Trump’s Racist Divide and Conquer Campaign

Protesters gather near Grand Central Station to protest against US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

From the very beginning of Trump’s presidential campaign he has made an appeal to white voters by attacking just about everyone else. Such strategies on the part of politicians and bosses are nothing new. What is new is the fact that a billionaire like Trump is willing and able to openly say what many politicians have supported, but less openly.

Every crazy word out of Trump’s mouth makes headlines in the newspapers and is the main story on television news. Whether what he says is true or lies, when he insults other candidates or other people, the corporate media can’t get enough of his crap and busily spread it far and wide.

Trump has called Mexicans rapists and murderers and said that Mexico will pay for a wall to keep undocumented people out of the U.S. He has attacked Muslims and said that Muslims should not be allowed to come to the US. He has insulted women and joined the attack on the right of women to choose if they want to have children.

He is for more military spending and an even larger and more aggressive US military presence in the world, including bombing Iran. He has expressed support for water boarding and even worse forms of torture and the killings of members of the families of people the U.S. government claims are terrorists.

He acknowledged that racist David Duke of the Ku Klux Klan supported him, and then claimed he didn’t know who he is. He has used his rallies to incite hatred and violence, particularly against Black people. And he called on his supporters to beat people up if they dare to show open opposition at his rallies. He even threatened the Republican Party with riots if they block his nomination.

He talks about the need to make America great again. But “great” for whom, billionaires like him? Trumps wants to sucker white working class and middle class people into believing that the decline in their standard of living, the loss of jobs, gentrification of their neighborhoods, decreased opportunities for jobs and education, lack of health care are the fault of other workers, not the 1%.

Trump is a real enemy of all working class people. This billionaire tycoon attacks immigrant workers but hires them because he can pay them low wages, opposes unions, rips off students in his university and generally exploits everyone he has contact with for his own greed.

His campaign promotes the kind of divide-and-conquer games the bosses play every day. The divisions we encounter at work, at school, and in our neighborhoods have stood in the way of our finding the ways to stand together to push back. The bosses and politicians have played us off against each other while getting richer and richer.

The Democrats denounce Trump and act shocked and disgusted with the garbage he says. Really? How are the Democrats so different in reality? Obama has deported more immigrants than any other president. The Clinton administration’s war on drugs led to a huge jump in mass incarceration with hundreds of thousands of Black people ending up in the prison industrial pipeline. His administration dismantled much of the welfare system and threw millions into deeper poverty. The Democrats are responsible for how many wars over how many decades? The Democrats just carry out the dirty work of this system more quietly and without the middle school sort of bullying rants that gets Trump the attention and support he seeks.

Trump’s racist garbage needs to be completely rejected. But neither of the major parties of the rich can represent our interests. The way the election is shaping up, the Republicans will nominate Trump or someone equally bad. And the Democrats – will likely nominate Clinton. Either way people are trapped at the ballot box faced with no real choice. This year’s election campaign shows more than ever that politics is the business of the 1%. There are no parties or candidates that represent the interests of working people.

The changes that we need will not come from their elections. We need to find a way to use the power we really have – on the job and in the streets. Then we’ll begin to see the changes we need.