Trump: Clinton’s Fake Progressivism, by Gavin Lewis

Gavin Lewis

22 Jan 2017

The success of Donald Trump has been used to once again to allow neoliberals and their patron saints the Clintons the pretence of being progressives. However, the grass-roots grievances omitted by the mainstream media tell a self-evident story about what kept Democrat voters from the polls. Trump may be racist, but it was the Clintons who criminalised black Americans en masse with their notorious 1994 ‘three strikes’ crime Bill. Trump may want to keep Muslims out of America, but how many thousands of them has Hillary Clinton killed in their own countries? Her conquest of North African access point Libya alone has plunged Europe into an ongoing refugee crisis of huge proportions.

Billionaire elitist Trump will be no friend to the poor, but previously it was the Clintons who exported American jobs while cutting access to welfare. As Michael Moore pointed out in Bowling for Columbine, the six-year-old who killed classmate Kayla Rolland had been left alone because his mother had been forced into a benefits-cutting welfare-to-work program. Social provision for poor mothers had been sacrificed on the altar of maintaining corporate and top-rate tax cuts. Poverty also means that twice more black Americans than their proportion in society are economically forced into fighting Hillary’s racist-imperialist wars—so much for her feminism and anti-racism.

The Clintons came out of Arkansas, where they’ve had three terms governing the state and two terms as the presidential administration in the White House. The result is that the Clintons are multimillionaires enjoying institutional relationships with Goldman Sachs et al. Yet in the 2014 US poverty rankings Arkansas came forty-eighth out of fifty states. One of the two worse-off states was Louisiana. A glib observer would conclude that having the Clintons represent you is nearly as bad as experiencing Hurricane Katrina.

Champions of corporate neoliberalism, the Clintons have little in common with the social base of the Democratic Party. Structurally they are closer to a right-wing Republican like Ronald Reagan than to former genuine Democratic presidents Jimmy Carter, Lyndon Johnson, John F. Kennedy and Franklin Roosevelt. Despite this, Hillary Clinton secured the Democratic nomination on the back of institutional collusion that cost Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz her job and arguably the party a more genuinely competitive and representative candidate in Bernie Sanders.

Now that the patron saints of fake progressivism have fallen, there is an opportunity the world over for socially based political movements to regain their radical heritage. But corporate gravy-trainers will attempt to use ‘bogeyman Trump’ to camouflage further corrupt entryism. Fool me once…?

About the author

Gavin Lewis

Gavin Lewis is a freelance Black British mixed-race writer and academic. He has published in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States on film, media, politics, cultural theory, race, and representation. He has taught critical theory and film and cultural studies at a number of British universities. He is a member of the British trade union Bectu.

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