots in some states (unlike requiring voter id, this is TRUE voter suppression).


Yes there are evil organizations claiming to be "right wing" as well. They are typically disavowed by mainstream conservatives. But the blame does not fall totally or even closely on Donald Trump.


Sorry Mr. Reich. Let the one (or group) that is without sin cast the first stone. And that, sir, is not you or those you pretend to represent.




Submitted on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at 5:38:29 PM

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