Home > Uncategorized > Will Trump’s victory break up the Democratic Party?

Will Trump’s victory break up the Democratic Party?

from Michael Hudson

At the time this volume is going to press, there is no way of knowing how successful these international reversals will be. What is more clear is what Trump’s political impact will have at home. His victory – or more accurately, Hillary’s resounding loss and the way she lost – has encouraged enormous pressure for a realignment of both parties. Regardless of what President Trump may achieve vis-à-vis Europe, his actions as celebrity chaos agent may break up U.S. politics across the political spectrum.

The Democratic Party has lost its ability to pose as the party of labor and the middle class. Firmly controlled by Wall Street and California billionaires, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) strategy of identity politics encourages any identity except that of wage earners. The candidates backed by the Donor Class have been Blue Dogs pledged to promote Wall Street and neocons urging a New Cold War with Russia.

They preferred to lose with Hillary than to win behind Bernie Sanders. So Trump’s electoral victory is their legacy as well as Obama’s. Instead of Trump’s victory dispelling that strategy, the Democrats are doubling down. It is as if identity politics is all they have.

Trying to ride on Barack Obama’s coattails didn’t work. Promising “hope and change”, he won by posing as a transformational president, leading the Democrats to control of the White House, Senate and Congress in 2008. Swept into office by a national reaction against George Bush’s Oil War in Iraq and the junk-mortgage crisis that left the economy debt-ridden, they had free rein to pass whatever new laws they chose – even a Public Option in health care if they had wanted, or make Wall Street banks absorb the losses from their bad and often fraudulent loans.  But it turned out that Obama’s role was to prevent the changes that voters hoped to see, and indeed that the economy needed to recover: financial reform, debt writedowns to bring junk mortgages in line with fair market prices, and throwing crooked bankers in jail. Obama rescued the banks, not the economy, and turned over the Justice Department and regulatory agencies to his Wall Street campaign contributors. He did not even pull back from war in the Near East, but extended it to Libya and Syria, blundering into the Ukrainian coup as well.

Having dashed the hopes of his followers, Obama then praised his chosen successor Hillary Clinton as his “Third Term”. Enjoying this kiss of death, Hillary promised to keep up Obama’s policies.

The straw that pushed voters over the edge was when she asked voters, “Aren’t you better off today than you were eight years ago?” Who were they going to believe: their eyes, or Hillary? National income statistics showed that only the top 5 percent of the population were better off. All the growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during Obama’s tenure went to them – the Donor Class that had gained control of the Democratic Party leadership. Real incomes have fallen for the remaining 95 percent, whose household budgets have been further eroded by soaring charges for health insurance. (The Democratic leadership in Congress fought tooth and nail to block Dennis Kucinich from introducing his Single Payer proposal.)

No wonder most of the geographic United States voted for change – except for where the top 5 percent is concentrated: in New York (Wall Street) and California (Silicon Valley and the military-industrial complex). Making fun of the Obama Administration’s slogan of “hope and change”, Trump characterized Hillary’s policy of continuing the economy’s shrinkage for the 95% as “no hope and no change”.    read more

  1. Grayce
    March 31, 2017 at 12:42 am

    It was hard to find the economic lesson in this essay.

    • Paul
      April 1, 2017 at 1:29 am

      +1

  2. March 31, 2017 at 6:47 am

    The way the news is going today: Will Trump break up the Tea Party?

  3. March 31, 2017 at 7:40 am

    “Swept into office by a national reaction against George Bush’s Oil War in Iraq”

    I agree with almost everything here, but can we get rid of the myth that the Iraq Civil War happened just because that’s the natural result of removing Saddam Hussein from power or that it was that plus we wanted to release their oil to the free market?

    The Iraq Civil war was fundamentally about whether we should be allowed to build a Milton Friedman free market wet dream in a society that previously dodged third world status mainly by having a sizable set of social programs.
    The theory is that if we fired the entire public sector and reduced tariffs to zero, rather then the entire Iraq merchant class being driven out of business by Walmart, etc., we would have magical free market growth.

    The results of the experiment were clear. Unemployment went from already high levels due to sanctions and the first month of the war to obscene levels that were probably close to double what the US had in 1932. If in 1933-1934 the business plot had succeeded and we had doubled unemployment again here, then we would have had the exact same war that Iraq had in 2003 and would have likely entered WWII as an Axis power.

    You can hear more about this terrible period here:

    As long as we perpetuate the myth that the Iraq war was nothing more than a war over oil we go far too easy on the neoliberals.

    “This propaganda paid off on February 13, when neocon public relations succeeded in forcing the resignation of General Flynn, whom Trump had appointed to clean out the neocons at the NSA and CIA.”

    Is there any documentation for this theory?

    ” It is too late to bring manufacturing back to the United States, because corporations already have shifted their supply nodes abroad, and too much U.S. infrastructure has been dismantled.”

    I cry foul. It is too late to bring back some manufacturing, but don’t forget that manufacturing overall hasn’t dropped the same way that manufacturing employment has. If we came up with manufacturing-friendly policies such as a tariff on imports designed to prevent capital flight and give local manufacturers a level playing field, then you will find that 20 years from now the US will be making tons of things that don’t even exist today. Giving up on manufacturing because we have lost ground sounds a lot like firing your police force because there will just be criminals anyway.

    “In any case, it is easier to begin afresh than to try to re-design a party (or
    any institution) dominated by resistance to change, and whose idea of economic growth is a
    trickle-down pastiche of tax cuts and deregulation.”

    On the contrary, if we keep progressive ideas well enough in play during the great neoliberal drought to prevent extinction, then Great Depression II will be the perfect soil for these ideas to take root in and we will see another explosion of growth like we saw starting in 1933, when we grew by 190% in 12 years. The problem isn’t the democratic party but rather society as a whole.

    ” it looks like the Republicans may succeed in convening a new Constitutional Convention”

    The constitutional convention is the easy part. After the convention passes and amendment, it must be ratified by 3/4ths of the states, which will be difficult with an anti-populist message.

  4. patrick newman
    March 31, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Trump’s extremism is more likely to see a ‘moderates’ breakaway from the Republican Party. If anything he will make the Democrats more united.

  5. April 1, 2017 at 2:54 am

    BULLS EYE ! Michael Hudson,”The Democratic Party has lost its ability to pose as the party of labor and the middle class. Firmly controlled by Wall Street and California billionaires, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) strategy of identity politics encourages any identity except that of wage earners. The candidates backed by the Donor Class have been Blue Dogs pledged to promote Wall Street and neocons urging a New Cold War with Russia.They preferred to lose with Hillary than to win behind Bernie Sanders. So Trump’s electoral victory is their legacy as well as Obama’s. Instead of Trump’s victory dispelling that strategy, the Democrats are doubling down. It is as if identity politics is all they have.”

    The Democrats lost not because of Trump, rather because they turned away from the people
    and the legitimate THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT to become the representative of the “FOURTH BRANCH”.
    Quote Frederick Soddy, “… It is concerned less with the details of particular schemes of monetary reform that have been advocated than with the general principles to which, in the author’s opinion, every monetary system must at long last conform, if it is to fulfil its proper role as the distributive mechanism of society. To allow it to become a source of revenue to private issuers is to create, first, a secret and illicit arm of the
    government and, last, a rival power strong enough ultimately to overthrow all other forms of
    government. ” (The Role Of Money (1934).

  6. April 1, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Neoliberalism is not that complicated. It’s just a current version of notions that have been around for millennia. These are: each of us is alone in the world, society is just an illusion, and no one owes any moral obligation to others. Or, “Every man for himself and the Devil take the hindmost.” That this is contrary to what we know of human anthropological and biological evolution, and is outside the bounds of 90% of human history should warn us it’s not a workable way to organize societies. But we also know from evolution that it’s an “average effects” process. Which simply means there are always parts of the human population that act counter to the evolutionary trends. The current version has held sway over first the UK and US, and then much of the rest of the world for about 40 years now. Its failures and excesses doom it now. Bigger question, what will follow it? For that I think we need to look at the societies of Europe and Asia. I’m anticipating some combination of the administrative Confucianism of China and the Scandinavian/Germanic productive-welfare societies. That will deliver not only full employment (but not in the forms expected today) and high life satisfaction. It will also create more wealth than the world has ever known. But the questions about the distribution of that wealth will continue to plague us.

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