Trump win signals greater hardship to come & the need for grassroots organizing

Brent Patterson
4 years ago

In a stunning upset, Donald Trump has won the US presidency.

Despite racist and misogynist comments during the election, Trump won with 289 electoral college votes (to Hillary Clinton's 218 votes), 47.5 per cent of the popular vote (tied with Clinton), and 58,992,180 votes (131,565 fewer than Clinton).

The Republicans also hold a majority in the Senate and House of Representatives, and are positioned to hold the majority on the US Supreme Court as well.

It has been suggested that Trump's surge in support came from the middle class and/or disaffected blue-collar American workers hurt by the global economy.

Exit polling data doesn't necessarily support that contention. The Guardian is now reporting, "Broken down by income bracket, 52% of voters earning less than $50,000 a year – who make up 36% of the electorate – voted for Clinton, and 41% for Trump. But among the 64% of American voters who earn more than $50,000 a year, 49% chose Trump, and 47% Clinton."

Race may have played an even bigger role. 63 per cent of white men and 52 per cent of white women voted for Trump, while 80 per cent of black men and 93 per cent of black women voted for Clinton. Incarceration levels in the United States meant that 6.1 million people, mostly black Americans, were barred from voting. CNN's Van Jones says, "This was a white-lash against a changing country. It was a white-lash against a black president in part, and that’s the part where the pain comes."

Overall, Trump once called climate change a hoax, has promised to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement, supports coal-fired power plants, has said he would approve the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, has said he would "crush and destroy" the Islamic state, stated that Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals, has promised to build a wall along the Mexican border, threatened to pull the United States out of NATO, has said he would ban Muslims from entering the country, is likely to introduce massive corporate tax cuts, is expected to quickly repeal US President Barack Obama's health care law and revoke a nuclear agreement with Iran, and has expressed admiration for authoritarian Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Trans-Pacific Partnership
Global News reports, "The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is almost guaranteed to be consigned to the scrap heap." Colin Robertson of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute says, "It is highly improbable with Mr. Trump that the TPP would go anywhere, which means we would have to then think about negotiating separate deals with first Japan, and perhaps talking to Mexico."

NAFTA
The Canadian Press reports, "Trump has demanded a renegotiation of NAFTA, without offering details, and promises to rip it up if unsuccessful." A Canadian official says, "I don't really think we're in danger there. There would be a revolt by the private sector." And former US ambassador to Canada David Wilkins says, “I think NAFTA will survive, I think NAFTA will be with us a long time. I don’t think we ought to jump to conclusions, all of a sudden the sky is falling and NAFTA’s gone. I think once he gets in there, he’ll realize there are benefits from NAFTA."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to call President-elect Trump today to congratulate him on his win.

The Globe and Mail's Robert Fife comments, "Officials say Mr. Trudeau plans to sell an agenda of economic and global co-operation in a congratulatory phone call to Mr. Trump, including an invitation for the Republican victor to visit Canada soon after his inauguration."

Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on January 20, 2017. The movement work with our American friends and allies (and all peoples impacted by neo-liberalism and racism) to build the better, just and inclusive world we all know is possible continues this morning.