The «unexpected» (for pollsters and analysts) triumph of Republican candidate Donald Trump expresses a deep social discontent, which translated into millions of «punishment» votes against the establishment of the world’s leading imperialist power, against Hillary Clinton and the failure of Obama’s lie «yes we can».
By Miguel Lamas, leader of the IWU-FI, in El Socialista of Argentina, November 9th, 2016
Although they practically tied, with a slight advantage for Clinton (59,600,000) against Trump (59,390,000), the system is indirect and the electors elect (the one who wins in each state takes all the electors of that state). Trump obtained more electors and that is why he won.
The new president, a tycoon who owns casinos and real estate, received from the billionaires who financed the campaigns much less money than Hillary Clinton (adding to more than $ 1.5 billion in total).
Trump spoke demagogically against «globalisation», for bringing back factories (which multinationals took to China and other countries) and against free trade, hitting on issues felt by millions of unemployed workers.
Crisis in the empire
«What shows the electoral campaign is a social body torn as a result of a policy that has concentrated power and income in 1 percent of the population (…). Heroin consumption now affects the industrial belt of the country, where hundreds of factories have closed and entire neighbourhoods have been abandoned.
«According to official data, income fell by 17 percent among the poorest and 10 percent in the middle classes» (Raúl Zibechi, in Sputniknews.com).
But, the profits of the richest 1 percent increased by 156 percent (Harvard Gazette 1 February 2016).
Mortality among the poorest is similar to that of Sudan or Pakistan.
The so-called «American dream» (that is, the opportunity for social progress) has become a nightmare for millions of people who had their homes foreclosed by the banks and, in many cases, lost their pensions. Also, for millions of young people who only get precarious jobs and must live with their parents because they cannot access any housing. While Obama bailed out the banks and automakers, he did not bail out the millions who lost jobs, home, health and / or retirement.
Political and social crisis
To a large extent the vote for Trump and the increase in abstention (in eight years the Democrats lost 10 million votes, compared to Obama in 2008), was a punishment vote against the disaster that caused the crisis open in 2007 of the capitalist-imperialist system. And a punishment vote to the economic policy headed by Obama in recent years in the US and in the world, so that the crisis is paid by the workers and those from below. This was demonstrated by the falsity of the supposed «change» promised by the «Democrat» Obama and many from the reformist left purported he would be a «progressive» president. This was what the voters repudiated, mistakenly voting for Trump or with abstention.
Three months ago the Washington Post indicated that 57 percent of US citizens did not want either candidate. Another Gallup poll, conducted in June, indicated that 47 percent of voters «could vote for a socialist» (this rose to 69 percent among young people).
That is to say, there is a gigantic political and social crisis in the United States, i.e. at the head of the world imperialist system. Inside it is expressed a popular mass that has begun to hate the super-millionaires who led to this disaster and to disbelieve the politicians who govern them (the Bushes, Obamas or Clintons). This was expressed, to the left, in the Democrat primaries with the candidacy of Sanders, who although lost to the tricky Democrat apparatus that made Clinton win, drew 13 million votes. And it manifests, in a distorted way, given the absence of a left-wing alternative, with the mistaken popular and working class vote for Trump, a racist millionaire who is also part of the same. A phenomenon of global political unbelief related to Brexit (the vote in Britain for the exit of the European Union) and the NO to the agreement with the FARC in Colombia. That is, white workers and popular sectors votes were added to the country’s traditional right and ultra-right-wings electoral base.
Trump’s speech, after the victory, was surprisingly moderate for his style. And, after congratulating his rival Hillary Clinton, he called for the «unity of all Americans». That is, he stopped talking about the rich on Wall Street, and he rather wants to get along with them.
That is why his false promise that he will «return to the American dream», to re-establish lost jobs or fallen wages, will not be fulfilled. Trump’s true face will quickly clear up for his voters. Trump is the new head of Yankee imperialism. He will govern for Wall Street and the multinationals.
Trump’s triumph had an impact on the world and all sorts of apocalyptic predictions are being made. Nothing good can be expected from this rightist, misogynist and racist.
We will see how far he can apply his policy in the US and in the world. What is certain is that the acute crisis of the capitalist-imperialist economy will continue and that, therefore, in the US will continue the social and political crisis. That is why the most likely prospect is that, in the coming years, the crisis and the social struggle for wages, work, health, education and the rights of African Americans and Hispanics will deepen.