Last week, I shot holes all through the increasingly popular Republican talking point that Democrats have “abandoned” the working class in favor of “elites,” and that Trump (a billionaire who poops on a gold toilet) changed everything. This week, I’d like to focus that message even more towards blue collar workers or jobs. After all, Republicans keep telling us that they are now the party for blue collar workers, despite things like evidence…
The typical talking point goes something like this: “Historically, blue collar jobs were union jobs and served mostly by the Democratic Party. Now blue collar jobs are mostly not union, and Republicans represent them better through trade and immigration policy.”
Unsurprisingly, this statement is off.
First, “Why are blue collar jobs now mostly non union?” Because Republicans have done everything they can to hurt unions. Right to work states are now more than half the country, and who wanted it that way? Then they drive taxes down to nothing for corporations into these states, and actively try to poach Upper-Midwestern, Northeastern, and West coast jobs to come to some glorified tax haven in the Southeast.
Then “Who represents non-union blue collar workers?” …Uhhh, still the Democratic Party, which has been responsible for every working class program ever created in the United States.
The Democratic Party has come up with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the GI Bill, Pell Grants, rent controlled-apartments, WIC, food stamps, unemployment benefits, basically the entire social safety net, refusals to privatize social security, refusals to gut public pensions (most of which serve the middle class), Obamacare statutes like letting adults under 26 stay on their parent’s insurance or getting rid of insane “pre-existing condition” loopholes, public housing, and so many other things I’ve forgotten them. Even now, Biden passed the third stimulus without a single Republican vote (even Mitch McConnell admitted that stimulus package directly helped blue collar families in Kentucky), and not that many for a “bipartisan” infrastructure package—which would, of course, disproportionately benefit the working class.
Republicans are for tax cuts for people that don’t need them, and deregulation so big companies can become monopolies. That’s it. [Even something like NAFTA, which unequivocally did hurt the working class in the U.S. and is often blamed on Bill Clinton was actually started under George H.W. Bush, as international trade agreements take years to pull off.]
If people are saying Republicans have somehow embraced the working class because Trump talked tough about immigration, well, the man literally hired illegal immigrants to work at his properties. And the wrong talking point of how “Trump got tough on China” overlooks that he actually had a Chinese bank account with 25 million in it, and it’s mostly Chinese money funding his “Truth Social” boondoggle. For him, Chinese investors are the new Russians: the only people willing to invest in a man Goldman Sachs called “radioactive.”
[That’s not my definition of “getting tough.” Of course, these are the same Republicans who believe Trump could’ve stopped Putin’s invasion of Ukraine because Putin was afraid of Trump–instead of the exact opposite being true.]
Trump is a billionaire who’s been sued 1,400 times (mostly for fraud), had his university dissolved for fraud, his charity dissolved for fraud, paid less taxes than some poor people and any working class person, and bankrupted on things it didn’t seem possible to bankrupt like casinos, but was still given more money to gamble.
That Republicans think a man who inherited 400 million dollars from his father and was often thought of as the real-life Gordon Gekko pre-Presidency is some champion of the working class only shows how absolutely delusion and out-of-touch the Republican Party actually is towards the working class. But that’s not too surprising when you consider Mitt Romney was the vulture capitalist son of an ex-Governor, and then the Bush dynasty (HW was the son of Senator Prescott Bush). John McCain has been their only nominee that even comes from the working class in the last three decades—which you can’t say that about Clinton, Obama, and Biden.