Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Trump as anti-neoliberal

This is an article analyzing Trump's popularity as a result of his condemnation of neoliberal free-trade agreements and business offshoring.  The author feels that this is a more powerful, more relevant narrative to describe Trump's rise than the oft-trumpeted rampant racism of most of the US populace.  It's an interesting point, but I'm not sure I quite buy it.  Obama and many recent Democrat candidates  (not the Clintons) have consistently expressed anger at the irresponsible practices of US businesses and politicians that aren't loyal to US workers, but they don't get much of anywhere with angry white Middle Americans.  Yes, most of these Democrats have ended up promoting the very neoliberal policies they speak against, but that's no different from Trump's hypocrisy.  And Bernie Sanders articulates a pretty coherent critique of neoliberal economics, and has the credentials and voting record to back him up, but I don't think most white voters go wild for him like they do for Trump.  So while the article's economic, working-class reading of Trump's popularity is interesting and surely has some validity, I don't think it's a very robust explanation if you don't factor racism and xenophobia into the equation.

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