MUST READ: Why Hillary deserved to lose

By   /   November 12, 2016  /   16 Comments

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We are told there is no alternative. The so-called “progressives” in social democratic parties then appeal to the centre by adopting the rhetoric of the right wing opposition by being “tough” on law and order and “tough” on welfare cheats, and “tough” on immigrants. They assume that because working people have no where else to go they can abuse us as much as they like.

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the US will lead to a radical reconstruction of politics in the US over the next decade that will destroy the two-party system of elite rule and open the way to a genuine progressive alternative.

Trump hijacked the Republican Party and imposed his own programme and agenda that is actually at odds with decades of its existence as the political representative of right-wing free-market agenda for globalised capitalism.

A clique of the Democratic Party around the Clinton Family imposed by completely undemocratic means an extremely unpopular candidate on their Party that they knew would have trouble beating the populist candidacy of Donald Trump. Clinton lost 10 million votes compared to the candidate of hope Barak Obama in 2008 and 5 million from 2012. All Trump had to do was get roughly the same number of votes as the pathetic Republican candidates opposing Obama.

The Democratic Party was the establishment. It is and has been the party of free trade agreements. It is and has been the party of “ending welfare as we know it”. It is and has been the part of mass incarceration. It is and has been the party of mass deportations. It is and has been the party of the Patriot Act an mass surveillance. It is the party that has failed to increase the minimum wage on a federal level despite overwhelming mass support. Charter schools have grown exponentially under the Democrats. The sad but brutal truth is that Obama has deported more people than any previous President, he has imprisoned more people, and he has executed more people in illegal drone strikes.

The Democratic Party destroyed the “centre” in US politics. The centre is actually the consensus thought of the elite that the pursuit of profit and free markets are the only way the system should be run under globalised capitalism in the 21st Century. That means slashing wages, minimising the welfare state, privatisation social wealth.

If anyone disagrees then we have a massive military machine and police apparatus to impose order.

Hillary Clinton was a belligerent militarist when it came to using US power abroad. Libya’s destruction is living (or dying) testimony to her legacy. The elite through their control of media then force that consensus on an unwilling population.

We are told there is no alternative. The so-called “progressives” in social democratic parties then appeal to the centre by adopting the rhetoric of the right wing opposition by being “tough” on law and order and “tough” on welfare cheats, and “tough” on immigrants. They assume that because working people have no where else to go they can abuse us as much as they like.

It doesn’t work.

The centre hollows out or moves progressively to the right. “Liberals” and social democrats lose their reason for being. Working people give up and stop voting or lash out and vote for what they think is the anti-establishment candidate or option.

The fact is the US people are overwhelmingly left-wing on most issues. They are not racists, misogynists or anti-immigrant. And they have opposed the wars for empire of the last few decades that have been prosecuted by Republican and Democrat alike.

In July 2015, the Pew Research Centre reported that 59 percent of Americans agreed with the statement “Our country needs to continue making changes to give blacks equal rights with whites.”
In May 2015 Gallup found that “Sixty-three percent of Americans now say they are accepting of same-sex couples. Only 40 percent felt that way in 2001. The 23-point jump in just 14 years marks the greatest shift in opinion to the left out of any issue Gallup measured in the survey.”

Citizens of the US are also overwhelmingly in favour of a path to citizenship for migrants already in the US. A clear majority favour this course as the priority over “strengthening the border”.

Every vote that is held on raising the minimum wage is overwhelmingly endorsed. This was true in four states this most recent election.

Every poll asking if the system is rigged to serve the rich and powerful have two-thirds to three-quarters support. This was true for the exit polls as well. One would suspect the 48% who did not bother voting shared that view in an even stronger manner.

The Republican could well split as a consequence of this election. Whilst Trump will install a cabinet devoted to serving big business it is not in the same manner and the elite consensus has dedicated itself to until this point.

The Democrats are also under pressure. The genuinely liberal wing that was given voice by the Sanders campaign is pushing to try and take the machine out of the hands of the old guard around Clinton.

The so-called centre could reform around the centrist Republican and the centrist Democrats.
But what the emails that were released from the Democratic Party campaign group during the election period revealed above all was how completely beholden the party establishment is to the rich and powerful. It was also distressingly obvious that they are all a pack of venal and corrupt people at the most basic level. The party is actually a machine for dispensing favours, influence and jobs to a small class of servants of big business dubbed “lobbyists”. Hillary Clinton gave speech after speech (at huge reward) to the banking group Goldman Sachs and others. At the same time she failed to visit Wisconsin in the election period after losing the state to Sanders in the Primary.

Wisconsin was won by Trump for the first time in 32 years for a Republican.

There is a different class that can show the way forward in the US. Working people need to create a new party that is governed by radical new policies that represent their interests – the interests of the vast majority – in an uncompromising way. That programme would actually be hugely popular. The party must be also based on radical new ethics and systems of accountability.

Representatives of working people cannot prioritise the accumulation of personal wealth over public service. Functionaries and representatives of such a party should not receive pay greater than that of a skilled worker. Representatives who betray the people’s trust should be expelled and replaced. New radically more democratic systems of representation and accountability need to be developed and implemented if real change is to be possible.

Millions of people would mobilise for such a party and programme and the consequences would be truly revolutionary for the US and the world. The failure of US workers to establish a Labour Party in a previous generation can be compensated by the creation of a qualitatively superior one that will not sell out for the 21st Century.

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About the author

Mike Treen

National Director of Unite Union

16 Comments

  1. Paul says:

    Jonathan Pye is spot on.

    • Mr Frank Pants says:

      I wonder if The Daily Blog will heed that message?

      I suspect not.

    • Sione A. Mokofisi says:

      [Sione, welcome to The Daily Blog. First thing to realise is that posting here is a privilege, not an automatic right. Second thing, your chances of having your comment published improves if you don’t begin your comments by abusing someone. You are a guest here, not my mad uncle. – ScarletMod]

  2. Now that we’ve examined the media carcass I think we should move quickly to the most powerful president we’ve ever seen. This is an oppertunity to renegotiate all these bad deals and I think Trump has that in mind

  3. Mike in Auckland says:

    The whole US election was a disaster in the making, it will have serious consequences not just for the US, for the whole world it will bring major changes, and most of these will not be good ones.

    While there may be hope for a new movement by progressives in the US, and for the two party system to collapse, I fear that the right will exploit this result for its own agendas and purposes.

    We have nothing to celebrate now, and can only hope that the worst will be spared us.

  4. Words says:

    Actually, Hilary Clinton got more votes than Trump. she got 47.7% of the vote, Trump 47.5% it’s just the weird electoral system that gave it to Trump, who has always been a part of the establishment. What a con job.

    • Michal says:

      Back in the seventies when Norman Kirk was around the Nats got in but Labour actually got more votes than the Nats. Thank goodness we now have MMP.

      • lloyd jordan says:

        if you care to look at historical votes pre MMP you will find that national hardly ever got the most votes when gaining power from memory only twice did they.

        now has nz changed so much that the right now gains the popular vote the majority of the time…where once the left gained power for the first time under mmp the right took only about mid 20% of the vote. this should have signaled the downfall of the malingering right but for the stupidity of the lefts generals, righting on the wall public dosnt like neo liberals hence bill english worst ever national vote.

        was the left leaders clever enough to see that .. no is the only answer

  5. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    Thank you Mike Treen for finally telling readers here what ACTUALLY happened, as opposed to framing it as being mostly the result of some sort of racist red neck hillbilly misogynist revolt. Easily the best analysis of the US elections so far, I’m very happy to see that someone here at TDB “gets it”.

  6. XRAY says:

    There are reports that our government donated $7.7 million to the Clinton Foundation.

    What the fuck is going on? Bribes to Saudi millionaires and now over the last few years channelling money into a slush fund so compromised and so questionable, corrupt is a word commonly associated with it, it beggars belief.

    Who else is National so generously rewarding with our money and with whose authority? And who in National are feathering their own nests with our money?

  7. Helena says:

    We can watch what happens next on the Simpsons. Oh for Pete’s sake beam me up Scotty:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTuMK6iKbQ0

  8. Kim dandy says:

    Did John Key really donate 7 million to the Clinton foundation?
    If yes, Was that some kind of TPP bribe just in case she got in?

  9. Sione A. Mokofisi says:

    [Sione, welcome to The Daily Blog. First thing to realise is that posting here is a privilege, not an automatic right. Second thing, your chances of having your comment published improves if you don’t begin your comments by abusing someone. You are a guest here, not my mad uncle. – ScarletMod]

  10. save NZ says:

    Totally agree with Mike Treen. Democrats have sold out voters for their own brand of corrupt, free (fake) trade, warmongering and dirty politics with Hollywood and MSM as their lobbyists. Inequality and US assassinations have soared under their rule.

    Trump being at odds even with his own republican party who clearly did not want him, struck a cord with some voters. Voter’s now instinctively know that life is not fair anymore so he channeled that feeling even though his ideas were not the ‘well thought out and well researched neoliberal’ policy that has fucked over citizens lives to their faces for the last 20 years.

    The biggest issue is that nobody wanted to turn out to vote. The president choices were depressing on top of the disappointment many have felt from some of Obama’s decisions. His push for TPP which was going to cost US jobs for example was telling, as well as the rising inequality, GFC bailout and police shootings of blacks.

    My only criticism is that Unions and the Labour party have to think about using terms such as ‘workers’ and ‘workers party’. Waged jobs are in the decline as are the voters who can even relate to the concept in the 2 generations of self employed contractor worker. If unions and Labour want to gather up new support they are using very outdated terminology.

    We also have situations where people on 100k in Auckland are at food banks because the cost of living and debt levels (student loans, mortgages, consumer debt) are so high. So it is not about level of income or employment status that is describing people’s lives any more. What is the point of a job no matter how much it pays if it is very insecure? And insecurity of jobs is not looking like changing any time soon.

    Gareth Morgan might be on to something when he calls his party ‘The opportunity party’. Personally I’m not sure he will get 5%, but I think he’s closer to what people need now such as a UBI in his ideas and the words ‘opportunity’ of social mobility which is now dying around the world.

    It is difficult to get ahead. Trump understood that and did not try to fob off people that with a good education and hard work you will get ahead. There days, that is just not true.



Authorised by Martyn Bradbury, The Editor, TheDailyBlog, 5 Victoria St East/Queen St, CBD, Auckland, New Zealand.