By JEFF MACKLER
If I were a high school debate referee I’d score Joe Biden the winner big time in the October 22 final debate with the nation’s moron accidental president Donald Trump. But it wasn’t a high school debate wherein each side is assigned in advance to take opposing sides of a question. In Trump-Biden 2 both debaters took the stage to defend the same side, that is, the corporate capitalist elite who really run the country regardless of which candidate gets to live in the White House.
In 2016 the relatively unknown Trump stood out from the Republican primary pack of professional hustler politicians and from Washington, D.C. swamp dweller Hillary Clinton via a torrent of anti-establishment sounding invective aimed at convincing working people that he was prepared to take on the “insiders” and “crooks” who populate the “dark state.” Trump promised to bring on an era of truth, justice and openness – and jobs – for the common worker. Four years later the jobs never materialized because the corporate elite much preferred to relocate and run their plants with super low wage Chinese, Indian or Vietnamese labor and then ship their products back to the U.S. to undercut U.S. competitors. With 40 percent of China’s population earning less than $5.00 per day, China and other cheap labor nations became U.S. manufacturing hubs. Trump‘s bluster aside, few, if any jobs came home. Those that remained here were closed and/or downsized via replacing workers with robots or other automated machines. Similarly, advised by his pollsters then that he might score a few more points if he sounded some “antiwar” themes in contrast to the Democrats, like promising to bring some troops home from Afghanistan or Syria, the warmonger Trump took that verbal option as well.
Today, his Democratic Party opponents, with the pampered military-industrial complex flush with eight years of unprecedented spending to pursue Obama’s seven simultaneous wars of intervention, conquest and plunder, pillory Trump for being soft on North Korea, China, Russia and Syria and much too hard on NATO. Biden insisted in the debate, with zero proof, other than alleged and undisclosed CIA reports, that Russia and Iran were intervening in the elections to support Trump. Biden neglected to note that U.S. “interference” in the affairs of other nations today includes maintaining 1100 military bases in some 170 nations and daily organizing monstrous drone wars, sanction wars, Special Operation team wars as well as the usual type of wars of mass infrastructure destruction, intervention and conquest.
Twin party agreements on fundamentals
When Trump says, “Yes,” on any issue, the Democrats say “No” and visa versa, except when it came to the $3.2 trillion CARES Act largely corporate bailout legislation and the $1.5 trillion in corporate tax cuts. Bi-partisan unity there! When Trump asked Congress for some $775 billion for the military for 2020, the Democrats upped the figure by another $50 billion or so. When Trump attacked the FBI for spying on him at Obama’s order the Democrats defended and praised the FBI as the epitome of virtue except when the FBI head, days before the 2016 election, leaked the story of Hillary Clinton’s emails that revealed her moves to cheat Bernie Sanders out of a primary victory.
In any case, the Oct. 22 debate was an object lesson of ruling class politics in crisis, with a well-coached Biden prepared with a stream of sugar-coated lies aimed at the unwary and the moron Trump left near speechless, repeatedly, if not effectively, responding to Biden’s election time promises, “Hey Joe, why didn’t you do that in the eight years when you and Obama were in charge? In fact, Joe, during your 47 years in Congress?” This time out, however, the debate organizers agreed in advance to impose a mute button system to prevent a repeat of the first spectacle where an out of control Trump ceaselessly interrupted, bullied and badgered Biden, rendering any serious exchange near worthless.
The result? An essentially silenced Trump barely bothered to present his own views and/or implied, as with the COVID-19 pandemic, that he “had already done everything” that Biden was proposing. Here, however, there was a difference in words not facts. Trump insisted that the world’s largest economy could not remain closed. People needed to work to live, he insisted, while Biden agreed but added that opening the economy had to be done “safely.” Biden added that the federal government had to provide the funds to do so since state funds, he insisted, were not available. Needless to say, neither had proposed the immediate allocation of such federal funds, not to mention that all states are free to raise any and all needed funds by reversing previous state budget decisions that had shifted billions in wealth from social programs to corporate relief, that is, socialism for the rich. Biden and Trump, debate rhetoric aside, both operate within these capitalist parameters.
States bring on 2nd & 3rd COVID-19 waves
All 50 states, red and blue, have repeatedly moved to re-open businesses and public institutions only to bring on a second and now a third wave of massive COVID-19 infections. Need we mention that NYC and New York State, run by Democrats with a near two-thirds legislative majority, repeatedly moved to re-open schools and other public and private facilities – always with disastrous consequences? And the ever-re-opening Democrats in California do so with abandon as national COVID-19 infections soar to national highs – 83,000 new cases reported on October 25 – a world record.
Minimum wage dispute
A “generous” Biden amazed even his own sycophants by proposing to raise the hourly minimum wage to $15.00. The last minimum wage raise to the present less than starvation rate of $7.25 was in 2008. Trump easily countered Biden’s sudden proclamation by asking why Obama-Biden had done nothing on this issue during their eight-year reign, while expressing his own hesitancy on the matter based on his concern that small business not be harmed. Neither bothered to mention the record of their parties in supporting state minimum wage legislation that severely limits the applicability of the raised rates based on the premise of “protecting small businesses,” which are often designated as those with less than 100 workers!
Trump’s racist, sexist, red-baiting of Harris
A particularly racist and sexist Trump outburst was registered when Trump ridiculed Biden’s Vice Presidential runningmate Kamala Harris. In a line or two of invective rarely matched in intensity Trump consciously mispronounced her name in order to lend it a foreign connotation and proceeded to demean Harris’s sex as if to promise his audience that a women would never be the Vice President. He added the red-baiting lie for good measure that Harris, a corporate candidate of the first order, was a socialist! In his own words, “We’re not going to have a socialist president, especially a female socialist president, we’re not gonna have it, we’re not gonna put up with it.”
Wall Street funds Biden over Trump
Poor Joe Biden got hoisted on his own petard when he revealed that Trump had concealed the administration’s prior knowledge that COVID-19 was “dangerous” while simultaneously arranging to contract Wall Street investors to help them prepare. Said Trump, disingenuously for sure, “I don’t know if somebody went to Wall Street. You’re the one that takes all the money from Wall Street. I don’t take it. You have raised a lot of money, tremendous amounts of money. And every time you raise money, deals are made. I could raise so much more money. As president and as somebody that knows most of those people, I could call the heads of Wall Street, the heads of every company in America. I would blow away every record. But I don’t want to do that because it puts me in a bad position. And then you bring up Wall Street? You shouldn’t be bringing up Wall Street Joe. Because you’re the one that takes the money from Wall Street, not me. I could blow away your records like you wouldn’t believe. We don’t need money. We have plenty of money. In fact, we beat Hillary Clinton with a tiny fraction of the money that she was able to get. Don’t tell me about Wall Street.”
Here we quote President Trump at length because he blurts out a truth that is rarely publicly revealed – the simple notion that ruling class figures like Trump, a moronic accident of history, in his case, have full and unimpeded access to the nation’s “one percent,” with the reciprocal understanding that each of these top corporate leaders exercises their “influence” as a matter of course – as day follows night. Indeed, capitalism’s top gun political officials have properly and historically been defined as “the Executive Committee of the ruling class.” In Trump’s case, and a rare exception for sure, a relatively unstable nut case, again, an “accident of history,” won an election and has declined to play by the established rules of the game. These begin with the proposition that whomever wins the presidency will agree in advance to be surrounded and dominated by the direct representatives of the ruling class, who will inform the president as to his proper conduct. That Trump’s term in office has been marked as never before by the constant and repeated dismissal/firing and replacement of one top official after another informs us that despite best efforts to “civilize” this narcissistic nut case, and teach him to utter the slick diplomatic language prepared by trained speech writers, he has proven to be beyond redemption. More than a few of Trump-dismissed top executives, like former Exxon Mobile CEO, Rex Tillerson, who briefly served as the administration’s Secretary of State, have quit (or were fired), with the latter privately, but reported by the New York Times, as stating that Trump was a “f*****g moron.”
But even a “f*****g moron” can retain the capacity for revealing insider truths as with Biden’s Wall Street money-raising. Forbes Magazine reported that in the presidential billionaire count Biden leads Trump 131-93.
Trump blasts Black Lives Matter
Trump’s “big lie” repertoire sometimes gets the best of him as when he claimed to have done more for Blacks than Abraham Lincoln. Few takers on that assertion and even fewer when he responded to debate moderator Kristen Welker’s question as to why he described the Black Lives Matter Movement as a symbol of hate. Here’s Trump’s response:
“Well you have to understand the first time I ever heard of Black Lives Matter they were chanting ‘Pigs in a blanket’, talking about police, ‘Pigs, Pigs’, talking about our police, ‘Pigs in a blanket, fry’ em like bacon’. I said, ‘That’s a horrible thing’. And they were marching down the street. And that was my first glimpse of Black Lives Matter. I thought it was a terrible thing. As far as my relationships with all people, I think I have great relationships with all people. I am the least racist person in this room.”
Here we have the president of the U.S., standing before an audience of 50 million people on Oct. 22, stating that his first glimpse of a movement that has to date mobilized some 26 million people in the streets in peaceful protests against the nation’s systemic racism, declaring that movement to be violent and illegitimate! CNN’s national survey found that 84 percent of the country agreed with Black Lives Matter’s fundamental critiques of ingrained institutional racism. And Trump? Need we say more?
And Biden, no narcissist for sure, but a lifelong water carrier for the nation’s covert congressional racists – not only because of his role in supporting or crafting the heinous 1984 and 1994 racist mass incarceration bills that jailed millions of Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans to ever-privatized slave labor prisons, but a lifetime – 47 years – but also for his service to the heirs of the former Southern slavocracy Democrats who partnered for decades with their Northern Democratic Party “liberal “ counterparts to maintain Jim Crow racist segregation.
It was a revealing debate indeed, an object lesson of capitalist brutality in its crudest and most despicable form. No serious choice for serious social justice activists today. Vote Socialist Action! Join us!