5 thoughts on “Trump elected US president, reactions

  1. Wednesday 9th November 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    MEXICANS and Muslims will be at the sharp end of communities afraid for their future in light of Donald Trump’s election as US president.

    Many women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities will also be apprehensive after hearing the vile, crude gibes employed by the billionaire bully.

    Some commentators highlight Trump’s different tone taken in his acceptance speech, with platitudes about being president for all Americans, as though willing Trump to come into line.

    This desire regards political normalcy as the target for all politicians, although it lies in tatters today.

    Trump’s election isn’t alone in pulverising this discredited thesis. Britain’s referendum decision to leave the EU has similar aspects.

    Both campaigns were derided by Establishment politicians and liberal media outlets from the outset.

    Those whose votes secured the election of a self-styled outsider as US president and said No to membership of an unaccountable, institutionally neoliberal, bureaucratic EU superstate were demeaned as racists, xenophobes and idiots by liberal elites unable to believe that their conventional wisdom had been spurned.

    Polling organisations’ failure to foresee the result of either phenomenon illustrates an inability to identify or empathise with those who have had enough and want something better.

    There will certainly have been racists, xenophobes and idiots involved in both campaigns just as there were backing Clinton and Remain.

    Insulting voters for their temerity in disagreeing with a business-as-usual agenda in these terms breeds resentment and makes political revolt more likely.

    When defamatory name-calling is conjoined with efforts to dress up the Establishment choice — whether Hillary Clinton or the EU — as the “progressive” alternative, self-delusion takes over and assumes Emperor’s New Clothes dimensions.

    Those reacting to Trump’s misogynist, xenophobic and Islamophobic barbs fell too often into the trap of portraying Clinton as an antidote to his poison.

    In reality, her unrestrained appetite for sending US bombers overseas to annihilate countless people to impose Washington’s writ shatters any image of enlightened humanity.

    Similarly, while proclaiming feminism to justify fighting to be the first female US president, her unprincipled attacks on women reporting sexual harassment by her husband weakened any claim to sisterhood.

    Clinton’s supposed attachment to African-American rights was also illusory, as even Barack Obama couldn’t arouse mass enthusiasm for her candidacy, which was lampooned as “Black Votes Matter” rather than “Black Lives Matter.”

    Senator Bernie Sanders exposed these contradictions while struggling for the Democratic nomination, but the power of the machine, exemplified by the role of ex-officio superdelegates, steamrollered Clinton to victory at the party convention.

    Had Sanders won, opinion polls have shown consistently that he could have trounced Trump.

    Former president Bill Clinton deployed the slogan “It’s the economy, stupid” to paint himself as the candidate most in tune with working people seeking to improve their living standards.

    Millions of working-class US voters have seen closed factories, lost jobs and plummeting living standards as their material basis for voting Trump because of his pledge to overturn free trade deals championed by Clinton.

    Will Trump honour this pledge or be able to carry it through Congress?

    Time will tell, but the possibility exists that those who backed him on this issue will mobilise seriously to insist that there is no backtracking.

    The genie of working-class revolt, albeit scarred with unattractive features, is out the bottle and may not be so easily restrained again.

    Cross-party neoliberal consensus is crumbling in the US, in Britain and across Europe too, which demands a socialist intervention.



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