Have the American people gone mad? Millions of them have voted into office a man whom many of them would not allow into their company because of his obnoxious views. How could this happen?
It seems to me that they did not vote for Trump; they voted against the neo-liberal establishment. They were so desperate to get out of the clutches of the cosy political establishment, which had done so much damage to the living standards, the welfare and environment of their communities and family that, any available option which could take them out of the political status quo was an option worth taking. If you doubt that, just reflect that millions of them had voted for Bernie Saunders, who stood as a ‘Socialist.’ a more toxic political description would have been hard to find in American politics just a decade ago.
If we understand the American election in that context, it fits in with much else we have seen recently in the capitalist world. People’s rejection of neo-liberal policies and the political parties associated with them. There is just so much ‘austerity’ and sacrifice you can ask of people before they start looking for the reward for their efforts. If the ‘reward’ turns out to be that the rich get much richer and that they and their children get poorer, and their environment social provision gets much worse; they will eventually explode and look for a quick way to hit back at the establishment and their puppet politicians.
Here in Scotland we have seen this political rejection of the main established political party, the Labour party, in a dramatic way. In England we have seen the rise of the Brexit vote probably because of the political, media and other establishment figures warning against it, rather than, in spite, of that.
So what is the lesson for democrats? Surely it is clear, give people a clear option. The State and state power must be used to properly develop the economy in the interest of the people as a whole, not a select minority. That the banks and financial institutions, which have been used to redistribute wealth from the people to the super rich few, must be taken under the control of the State and operated as a public service as they should be. That the environment must be protected for the people and their children and future generations
Any political party which seriously addresses these issues will come under attack by the media which is in the hands of the super rich, but will be very popular with the people.
Democracy has not been damaged by what happened in the USA, but it urgently needs attention, there, and everywhere in the capitalist world. If we address this issue properly and in particular the people’s real concerns, then this ‘disappointment’ for many of us can be seen as the light which changed capitalist society for the better.