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If Progressives Want to Defeat Trump, They Must Win Back Workers


If Progressives Want to Defeat Trump, They Must Win Back Workers

Les Leopold

During the Sanders campaign I heard a high level official give a powerful speech blasting the Trans-Pacific Partnership Act (TPP) for the harm it would bring to workers, environmentalists and to all who cared about protecting democracy. Donald Trump now has signed an executive order pulling out of the TPP negotiations.


A very well-deserved BRAVO to Les Leopold for an accurate appraisal of where we stand!

The issue is representation in a two-party system as I see it. If we do not identify who brought us to this brink of disasters and end their power, we cannot end the pattern - Dem neoliberals predictable attempt to hold power and refuse/sabotage reforms or acknowledge responsibility are already proven facts - without true change "progressives" do not have the party mechanism to win back workers or focus political power.

Our political processes are based on two political parties, both now serve the same masters, one entirely beyond redemption - the other follows closely and we either demand/force total reform of that one or create another - continual collusion and betrayals are not acceptable!


Those elites in their academic towers are not impressive and never were. Neither party cares about laborers.


Americans should have learned from the past. This isn't the first time the richest few gained too much power, to the harm of the country. Each time in the past, the "masses" -- poor and middle class -- ultimately united to push back, for the common good. That can't happen this time.

We saw some of the Dem Party turn right in the 1980s, becoming the Reagan Democrats. They moved further to the right in the 1990s, merging of the Clinton wing. Democrats split apart their own voting base in the 1990s, and the past eight years confirmed that this split is permanent. As the overall life expectancy of the US poor fell below that of every developed nation, liberals/media steadfastly marketed to middle class consumers and campaign donors. The poor have been pitted against each other by race. Divide, subdivide, and conquer.

As much as the word is bandied about, we see little hint of progressive ideology today. Liberals have spent the last 20 years calling on us to Stand in Solidarity -- to protect the advantages of the better-off alone (for the most part, standing with the middle class, later expanding this to include low wage workers). That's regressive, not progressive.


Who cares about those laborers when they get pushed out of the job market? The last I heard, there are 7 jobs for every 10 jobless people who still have the means to pursue one (home address, phone, etc.). We expect this to worsen significantly.


I agree with Leopold's analysis and conclusions. I've been thinking much about the kind of coalition we must have to form a sustainable "solidarity movement"; and despite its size, the women's march did little to assuage my fears that the resistance will be based far too much on the person (Trump) and far too little on the systemic dynamics underlying his ascension.

Forgive redundancy of this with comments I've written elsewhere, but to whatever extent public attention and protest are limited to a reaction to Trump, and especially to the extent that the masses of protestors fail to put his election in the context of the neoliberal's failures, they will be easily manipulated into being knee-jerk supporters of the neoliberal establishment whose reign enabled Trump's victory.

The Clintonites here and elsewhere continually defend the neoliberals under the supposed necessity of establishing coalitions within government; even as it was clear that so-called "centrism" clearly failed to produce such coalitions. For example, Obama's hopes for consensus on health care. The highly-compromised "reform" called the ACA or Obamacare, a program designed by neocons, was rejected by the other party; and the compromise bill developed so many predictable holes that it is very possible the public may not rise to its defense from the Trump-GOP assault.

No, I argue with Leopold and others that coalition-building must take place in the streets and places where regular people live. And he's spot on that to be effective, any emergent movement must be strongly supported by, and supportive of workers. Organized labor must be part of this, though unfortunately some of the biggest ones have become compromised and seemingly forgetful of their more progressive roots, and it is going to take patient dialogue to build such coalitions.


And what do YOU do besides write the same thing all of the time? Guess you didn't notice the millions who marched or rallied this past weekend( forgot you were at your computer). I do agree that the dems have split, and what has happened is no accident. I think what gets me most is when people who are doing WELL vote for someone like Trump. They are hardly disgruntled unemployed workers. People became too comfortable waiting for Big Daddy or Mommy to take care of them politically, and many became apathetic. Wailing and writing will not get you anywhere.


Absolutely, but not only of workers but unemployed and seniors who have been shut out since the recession.


How about not only winning back workers but also seniors, the unemployed or underemployed, and how about helping those who need it the most in your own communities? Remember, people who are living on the streets or have no food or water need help now. They are not worried about a politician.


Gee, much of what he writes about was in Stein's platform, including free higher ed - but all we hear about is Sanders this and Sanders that - when Sanders has made it clear that he will NOT introduce a SP bill this time around and he just recently voted to approve Mad Dog for his Cabinet appt ....

Good grief - no wonder we get the schmucks we get when we keep chasing faux prog Dems and ignore real progs - i have seen this for YEARS, DECADES now and here we are ...

Labor marched in '99 in Seattle against the WTO - then turned around and supported free trader Gore - then bitched about the only candidate pointing out how it was hurting American labor - Nader ...

Sorry, i am at the point where i don't feel too sorry anymore for a lot of us - we have HAD multiple chances to use our electoral system to turn things around and we REFUSE to so use it ..


Absolutely- the piece talks about workers. The trouble is that there are far too few between an aging population and the damage done by the recession. What I did ask is what YOU do besides commenting about the same thing ad nauseum. I mean do you volunteer, donate food, water, help the environment etc? Commenting on a site is meaningless unless it is backed with action something more and more people are unwilling to do. However, it was AMAZING to see such a large turnout at the rallies this past weekend something we have not seen since the sixties.


Hey, apparently Trump has corralled the United Steelworkers Union - what with approving pipelines and hinting at renegotiating NAFTA - with many of our cars now made in Mexico ...


If this is about workers- please remember that if we had enough people working people would not be bitching. Also, who cares about Stein, this one that one etc. When people are NOT working that's where the concerns come . People who are NOT working or who are underemployed are not going to worry about intellectualizing, or about politics. They worry about how they will survive- guess what, they take whatever and whoever helps them regardless of party. I mean really- would you ask someone what party they are registered with if you were hungry and someone gave you food ?


I doubt that people who are unemployed or homeless will be in the streets.


Yes. "All of the Above". There are root-cause issues common to all but those who've profited from the neoliberal-to-right-wing control structure.


No one cares about the laborers when they get pushed out of the job market how about contacting your members of congress as well as supporting grass roots movements that support people who are un or underemployed?


Supported by workers and non workers alike.


Let's add the word protesting to that.


Heard those jobs are temporary at best ( like one year) can't plan a life around them, and all that pollution for a few ( about twelve) permanent jobs. Ridiculous.


How about all those people who are too "busy" to vote or who would rather just complain?