Class war gone wild.
One way of looking at American politics is through the lens of class, an area that is generally regarded as impolite, a subject that good people don’t discuss. It’s because it’s rarely confronted. It lay on the floor like a hand grenade ready for the hand to grasp it. Pull its pin and toss it into the midst of the 2016 elections.
Donald Trump, a self-proclaimed billionaire, used his little hands to grab it, pull it, and let it fly. The Clinton campaign never saw it, and it blew them to bits. That’s because neoliberalism is a creature of market central politics, which treats voters as if they’re more concerned about the play of politics rather than the real-life impacts of their economic policies.
The defection of millions of white working-class voters from the democratic machine can be summed up in one acronym: NAFTA. The Clintons, as lawyers, governor, senator, and president typified the political managerial class, and as such, NAFTA, or its globalizing effects, had no decisive impact on them or their class. But for employees of car manufacturers, of refrigerators, televisions, cabinets, textiles, and tennis shoes, the loss of many manufacturing jobs hit hard and bit deep. There’s a reason Hillary lost Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The media, with its constant reference to college-educated women, also didn’t help matters. So do you know what percentage of Americans have college degrees? Perhaps 30%. If you count on college grads, you count out almost 70% of the people, the vast majority.
The Trump campaign was built on nostalgia, when America presumably was great. It’s a return to the fifties when millions were employed in vast manufacturing concerns. Truth is? That America is gone, and it won’t come back again. Capitalism isn’t a moral system, and it doesn’t exist to pay workers high salaries. It is a machine that funnels wealth to its executives and shareholders. It goes abroad to reap more profits. Thus, we see the expansion of transnational corporations and the program of globalization. Can Trump actually reverse this project? I don’t think so. I doubt if the real ruling class will.
But get ready for Trump to bumrush the culture, to try to bully and belittle all that he opposes. Building on the Clinton legacy of mass incarceration, don’t be surprised if this mad machinery gets meaner and nastier. Never doubt that the system can get worse. Also, never doubt that white supremacy is America’s reset button. It is the glue that holds it together. Only a vast disciplined movement can push it back.
From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.