The Meaning, Consequences and Lessons of Trump‘s Victory: Chapter V. Summary Theses


1.             The US presidential election ended with the victory of Donald Trump – a racist and extreme right-wing candidate of the Republican Party. His will be the most reactionary government in the history of the US. It marks the beginning of a new political era for both the US and the world.


2.             The election’s outcome is an example of the undemocratic character of bourgeois democracy in general and of the US electoral system in particular. Trump “won” the election despite the fact that his rival, Hillary Clinton, received more than 2 million votes more than he did! In fact, Trump was elected to office by only slightly more than ¼ of the US electorate.


3.             The main reason Trump won was the collapse of working class support for the Democratic Party. While Trump received an amount of votes similar to that garnered by Republican candidates in the recent previous elections, many millions of workers, blacks and Latinos who in the past voted for the Democrats didn’t vote because they were disgusted by the misery and repression which they continue to experience after 8 years of an Obama government; and for them, Clinton openly represented the interests of Wall Street and the super-rich.


4.             While the majority of the lower and middle strata of the working class, of the blacks and Latinos, who went to the polls, voted for Clinton, the majority of better paid workers, the middle class and the bourgeoisie slightly favored Trump. Worryingly, Trump managed to win the support of sectors of the white working class on the basis of a program of chauvinism.


5.             The Trump administration being formed and which will assume power on January 20, represents a thoroughly reactionary government. Given its electoral campaign and its initial announcements, it stands for: (a) White chauvinism, Islamophobia (the call to ban Muslims for entering the US, etc.), anti-immigration policy (building a wall along the Mexican border, mass deportation of undocumented migrants, etc.); (b) Economic protectionism (a 45% tariff for Chinese imports, rejection of free trade agreements like TPP, NAFTA and TTIP, pulling out of the WTO, etc.); (c) Neoliberal financial liberalization (e.g., reducing corporation taxes from the current 35% to 15%, eliminating Wall Street regulation, including the rescinding of the Dodd Frank Wall Street reform - the anti-bank bailout regulation put into place after the 2008-2009 financial crisis); (d) Immediate cancellation of the Climate Change Accord, based on Trump’s disingenuous charge that climate change “is a myth created by the Chinese to harm American Manufacturing”; (e) Deep attacks against social and health care programs (the plan to abolish Obamacare, etc.); (f) Attacks on women’s rights like abortion; (g) Calls to reduce US obligations arising from long-term alliances with other states (e.g., demanding from the EU, Japan and South Korea to raise their defense budgets so that the US can reduce its costs; loosening or even the abolition of NATO); (h) Calls for more military aggression against “Islamic terrorists,”


6.             The Trump administration is basically an unstable coalition of three main groups: (a) the Trump clan itself, which rather lacks strong political beliefs, (b) the very-right-wing conservative Republicans (including Christian evangelical fundamentalists and Tea-Party populists); and (c) the white supremacist alt-right movement.


7.             This administration is likely to be an unstable government, as it lacks the support of the majority of all important classes/layers (monopoly bourgeoisie, urban middle class, lower and middle strata of the working class). While the monopoly capitalists certainly are in favor of the proposed radical cuts in corporate taxes, they fear Trump’s declared protectionist measures and the end of stable alliances with the EU. The administration’s racist and social attacks will likely provoke the mass resistance of workers and oppressed. Likewise, it can face important setbacks by engaging in risky foreign military adventures. A governmental crisis is therefore a realistic possibility.


8.             The Trump administration augers the start of a new era in world politics. Its objective basis is the decline of the US as the global hegemon. Trump’s program recognizes this decline and at the same time purports to be able to reverse it. The rejection of globalization (expressed in the termination of TPP and most likely TIPP) and the return to a protectionist program is an expression of this development. It is also a confirmation of the objective fact that Russia and China have become great imperialist powers.


9.             However, contrary to the hopes of various Stalinists and pro-Putin leftists, Trump is by no means a pro-peace dove. Quite the contrary. His chauvinist and protectionist policies will provoke a further acceleration of the rivalry between the Great Powers (the US, EU, Japan, Russia and China) as all powers will intensify economic and ultimately military warfare against each other. EU imperialism will also be forced to become politically and military independent of Washington.


10.          Likewise, Trump’s program represents a declaration of a “multi-generational world war against Islam” (in the words of General Flynn, Trump’s new National Security Adviser). We can expect military intervention in Muslim countries all over the world – starting with collaboration with Russia in liquidating the Syrian Revolution.


11.          The new administration will threaten the Latin American countries with mass deportations of Latino migrants, renegotiation of trade agreements to the advantage of Washington, etc.


12.          Given the new administration's overt American chauvinism and anti-democratic Bonapartism, from now on the US will no longer be able to play the role of a leading ideological force among the pro-Western and liberal bourgeois and middle classes around the world.


13.          Trump’s victory will lead to a rise of reactionary, right-wing populist forces around the world. At the same time, it will also provoke an acceleration of the class struggle. There are enormous dangers for the working class, but also important opportunities to advance the struggle against capitalist exploitation and imperialist oppression.


14.          The most important lesson of the electoral campaign and the 8 years of the Obama administration is that the Democratic Party is not and cannot be an instrument to defend the interests of the workers and oppressed. Instead of mobilizing against Trump, Obama and Clinton now call upon all Americans to give this right-wing demagogue “a chance.


15.          Similarly, we have seen that the “left” Democrats like Sanders and Warren may talk like the left, but in reality they are bourgeois politicians who are subordinated to the party’s establishment, primarily orientated to win elections and offices and who have even offered to collaborate with the Trump on certain issues.


16.          The trade unions and the mass organizations of the blacks and Latinos must break with the Democratic Party. Their subordination to the interests of the big capitalists who dominate the Democratic Party has been the main factor for the weakness of the resistance against the social attacks and racist oppression in the past decades; and it is precisely this weakness that made it possible for some disorientated workers to now look in hope to Trump.


17.          Neither is the Green Party an instrument for the working class struggle. It is a middle class party with a reformist program and mainly orientated to elections.


18.          The most important task before socialists now is to fight for the formation of a Multi-National Workers Party. Socialists should engage in this struggle in all areas – in the unions, in the mass organizations of the blacks and Latinos, inside the spontaneous mass movement against Trump which has emerged in the streets, etc. Such a party should fight for a transitional program – combining immediate economic and democratic demands with the goal of the expropriation of the capitalist class and the creation of a workers government. It should focus not on elections but on mobilizing and organizing the workers and oppressed for the struggle in workplaces, schools and neighborhoods. However, socialists must not be sectarian and should participate in all efforts to drive forward such Multi-National Workers Party even if it initially does not adopt such a program.


19.          Both Trump’s electoral campaign as well as the current spontaneous mass movement against his administration re-emphasizes the strategic importance of the question of the oppression of migrants and black people. They represent a rapidly growing sector of the working class (already about 40%) and will become the majority in the not too distant future. Socialists must fight for a program for revolutionary equality – i.e., complete equality in all areas irrespectively of civil status, language, etc. Likewise they must put an emphasis on winning blacks and Latinos over to mass organizations of the working class and oppressed, as well as for revolutionary organizations.


20.          Socialists must fight for a program of consistent anti-imperialism. This means that they must oppose all forms of imperialist chauvinism and protectionism. Likewise, they must not give any support to other Great Powers like Russia or China. They must consistently call for the defeat of US imperialism in all military attacks abroad and support the resistance of the oppressed people under attack even if this resistance is led by petty-bourgeois Islamist forces. While not giving any political support to these forces, they must support their practical struggle desiring for the defeat of US imperialism (as well as that of all other Great Powers).


21.          The current spontaneous mass movement against Trump must be fully supported by all socialists. It represents an important opportunity to weaken the new administration by a massive day of action on 20 January when the inauguration of Trump as the new President is to take place. However, it is crucial that the movement transcends to a higher, non-spontaneous level and gets organized by building committees of action in the schools, universities and workplaces. It is also important to extend the movement from regular street demonstrations to strike activities and occupations. In particular, it is important to push the trade unions to support such actions.


22.          Most importantly, socialists should discuss and unite around a revolutionary program of action for the US. Without an organization, socialists cannot effectively intervene in this movement. If the socialist prove too weak to influence the direction of this movement, other forces will succeed in doing so (e.g., Sanders, autonomist-libertarian forces). The struggle of socialists should be closely connected with an international orientation and programmatic basis. The RCIT calls upon all revolutionaries in the US to unite on the basis of a revolutionary program and to join us in our international struggle for a socialist world revolution!