Donald Trump is the Most Left-Wing President America Has Ever Had
They have lost the plot.
The reaction of much of the mainstream media and some left-wing leaders towards the new American President Donald Trump is beginning to show signs of insanity.
If you have read the headlines in the New York Times, Guardian and other international news outlets over the last few weeks you would be forgiven for thinking that many of their stories were written by people who have forgotten rationality.
“Trump has already failed America” (he was not even president when this was one was published) …“The President Who Buried Humility”… “What the President Doesn’t Get About America”… “Donald the Unready”… “With President Trump American Democracy Faces Its Greatest Test”…“The World May End While Trump is President” (actually I made up this last headline but you get the point).
All of these articles would be easier to accept, if many of the same outlets had not also written articles declaiming against Trump’s personal taste, his hairstyle, and, most shamefully, his purported penis size.
To be clear, I am not a Trump supporter. Rather I am one of the last of the old-school journalists who was taught to report facts not fantasies. My political inclinations – like most normally-constituted human beings – range from Marxist-Leninism to extreme free-market policy depending on the issue. However, if you put my feet to the fire I would have to say that most of the time I am a left-wing, social democratic intellectual who hangs out with people who drink decaf lattes. I am also a mainstream journalist.
But now, I am dismayed by my many of own kind. They are acting with pure-blind, obsessive stupidity. So I write a two-part series on why some of Trump’s policies by American standards are left-wing and, more importantly, how the left-wing can begin to save itself from virtual extinction.
Trump is William Jennings Bryan
Here is the truth. If you judge him by his rhetoric, Donald Trump is actually – in some ways – the most left-wing president the United States has ever had. A historian would have to go back to the 1896 election to find a similar candidate. Trump is a successful William Jennings Bryan-style politician. He claims to speak for the excluded voters, the dispossessed farmers and the victims of large-scale economic trends. He is a populist president who has upset both the right and left-wing establishments.
His inauguration speech, where he ignored mainstream politicians and spoke directly to his purported base of excluded workers and farmers is text-book, left-wing leader’s rhetoric.
“Today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.
For elections days come and go. But political and social revolutions that attempt to transform our society never end. For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have born 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 the 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.”
Okay, fair enough, I actually included a segment of a Bernie Sanders’ speech, but his words do not look out of place included in Trump’s words do they?
What is happening now is the right-wing Republicans – many of whom loathe Trump and despise his policies are, in public, declaring they will work with him. The left-wing should do the same.
After all, if the left immediately declares that they will fight against Trump what motivation does he have to listen to them?
To be clear, many of Donald Trump’s policies – his views on climate change, education policy and the dismantling of an imperfect health care system for the poor – are disreputable and wrong.
However, what his left-wing critics will not admit is that Donald Trump is already on track to deliver three successful works of public policy.
Trump’s Left-Wing Successes
One, Trump is ripping up the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The TPP is an international trade pact that essentially defines two-types of citizenship: the first are corporations who are above the law; the second are ordinary people who, under TPP, are prevented from basic defenses of our water, our air and our right to work by an arcane web of bureaucratic regulations.
Bernie Sanders, the patron saint of the Left, fought tooth and nail against the TPP. The right-wing politicians (and former President Obama) defended this pathway to the third-world.
Now Donald Trump is saying he will eliminate the TPP. Yet the left-wing does not congratulate him. Why not?
Two, Trump’s rhetoric towards foreign wars is classic left-wing stuff. He says that the Iraq War of 2003-2009 was a great disaster. Easy to do and possibly a lie (he claims that he was always against the war which is not true), but at least Trump is – now – putting out an anti-imperial line which will not have American soldiers dying to defend the interests of U.S. corporations and colonize great sections of the world.
Three, he is re-booting American policy towards China. Over the last two generations, the U.S. policy towards that country has been a disaster. The Chinese leadership are the direct descendants of the worst gang of mass-murderers in the history of humanity (see note below). They have created a sick, slave state that has trampled on human rights and decency. Yet American politicians have allowed the Chinese to run trade surpluses with the U.S. for decades. Much of the West has been de-industrialized for the direct benefit of our 1% elite and China. Hundreds-of-millions of workers have lost their jobs due to this policy, however, no U.S. President until Donald Trump would take a call from the democratic rivals of China in Taiwan.
If Trump can keep the U.S. out of unnecessary wars, shift western policy on China and stop unfair, undemocratic trade agreements he will do great service towards workers everywhere. Journalists and political leaders should try to report his work fairly, not immediately begin to attack him. By doing so they aid large corporations, war lobbyists and the Chinese leadership.
The next article is an outline of how social democratic parties across the west should re-invent themselves by doing everything differently then they have ever done before.
“The Chinese leadership are the direct descendants of the worst gang of mass-murderers in the history of humanity” sounds extreme. Here are the facts.
Hitler’s Holocaust is estimated at killing about 12-million people – Jews, Communists, Homosexuals, Slavs, Gypsies and a range of other ethnic and political opponents.
The number of people killed by Stalin is roughly 20-million people – the Ukrainian enforced famines and gulags included. Mao Zedong, the Communist Chinese leader, boasted of killing 30-million people. Other independent estimates claim the number of people killed by Mao and his leadership at closer to 90-million. Most of the current Chinese politicians are sons and daughters of Mao’s elite.