Liberals lamenting the election of Donald Trump have not absorbed the necessary lessons.
Rather than examining the policies of financial neoliberalism and the identity politics that provided neoliberalism its moral veneer, they are still blaming the Russians, or the racism and stupidity of the “deplorables”, for the loss of Hillary Clinton.
The voters who elected Trump, like the ones who voted for Brexit, did so as a revolt against neoliberalism, which has been responsible for the erosion of their living standard for the last 40 years. However, the vote for Trump was not just a rejection of neoliberalism, but a repudiation of “progressive neoliberalism“. Progressive neoliberalism married financial capitalism, as represented by Wall Street, with progressive social movements such as gay-rights, feminism, anti-racism, and multiculturalism. This is the platform that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton ran on.
Trump was treated as a joke, and Democrats like Hillary saw him as the ideal candidate to run against. Up until the final election results, liberal media icons, like the New York Times and Washington Post, predicted victory for Hillary.
The DNC and elite liberal media believed their own propaganda–that the new, hip, urban, progressive coalition had consigned the old, reactionary, rural, conservative coalition to the dustbin of history.
And now, in the US and Britain, there is a great deal of anger at those impertinent citizens who voted the wrong way. They are castigated as evil or racist, or maybe too dumb to vote for their own self-interests. In just one example, liberal writer, Daily Kos publisher and Vox Media co-founder Markos Moulitsas proclaimed: “Be Happy for Coal Miners Losing Their Health Insurance. They’re Getting Exactly What They Voted For”
This sort of shit is nauseating. If we are succeed in opposing the kleptocratic ruling policies of Trump, we need to be honest in examining the reasons for his election and not engage in attacks against prospective allies. The owner-class is certainly celebrating this infighting. Divide and conquer is as old as the hills, and predictably effective.
In my opinion, what has made the election of Donald Trump possible is the absence of a workers party in the US. This has led to the lack of a vision that could link the legitimate economic grievances of Trump supporters with an trenchant critique of neoliberalism, together with policies of equality for people of color, woman, and LGBT.
The Democratic Party, as represented by candidate Hillary Clinton, has no interest in such policies, as demonstrated by their repeated failure to unite labor with these new social movements. Perhaps it wasn’t a bug but a feature to disguise who their true masters on Wall Street are. After all, the Democrats got to pose as liberals, while secretly promoting policies that have impoverished the majority of Americans, while enriching the ownership class.
Now, what are we going to do about it?