An out-of-context viral video of filmmaker Michael Moore explaining the appeal of Donald Trump is currently making its rounds on the Internet, helped considerably by a posting from Alt-Right fanboy Milo Yiannopoulos, and in it Moore suggests Trump might be elected because of his populist appeal:
“Donald Trump came to the Detroit Economic Club and stood there in front of Ford Motor executives and said, ‘If you close these factories as you’re planning to do in Detroit and build them in Mexico, I’m going to put a 35 percent tariff on those cars when you send them back and nobody’s going to buy them.’ It was an amazing thing to see. No politician, Republican or Democrat, had ever said anything like that to these executives, and it was music to the ears of people in Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin—the ‘Brexit states.’”
It is an excerpt from Moore’s new documentary, TrumpLand, in which Moore compares the decision to vote for Trump to the Brexit decision (spoiler alert: Moore believes Americans will regret a Trump presidency in the same way the British regret the Brexit vote). Yet Trump supporters are running with what they think is a Trump endorsement from Moore.
So let’s take the idea that a vote for Trump is a vote for American workers at the out-of-context video’s face value. It sounds populist, until you remember Donald Trump is a bullshit artist, and, as such, and Trump promise is an entirely empty one.
Trump has said recently that he’d regressively cut taxes down to a catastrophically low 15%, and that he’d blanket-cut 70-80% of all federal regulations. Such laissez-faire fiscal irresponsibility does not suggest he would care about outsourced jobs, particularly because he himself has a history of outsourcing his products and hiring foreign workers.
Trump is merely telling people what he thinks they want to hear in order to get elected, and then he will forget he ever said anything about American protections because he has no room in his head for thinking about anyone other than himself with such a fragile, self-conscious ego.
Also, those prospective tariffs are illegal based on free trade laws which America more than any other country convinced the rest of the world to adopt, and America more than any other country enforces. It would be hypocritical for America to start legislating isolationist trade policy after engineering free trade policies in poor countries all around the world, and the rest of the world would hate us for it.
On top of that, free trade is not really the problem as much as corporate greed is the problem. The only reason free trade has suddenly become so infamous is because people are pissed off that wages are stagnant, and they mistakenly believe it’s because of immigrants. The real culprit of America’s screwed over middle class is that America’s superrich intentionally refuse to pay Americans what they deserve, and the superrich simultaneously refuse to pay taxes that would fund social programs that are needed to help the workers the corporate elite don’t pay enough to live in the first place.
Meanwhile, Trump often brags that he refuses to pay contractors, and thinks that it’s good business sense to pay people pennies on the dollar because they can’t afford to sue him over multiple years to get what they deserve.
Trump has also run the most openly racist campaign against… you guessed it: immigrants. Again, free trade is not necessarily the problem. The problem is that the economic elite in this country hoard all the wealth by intentionally refusing to hire American workers, weakening unions, freezing wages, cutting employment benefits, hiding profits overseas, and quid-pro-quo-manipulating our government to avoid paying taxes. Then they add social insult to economic injury by blaming the problems facing American workers on poor, brown-skinned immigrants who get taken advantage of in this country by the superrich who fully understand the benefits of cheap immigrants labor. Superrich people like Trump, who commits literally all of these offenses.
Trump cannot and will not help any American workers because he is a classic scapegoating dictator wannabe con man who really wants to be president without any idea of how to actually govern or lead the most important country outside of sociopathic, self-congratulatory hubris. Nothing about his terrible personality, his crooked business sense, or his egomania suggests he will actually keep this promise to look out for American workers.
If he really cared about American workers, he would stop stiffing his own workers and contractors, and he would stop hiring foreign workers. But he hasn’t, and he won’t.
It might be a dramatic expression of political anger for Americans to elect Trump, but it would also be akin to America cutting off its nose to spite its face.
Photo courtesy of Nicolas Genin.