Thursday, August 18, 2016

Make America Great for “Us” Again

Protesters rally to call attention to wealth inequality and police brutality. (photo: Getty Images)
Protesters rally to call attention to wealth inequality and police brutality. (photo: Getty Images)

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News
hat Donald Trump is really saying is that he wants to make America great for WASPS again. When Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again, he is not talking to me, he is warning me. I am Latino. Trump wants a return to the day when WASPS control the country again.

The Donald has been setting up this campaign for years. Donald Trump knows that President Obama was born in the United States, but he knew that racist bigots would support his efforts to cast any doubt on Obama. When Donald Trump said Mexicans were rapists, he was speaking to his base. Trump is speaking to angry white men who think that all the good jobs should be theirs and brown and black people can have the scraps. That is the America that Donald Trump wants to bring back.

He has telegraphed it from the beginning of his campaign. It’s that white working class male who is tired of political correctness he’s speaking to. It’s not just the outspoken clearly racist bigot. It’s the guy who bites his tongue and acts like everything is fine but his views have not changed. But it’s not all men – it is also women who are anti-gay, anti-immigrant, who are blaming political correctness for anything that is wrong in their eyes. Some are vocal like Ann Coulter. Others bite their tongue and act like they have evolved, but in reality they are still racist, sexist, and anti-gay.

Then there is the guy who wants his wife at home barefoot and pregnant. Trump knew when he battled with Megyn Kelly that his sexist male base would reward him. Again, women who think they should be at home taking care of the children also respond to Trump.

When Trump says we have to bomb ’em, he’s talking to that segment of the population that thinks we should nuke all those Arabs. So often we hear about Trump’s gaffes. They are not gaffes – he knows exactly what he is doing and who his audience is.

He is right on the TPP and other trade deals, I think. I’m a little suspicious though, since his motives are to continue to gain the trust of white working class voters who are rightfully angry that their jobs are overseas. If you look at his record, however, he manufactures products overseas and sells them in the United States. That’s what is wrong with the trade deals. He knows it, so he exploits the issue to gain support among those voters while at the same time capitalizing on it to make money. I don’t think Trump really opposes the TPP or other trade deals. He is using the issue to fire up his base.

When Donald Trump was asked to distance himself from David Duke, he shrewdly didn’t do it on the eve of the Southern primaries but backtracked after racist voters got the message that he was one of them. He didn’t distance himself from Duke until after the Duke voters had cast their ballot for Trump. He knew exactly what he was saying and who he was saying it to.

Racist bigots are still a powerful political force in America. The Republican Party has been using code to reach out to them for years. Donald Trump is just more open about it. Name a Republican candidate who blames everything on immigrants. “They are taking your jobs” is the message the GOP has used to reach out to white male voters with no college education. Of course their wives will likely follow, in Trump’s America. Republicans were not winning them all over, because unions were holding some of the support by fighting trade deals. Trump sees that and is trying to expand the GOP base by taking workers who don’t think their unions are doing enough.

Those workers see someone speaking their language. They are ignoring the fact that in his own business he sees them as cheap labor and doesn’t want to pay them more or give them better benefits.

What they are seeing is a faux populism. They like what he says but refuse to look behind the curtain.

I guess I am playing the fear card. I am scared of a Trump presidency. Especially if the racist Republican Party holds the Senate.

Republicans know who their base is and they know who they will reward if they win.

They will be rewarding that uncle who you are embarrassed to be in public with, who blames all of our problems on blacks and Mexicans. Oh and the gays are part of the problem too.

Republicans will further dismantle affirmative action. There will be no raise in the minimum wage; those jobs are for the Mexicans and teenagers just starting out. They are promising that the good jobs will come back. How will they really get them back? They won’t. Instead they will weaken worker safety and other regulations that they blame for jobs going overseas. The GOP Congress will have already passed the TPP in a lame duck Congress and sent it to Obama’s desk for a signature. Trump will talk the talk against it and use it as an issue to keep his base fired up.

They will build a wall, and we will pay for it. It won’t be as magnificent as Trump wants and he will blame Congress for not giving him enough money, and the wall would be one of his issues again in 2020.

Union-busting Donald will be a nightmare for workers when Trump stacks the Labor Department with management types so he can weaken collective bargaining and worker protections.

Women’s health? Planned Parenthood and other funding will not even be in the budgets that the GOP sends to his desk.

Voter suppression laws that have been spreading state to state will go federal. After all, the goal is to get back to where “real” Americans are the only ones voting.

If Donald Trump becomes president, he will take us backward and try to undo the progressive change that we have accomplished over the years. Americans will not get a raise. Women may return to the back alleys for abortion. It will be harder to vote. Worker safety laws will vanish. The whole government will be in denial of climate change. Environmental protections will be gutted.

If you are a redneck, America will be great for you again. Well it won’t be, but you will have a president who speaks to you. He will continue to screw you, but at least he will speak your language.

We can avoid that, and there is only one option. Hillary Clinton is no Bernie Sanders, but she will not reverse the gains that we have already made. The status quo, four more years of Obama, is better than four years of going backward with Trump.

Let’s give Hillary Clinton a Democratic Senate, and in two years a more progressive House, and make progress. During this transition let’s continue to build our movement and then challenge Hillary again in 2020 and beat her. Let’s not make America great for WASPS again, that is not a move forward. Instead let’s prepare to make America great for everyone. No, Hillary is not prepared to transform America, but she won’t take us backward.

Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.

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