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DONALD TRUMP owes his place in the White House to posing in his presidential campaign as an outsider taking on Wall Street candidate Hillary Clinton.
That and the stupidity of the Democratic national committee members who believed they could use every dirty trick in the book to undermine Clinton’s opponent for the Democrats’ presidential candidacy — self-styled democratic socialist Bernie Sanders — without any comeback.
While the Democrats shot themselves in the foot at every stride, Trump ran a dishonest but effective populist campaign, hitting out at unpopular imperialist wars and free trade deals that offshored US workers’ jobs.
Noam Chomsky has explained that Trump’s commitment to so-called blue-collar workers and bringing back their jobs is illusory — all he needed was their votes.
His real constituency is the very Wall Street he claimed to disparage — after all, the president is a billionaire beneficiary of inherited corporate wealth and boasts of paying no taxes because “I’m smart.”
Chomsky describes Trump’s domestic approach as to “lavish gifts on the rich, powerful corporate sector and try to undermine and destroy anything that might be of benefit to the general population.”
Yes, there are Democrat politicians, not least Clinton, who would emulate such policies, and it is too early and indeed fanciful to suggest that judging the Democrats and Republicans as Wall Street’s two parties is an outmoded point of view.
But the activist mobilisation that supported Sanders and others seeking to learn lessons of defeat in 2016 has incubated seeds of change in the Democrats.
They are not perfect, but they are the only party with the political clout in Congress to frustrate the Republican Party, led by its pro-fascist tendency.
A more direct involvement by the labour movement in the midterms — including the National Union of Mineworkers’ decision to back the Democrats rather than refuse to choose, as it did two years ago — has also helped fuel the anti-Trump fight.
No, his name is not on the ballot paper, but he tells his supporters to vote as if it is.
The Republican Party hierarchy, which did all in its power to frustrate his campaign to secure the Republican nomination, has fallen in line behind Trump, cheered by his decision to shower tax cuts on big business and the rich elite.
They may hold their nose over some of his tawdry personal conduct, but class interests will out and he is now their man.
They share Trump’s contempt for international law and collective agreements, from walking away from the Paris climate accords, normalisation of relations with Cuba and the nuclear arms treaty with Russia to the unilateral decision to declare dead the international agreement with Iran over its nuclear programme.
His administration has not only declared the deal over and feels it has the right to reinstate previous sanctions against Tehran but it also demands that the whole world falls in line with this decision.
Trump clearly believes that election as US president qualifies him to act as the world’s dictator, handing out orders to sovereign states and sidelining the United Nations.
Fortunately, while the likes of India, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan fawn on him, kissing his feet for offering them a “waiver” in respect of his illegal sanctions regime against Iran, other countries disagree strongly.
Even normally compliant allies Britain and the European Union have baulked at this piratical behaviour, insisting that international agreements, freely entered into, should be honoured.
Whichever way the US midterm elections go, Trump will be reminded that the world is not Washington’s backyard.
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