2016 U.S. Presidential election

756 posts / 0 new
Last post
x359594's picture
x359594
Offline
Joined: 16-08-08
Mar 29 2016 04:46

As long as we are talking about Trump, let's look at the Democrats' responsibility for the Rise of Trump. I think by now we all know that Trump's strongest demographic are white working-class men (WWCM). You know, the kind of people that Bill Maher likes to make fun of.

Well, just exactly how did this happen? First, you will have to admit --albeit in private-- that most liberals think of the term "white working class men" as something negative, NASCAR Dads. Racists. Gun owners. Wife beaters. Rednecks. You know the routine.

In every lie there are some grains of truth and it is a fact that a lot of WWCM, especially but not exclusively residing in the old Confederate states, have a really big problem with race. We all know that it was the signing of the Civil Rights Bill that incited these folks to bolt the New Deal Democratic coalition and become fodder for Dick Nixon's racist "Southern Strategy." Lyndon Johnson knew this was going to happen, he predicted it, and he was right.

The big historical question confronting the Democratic Party is exactly what did it do to win back WWCM? Short answer: fuck all.

Democrats have drifted -- and then raced -- consistently to the political right and simultaneously toward a toxic identity politics instead of a class-based program that might have cleaved off a more significant portion of those angry and now bitter and resentful WWCM. The Democratic Party today has a default minority base (thanks to the overt racism of most Republican policies), but its center of gravity is among middle-class professionals (who fear WWCM as barbarians). Its leadership is enmeshed with Wall Street and the economic elites who have, indeed, become more liberal on social issues while ratcheting up their economic exploitation of the work force: young, old, and of all colors.

Democrats love to debate the social issues as much as Republicans and both for the same reason: it distracts from the central issue of any society i.e. who exactly exercises power, both economic and political. We wind up artificially cleaved between pro-lifers and pro-choicers, the NRA and the Bloombergers, those who love to sniff the Confederate flag and those who do not. We find ourselves, as a nation, divided 57 different ways except the one and only way that counts the most: the Haves and the Have Nots. And the Have Nots are having less and less every day.

For this we can thank the Democrats who long ago gave up on WWCM and the working class in general. And then you wonder why an asshole like Trump can cash in on this malaise so easily? What's so hard to figure out here? More than two-thirds of Americans do not have $1000 in reserve. Housing is unreachable for those who make less than mid six figures. Obamacare has been a step forward but health care is still a nightmare for millions -- even with insurance. College has become a luxury. Manufacturing jobs have disappeared and the prevailing wage for WWCM who lose one of those last remaining traditional union jobs is about $12 an hour. The political system, meanwhile, has been bought by billionaires who control the politicians like little puppies.

The biggest issue we confront today is not if Trump is a fascist or not. He's not. The question is, if current trends continue, just how much longer will American democracy --or what's left of it-- last? Are you willing to bet beyond another ten years?

petey
Offline
Joined: 13-10-05
Mar 29 2016 20:07

Don't forget, comrades ...
http://www.themilitant.com/SWPCampaign2016/swpcampaign2016.html

kingzog
Offline
Joined: 28-10-09
Apr 2 2016 03:24

S. Artesian wrote:

Quote:
78% blame the protestors, 70% blame Trump supporters; that makes 148%.

Now we get 78% vs 64%. That's 142%

They must be taking these surveys in Chicago, where generally 150% of the voting age population turns out to vote for the Democrat.

And you think any of that, that swill about who thinks whom is responsible has anything to do with reality?

You are probably too young to remember, but there were all those polls about Vietnam, and how the public supported LBJ and the story about the "aggression" from the North; and all the polls showing that the protestors were pissing people off... and on and on.

Until Tet 1968. Then suddenly, the support shifted. Then the protestors weren't quite so crazy; weren't quite so unpopular.

Yes....and then people voting overwhelmingly for Nixon. Anyway, yeah, tet offensive shifted public opinion on the war(I would add that soldiers' insubordination actually ended the war, not protests but whatever). However, just as tet shifted opinion on the war, the riots and political violence of 68 and onward shifted opinion towards voting nixon in 72- and he won in an absolutely historic landslide... On a law and order platform.

I believe the pollsters asked the same people multiple questions, hence what would appear to be a mathematical error is not. Look at the poll closley to see what I mean.

kingzog
Offline
Joined: 28-10-09
Apr 2 2016 03:31

Oh, I should add that Nixon won, initially, in 68 despite basically every conservative in the deep south voting Wallace. As Hunter S. Thompson once wrote, "Richard Nixon is living in the White House today because of what happened that night in Chicago.”

Like I said, historically, this sort of stuff tends to backfire. Which is why I'm saying it despite its deep deep unpopularity here... Maybe it wont backfire this time, who knows, it hasn't gotten near as bad as the 68 dem convention. But it's gonna be a long summer.... Buti think the Vietnam example is really good. All the protests in the world failed to change opinion. It took the tet offensive and insubordinate soldiers to end the war- two things totally out of the hands of middle class college kids.....

syndicalistcat's picture
syndicalistcat
Offline
Joined: 2-11-06
Apr 2 2016 05:03

Charlie Post has written a worthwhile analysis of the Trump phenomenon here:
As
http://www.publicseminar.org/2016/03/the-republicans-trump-problem/#.Vv9RUDH6iLJ

He shows that "white working class men" are actually NOT Trump's main base. Mainstream pundits have been using "doesn't have a college degree" as equivalent to working class. This is not true. About 70 percent of adult population in USA (over 25) don't have a 4 year or higher degree. Altho most of these people are working class, many are small business people such as building contractors. About 80 percent of managers in USA have 4 year or higher degrees, so there is a minority, that 20 percent, who don't. (That's about 3 percent of the workforce who are managers without college degrees.)

Moreover, professional-managerial class people with degrees make up 40 percent of Trump's base of support. So this means more than than half of Trump's support is drawn from the "old" and "new" middle classes. This is similar to far right populism in Europe which also draws its main support from these classes.

Reddebrek's picture
Reddebrek
Offline
Joined: 4-01-12
Apr 2 2016 06:17
syndicalistcat wrote:
Moreover, professional-managerial class people with degrees make up 40 percent of Trump's base of support. So this means more than than half of Trump's support is drawn from the "old" and "new" middle classes. This is similar to far right populism in Europe which also draws its main support from these classes.

Thanks for this, I was a bit confused when looking it up. Your right that this overlaps a lot with Europe both in its make up and in how its portrayed in the media. Many British Far Right groups get depicted as grass roots working class movements only for it to come out a bit later that they have a lot more smallish business owners and the like added to the mix, and usually those manager types occupy the key roles.

Reddebrek's picture
Reddebrek
Offline
Joined: 4-01-12
Apr 2 2016 07:05
kingzog wrote:
Oh, I should add that Nixon won, initially, in 68 despite basically every conservative in the deep south voting Wallace. As Hunter S. Thompson once wrote, "Richard Nixon is living in the White House today because of what happened that night in Chicago.”

Like I said, historically, this sort of stuff tends to backfire. Which is why I'm saying it despite its deep deep unpopularity here... Maybe it wont backfire this time, who knows, it hasn't gotten near as bad as the 68 dem convention. But it's gonna be a long summer.... Buti think the Vietnam example is really good. All the protests in the world failed to change opinion. It took the tet offensive and insubordinate soldiers to end the war- two things totally out of the hands of middle class college kids.....

Surely if what you're saying is correct then Chicago 68 would have led to an increase in support for the Democrats because they were the direct targets of the Yippies protests. If anything Nixon wining the White House contradicts you because his `Peace with Honour` stance committed him to de-escalation of US involvement in Vietnam and made him more in tune with the protestors than with the Democratic party establishment. He did after all pledge to end the draft. Whereas Humphrey didn't oppose the war until LBJ started working on peace negotiations in October.

Also at the time the Deep South were staunch Democrat voters, so a Republican winning without the South wasn't really unusual, so not sure what that has to do with anything.

Also

Quote:
and he won in an absolutely historic landslide... On a law and order platform.

This is simply not true, the 1968 election was one of the closest in US history, Nixon had less than a million votes more than Humphrey (and both failed to get over 50% of the vote).

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Apr 2 2016 08:19

As well as what Reddebrek has already said about 1968 it's also worth remembering that the southern states that Wallace took were solidly Democratic. The South as conservative republican stems from 72, before then it was massively democratic (generally considered as a response to slavery, civil war and reconstruction) and then turned to Wallace then the republicans over civil rights. At this time largely disenfranchised blacks supported (whenever possible) the republicans as the party of the great emancipator.

petey
Offline
Joined: 13-10-05
Apr 2 2016 12:39

It was 1972 that was Nixon's landslide, when he took 49 states

Thanks for those numbers syndicalistcat. The only Trumper I know is a real estate agent w/ no degree (a cousin).

S. Artesian
Offline
Joined: 5-02-09
Apr 2 2016 13:11
Quote:
Yes....and then people voting overwhelmingly for Nixon.

Still having problems with math, aren't you. The "people" did not vote overwhelmingly for Nixon in 1968. Nixon received 43.4% of the popular vote. Humphrey received 42.7%. Wallace received 13.5%.

Humphrey was well behind Nixon in the polls until the Paris peace talks began to show real progress, and it looked like the US and North Vietnam might actually agree on an end to the conflict. Then Humphrey began to catch up and looked like he would overtake Nixon.

Nixon's camp then appealed directly to the South Vietnamese "president," Thieu, to sabotage any agreement, promising a "better deal" if Nixon were elected. This tactic worked to blunt Humphrey's tactic of emphasizing that the Democratic administration was capable of ending the war.

Only idiots like Hunter Thompson-- and yourself-- would argue that the protests in Chicago in 1968 led to the election of Nixon and therefore the protests "backfired."

You might as well argue that the freedom rides and civil rights sit ins were responsible for the slayings of Medgar Evers, Chaney, Schwerner, Goodman-- and provoked the police in Selma, Alabama.

Your "politics" are nothing but a capitulation to reaction.

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Apr 4 2016 03:15

Been a lot of talk about how the GOP may be "destroyed" by this Presidential election. I've heard this many times in the last 10 years, didn't buy it then and don't buy it down. NYTimes points out that dispute predictions, the GOP has become more aggressive and more successful nationally.

Apparently, despite Clinton winning Nevada in February, the county conventions last week switched and now Sanders takes the state.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Apr 4 2016 09:38
Juan Conatz wrote:
Been a lot of talk about how the GOP may be "destroyed" by this Presidential election. I've heard this many times in the last 10 years, didn't buy it then and don't buy it down. NYTimes points out that dispute predictions, the GOP has become more aggressive and more successful nationally.

That's really interesting. I didn't realise that stuff about how the Republicans have mostly kept a majority in Congress and the Senate.

syndicalistcat's picture
syndicalistcat
Offline
Joined: 2-11-06
Apr 5 2016 17:18

the major reason GOP can get majority in Congress is their control of the state legislatures. they've done massive gerrymndering of congressional districts to minimize ability of Democrats to elect people to congress. in the last congressional election Democrats got 54 percent of the vote but GOP won a majority.

kingzog
Offline
Joined: 28-10-09
Apr 7 2016 00:21

"Idiots", " capitulation to reaction"? Come on artesian, where is your class?

Either way you slice, Nixon won overwhelmingly in 72(historically so) and I doubt any Wallace voters would have looked favorably on the left or the Dems after the convention debacle on 68. That year was a turning point, the left lost its moral high ground.

Edit: I love all the scare quotes you used, artesian. What do the British call the? Inverted commas?

Reddebrek's picture
Reddebrek
Offline
Joined: 4-01-12
Apr 7 2016 01:49
kingzog wrote:
"Idiots", " capitulation to reaction"? Come on artesian, where is your class?

Either way you slice, Nixon won overwhelmingly in 72(historically so) and I doubt any Wallace voters would have looked favorably on the left or the Dems after the convention debacle on 68. That year was a turning point, the left lost its moral high ground.

Edit: I love all the scare quotes you used, artesian. What do the British call the? Inverted commas?

So an event that failed to give Nixon a landslide at the time, gave him an historic victory four years later, care to explain the odd delay?

Also I'm fairly certain the Southern vote finally switched sides because they believed the Democratic party nationally was aligning itself with black activists and threatened their segregated societies. Do you actually have any evidence that Chicago 68 had any effect on the growing rift between the Dixiecrats and the rest of the party? I mean Wallace himself based his campaign on opposition to the Democrats rejecting his pro segregation policies.

It's not really disputed that the Southern states switching to the Republicans was because Nixon actively courted disaffected white southerners by exploiting racial tensions. Even the Republican party has publicly admitted this.

syndicalistcat's picture
syndicalistcat
Offline
Joined: 2-11-06
Apr 7 2016 02:28

Nixon began the "southern strategy" in the early '70s. But Lyndon Johnson had predicted that the Dems would lose the south once it passed the Civil Rights Act & Voting Rights Act. The switch occurred mainly in the '80s. According to a political scientist at Princeton, the switch was more pronounced among the wealthier and middle class southern Democrats. The white working class in the south were more divided with a sizeable block going to the Republicans but many remaining with the Dems.

What has happened since then is that the populist & racist style of politics of the Dixiecrats has spread to the Republicans outside the south. The result has been the gradual loss of moderate/liberal Republicans, so the Republicans have a harder time getting elected in New England which was formerly predominantly Republican. The neoliberal slide of the Democrats has also encouraged this rightward drift of the Republicans over time....as the Democrats take over the turf of former moderate Republicans the Republican party has become more of a proto-fascist hard right party.

S. Artesian
Offline
Joined: 5-02-09
Apr 7 2016 03:24
kingzog wrote:
"Idiots", " capitulation to reaction"? Come on artesian, where is your class?

Either way you slice, Nixon won overwhelmingly in 72(historically so) and I doubt any Wallace voters would have looked favorably on the left or the Dems after the convention debacle on 68. That year was a turning point, the left lost its moral high ground.

Edit: I love all the scare quotes you used, artesian. What do the British call the? Inverted commas?

I don't retract a word. You are an idiot. Evidence?

Quote:
That year was a turning point, the left lost its moral high ground.

You don't have the slightest idea what you are talking about. First and foremost, the Chicago demonstrations were hardly provocative. Even the "official" investigations afterwards identified it as a "police riot." Police attacked in Grant Park; they attacked at the Conrad Hilton.

As for the election results: contrary to your idiotic claim, Nixon did not win by a landslide in 68; it was the closest election in terms of popular vote in the entire century, and maybe more.

Nixon's election had much more to do with the fact that the economy was about to enter into a recession, and when the economy is going into a recession, there's nobody the bourgeoisie would rather have in office than a Republican.

More evidence? Lose the moral high ground? By protesting? Ah.. I get it. so to keep the moral high ground, protestors would have to refrain from protesting, and this would insure that their protest would then be heard, acknowledged, and accepted? Might I ask "how"? Magic?

So you see, the real reason revolutions, rebellions, movements are defeated is because they are made manifest-- they become actual material forces-- then they lose the moral high ground. If only the left would not have protested the Vietnam war; if only they had not manifestly opposed the slaughter of 2 million out of a total of 30 million Vietnamese, they would have had the high moral ground.

Come to think of it, if those immoral low-grounders in Paris and France 1968 had NOT demonstrated, then they would have had the high ground and would have been successful. Same same for Prague, and Mexico City, and Columbia University.

That's where African-Americans went wrong, too. Actually protesting and defending themselves against racist attack. Cost them the moral high ground with all those racists who really are their natural allies. If they hadn't tried to march from Selma, the police wouldn't have needed to beat them to half-to-death on the Pettis bridge. Moral high ground secured.

Very sophisticated, and nuanced approach: how do you build a combat movement? By not moving. So profound. Inscrutable almost. Except for the very enlightened very few.

If that doesn't qualify as idiocy, nothing does. It's not flaming when it's accurate. Moron.

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Apr 7 2016 04:20

Like to remind everyone that these are the posting guidelines and to please abide by them.

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Apr 7 2016 04:22

As far as '68 and losing the moral high ground, I remember reading somewhere that the antiwar movement and the Vietnam War itself both became increasingly unpopular together. I think there's a stubborness to American society that can often agree with social movements, even as it hates them.

syndicalistcat's picture
syndicalistcat
Offline
Joined: 2-11-06
Apr 7 2016 05:12

By the early '70s polls showed that a majority of people in USA...especially a majority of working class...had become opposed to the Indochina War. The emergence of the mass anti-war movement in late '60s to 1970 was key I think to shifting public opinion along with fact the U.S. was losing & the US Army was becoming demoralized in the field. McGovern's campaign in 1972 was an expression at electoral level of this shift even tho he was trounced. Elections in USA do not always follow public opinion, just as what Congress does does not follow what majority opinion says.

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Apr 7 2016 11:30
syndicalistcat wrote:
Nixon began the "southern strategy" in the early '70s. But Lyndon Johnson had predicted that the Dems would lose the south once it passed the Civil Rights Act & Voting Rights Act. The switch occurred mainly in the '80s. According to a political scientist at Princeton, the switch was more pronounced among the wealthier and middle class southern Democrats. The white working class in the south were more divided with a sizeable block going to the Republicans but many remaining with the Dems.

What has happened since then is that the populist & racist style of politics of the Dixiecrats has spread to the Republicans outside the south. The result has been the gradual loss of moderate/liberal Republicans, so the Republicans have a harder time getting elected in New England which was formerly predominantly Republican. The neoliberal slide of the Democrats has also encouraged this rightward drift of the Republicans over time....as the Democrats take over the turf of former moderate Republicans the Republican party has become more of a proto-fascist hard right party.

I'm not sure about proto-fascist but the Republicans have definitely lost a lot of the Northeast (Rockefeller Republicans, named after NY governor and candidate) as part of a gamble to take the south. Much as Johnson gambled that it was worth losing the south in order to gain votes by supporting Civil Rights.

I was thinking this morning about the cliched image of the hippies putting flowers into gun barrels and I thought to myself that no-one would dare do that today. Then I thought that during that period the Police and national guard (and unaffiliated shooters) quite regularly shot people at demonstrations so while the hippies have been characterised as lazy, cowardly and ineffective something like that would have taken a lot of courage as would burning draft cards.

petey
Offline
Joined: 13-10-05
Apr 7 2016 14:15
jef costello wrote:
the Republicans have definitely lost a lot of the Northeast (Rockefeller Republicans

just to confirm, i grew up in one of these new york republican households. manhattan used to elect republicans regularly in various elections - javits, laguardia, marcantonio, other names nobody would have heard of. that came to an end about 15 years ago and is unimaginable now.

Reddebrek's picture
Reddebrek
Offline
Joined: 4-01-12
Apr 7 2016 16:28
syndicalistcat wrote:
By the early '70s polls showed that a majority of people in USA...especially a majority of working class...had become opposed to the Indochina War. The emergence of the mass anti-war movement in late '60s to 1970 was key I think to shifting public opinion along with fact the U.S. was losing & the US Army was becoming demoralized in the field. McGovern's campaign in 1972 was an expression at electoral level of this shift even tho he was trounced. Elections in USA do not always follow public opinion, just as what Congress does does not follow what majority opinion says.

It's also worth keeping in mind that the Nixon administration was also officially in favour of peace, and had been pulling out US troops and building bridges with the USSR and PRC. So the 72 election was fought between a peace immediately candidate (McGovern) and peace sometime soon (Nixon). Oh and Wallace's official Vietnam war position was to withdraw after 90 days if the US hadn't won in that time. So all three main political factions ran on peace tickets in some form, meaning the "fight to the last man, never surrender" constituency had no one to vote for really.

S. Artesian
Offline
Joined: 5-02-09
Apr 7 2016 19:57

It should also be kept in mind that a) the demonstrations in Chicago in 1968 can be identified as the turning point that compelled the US Congress to push for disengagement, leading in 1970 to the prohibition on US ground combat operations in Vietnam.

And b) it should be kept in mind that while the Nixon admin pretended at peace, more Vietnamese were killed after that prohibition than before the prohibition; and that the US spread the war into Cambodia through financing the coup, murderous bombing, and the invasion of 1970.

The point being, protests that do not transform themselves into the struggle for power inevitably retreat, leaving the reaction in control.

Kingzog to the contrary notwithstanding, that is not a reason to not make the protests in the first place. It is a reason to intend the transformation of those protests.

syndicalistcat's picture
syndicalistcat
Offline
Joined: 2-11-06
Apr 7 2016 20:16

Nixon may have talked about "peace" but that didn't mean much. His openings to China were also about geopolitical triangulation, given conflicts between China and Vietnam and Soviet Union. There was the invasion & bombing of Cambodia and other expansions of war by Nixon. Ultimately the U.S. was defeated by the North Vietnamese.

Republicans also used to regularly win elections in California and even elected mayors of San Francisco & Los Angeles. My older brother was one of the young lawyers Nixon sent into south to desegregate school systems via Justice Dept. Later he worked as a civil rights attorney. In '80s he was on a high Republican national committee. Now he doesn't identify with the Republican party & is an independent. He couldn't stand the increasing racism.

Reddebrek's picture
Reddebrek
Offline
Joined: 4-01-12
Apr 9 2016 02:38

Right well to bring this back on track, I see Bernie's won Wisconsin and is expected to win Wyoming. I'm probably showing my ignorance here but I always had the impression that states like Montana and Wyoming where very "rustic" states with quite antiquated ideas. I have no idea why I have that impression but it's always there when I hear those names.

syndicalistcat's picture
syndicalistcat
Offline
Joined: 2-11-06
Apr 10 2016 01:36

Both Wyoming & Montana have a tradition of mining, and mining is still important in Wyoming, altho coal mining is now in decline. Anaconda Copper's facilities around Butte, Montana were the largest in the world in the first half of the 20th century. Butte was the main base for the IWW's Metal Mine Workers union around 1917 to 1920, with 6,000 members. Later on replaced by Mine, Mill & Smelter workers. Socialist Party gained control of the Butte city government in an anti-war themed election in 1917...probably mainly on basis of IWW votes. Anaconda Copper was closed in '70s & is now the largest EPA Superfund site in USA.

Most of the population of Wyoming live on the Front Range just north of the Denver-Boulder area. That area of Wyoming has huge electric power consumer coops that date from the '30s...a New Deal program that also left similar institutions in Colorado, New Mexico & Nebraska.

Wyoming is one of those states where the right wing Republican machine has been completely dominant, so the Democrats there are a minority & probably based on hard core working class support. This is why Sanders tends to do well in such states I suspect.

EDIT: so it seems Sanders won the Wyoming caucuses by about 11 percent...less than his margin of victory in nearby Colorado.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Apr 10 2016 13:45
syndicalistcat wrote:

Wyoming is one of those states where the right wing Republican machine has been completely dominant, so the Democrats there are a minority & probably based on hard core working class support. This is why Sanders tends to do well in such states I suspect.

They are also overwhelmingly white (89% +), this must also be a factor, no? (Given the large disproportionate support for Clinton amongst African-Americans)

syndicalistcat's picture
syndicalistcat
Offline
Joined: 2-11-06
Apr 10 2016 20:50

Yes although a super-delegate there who endorsed Sanders is black. Sanders didn't win as high a percentage as in nearby Colorado or Idaho. Clinton won in Laramie.

Poll from California indicates 39 percent support for Sanders among black voters, 37 percent among Latinos, but overwhelming support among Latinos under 40. This means his black support in California is higher than any other state except Wisconsin thus far.

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Apr 12 2016 01:37

Been seeing this pretty awful petition being circulated. To me, this is worse than 2008's cringeworthy 'Hope Bloc' statement.

Topic locked