Jack Kinzler, Rise! Magazine
In what has been described by supporters as a “historic” moment in U.S. politics; Donald J. Trump has been officially sworn into office as the 45th president of the United States. Following what has been an extremely divisive election where we saw the nation torn first between the interests of the working class people as personified by Bernie Sanders versus the corporate neo-liberalism of Hillary Clinton. After which, was a jarring Election Day, where we saw the Hillary Clinton overcome Donald Trump in the majority vote yet lose in the electoral college. Since the election, rather than critique their own candidate and acknowledge the changing U.S. political climate; liberal mouthpieces have been drumming up conspiracy theories of their own to counter all the “fake media” that they had decrying during the race. From Russian hackers to golden showers, nothing has been off limits for a new breed of conspiracy theories from the mainstream media.
Despite the typically chilly D.C. weather, hundreds of thousands of supporters arrived to catch a glimpse of the billionaire capitalist and self-proclaimed champion of the U.S. working classes. With early estimates reporting around 900,000 attendees for Trump’s inauguration versus the 1.8 million who arrived for Obama during his first term inauguration, riding in on that campaign of “Hope” and “Change”. Numbers aren’t everything, even the lowly 10,000 who showed up to see the likes of 3 Doors Down at the Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration pre-inauguration concert.
“You’re Not Forgotten Anymore”
Trump took to the podium during his inauguration for an extremely brief and vague speech. During the seventeen minute speech by the newly appointed U.S. president, he made it abundantly clear that this was not a victory for Trump but a victory for the forgotten U.S. working class. Starting off, Trump lashed out at the past administration and the U.S. politicians which have profited during the times of economic strain following the 2008 global economic collapse.
“For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.”
The idea here continues of on what Trump described as “draining the swamp”, to cleanse D.C. of corrupted officials who have exploited their posts for capital gain. How committed is Trump to this idea? Not at all. It seems almost contradictory that the billionaire capitalist turned politician has any real interest in “draining the swamp” of corruption. Since his election in November, Trump has done nothing but surround himself with bankers while speaking out against globalism.
Another faulty claim here is how Trump makes it appear as though the bulk of the blame on why jobs left the U.S. is solely on the politicians, rather than the corporations that moved the jobs, to begin with. The politicians, many of which having ties to corporations and special interests, are to blame for the shuttering of U.S. factories which have left the U.S. working class down-and-out but only as much as those companies who had tangible motives for relocation. There’s no conspiracy here, no evil cabal of politicians who have been exporting factories to third-world nations just so they could have a laugh of it while twirling their mustaches, but a clear motive from U.S. companies to save money by sourcing cheaper labor. These companies have no respect for the millions of workers that have been left destitute following their departure but Trump drums up a sense of false hope among those who have been abandoned. Abandoned not only by the political elite but by global capitalism. All of this is of course also ignoring the shift in technology from human labor to the use of robots. It’s much easier to simply blame other countries than to accept that capitalism has no safety net for the people who will increasingly lose their jobs to robotic automation.
“January 20th, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”
Except nothing about this day really changes anything for the U.S. working class. We’ve seen during the recent months from liberal media and the Obama administration that we need to allow for a peaceful transition of power. It’s claimed that through this peaceful transition of power that we (liberal politicians) can work with the Trump administration because if Trump succeeds, we (politicians and capitalists) will prosper. The working class holds about as much power in the future of the country as the paper they used to vote Trump in on. What of this election has truly shaken the establishment to its core? A billionaire capitalist who has surrounded himself with a cast of bankers is now the leader of the world’s largest imperialist nation. What a shocking twist of events!
“-mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.”
These statements are vague and which education system that Trump is speaking on here, it’s impossible to really know. The words used here are so vague that really any interpretation can be made. Is he suggesting that the for-profit system of higher education has left students in tremendous debt while leaving them with dead-end jobs that they didn’t study for? Is this a call to crackdown on universities and insist that either they work to cut costs for students or perhaps we could make out an idea of universal education? Taken a different way, is this an attack on the federal spending towards the public education system? Is there a suggestion here that we need to shift money out of the education budget and into say, the military? With language this obscure, no one can be certain.
Crime and drugs have indeed ravaged our nation, especially following the escalation of the failed War on Drugs. Where does this crime stem from? Why do we see people forced into a position where they have to sell drugs or resort to theft for survival? The War on Drugs and following policies led to mass incarnations over the decades which destroyed the ability of small-time offenders to easily find employment following their release. The “much-unrealized potential” here are the millions who could be working but can’t either due to a lack of jobs, criminal records, or both.What Trump is suggesting here is an escalation of spending on law enforcement. Statements prior to his election and on the ‘Issue’ page of whitehouse.gov show a support for law enforcement against what are described as “the rioter, the looter, or the violent disruptor”. Sounding Orwellian enough for you?
“Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.”
This is perhaps the strangest comment in the entirety of the speech. The level of deception in this statement seems, to sum up, every faulty premise that the Trump campaign has been using to deceive the U.S. people. China did not sneak into the U.S., dismantle factories, kidnap CEO’s, and steal blueprints to produce these products. U.S. corporations intentionally sought out inexpensive labor at the cost of the U.S. people losing their jobs. No country out there is “stealing our companies and destroying our jobs”, corporations are the main antagonist of the working class. But in the entire speech, while Trump flails his little hands over the podium he never once goes after those companies. All this fear mongering of what these alien countries are doing to steal our jobs should fall flat, considering the man employed China to produce all the products for the inauguration. Besides being a liar and trying to shift the blame from companies onto other countries, he’s also a hypocrite.
Following this attack on foreign countries merely accepting production is a very contradictory statement:
“We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.”
So, the Trump administration will go after those politicians for stealing the jobs. No wait, they’ll go after China and Mexico for stealing the jobs. No wait, “it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first”. So the Trump administration will go after those foreign countries which have stolen the jobs of the U.S. working class by not imposing the U.S. way of life on them and by respecting that countries can put their interests first.Wasn’t it in the interests of China to devalue the Renminbi? Why go after China for simply doing what was in their own interest? Is this making any sense? It shouldn’t because it isn’t meant to.
The fate of capitalism is so irrevocably tied with globalism that these tactics being promoted by Trump to isolate the nation are entirely out of the realm of reason. A more interesting observation is whether globalism or isolationism will best accelerate the inevitable collapse of capitalism in the U.S.
Following these statements, the speech begins to roll into the usual political ramblings of “God, patriots, and military”. Several statements are made to really lock in the importance of securing our borders not just physically but economically. We’re told that the U.S. working class are “protected” by the military and law enforcement, the latter of which has been killing record numbers of U.S. civilians each year. What we’re witnessing with this push toward law enforcement and the domestic use of the military is the dying establishment cementing its power within the U.S. With the boogeyman of ISIS and by making out all protesters to be “violent disruptors”, the new administration has the pretext for cracking down on any form of dissent. The proposition of physical and economic walls are not meant to keep out threats, they are meant to keep in the U.S. people. In the often quoted words of Benjamin Franklin, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
Nothing will change with the election of Donald Trump and the working class has nothing to gain from this presidency. Wealth has not been flowing out of the U.S. as Trump likes to portray, it has simply been accumulating at the top 1%. The wealth is there, yet it does not belong to the U.S. working class and voting in a hack capitalist will certainly do nothing to disrupt that system. Trump’s call for bolstering the police state while completely ignoring the source of economic inequality is telling of the troubles that the U.S. working class are in for.