We Cannot Be Discouraged; Let’s Keep Building Our Movement


In the first election in 50 years without the protections of the Voting Rights Act, Republicans have swept the House and Senate, and Donald J. Trump has been elected our new president on a platform that has featured racism and xenophobia. If his campaign is any indication of his presidency, this is a major disaster for civil rights and press freedoms.

The election of Trump is a complete repudiation of the neoliberal policies that have been the trademark of every administration and the leadership of both parties for more than 60 years. With the lowest Democratic voter turnout in decades, it’s clear that the business-as-usual policies of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic leadership were not the policies that the American people support. In many states that have voted Democratic in recent years, Democratic voters stayed home. Large segments of the American public have been left behind by corporate trade policies that have devastated former industrial areas of our nation. Since agriculture policy was deregulated in the mid-1990s, rural areas of the country have been devastated.

Donald Trump sold himself as a political outsider who wants change, but make no mistake: he’s appointing Washington insiders and corporate lobbyists who want to continue buying public policy. They stand for deregulation, for privatization of our essential resources like drinking water, and for decisions that benefit the polluters, not regular people. We expect cabinet appointments who come from the corporate world or are industry-friendly – including the Department of Energy, where his reported top pick is a modern-day oil tycoon, and the Environmental Protection Agency, where he is reported to be appointing a climate change denier.

Unsurprisingly, the Trump administration will likely be filled with people who will benefit financially from more fracking, more industrial agriculture and factory farms, and expanded deregulation masquerading as trade policy. The people he has indicated will be in his cabinet are the same people who have advocated policies that are destroying our climate and creating a society marked by stratification and racial prejudice. We expect to see more deregulation of industry that will damage our communities, our environment, and our democracy.

We must firmly reject the neoliberal policies that brought us to today. We must redouble our efforts to build a movement that holds our elected officials accountable — and that provides a counterweight to the big business interests that continue to look out only for profits.

Wenonah Hauter is the executive director of Food & Water Watch (foodandwaterwatch.org) and author of Foodopoly: The Future of Food and Farming in America (Foodopoly.org). Phone 202-683-2500.

From The Progressive Populist, December 15, 2016


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