Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election provoked emotion and concern among the people who were revolted by his racist, misogynist and reactionary remarks. Here, in France, all the politicians who pull on the same strings as the smooth-talking American billionaire feel encouraged to continue, from Sarkozy to Le Pen.
Workers turn away from elections…
Contrary to what they would have us believe from voter interviews, Trump was not elected by angry white workers who feel threatened. In fact, the majority of workers, blacks, Latinos or whites, did not go to the polls! Abstention has risen sharply and it was Clinton who paid the most with 10 million votes less than Obama in 2008. Most workers turned away from elections, as they had nothing to expect.
…that give them no hope
Moreover, how could the eight years of Obama administration have proved them wrong? Blacks are still shot and killed by racist cops. Like anywhere in the world, employers layoff workers and lower wages. Obama distinguished himself by saving the banking system from bankruptcy and making the poorest pay the bill – just like in France. Even the well-known “Obamacare”, supposedly a health system for all, has mostly enriched health insurance companies whose high tariffs have left many out.
Here too, after all the betrayals of the governmental left, abstention is gaining among workers. Some, confused, go so far as considering to vote for the National Front, thinking: “might as well raise hell”, hoping to get rid of “pro-system” politicians. They are shooting themselves in the foot: Marine Le Pen is a full member of the “system”. She is the rich heiress of her twisted father and most of the leaders of the National Front come from the traditional right.
Most of the National Front voters, like for Trump in the USA, are middle class people who feel weakened by the capitalist system and believe they can protect themselves by voting for one of its representatives. This is not very encouraging, for it offers the capitalists a wider and more aggressive social base for their anti-worker attacks.
Prepare the fights against the bosses’ attacks
Trump is a billionaire exploiter perfectly integrated into the system. His racist and national preference remarks attack blacks and Latinos, but are actually aimed at all the working class, which he is trying to divide.
For now, reactionary America rejoices. Social networks report an increase in racist acts. On the other side, the many demonstrations by young people who refuse to see Trump as “their” president may not by themselves suffice to stem the foreseeable attacks, but they show the way.
Trump’s victory is something to worry about, but Clinton would have served capitalism just as well. That is why she has struggled to rally the workers and the young people. She made do with the “useful vote” argument against Trump: we saw the result.
We need real workers representatives
In the US elections, there was no one representing the working class. In spring 2017, in France, workers can be directly represented. This is the meaning of the campaign of Philippe Poutou, a Ford worker himself. This candidature will insist that only our struggles can protect us from unemployment, high cost of living, poor standard of living and work conditions. This candidature will aim at popularizing the means to join our fights, to be stronger against the employers and, well, to find our way to victory again.
There are other ways to “shock” than voting for old reactionary dinosaurs. Voting for an anti-capitalist workers’ activist, even if they do not become “president”, would show capitalists that workers are not “toothless” but ready to bite!