Danny Cardwell's picture

    Trump Supporters Or Capitalism's New Slaves?

    "Trump voters are a coalition of the dispossessed. They have suffered lost jobs, lost wages, lost dreams. The American system is not working for them, so naturally they are looking for something else."

    David Brooks


    The writing is on the wall: working class Whites are feed up! America has become more like Rosanne, Married With Children, and Jerry Springer than Happy Days or Friends. It took global capitalism 40 years to do to White working class Americans what hundreds of years slavery, Black Codes, and Jim Crow laws to did to millions of African Americans: make them question their worth, doubt their ability to improve their station in life, and challenge the validity of the American Dream. Global capitalism has done more to shatter the myth of White supremacy than all of the late twentieth century Civil Rights activists and academicians combined. It's hard to feel superior to another group of people when you can't pay your bills. For the first time in American History African American and Hispanic parents are more optimistic about their children's future than Whites are. This is odd when you consider that at the height of the financial meltdown Black and Hispanic unemployment numbers were disproportionately higher than the numbers for their White contemporaries, yet survey after survey reveal more optimism inside these communities- why? I would suggest that historically oppressed people endure the psychological pain that accompanies market collapses and economic downturns better than people born into "advantageous societal predispositions". When you are the last hired and the first fired you never develop a sense of job security. When your college diploma is valued the same as a White person's high school diploma meritocracy and the American Dream are just empty signifiers.


    American poverty is changing; as long as Mississippi, West Virginia, and Kentucky were thought to be the face of white poverty their suffering was seen, by many, as a deficiency in moral convictions. The lesson I take from America's global economic shift from producer to consumer is that we can't afford to look at systemic poverty through the lens of Max Weber's Protestant ethics. Market shifts have undermined or dismantled what were once considered decent middle class jobs. There are millions of people who have suffered this fate through no fault of their own. The Irony is that Trump supporters have turned to a symbol of corporate America's worship at the alter of capitalism to fix the problems caused by global capitalism. The Rust Belt wasn't created by women entering the workforce, Pittsburgh and Ohio didn't shutter steel mills because Blacks moved into upper management, and textile plants didn't send their units of production to China and India because Mexicans crossed the border. The economic pain many of Donald Trump's supporters are feeling is a direct result of people like Donald Trump and their thirst for more. If Bill Clinton had never signed NAFTA into law we still would have seen a mass exodus of manufacturing jobs. Capitalism, by default, demands the cheapest labor possible. The need for cheap labor is exacerbated when a company moves from private ownership to public ownership. The mistake many on the left make is believing a radical shift in our politics can cause a radical shift in the greed that fuels markets. The mistake many religious people make is believing that a shift in our morals can constrain global capitalism. The mistake that many on the right make is believing that instituting their policies (again) will make a difference in the lives of their constituents. The mistake we all make is believing we can change this system, in any significant way, without causing pain to those already hurting.


    Capitalism is an amazing economic system until wages go up. Manufacturing leads to income, income creates new wants and needs, and new wants and needs lead to new job creation, but eventually wages go up and the system has to do a hard factory reset- usually in another land where wages are lower. The Free Market is a religion. It exists everywhere without existing anywhere. The market isn't Wall Street or brokerage houses where commodities and financial instruments are traded; they're just the temples for the worship of markets and monetization. Donald Trump will talk tough about trade, but he knows that with or without free trade agreements the powers that be are going to find a way to feed their greed. Trump knows it's easier to get some to support bad economic policies pitched by someone who looks like them than it is to get some people to embrace good economic policies pitched by someone who doesn't. Donald Trump cleared the field of his 16 Republican opponents using a Malcolm X like "By any means necessary" approach. I've watched this unfold with a sense of horror and amazement. I grossly underestimated the level of fear inside many of our fellow Americans. In the words of Goethe, "There's nothing more frightening than ignorance in action." I don't mean all of his supporters, but let's be real: the average American's ignorance of foreign and domestic policy is a pillar of political platform.


    Global capitalism is the ultimate game of winners and losers; it has no racial preferences. Cheap labor is tied to deep suffering. This is a fact many try to avoid addressing. How bad would your life have to be to make you take a job making $1.00 a day? During the course of my life I've been fortunate to meet some very wealthy Black and Hispanic people, but I've never met a person of color who shipped jobs overseas. America, for the most part, was sold out by those who profess to love her the most. Donald Trump and his ilk may love America, but their actions prove they love money more. Donald Trump can't "Make America Great Again" Our country has never been great for all of us, but he has made America a little more interesting. His campaign opened my eyes to how desperate some in our country are. I'm saddened that so many people believe a man who profited from shipping jobs overseas is interested in bringing them back. Many of the jobs we've shipped away are never coming back. At a subconscious level, I believe more of our fellow citizens know this but refuse to admit it. Many of the people hurting now will continue to hurt long after the 2016 election, many of them will continue embracing polarizing figures who lie to them about the causes of their pain. Some will do it out of ignorance, but some will do it because it's easier than accepting the fact that people who look like you sold your family out for a mess of pottage.




    i agree with your thinking here. Recent PEW research shows that blacks feel that life is better now than it was fifty years ago---about 60% agree with that. For whites, it's almost the opposite.

    Many working people of all races are suffering from lack of good paying jobs. Whites may be more disillusioned than blacks because this downturn wasn't supposed to happen to them

    Unfortunately the strategy of Republicans is to blame minorities for the predicament of whites.

    With regard to "capitalism", exploitation does take place but our system is more complicated than just the search for cheap labor.  As a small business owner, I know that the accumulation of "capital" can be a struggle. I have borrowed and paid off loans and interest exceeding 7 figures. The result is I created a company which invented jobs and employs people.



    Thanks for reading and responding to this post. So much pressure is put on publicly traded companies that doing the right thing for their workers is a distant second to improving the balance sheet. I agree with you that small business owners have a set of challenges that differ from the multinationals. It's unfortunate that multinationals set the business agenda in a way that hinders small business owners ability to compete fairly in certain fields. Have a great night!


    This is a rather brilliant summation, kudos. The only line I'd contest is that it can't be fixed without hurting those already hurting. I think that's too pessimistic, and leads to more austerity and tough love approaches. Targeted aid and sensible restructuring *can* help those hurting, and both Bush and Obama resisted doing too much for the little people while bailing out corporations, especially banks. (While big oil, defense and pharma got their concessions elsewhere, and America's high tech internet leverages the no-tax shell game). Even mortgage protection was too far to do well - something that seemed so obvious. 

    It's obvious the elites will do better and better at gaming the system, so any fix has to work around the cheaters.

    Thanks for commenting! I could be overly pessimistic in my analysis. I've seen greed turn decent people into sacages. I hope I'm wrong.  Have a great day!

    Thanks for commenting! I could be overly pessimistic in my analysis. I've seen greed turn decent people into savages. I hope I'm wrong.  Have a great day!

    Can poor, working, and middle-class whites and people of color unite to take our country back from the plutocrats?  Can Hillary Clinton, however imperfect I contend she is, help us do just that?  If not, what next Danny?

    The concern POC have is that the poor whites attracted to Trump see suppression of minorities as a way of getting " their" country back. Trump feeds racism and bigotry. Most Republicans will vote for Trump. They will dismiss the xenophobia. Current Republicans are no different than the ones supporting Barry Goldwater's States Rights stance and Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy.

    Hal, one of the truths in our society is that, in fact, people of color are making progress despite the setbacks.

    They have make a judgment about who is the best person to keep this trend going in their direction and clearly  that judgment is Clinton.

    There's no "if not".

    One of the most frustrating things in political discussion is that blacks are considered incapable of rational thought. The Right claims that blacks are on the Democratic Plantation, are dependent on government, and want handouts. They cannot comprehend that GOP policies and racist tone simply do not appeal to black people. Sanders supporters tell us that blacks don't understand Bernie Sanders. They feel that blacks are incapable of listening to and rejecting Sanders' simplistic answers to complex questions. Worse some Sandernistas claim that black Clinton supporters in the Black Congressional Congress have been bought off. The CBC rejected Clinton in 2008 despite pressure from Bill Clinton, yet now they are bought off because they are supporting Clinton. The message from both Trump and Sanders supporters tends to make infants out of black voters. Neither comprehends that black understand the messages from both camps and make a rational decision to reject both Trump and Sanders.

    Both Trump and Sanders believe that they are better than Barack Obama. We have seen nothing to prove them right.

    You've hit the nail on the head. We have a friend who teaches economics at a predominantly white institution in Virginia who gets lectures from her undergraduate students on a daily basis. Most of them don't know that she was very active during the 80's and 90's fighting the very causes they are now embracing. Northern progressives have this desire to question and correct the thinking of minorities who have a different perspective than them.

    Thanks Danny

    I miss Melissa Harris-Perry because she was able to carry this message. Her time slot is now occupied by Joy Reid who is good but lacks the in-depth, academic approach of Harris-Perry.

    Danny - can you explain this thinking to me?  What in Hillary Clinton's history suggests to the great majority of African-Americans who prefer her to Bernie Sanders that she would be the better President?

    Some are more comfortable with a legislative platform that has a chance of being enacted than a platform that's dependent on southern Republicans going against many of their core political beliefs. People who have seen progress take generations to materialize tend to be skeptical of anyone selling a quick fix. Bernie is a decent man, but you can't go to Vermont and expect people in the south to embrace you for things you did 50 years ago. Dr. King's dream didn't go in the coffin with him. I don't doubt Bernie's heart, but Vermont isn't on the cutting edge when it comes to diversity. Some of these things aren't his fault, but some are.  He and Hillary had a very similar voting record when they were colleagues. No matter how much the left wants to diminish her they can't negate that fact.

    Thanks Danny.  I guess I would respond by saying that I believe I should be allowed to dispute this view without being called patronizing or dismissive or condescending.  Likewise, though, I have a duty to listen closely to those who disagree with me and to take their views and experiences seriously as I try to do.

    Danny - one other question, it appears you find persuasive the argument that Clinton's probably the best candidate for African-Americans because a large majority of African-Americans support her.  Yet one premise of your blog is that poor and working-class white Americans who support Trump are sadly misguided.  If whites should accept the opinion of the majority of blacks when it comes to who would be the best President for blacks, doesn't the same logic counsel that blacks and relatively affluent whites (like me) should accept the opinion of the majority of the white working-class when it come to who would be the best President for the white working-class?

    I've never argued that Clinton was the better candidate. My arguments have been that she was more familiar, and that her platform, for many, seems more realistic.  

    Maybe I misread your earlier comment.  I thought you were agreeing with RMRD's view that white liberals who argue with African-Americans over who's the better candidate "feel that blacks are incapable of listening to and rejecting Sanders' simplistic answers to complex questions."

    The white working class tends to give the edge to the Reublicans


    Exit polling suggests that Clinton and Sanders are drawing equally from the different economic brackets


    There may not be a working class advantage for Sanders. This could be due to the fact that higher umber of working class and middle class blacks support Clinton.

    Sanders supporters are unaware of the actual situation that faces the black community and dismissive of the support for Barack Obama. The black community unsurprisingly dismisses a Sanders and his supporters.


    Black voters have a tradition of choosing pragmatism over purity.


    Sanders supporters cannot understand this tradition. They ridicule the concept. Thus they make it easy to vote for Clinton. Who would want the clueless, purity-based Progressives in charge. Those purity-Progressive would be willing to put things like Obamacare on the chopping block to achieve the untraceable singe-payer plan.

    The purity-Progressives have their agenda. Those who are not onboard with their agenda are rejected. The black community, in turn, rejects the purity-Progressives.

    Your answer is non-responsive to my question which is how can we unite to take our country back?  Maybe Clinton is best as most African-Americans appear to believe even though I disagree.  Either way, how can we work together to take our country back from the plutocrats, whom we all agree have too much power and wealth?

    The wealth part of your question has been  answered on the Democratic side by the electorate. To take from the plutocrats who have taken so much from us we need a leader with a record that shows the experience, expertise, and willingness to take a whole bunch back from the plutocrats. So, we chose Hillary. She has only taken millions of dollars so far, and a lot of advise, but it is a dangerous path. At some point she may begin to feel both indebted to them and dependent on them like most people believe most politicians ultimately do.  

    It is not unresponsive. I think one roadblock is that many poor whites see big government as an enemy despite the fact that many of them actually benefit from government program. They receive Social Security and have health care for the first time under Obamacare. They hate Obama even though they benefit from programs he supports. I think this has to be addressed. Democrats do not get the majority of the white vote. One of the reasons for that is because of racial bias



    The message to poor whites will have to come from the white community. A black spokesman would not be trusted.

    Disagree here.  It's tough but I think we all have to let down our guards a bit.  I truly believe President Obama should have reached out more to poor white communities - not to their Republican representatives but to the people themselves.

    It would not have mattered. Obama was getting crap from white Conservatives and white Progressives.


    Obama got about the same percentage of the white vote as Kerry and Gore did.  There was an opening right after he was elected in 2008 and I fear he let it close without trying to pry it open.  I could be wrong here.  He may have attempted more outreach than I recall.

    The first thing out of the mouths of the Republican leadership was to make Obama a one term President. Do you recall that at all?


    The GOP was firing up their base.Trump fired up the Birthers. Obama never had a clear path to address those whites who voted against him.

    McCain got 55% of the white vote.


    Romney won almost 60% of the white vote.


    Edit to add:

    One of the first things Obama did was to try to work with the opposition


    Edit to add2:

    Another outreach


    Edit to add3:

    Republicans for Obama commenting on his first term


    Edit to add4:

    Politico had an article spouting the same nonsense about Obama reaching out. A take down of the nonsense of Obama not reaching out can be found in the link


    Hal, most Clinton supporters are aware of the Republican obstruction and Obama's attempts to cross the divide. Sanders supporters truly believe that the Tea Party could be dealt with in a rational fashion.

    Are you talking about the same poor white communities who like the Affordable Care Act, but HATE Obamacare? The ones who depend on SSI but decry it?  Food stamps, but use them?

    i consider providing insurance for people who don't have it ...OUTREACH!  

    In Virginia we have an annual event where people line up days in advance to get free care from volunteers -- eye glasses, mammograms, dental care (more often tooth-pulling of rotten teeth), Pap smears, and even minor surgeries, etc, etc, etc.  If you didn't know better you would think the videos were from 3rd World Countries.  

    If people are so pig-headed that they can't accept a hand-up from a black man, (or any Democrat, for that matter) what kind of "outreach" do you think would have more than a snowball's chance in hell at success?

    President Obama is their President too and he should speak to them directly just as Bernie Sanders went to Liberty University.

    The GOP made it their goal to see Obama fail. They got white voters to oppose President Obama.


    What a joke!

    Sanders spoke there.  He reached out.  He did a good thing.


    Free black woman running a gauntlet BernieBros protesting a Hillary Clinton rally.


    RMRD - Blue Nation Review lacks all credibility.  It's owned and operated by Clinton henchman David "Hitman" Brock.

    Bernie Sanders is perfectly fine with this type of protest


    Did I say the prior picture was fake?  I note that the ownership of Daily Banter is in question and it is another go-to site for Clinton supporters.  The articles are nearly all overtly pro-Clinton and frequently anti-Sanders.  It is also not, as far as, I know a site with any legitimate credentials as a news source.  The founder Bob Cesca does not have a background in news or reporting.

    That said, to the extent any Bernie Sanders supporters are harassing or belittling Clinton supporters that is wrong.

    Is the LA times a front for Hillary? It also reports on harassment by BernieBros.


    If you don't think either picture is a fake, why are you suggesting bias?

    New Republic








    Are all of these sites Pro-Clinton and submitting false reports?



    I'm pointing out the bias at BNR and Daily Banter because these websites don't contribute to a discussion of the issues.  Instead, partisans rely on them to confirm preconceived notions or to smear their political opponents.  As I noted, Sanders supporters should not harass or belittle Clinton supporters and vice versa.  On that score, haven't you belittled some of Sanders' black supporters like Dr. Cornel West?

    I don't know how long you have hung around here, Hal, but rmrd's perspective on West goes back way further than this campaign and probably will continue long after it is over.

    I haven't always agreed with his perspective but know that it is formed by a deep involvement with issues beyond electoral politics.

    Apples and oranges. I attended lectures by both Cornel West and his BFF Tavis Smiley. I never organized a group to protest the speeches or ever attempted to shut down a speech. I never participated on an online campaign of harassment. 

    The story that the Daily Banter, etc carried was factual.

    Their agenda is to support Hillary Clinton.  They don't try to hide it.  If they did you may have an argument about credibility, but since they don't, you don't.

    Ramona - your comment makes no sense. Is it your contention that because BNR admits its owner coordinates with Clinton and is paid by her and/or her supporters, BNR is credible?  Why?  Why does acknowledging you're in the tank for a candidate mean you're honest about that candidate and her opponent? In any case, BNR does not broadcast that its agenda is to help Hillary Clinton.  BNR prominently identifies its agenda on its homepage as:

    About Blue Nation Review

    BNR is a project of True Blue Media, bringing you political coverage and commentary that reflects the values and principles of Blue America.
    True Blue Media and Blue America websites do not advertise any connection to Hillary Clinton's campaign.
    You wrote that if BNR tried to hide its agenda, I might have an argument.  Since BNR does seem to hide its agenda - it certainly doesn't acknowledge its owner is also the founder of a super-Pac that coordinates directly with Clinton - does that mean I have an argument?

    Peter Daou is one of the main writers on BNR and he makes it clear his mission this year is to clear up misconceptions about Hillary and do all he can to get her elected.  It's true that there may be an article or two about Trump and Sanders but I don't know how you can look at their front page and not get it that it's very nearly  a full time house organ for Hillary.  That may change once the election season is over, but for now their mission is to get her elected. 

    I guess we'll have to disagree on how transparent BNR is.  I guess we'll also have to disagree on whether the fact that when you click on Peter Daou's name you learn he worked for Hillary Clinton and John Kerry means the website is a credible source of pro-Clinton anti-Sanders information.

    Since I'm working to get Hillary Clinton elected, too, I find BNR a reliable source for the truth about her.   Peter Daou is a feminist who started a group called HillaryMen almost a year ago because he was appalled by the viciousness of the smears against her.  When David Brock started Blue Nation Review he joined him, and as far as I know they don't try to hide the fact that they are working hard to help her get elected.  The escalating attacks against her have prompted them to set everything else aside to work on this election.  They have faith in her abilities and so do I.

    Bob Cesca doesn't owe anyone any explanations, either.  If they were supporting Bernie Sanders you would have no problem with either of them.

    "If they were supporting Bernie Sanders you would have no problem with either of them."  You are wrong Ramona.  I never cite to unabashedly pro-Sanders sites like USUNCUT.  I also avoid reading purely partisan hacks like H.A. Goodman - who may still be arguing Sanders will be our next President for all I know.

    Then I don't know what your gripe is.  You're free to read anything you like.  So am I.   If I chose to read only the tracts that are fair, balanced and scrupulously objective I would spend more time looking for them than reading them.

    Correct.  We are both free to rely on whatever sources we like and we are both free to question the credibility of the sources on which the other relies.

    Hal, you don't have to go to those sites because you create your own reality. You determine that Martin Luther King Jr. would have chosen Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton. There is no factual basis for that statement.I gave you a link noting that blacks are pragmatic in political matters. King exemplified pragmatism. Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party came to the Democrtaic National Convention to sit in seats they were justified in taking, they were rejected. The Democratic Party in Mississippi was racist and barred blacks from taking the seats. Martin Luther King Jr. supported MDFP and publicly stated his support. LBJ realized that he needed Southern votes if he hoped to pass the Civil Rights Bill. Seating all the MFDP would lose the votes of numerous Southern Senators. LBJ explained the situation to MLK Jr. A compromise was worked out giving only two seats to the MFDP. MLK Jr. caved and went along with the compromise. The MDFP rejected the compromise and left. The Civil Rights Act passed. The Voting Rights Act passed a year later.

    Martin Luther King Jr. threw Fannie Lou Hamer under the bus to get the Civil Rights Act passed.He was not a purist like Sanders. King was pragmatic. King would see Hillary as the winner and he would support her. King worked with LBJ. King would work with Hillary.


    Blacks are pragmatic voters. They see more things being achieved with Hillary rather than with Bernie. Bernie supporters are blind to this fact. Bernie and his supporters will blast Obama and then come to the black community to ask for support. Blacks will not support a candidate who has such a meager knowledge of how to deal with diverse communities. Bernie supporters will put in no effort in learning the feelings of the black community. The Sanders supporters will list their plan without taking time to listen to the black community. They will repeatedly ask why Hillary is the candidate of the black community. Bernie supporters are predictable.

    Dr. King was pragmatic in terms of strategy and tactics.  He was, like Sanders is, aspirational in his rhetoric and goals.  His most famous speech was "I have a dream" not "I have a solid serious moderate centrist proposal that is likely to win bipartisan support."  I gave very specific fact-based arguments why I believe Sanders would have been Dr. King's choice. 

    I gave very pragmatic reasons why he would have chosen Hillary.

    Here is an excellent summary of why Bernie lost. He lacked pragmatism.


    In your opinion what do some white Progressives not understand about black voters?

    Edit to add:

    i will modify that to what don't Sanders supporters understand about black voters? Why is Bernie unappealing?

    I agree that the North Patterson article is a good one. In fact, I was so impressed by it that I posted it approvingly on this site "In the News" earlier today.  I have no reason to think there's something white progressives, as opposed to anybody else, don't get about black voters so I reject the premise of your question.  I just reviewed the blog where we had the debate over whom Dr. King would have supported and don't see any "very pragmatic reasons" you gave for why Dr. King would have voted for Clinton over Sanders.  In any case, the argument is moot as Clinton will be the nominee and King would definitely vote for her over the Republican

    Latest Comments