The Third International after Lenin

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Trump and Bloomberg

....Like Sanders, Trump owes his position in the Republican race to broad discontent caused by the grinding capitalist crisis. Both speak in opposition to another U.S. ground war and Washington's involvement in so-called free trade pacts. But beyond that, their campaigns are qualitatively different.

Trump's campaign centers on nationalist demagogy. At the same time, he says he's the one who will create jobs, and steers clear of calls for the cuts in social benefits that most of his Republican opponents demand. John Kasich, who ran second in New Hampshire's primary, gains at the polls from attacks by rivals for expanding Obamacare-linked Medicaid benefits as governor of Ohio.

Trump presents himself as speaking for the little person, a straight shooter who says what he thinks and a successful businessman who can get things done. But some concrete proposals he pounds away at are anti-working-class, such as building a wall along the Mexican border to keep out immigrants (which he's now begun presenting as a solution to growing heroin addiction as well!) and announcing this week he supports waterboarding and "worse" for those Washington accuses of terrorism.

One of Trump's notorious positions, his call for a "temporary" bar on Muslims entering the U.S., was dealt a political blow Feb. 3 when President Barack Obama visited a Baltimore mosque and spoke against such "inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim-Americans."

Meanwhile, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed he is considering a bid for the White House in a widely reported Feb. 8 interview in theFinancial Times. The race today is "an outrage and an insult to the voters," said the billionaire media owner.

Bloomberg was a lifelong liberal Democrat before registering as a Republican for his 2001 mayoral bid for electoral reasons. He won his third term as mayor as an independent. His main aim in entering the presidential race would be to block prospects of a victory by Sanders. Bloomberg says he will decide by early March.

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