Analysis by Reporting San Diego
Nov 10, 2016 (San Diego) as the news starts to filter, Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States, I sit bemused. CNN is shocked. Polling failed, we did not see it…the blue wall collapsed. Of course, CNN would not admit their role in this. Albeit, to be fair, their role was not as large as the Democratic National Committee will claim. Third party voters did not have any role in this, yet Democrats are blaming third party voters already. Paul Krugman led the way.
Paul KrugmanVerified account
@paulkrugman Btw, Jill Stein has managed to play Ralph Nader. Without her Florida might have been saved
So why did Trump win? The roots of this are in decisions taken by the Democratic Leadership Council early in their takeover of the Democratic Party. These decisions were headlined by Bill Clinton when he signed the North American Free Trade Agreement. Yes, it was negotiated by his predecessor, George Bush, but Clinton signed the implementation paperwork. For the record, the process to let the private sector take the lead role in the US economy and remove regulations was well underway. This is the heart of neoliberalism, which is not discussed in the United States generally speaking.
During the 1992 campaign, Clinton promised to look at NAFTA and ensure the rights of labor. Partly he did so because Ross Perot ran as an independent, and truly threatened the two party system. Perot made the argument that the sound you heard were jobs going to Mexico. He never did that. The treaty implementation instruments were signed with great fanfare at the White House, with the promise of jobs that never materialized.
There was more. Neoliberal policy abandoned the working and lower middle classes. Instead, the DLC embraced corporations and what they later called the innovation economy. They also pursued with abandon upper class, white suburbanites. This included the same group of soccer moms Republicans pursued, the security mom. Working class whites and minority workers were abandoned. As middle-classes jobs left the urban cores for foreign shores, the union job, with a middle-class income was increasingly out of reach.
Then there two goals of the conservative republicans that were delivered by Clinton. The first was welfare reform, which effectively abandoned the poor. The second was the 1996 crime bill that effectively created the current crisis of mass incarceration and what Michelle Alexander called a new Jim Crow.
When Democrats were returned to the White House in 2008 that was a change Election. People voted for Barack Obama since he promised hope and change. One of the items he promised was Card Check. Labor considered it essential if Unions were to survive. Card Check was never drafted into a bill, let alone introduced. Labor membership continues to crash.
Obama also promised to renegotiate NAFTA. that never happened. Policies that progressives were told would be carried out never happened. His cabinet was staffed by Wall Street. He also received more money from Wall Street than Senator John McCain, which was a surprise.
Neoliberals also lost an increasing number of state Houses and Governor’s mansions. This is according to National Public Radio, earlier this year.
When Obama took office, there were 60 Democratic senators; now there are 46. The number of House seats held by Democrats has shrunk from 257 to 188.
There are now nine fewer Democratic governors than in 2009. Democrats currently hold fewer elected offices nationwide than at any time since the 1920s.
This weakened the party and essentially weakened the farm teams. Nor have neoliberal considered state power to be as important as the White House.
The Democratic Party ignored the signs that they were in for a loss. Bernie Sanders provided a very hard challenge, though after the WikiLeaks revelations one has to wonder if that could be harder. Regardless, the Democratic National Committee rigged the process from the start, since they wanted to run Secretary Hillary Clinton to the White House.
She had quite a bit of baggage, but the most important baggage is that the working class feels abandoned and like 2008, they wanted change. In 2008 a perfectly unknown Senator from Illinois, a first-termer, defeated her in the primary. He promised change. Now it was a complete outsider to the system.
We know from the Podesta emails that the DNC believed Trump was the weaker candidate, ergo the easier one to defeat. Trump in some ways did not sound that different from Ross Perot so many years ago. Perot cost George Bush a second term, but his warning is still here.
Democrats have a choice. They can learn from this, and start listening to the people. Or they can continue to pursue the golden unicorns and blame voters for not voting, or going third party or whatever is the excuse of the day. The Democratic Party emerged from the primary divided. We expected it to be divided.I fear now it will be even more divided than with a win.
In a fit of irony Clinton might actually win the popular vote, not that it matters. Like Al Gore, she will have to sit at home and watch another person take the oath of office on January 20. Mind you, when the pollsters say they were surprised that working class Americans have had it and voted accordingly, they are in their own bubbles.
Oh and one note to all screaming but voters are fascists and all that. No, a small minority is. But in reality, like Germany, most voters went to the polls expressing the same economic anxiety they voted for in 2006, in 2008 and then took to the streets with Occupy Wall Street. It is not as if voters have not been sending smoke signals to the elites. They are tired of neoliberalism.
The effects are already felt. Markets are crashing, and the world is looking at the United States horrified, We wrote earlier in the year that the BREXIT vote had a lot in common with Trump. We could not be more prescient. We wrote this back in June after we described the economic class that voted for BREXIT, which was the rural, poor, away from London.Or former industrial cities that have lost so many factories that they look like Detroit.
In the United States it is the same class cohort, the lower middle class, that is voting Trump, and is rejecting the establishment. They also want their country back and while some are trying to make this about race, it is about class, class resentment.
What has happened in the United States since Ronald Reagan has been similar. Whole areas of the country has stopped production. This same cohort also blames immigration and other factors.
We also wrote this in the same piece.
These working class people do not want to hear how good trade has been for the United States, or the cheap goods they can get, buying products that they made at one time. For example televisions, washers and driers. Jobs for which they were compensated fairly and could afford to send their children to college without getting a second mortgage. These days they are barely making it, and their children will not go to the same school with the same connections, as the elite. When they graduate, they will not be able to get the same jobs either. They know the system is stacked against them.
In fact, for the most part, our media does not talk to working class people, or to lower middle class working people. They do not understand the tension that has emerged becuase jobs have left, sometimes overnight, to places like Mexico and China. Those workers know that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) did not bring anything good to them. Ok, perhaps some cheap baubles, that they can buy at the dollar store, becuase they cannot afford anything better.
If you are keeping score, it is these same forces, and economic anxiety, that brought Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini to power. It is that which led to BREXIT. and it is the exact same anxiety that has led to the rise of the European populist right. such as Michelle Le Pen and the United Kingdom Independence Party, which was behind BREXIT.
The blue wall collapsed. Democrats lost states they had not lost for close to two generations, Incidentally, they went through the rust belt. They went through the working class that feels alienated and ignored and has been demanding change since at least the wave election of 2006 that gave Democrats congress.