This piece started off a couple days ago and I was headed in a direction completely different than the one I’m headed in now. That’s the thesis, more or less, and the rest is about the U.S. election before the Eastern seaboard polls start to come in.
When this electoral race started there really wasn’t much doubt that Hillary Clinton would eventually triumph and become the Democratic party’s nominee for President of the United States. In the Republican camp there was no such surety – a number of people who might have made it to the final race existed – oh, and one person regarded as a self-interested, lying, perhaps fraudulent, sexist, misogynist, homophobic, isolationist, blowhard named Donald Trump – someone, it seemed, who’s only reason for existing was comic relief.
Donald Trump would never win the nomination. Well, he did.
It is now election day in the US, November 7, 2016.
Hilary Clinton, if elected, won’t make life any better for the displaced factory workers in the Rust Belt. She will not curb illegal immigration. She will not…
Donald Trump, on the other hand, probably won’t either. Those Rust Belt jobs disappeared decades ago, and what most of the people weren’t paying attention to was that they went from individual States with hard-won labour laws to ‘right-to-work’ states, like Kentucky. Evidence? Ford makes a line of heavy trucks to this day, named Louisville, after Louisville Kentucky where they are built. To this day.
And look at the record of other goods manufacturers in the industrialized states above the Mason-Dixon line… read the newspaper reports from the late 1960s and on in to the early 1980s. Manufacturer after manufacturer moved south, into right-to-work states, states that were quite happy to give tax breaks, lower employment standards, whimpering and grovelling to get any industrial development. And those states didn’t give a rat’s ass about their northern brethren. Not a whit.
By the early 1980s it had become apparent that, ever so slowly, wages and other costs were climbing. An interesting, and historically repeating thing had begun south of Mason-Dixon. Skilled labour wanted more money. Not much. But more. People who had land that could be developed in to industrial and commercial holdings wanted more money. All of the thousands of spin-off businesses, jobs, property holders and more all wanted a slightly bigger bite of the pie.
So what could industry, commerce in general I suppose, do to maintain their competitive advantage?
In the short term – NAFTA – in the slightly longer term, China. And now, November 2016, one finds that low-margin, labour-intensive, low-tech industries have been moving from China to South East Asia. Thailand, Cambodia, Viet Nam have all benefited from the shift.
The Donald is not bringing those jobs back. Any person, or group of people, that thinks Trump will suck those jobs out of Vietnam is, at best, deluded.
That’s the ‘money’ thing covered, well enough at least (because I have dental appointment to go to) but before I leave, this is what I really wanted to say.
The nomination of Donald Trump as the Republican party candidate for the Presidency of the United States has allowed something really quite freeing to happen. What? Am I out of my mind? Well, in a manner of speaking, yes I am.
Donald has made it perfectly OK to say and act on the following things, and I assure I’ll miss a pile.
‘I don’t much hang out with Black folks’ is now ‘Goddamn niggers.’
‘I’m not comfortable with same-sex marriage’ will now be spoken as ‘Faggots are an abomination against God.’ Insert Charlton Heston as Moses here.
Cheap, and sometimes illegal, Mexican labour will now be ‘raping, drug dealing Spics.’
Oh, and if you thought the abortion debate was rough, well, ladies, you’re fucked. Every self-righteous fundamentalist will be burning you at the stake after they force you to carry to term. Teach you to have ungodly sex outside the sanctity of marriage!
I could go on, I’m sure, but three examples ought to be enough to demonstrate not so much what I think of Trump, but what I think of his followers. An uncle once said to me ‘don’t shoot the leaders, shoot the followers,’ and Trump’s ‘brand’ has a lot of followers.
Think of the worst zombie apocalypse movie you can – all those living dead out to get you before anything else – and think of what Trump’s followers will be baying for…
I don’t like Hillary Clinton and I cannot articulate quite why, and I’m old enough to remember her political presence a ways back in time, but I hope she wins tonight.