Saturday, March 26, 2016

Trump: A capitalist politician, not a fascist

....“The working class all over the world is feeling the impact of the capitalist economic crisis,” Kennedy said. “There were a lot of workers at the [Trump] rally who are fed up with the Democrats and Republicans, who see nothing being done about high unemployment, and who don’t like what the U.S. government is doing in the Middle East.

“We talked about why we need to break from the capitalist parties, emulate the Cuban Revolution and reorganize society to meet the interests of working people. The discussions were a lot like those with my co-workers when I worked in coal mines in Alabama, Colorado, Utah and West Virginia,” noted Kennedy, who is currently on leave from her job at Walmart. “It was a lot of fun.”

“Not everyone at the Trump rally was willing to talk, but most were,” she said. “One young woman said she didn’t agree that fast-food workers should get $15 an hour, saying ‘shouldn’t we be creating good jobs?’ I said yes, we need to fight for a federally funded public works program and for a union,” Kennedy said. “At the same time wages are set from the bottom up, not the top down.”

These discussions, she said, highlight why those who organized to prevent Trump from speaking did a grave disservice to the young people who joined them, mistakenly believing this advances the fight against attacks on immigrants, police brutality and anti-Muslim discrimination.

....“Trump’s not a fascist, he’s a demagogic bourgeois politician,” said Naomi Craine, a leader of the Socialist Workers Party here, who spoke along with Kennedy. “He uses crude anti-Mexican and anti-Muslim rhetoric, and there’s a real edge to his comments on women.”

What he proposes to do is not much different from the other capitalist politicians, however. The U.S. government should build a wall on the Mexican border, Trump says. In fact there already is a wall, much of it built during the administration of President Bill Clinton. Trump talks about keeping out Muslims “temporarily,” but the current administration “has already been denying visas to many Muslims,” Craine noted.

Yet virtually every petty-bourgeois radical group in the United States that calls itself socialist backed the March 11 attack on free speech and the right to assembly, under the guise of stopping the “fascist” Trump. Among the main organizers of the disruption was, which functions as a wing of the Democratic Party, and there was prominent participation from the Workers World Party, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and the International Socialist Organization....


  1. I'm still waiting for the clarification from The Militant of how Trump differs from Patrick Buchanan, whom it had no difficulty characterizing as a fascist.

    1. You raise a good point John.

      I've been rereading the 1992 issues as they are uploaded to the archive. Have you, too?

      In them SWP candidates even participate in counter-demos at Buchanan campaign events during the 92 primaries.

      I am going to post this question on FB for discussion. Feel free to send me a friend request or respond to mine.

      Jay Rothermel

    2. Yes, I have been reading those back issues.

      My opinion is that The Militant's analysis back then was hysterical. While there's little doubt that Buchanan himself is a racist and even an anti-semite (far more so than Trump, actually), as a politician he really is just on the far end of mainstream bourgeois politics, as is Trump. He wasn't and isn't really a fascist, nor is Trump. In the 2000 election the Republican Party moved to the right and marginalized him. In the end he got less than a quarter of the vote of Ralph Nader.

      By the way, I agree with The Militant that it's a mistake to disrupt Trump's rallies. Actually the periodic interruptions of his speeches have become part of his "schtick." They don't appear to have hurt him at all. Nor do they infringe on his "freedom of speech," since with his money he has a thousand times the free speech of regular working people.

      As usual whatever valid points the SWP makes are undercut by its hectoring, self-righteous tone. Sincere anti-racist activists are not wrong to ignore this irrelevant, shrinking little group.

    3. The SWP's orientation toward the Trump "movement" is unique on "the left." There is not necessarily something unprincipled about this. As this article points out, it would be wrong to write off every one of his supporters as a racist or fascist. Still, it is odd for a "party" of less than a hundred souls to devote its meager resources to this. Wouldn't Bernie's rallies be a more fruitful arena for selling The Militant or finding potential recruits?

      There seems to be something deeper going on here: The SWP's new orientation toward the white (or as they quaintly call it, the "Caucasian") working class. A recent issue of The Miltant reported that presidential candidate Alyson Kennedy campaigned in an overwhelmingly white, and rather prosperous, suburb of Chicago. And the SWP's Philadelphia branch moved its headquarters from black North Philadelpia to Mayfair, an area of the city that is 95% white.

      I have a feeling that when the SWPers set up their literature tables at Donald Trump rallies, they're not promoting books by Malcolm X.