Chomsky: Trump Won Because Democrats ‘Abandoned Working Class’

MIT linguistic professor and iconoclastic intellectual and political activist Noam Chomsky/Photo: AFP
Chomsky: Trump Won Because Democrats ‘Abandoned Working Class’

Chomsky also said that white supremacy played an important role in the rise of Trump as white nationalists fear the decline of their power.

The Democratic Party in the U.S. is to blame for Donald Trump’s presidential victory after failing for decades to appeal to the white working class in the country and instead feeding into the neoliberal tendencies of the corporate elite, renowned political thinker and linguistic professor Noam Chomsky said in an interview with Truthout Monday.

The exit polls and post-election data show that the majority of Trump voters are “the angry and disaffected” white working people who “are victims of the neoliberal policies of the past generation,” Chomsky said.

He further drew similarities with British people who voted to leave the European Union after a xenophobic, anti-refugee campaign by the far right.

Trump voters also “share the anger throughout the West at the centrist establishment, revealed as well in the unanticipated Brexit vote and the collapse of centrist parties in continental Europe,” he said.

The prominent political commentator further slammed the Democratic Party for “abandoning any real concern for working people by the 1970s,” and therefore letting them be victims of the manipulation of the likes of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

Chomsky also said that white supremacy played an important role in the rise of Trump as white nationalists fear the decline of their power due to figures that suggest that whites will soon be the minority in the U.S. and will lose their dominance as the country’s majority population.

Some people followed Trump because for them he represented “change,” while his opponent Hillary Clinton represented the status quo and “the policies that were feared and hated,” he added.

But the change the real estate billionaire promised was not clearly delivered to the public because the media complied with his campaign’s successful attempt to steer clear of elaborating on proposals for change, Chomsky stressed.

The linguists said that his biggest worry after election day was the future of the planet with the threat of climate change.

Calling the Republican Party “the most dangerous organization in world history,” he warned that with it controlling all of Washington’s branches of government and with it being an advocate of the fossil fuel industry, the world is headed towards “destruction of organized human life.”

On foreign policy, he hoped that the mutual admiration between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin would mean the “reduction of the very dangerous and mounting tensions at the Russian border.” He also said that European leaders might distance themselves from Trump’s White House and thus also seek to work with Moscow on an integrated security system away from NATO.

But regarding military interventions around the world by the U.S., Chomsky said, “Trump is too unpredictable. There are too many open questions. What we can say is that popular mobilization and activism, properly organized and conducted, can make a large difference.”


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