The economic uptick in the U.S. and Washington’s moves to defend U.S. imperialist interests around the world are consolidating support among the propertied rulers for the course of the Donald Trump White House. This has not stopped liberals and others in the middle-class left, who never reconciled themselves to Trump’s victory, from intensifying their demands that he be driven from office.
The boss press is running articles of praise. “For Businesses, Donald Trump’s First Year Is a Net Success,” the Wall Street Journal said Jan. 16.
“What the critics don’t acknowledge is that Trump and his national security team have actually scored some real foreign policy wins,” CNN said Dec. 27.
The bosses give Trump plaudits for cutting taxes on the propertied owners. Factory orders are increasing as bosses predict further capitalist growth off the backs of working people. He has slashed the number of federal regulations and red tape on businesses and banks, and says he will cut the size of the Washington bureaucracy.
His administration is working to secure a bipartisan agreement on measures that will assist the bosses in exploitation of immigrant labor, and, at the same time, scapegoat foreign-born workers.
The economic carnage and deepening competition the working class has confronted for several years continues to bear down. The number of workers who’ve given up looking for work and the number employed part time who can’t find full-time work stands in the millions. Current capitalist expansion has only begun to affect this. And more workers are looking for a way to respond to what has been done to them.
Trump pushes rulers’ foreign policy
The administration is advancing the capitalist rulers’ interests in the Middle East, bolstering Washington’s military and political weight against its competitors — Moscow, Tehran, Damascus and Ankara.
It has carried through the war against Islamic State begun by former President Barack Obama, but gave U.S. commanders greater freedom in carrying out operations and expanded weapons supplies to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which drove Islamic State from its capital, Raqqa, in October.
Washington announced Jan. 14 it would set up a 30,000-strong Border Security Force based on the cadres of SDF. They will be deployed along the border with Turkey and along the Euphrates River, the line dividing U.S.-backed SDF forces from Syrian government and Hezbollah troops, backed by Moscow and Tehran.
Washington also announced the deployment of 1,000 more combat “advisers” to join the 14,000 troops it has stationed in Afghanistan, while maintaining over 5,000 troops in Syria and Iraq, according to Pentagon figures. Both of these decisions aim to stem the rising influence of Tehran in the region. And unlike Obama, Trump imposed no timetable for U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The consequences of these ongoing conflicts continue to devastate working people. Over half the Syrian population has been forced to flee their homes since 2011, many in recent months. The Syrian regime’s bloody war against rebel forces and civilians in Idlib province and around Damascus continues.
The administration has advanced Washington’s imperialist interests in pushing through the U.N. Security Council’s ever-stiffer sanctions against North Korea, which hit working people the hardest. At the same time, as the governments of North and South Korea have begun discussing common participation in upcoming winter Olympic games, Washington keeps open prospects for negotiations with Pyongyang to press it to end its nuclear and intercontinental missile programs.
Washington remains far and away the most powerful imperialist power in the world, but its strength has declined relative to Beijing and Moscow. Trump combines pressure on these regimes with efforts to build relations that can open doors to advance the political and economic interests of the U.S. rulers.
The Trump administration has pressed European NATO members to take more financial and military responsibility. Washington announced Dec. 22 it would supply weapons to the Ukrainian government in its fight with Moscow-backed forces operating in the east of the country.
Liberals continue cry to oust president
Liberals, middle-class radicals and some Republicans seeking to build support for efforts to drive Trump from office seized Democrats’ allegations that Trump used language they claim was racist and derogatory to African nations in a private meeting at the White House Jan. 11.
New York Times columnist Charles Blow said the problem was the millions of workers that voted for him are “part of his racism.”
In reality, because of victories won by the proletarian mass movement that overthrew Jim Crow and workers’ decades of common experience working and living with immigrant workers, there is less racism and anti-immigrant chauvinism among working people than ever before. This is a source of strength as workers seek ways to stand up to the bosses’ attacks on jobs, wages, conditions and to cop assaults.
Michael Wolff’s recently published book on the Trump White House, Fire and Fury, an instant best-seller, includes the author’s acknowledgement that he couldn’t verify anything he alleges in the book and that he provides only what he calls “notional truth.”
While the self-righteous calls of these middle-class layers to get rid of Trump grow shriller, their actual prospects of driving him from office are diminishing.
At the center of their witch hunt is the open-ended special counsel investigation, headed by former FBI chief Robert Mueller. It has failed so far to come up with evidence of collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Moscow that could be used to impeach the president. In December Mueller revealed he had fired FBI agent Peter Strzok from the investigation after finding out Strzok had called for the FBI to get an “insurance policy” against Trump winning the election.
How long the economic uptick will last, and how far it will grow, have yet to be seen. Also unknown is when the balloons in the propertied rulers’ financial speculations from Wall Street stocks to Bitcoin futures will burst.
The capitalist rulers have no solutions to the long-term crisis of production and trade, rooted in declining profit rates, other than continuing to make workers pay. And today’s depression conditions are driving more workers to look for ways to stand up to assaults by employers and their government.
The uptick gives us more confidence. Recognizing this, Walmart bosses announced they were raising workers’ minimum wage.
Socialist Workers Party members — whose party-building efforts are built on knocking on doors in working-class neighborhoods in big cities and small towns — find interest in discussing how workers can organize to defend ourselves and build a party that can lead the fight to overturn capitalist rule.
A look at the upsurge in working-class discontent and protest in Iran indicates this is true elsewhere in the world.