The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 27th January 2017

Trump divides the US

by Daphne Liddle

GREENPEACE activists last Wednesday unfurled a giant banner from a construction crane in Washington close to the White House bearing a single word: “Resist”.

It was one of a very wide spectrum of protests to hit Washington and every major city in the United States and throughout the world against the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the US. Estimates put the total number of protesters on the streets of Washington and other US cities last Saturday as between three and four million, making it the largest ever protest in the US.

The big march on Saturday was called the Women’s March but there were plenty of men on it too and children. Trump’s policies, which he is implementing with great speed, have hurt and offended women, ethnic minorities, scientists, peace activists, climate change activists and many, many others.

Trump has been picking quarrels with the press and his own intelligence services. He has called them liars — not without justification — but he is no better. He tried to claim the crowd that attended his inauguration last Friday was the largest ever in history, despite photos of the crowds there showing a much smaller attendance than those at the inauguration of Barack Obama eight years ago. His press secretary made things more ridiculous by wittering on about “alternative facts”.

Trump is dangerously delusional. He claimed that by a miracle the cold persistent rain stopped whilst he made his inaugural speech — a claim belied by film of George W Bush shivering, cold and wet under a plastic poncho, as Trump spoke.

In his speech he broke with tradition and paid no false lip-service to reaching out to build unity with his defeated rival and her party or being there to “serve all the people”. He resorted to chanting a single phrase: “America First, America First,” like a hypnotist trying to mesmerise the crowd.

And the crowd that was there was happy to go along with this mantra, wearing their “Make America Great Again” baseball caps that were made in China — and plenty more ecstatic Trump supporters throughout the county.

Many on the Women’s March were protesting that the election had been rigged, that Hilary Clinton had in reality won about three million more votes than Trump. This has happened before because the US electoral system, with its voting colleges, is deeply flawed. By the existing rules he did win but it was very close.

If Clinton had won the US President would have been on good terms with the press and the CIA, and would have been an obedient spokesperson for the military industrial complex that has been pushing very hard for a new war with Russia that could very easily have become a nuclear war quite quickly.

Clinton’s domestic policies may have been fairer but the possible extinction of the human race is not the sort of equality we are fighting for.

There is no guarantee that Trump will not also threaten the world with a nuclear holocaust.

But we do know that he is withdrawing from global trade treaties that were drawn up to exert US hegemony in trade and manufacturing all around the world, that he is going ahead with trying to build a wall along the whole length of the US border with Mexico, and that he has threatened war with Venezuela, with Cuba and possibly another attack on Iraq.

These aims may not be realistic; his other policies will limit his resources both economically and militarily.

Trump has cut all aid to women trying to escape domestic violence and cut all programmes trying to deal with global warming.

He has given the go-ahead to build new giant oil pipelines, including the one at Standing Rock that has outraged the Native American people whose land it will violate.

But he also wants to renew industrial manufacturing productivity in the US — if he does this the working class people of America will at least get some benefit.

Some have compared Trump’s self-aggrandisement to that of Hitler — but Hitler did not have marches of several million people on the street against him the day after he came to power. Trump faces a lot of opposition, including from inside the ruling class. Those who fought for the big trade treaties will already be planning his exit.