By Ralph Nader
Attention workers who voted for Trump, either eagerly or as a vote against the hawkish, Wall Street favorite, Hillary Clinton: Donald Trump, less than a month after the election, has already begun to betray you.
You can often see where a president-elect is going by his nominations to high positions in his forthcoming administration. Across over a dozen crucial posts, Mr. Trump has chosen war hawks, Wall Streeters (with a former Goldman Sachs partner, Steven Mnuchin, as his pick for Treasury Secretary) and clenched teeth corporatists determined to jettison life-saving, injury and disease preventing regulations and leave bigger holes in your consumer pocketbooks.
In addition to lacking a mandate from the people (he lost the popular vote), the president-elect continues to believe that mere showboating will distract from his breathtaking flip-flops in his campaign rhetoric. Remember his last big TV ad where he blasted “a global power structure” responsible “for robbing the working class” with images of Goldman Sachs flashing across the screen?
Fast forward several weeks and he has selected cabinet secretaries who want to dismantle the public school system with your taxes going to private schools, reduce regulation of banks, cut consumer protections and weaken labor laws and job safety standards. Other appointees say they want to privatize Medicare, which has led health insurance company stocks to soar, and some want to transfer Medicaid to even more hostile state manipulations.
Regarding national security, his White House advisors are advocates of imperial intervention and bombing Iran. Trump wants to renege on the Iran nuclear agreements the U.S. made with a dozen leading nations and risk escalation of hostilities. Granted, Trump did talk about the Iran deal, with little knowledge of its careful safeguards and ongoing implementation. He also told voters that he didn’t believe in the U.S. policing the world with costly military might.
Perhaps the best sign of where Trump is heading comes from the major surge in the stock markets, the booming bank stocks anticipating looser regulations so they can speculate more readily with “other peoples’ money” and industries looking forward to more easily emitting pollutants into your air, water, and soil.
As an accomplished sleight-of-hand specialist – a failed gambling czar who always jumped ship with his gold and left his workers, creditors and shareholders stranded – Trump recently traveled to Indiana to brag about the decision by Carrier to keep intact 800 of the 2000 jobs it plans to ship to Mexico. You’ll recall Trump made Carrier, a subsidiary of giant United Technology (UT), his poster-child for showing how the U.S. is losing jobs under NAFTA.
Well Trump’s boast, for starters, will cost Indiana taxpayers $7 million for Carrier to agree, with presumably, additional goodies for United Technologies coming later. Already, UT and Carrier have long been loaded up with tax and other “incentives,” subsidies and all the complex corporate welfare that defense companies receive from the Pentagon.
Being a long-time recipient himself of crony capitalism, Trump hopes that his working class supporters will never catch on to this kind of back room “deal-making” when he is in the White House. Big corporations are drooling at the prospect of further tax cuts, weaker law and order (e.g. deregulation) and the many sub-visible freebies of the corporate welfare state.
Guess who gets left holding the bag? Why, you, of course, the workers and small taxpayers. Stay tuned, for more corporatists, Wall Streeters and militarists are on their way to Trump’s Washington.
A French writer once said, “the more things change, the more they remain the same.” Then there is Trump’s highly bruiseable and dangerous ego, as he gets up at 3am to tweet his mad impulses and false assertions.
Trump doesn’t like to be accused of disloyalty by workers who supported him. Therein lies some leverage. Laborers, who were crucial to the Boaster’s Electoral College victory, will have many opportunities to laser-focus on Trump’s betrayals in very personal ways. They should take them.