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Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 12:22 am

We can beat back the reign of Trump

Jim Hightower
PHOTO BY LARRY D. MOORE
Buckle up, friends. Most Americans are about to be detoured onto a rough and rocky back road called “Trump Way.” The autocratic tycoon was unabashed on the campaign trail in promising his victory would ensure millions of people a dire future, including mass deportations of immigrants, refugee bans and frontal assaults on women. But they’re not the only ominous prospects. His little-discussed economic agenda is filled with provisions that would permit 1-percenters to travel more luxuriously than ever in the smooth, fast lanes of life while the middle class and the poor are flagged onto Trump Way for a hairy, four-year ride of even more downward mobility. The proposed package includes:

  • Immediately seizing control of the National Labor Relations Board, turning it into a corporate bulldozer to destroy workers’ rights, particularly the right to organize unions
  • “Yuuuuge” new tax cuts for corporations and the super rich, busting the budget for addressing human needs
  • Privatization of such basics as public education, Medicare and Social Security
  • Deregulation of corporate profiteers – from Wall Street banksters to Big Oil polluters
  • Eliminating the federal minimum wage
  • Freeing corporations from rules that prohibit discrimination in hiring, paying, promoting and firing workers

Why were voters not aware of Trump’s little secret agenda? Not only because he wasn’t about to boast about such unpopular policies, but also because the mass media were so dazzled by the bawdy spectacle of Trump’s tweets, spats and onstage tirades that they ignored fundamentally important aspects of his presidential intentions. In fact, his entire career as a luxury property developer and brand-name marketer of himself has been built on broken promises to workers, routine scamming of suppliers and partners, blatant self-dealing, crony capitalism and lies. That con game alone tells us who our new president really is: an incorrigible swindler.

At 70 years old, his nuclear-level of narcissism and gluttonous sense of entitlement are ingrained. Throughout his presidential run, we saw his pleasure in singling out and demeaning people as “losers,” including: “nasty” women, black protestors, disabled people, unionists, Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, Muslims, the poor, environmental activists and anyone who criticized him. How he treats us commoners won’t change because he’s President Trump.

Naturally, a triumphant Trump has left many of us baffled, disgusted and terrified. But progressives everywhere have important work to do.

It’s time for us to double down on what can be seen as the progressive community’s shared campaign for populist justice. Essentially, it’s the integrative struggle for human dignity, combining our many separate fights for justice into a powerful and righteous whole, an all-for-one/one-for-all effort against the economic and political elites who are determined to subjugate us.

We can beat back the brutishness the Reign of Trump promises – if we seriously unite. That means acting on the reality that our various groups really are in this together.

We need to recognize that racial and economic injustice is inseparable. Making this connection is especially important now, for the corporate media are simplistically declaring that Trump won because white working-class men rebelled against the rising swirl of multiculturalism.

Of course, the corporate powers (and those who prosper by serving them) have long divided working people by pitting the less powerful groups against each other. So it’s up to us to stop playing along. We now have an urgent need to organize and harmonize as one progressive family that can and will mobilize as a whole to defend and advance the interests of each and every part, rallying around respect for human dignity and the common good.

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, columnist and author.


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