Trump hung NAFTA around Hillary Clinton’s neck. Biden voted for NAFTA and TPP. We’ll soon see if the Democrats have learned anything.
In a crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls, former Vice President Joe Biden’s unique selling point is he ostensibly connects with white, working-class voters.
These are the once-reliably Democrat voters who helped elect Donald J. Trump president in 2016.
To understand why Democrats now struggle to reach white, working-class Americans who previously formed its base, you must understand how radicals, the Clinton family, the Democrat Party, and Wall Street coalesced. It has become a very unholy alliance.
The story begins in the 1960s with the rise of the New Left, the student activists who wore Che Guevara t-shirts, waved Viet Cong flags, took over campus buildings and protested the Vietnam War.
Unlike the traditional left, the New Left regarded white, blue collar men as Archie Bunker racists, and the labor unions that represented them as bastions of white privilege, the “aristocracy of labor” in Marxist parlance.
The mutual antipathy was exemplified in the Hard Hat Riot when members of the building trades unions pummelled long-haired anti-war protestors in the streets of New York.
New Left student radicals essentially took over the Democratic Party after the bloody melee at the 1968 Democratic convention and Richard Nixon’s victory.
The upper-middle class radicals’ first order of business at the DNC was to purge the union guys, even though they had been the muscle of Democratic power since the days of Franklin Roosevelt.
The director of the AFL-CIO’s political arm seeing what was coming said, “We aren’t going to let these Harvard-Berkeley Camelots take over our party.” They did.
New party rules set designated seats for women, minorities, young people – but not blue collar men. The party’s agenda moved toward the campus issues of abortion-on-demand, feminism, environmentalism, affirmative action and identity politics – and away from working people’s concerns of decent pay and decent jobs.
The Democratic Party’s new bosses were children of America’s privileged professional class. They saw a future where no one toiled in factories, where the entire country would be like them – college educated “symbolic analysts.”
This is the “post-industrial new economy” Bill Clinton saw on the other side of “the bridge to the 21st Century” that he set the pilings for signing NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and bringing China into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
These so-called “free trade” deals were actually corporatist investment schemes that moved America’s manufacturing assets and jobs to Mexico and China.
Bill Clinton pushed these deals despite fierce opposition from labor unions.
But Clinton jilted the labor movement so he could move in with a more attractive partner he found in another part of town: Wall Street.
Wall Street wanted cheap labor, the Clintons wanted Wall Street money, for themselves and their party. It was a marriage made in heaven, or by the devil. For thirty pieces of silver, they sold out working Americans.
And the working classes never forgot NAFTA.
In 2016 Donald J. Trump crushed the blue wall around the Great Lakes and sailed to an historic victory by promising to scrap NAFTA and the other rotten trade deals that have destroyed the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans.
President Trump made good on his promise. He withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP, and he negotiated the US Mexico Canada Agreement, USMCA, to replace NAFTA.
USMCA is the template for trade deals that promote the economic interests of Americans and our nation rather than global corporations.
It requires more local content for automobiles to qualify for tariff free treatment. It protects American wages by requiring at least $16 an hour for 45 per cent of the labor content of autos.
It protects independent unions in Mexico. And it protects Teamsters, American truckers and drivers by repealing the odious provision in NAFTA that allowed Mexican trucks piloted by meth-fuelled drivers and held together with baling wire and the entrails of murdered cartel members to operate on our roads.
Some Democrats are now opposing this better deal for Americans because – get this – they say it doesn’t do enough for Mexican workers.
Donald J. Trump hung NAFTA and TPP around Hillary Clinton’s neck in 2016, and it sunk her in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.
If Democrats kill USMCA, they will resurrect the ghost of Bill Clinton and it will haunt them just as it did in 2016.
It won’t matter even if the nominee’s name is Joe Biden. After all, Joe voted for NAFTA and supported TPP.
We will soon see if the Democrats have learned anything.