Donald Trump: A balance sheet

Issue: 154

Megan Trudell

The seismic political upheaval that was the election of Donald Trump has exposed the deep polarisation in the United States and the alienation of millions from the main political parties and institutions. Trump’s self-promotion as an anti-establishment candidate propelled him to the White House in the absence of a serious alternative; Hillary Clinton was rightly seen by millions as part of the political elite that had presided over eight years of protection and assistance for banks and the wealthy and an almost total disregard for the economic and social pain of the rest of US society.

Trump’s first acts made it clear that the racism and authoritarianism of his campaign would continue in office. The proposed travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries and the Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) raids and deportations put racism and anti-immigration at the forefront of Trump’s confrontational agenda. Following his executive order giving sweeping powers to immigration officers to detain people suspected of committing a crime—including minor offences—or “being a threat”, ICE raids have increased in intensity. Over 600 people were arrested in 11 states in one week in February. In a departure from Barack Obama’s administration, those detained have included undocumented immigrants with no criminal record; ICE agents have been reported in streets and schoolyards, setting up checkpoints and detaining people in shopping centre car parks. The plans for a wall between the US and Mexico, the slashing back of already meagre healthcare for the poorest and the ripping up of the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) are all signals that his promises on the stump were not just bombast.

But, while Trump’s victory and initial acts as president illustrate the dangers inherent in what is a volatile and unpredictable situation, they have been met with tremendous resistance and protest. The massive women’s march immediately following the inauguration and the demonstrations at airports against deportations are the beginnings of the best chance in decades for the construction of a dynamic and innovative movement capable of challenging the priorities of both main parties and of US capitalism.

The degree of polarisation and the crisis of legitimacy in both Republican and Democratic parties, traceable for decades but visible now to increasing numbers of Americans, opens a space in which the question of alternatives to ­neoliberalism is posed sharply to far wider layers in US society than at any time in the last 40 years. As Nancy Fraser says, “The election of Donald Trump represents one of a series of dramatic political uprisings that together signal a collapse of neoliberal hegemony”.1

Trump’s election was greeted with shock and dismay—and much hysteria—from liberals in the US and beyond who would have been satisfied with Clinton’s neoliberal business as usual, packaged—as it was under Obama—as “progressive”.2 The knee-jerk response from many in this camp has been to conflate Trump and the UK vote to leave the European Union into attacks on “progressive” values and institutions (the EU and the Democratic Party—the political, intellectual and imaginative failure is breath-taking) matched with a disdain for and rejection of white, working class, “uneducated” voters on both sides of the Atlantic.

Why Trump won

Because it is liberals who dominate the media and politics, the prevailing explanation for Trump’s election victory has been that white working class anger at the political establishment was captured by right wing, racist populism. Despite plenty of evidence that complicates this picture, racism and misogyny propelled Trump into office, or so we have been constantly told. Clinton’s dismissal of half of Trump supporters as “deplorables” who were “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic” has been “clarified” and backed up by countless media pieces in tones ranging from hand-wringing to contemptuous elitism.3

To be clear, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and Islamophobia are all part of Trump’s ideological mosaic and there is no question that some, or many, of his supporters hold those views. It should go without saying in a socialist journal that every expression of discrimination must be resisted and the victims of Trump’s attacks be defended by the widest possible numbers of people and organisations. However, there is a real problem with an explanation that foregrounds ideological or “cultural” explanations without seriously addressing the economic reality that underpins much of people’s adherence, or partial adherence, to such ideas—and certainly underpins how a great many Americans voted, and how just as many didn’t vote at all. It is easier for liberals, invested as they are in “progressive” capitalism, to denounce those who abstained or voted for Trump than it is to point the finger where it belongs: at the abject failure of the Democrats.

As Micah Landau argues:

No doubt these -isms and phobias played a tremendous part in the election. Racism is, after all, part of the fabric of America. But while there’s no moral equivalency, working people in this country despite being the majority also face a form of prejudice—“classism”—that is ingrained in the dominant liberal culture. The structural challenges workers face from a rigged economy are no less real than the all-too-real consequences of structural racism. Yet many liberals who will, rightly, go to the barricades over racial or social injustice can’t seem to muster up the same righteous indignation about economic injustice against displaced workers. We’ve ceded that ground to the Donald Trumps of the world.4

It is worth, therefore, revisiting what the election results can tell us about political and class inclinations. While official figures on turnout have not yet been released, the US Elections Project website estimates that 57.9 percent of eligible voters voted, down from 58.6 percent in 2012 and 61.6 percent in 2008. Some 95 million eligible voters didn’t vote for either candidate.

The poorest Americans, more often than rallying to Trump, did not vote. For example, turnout in Wisconsin was the lowest in 16 years, a decline concentrated in poor areas. Sabrina Tavernise writes, “Of [Milwaukee’s] 15 council districts, the decline in turnout from 2012 to 2016 in the five poorest was consistently much greater than the drop seen in more prosperous areas—accounting for half of the overall decline in turnout citywide”.5 As in many cities, the poorest areas are those with most black residents. District 15, Milwaukee’s poorest, is 84 percent black and has the highest per capita incarceration rates in the country. Voter turnout here fell by 19.5 percent.

In part this was due to new laws requiring voters in 17 states, including Wisconsin, to produce photo ID and proof of address, which limited voting for many blacks, Latinos and poor whites. In some cases, residents voted Trump to punish Clinton. One said of Trump’s racism: “It’s better than smiling to my face but going behind closed doors and voting against our kids.” Another said: “He was real, unlike a lot of liberal Democrats who are just as racist”.6 In the main, however, non-voters didn’t vote because there was nothing to vote for. Another District 15 resident said: “I felt cornered… We were stuck between Trump and Hillary. They really left us with no choice”.7

This is not a surprise: disillusion with Obama is profound—not only have the last eight years been a story of the relentless erosion of jobs and security, but Obama’s two terms have been marked by the murder of black people by police on a staggering scale and the militarisation of police and state forces to assault poor black communities.8 The uprising in Ferguson in 2014 was mirrored in Milwaukee in August 2016 when a weekend of rioting erupted against the police murder of 23 year old Sylville Smith. This disgust at the Democrats more widely and Clinton specifically was true nationally—black voter turnout for Clinton fell by over 11 percent compared with 2012. Clinton’s support was still very high among black voters (87 percent, versus 93 percent for Obama), but the difference was turnout. Almost 2 million black voters for Obama in 2012 did not come out for Clinton.9 Which, given she was running against Trump, speaks volumes about popular contempt for and alienation from the Democrat establishment.

As Kim Moody has emphasised:

The decline in manufacturing jobs, the shrinking of union representation, the creation of more and more lousy jobs, the withdrawal of aid to the cities, etc. have created not just “angry white men” who voted for Trump, but angry white, black, Latino and Asian men and women who, for good and sound reasons, no longer see the Democrats as their defenders.10

The interviews from Milwaukee reflect a more general picture. Non-voters—fully half of eligible voters, it bears repeating—are not inherently right wing. If they were, it is more likely they would have turned out for Trump.

As Moody says:

The millions of non-voters are on average and in their majority politically to the left of those who do vote on key economic issues. As one study put it, “Non-voters tend to support increasing government services and spending, guaranteeing jobs, and reducing inequality” more than voters by about 17 percentage points. This includes whites as well as black and Latino non-voters. The Democrats cannot mobilise the forces needed to defeat the right in part because they cannot implement any policies capable of addressing the plight of the majority that might attract these left-leaning non-voters.11

Overall, Trump’s improvement over Mitt Romney’s 2012 vote was slight compared with Clinton’s loss of support from Obama voters. In Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, Trump received around 100,000 more votes than Romney, while Hillary Clinton received 433,545 fewer votes than Obama in Ohio, 295,730 fewer votes in Michigan and 119,761 fewer votes in Indiana. In Detroit and Wayne County, Michigan: “more than 75,000 Motown Obama voters did not bother to vote for Clinton! They did not become Trump voters—Trump received only 10,000 votes more than Romney did in this county. They simply stayed at home”.12

In Wisconsin, where Tea Party governor Scott Walker faced down an enormous protest movement in 2012: “Trump got no new votes. He received exactly the same number of votes…as Romney did in 2012. Both received 1,409,000 votes. But Clinton again could not spark many Obama voters to turn out for her: she tallied 230,000 votes less than Obama did in 2012”.13

Clinton lost Pennsylvania, which had voted majority Democrat since 1992, and got annihilated in West Virginia, a state with a staunch Democrat tradition where Bernie Sanders had won every county’s primary. Mike Davis looks at factory closures in rust-belt states that took place during the election campaign: “In almost all of these flipped counties [where Trump won previously Democrat areas], a high-profile plant closure or impending move had been on the front page of the local newspaper: embittering reminders that the ‘Obama boom’ was passing them by”.14

Clinton was arrogant and elitist and represented all the interests that millions of Americans correctly hold responsible for the destruction of their livelihoods and communities: “The not-so-benign neglect of once staunchly Democratic factory towns and mountain coal country is a reflection both of the marginalisation of the former CIO unions within the party and—here the stereotype is accurate—the preempting priorities of Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Wall Street”.15

Clinton didn’t bother to campaign in Wisconsin, neglected rural areas and campaigned against Trump in almost purely “cultural” terms—attacking the racism and misogyny without making any attempt to address the material, social pain that drew some to Trump who had supported Sanders in the primaries. Seemingly oblivious to her own unpopularity, she could not contend with what her party had recognised in 1992: “the economy, stupid”.

Given that she was up to her neck in responsibility for the Democrat abandonment of vast swathes of its long-term supporters, how could she have done otherwise? But the orientation on the “metropolitan elite” was fatal among a working population who have witnessed the enrichment of Wall Street and Washington while they become increasingly desperate.

That isn’t hyperbole. Despite an official unemployment rate of around 5 percent, the reality is far higher since figures exclude those who have given up looking for work and the 6 million who work in part-time, low-wage jobs, a quarter of whom live in poverty (less than $2 a day). An estimated 2.7 million Americans faced eviction in 2015; rents have risen 66 percent since 2000, income by only 35 percent. Car repossessions are higher than at any point since 2008-9; half a million people live on the streets. Every factory closure or relocation throws more people into poverty, ill health and despair:

A huge chunk of white America, like a huge chunk of black America, is in the midst of a decades-long slow-burn crisis in which many people lack affordable access to housing, education, and health care, in which they can barely stay afloat, and in which—in the case of white people, at least—there has been a recent, terrifying increase in mortality rates. Things haven’t felt like they were getting better lately.16

The Democratic Party machine took for granted support from counties and states that had a tradition of voting Democrat and had voted for Obama, paying no attention to the withering of the social foundations of that base—the destruction of jobs and weakening of union organisation, the decay of community organisation and networks, the erosion of its own local structures—and refusing to accept the implications of support for both Sanders and Trump on the question of trade deals costing US jobs.

So, while Trump obviously does have some support among workers and the poor, and while some whites among them—and among Democrat voters for that matter—hold racist ideas, this doesn’t mean that racism is more important than anger or desperation at job losses in determining voting preference. The fact that some who voted Obama switched allegiance to Trump could simply mean that racists were prepared to vote for a black president, but that itself suggests that racism (or any other set of identifications) can coexist with and be more or less important in making electoral choices than other considerations.

Sanders won every Democrat primary in West Virginia; West Virginia voted Trump; Sanders has recently held big meetings in West Virginia with Trump voters anxious about their livelihoods and healthcare. This suggests political polarisation swinging between more left wing or right wing articulations of the economic pressure voters are under. In the West Virginia primary some “57 percent of Democratic voters said the economy was the most important issue—the highest in any state”.17 This was true nationwide: “The economy and jobs was the most important issue for voters in the 27 states where exit polls were conducted”.18

The fact that the poor and disenfranchised—by voter suppression or lack of choice—though often to the left of the Democrats, were less likely to vote, contributed to the Trump victory being “disproportionately a middle-class, upper-income phenomenon”19 since these groups are overrepresented in the electorate.

Despite the depiction of Trump voters as rural, poor, enraged whites, he made large gains (as opposed to Clinton losses or abstentions) in white middle class metropolitan suburbs. A Gallup survey from August 2016 found the typical Trump supporter has “not been disproportionately affected by foreign trade or immigration…his supporters, on average, do not have lower incomes than other Americans, nor are they more likely to be unemployed”.20 Interestingly, white middle class motivations for voting Trump, including racism, have been mysteriously left out of explanations that demonise the white working class and “uneducated”.

This latter category—voters lacking a higher degree—has been used as code for “poor”, but unpicking the results complicates that prejudice. Not only are the poor—educated or otherwise—less likely to vote, but the middle classes fall squarely into the “uneducated” bracket as a proportion of likely voters:

There are some 17 million small business owners without that degree…86 percent of small business owners are white, they are twice as likely to be Republicans as Democrats, almost two-thirds consider themselves conservative (78 percent on economic issues), and 92 percent say they regularly vote in national elections. They drew an average salary of $112,000 in 2016 compared to $48,320 for the average annual wage. Add in the spouses, and this classically petty-bourgeois group alone could more than account for all the 29 million of those lacking a college degree who voted for Trump.21

Is Trump a fascist?

In the midst of a crisis in the Republican Party that has been years in the making, Trump managed to hold those who voted Romney in 2012 and pull around him an unholy combination of billionaire right wingers and religious right wingers. For example, the Mercer family transferred their money and personnel (including Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway) to Trump from Ted Cruz. Hedge-fund manager Robert Mercer, together with the Koch brothers, bankrolled Bannon’s “research organisation”, the Government Accountability Initiative, financed numerous Islamophobic advertisements (including one called “Kill the Ground Zero Mosque”) and, disturbingly, owns the largest machine gun “collection” in the US.

Bannon himself is particularly abhorrent: an ex-navy officer who idolised Ronald Reagan; an arch-militarist who worked at the Pentagon and Goldman Sachs before making a lot of money through his own media investment company; a man with a history of violence and intimidation towards women; an extreme right winger who, following Reagan’s assault on the 1960s (in barely-coded references to the achievements of black civil rights) as responsible for drugs, poverty and crime, blames the social and civil rights movements of the 1960s for the erosion of “Judeo-Christian values”; a delusional ideologue who believes in the necessity of war and cataclysm to unite Americans behind a strong leader, who backed Sarah Palin and the Tea Party before Trump in an attempt to gain greater hearing for his ideas.22

Trump ensured the support of the evangelical, anti-abortion wing of the Republican Party by allowing them to draft the party programme and by choosing Mike Pence as his running mate: “This fusion of the two anti-establishment Republican insurgencies was the crucial event that many election analysts overlooked. They exaggerated the blue-collar ‘populist’ factor while underestimating the equity acquired by the right-to-life movement and other social-conservative causes in Trump’s victory”.23

All of this was only possible, however, as a result of two interconnected failures on the part of the neoliberal political establishment: the ground given within the Republican Party to extreme right wing and religious conservatives over decades, and the unwillingness and inability of the Democratic Party machine to address the substantive issues beneath the Trump camp’s poisonous rhetoric.

Trump is reactionary and demagogic, but he is not a fascist. This is important not least because it will be part of the Democrat narrative as they seek to recover ground over the next few years. If Trump has a fixed set of ideas at all, he is probably closer to the views of Pat Buchanan, the “paleoconservative” who was part of Reagan’s government and stood unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in 1992 and 1996, than those of Bannon, though there are obvious overlaps.

There is a relatively unbroken line from Reagan through the Bush Senior and Bush Junior administrations to Trump. Past Republican administrations are as much part of the Trump phenomenon as the “insurgent” Republican fringe they pandered to; the Trump administration has not (or not yet) broken significantly from a historical US conservative agenda.

In addition, Trump is also building on some aspects of Obama’s legacy, which is one of presiding over wars, restrictions on immigration, record levels of police racism and murder, increased militarisation of the state and incarceration, tariffs against China, and the continued destruction of jobs and welfare at the expense of bailing out Wall Street.

The difference now is that, where Reagan and the Bushes were establishment Republicans, the long economic crisis and the slow train crash of the political establishment have blended to create a momentum behind economic nationalism and sabre-rattling—or worse—conducted by an administration that presents itself, and is viewed, as consisting of “outsiders”. Their language, tone and contempt for the niceties and etiquette of political campaigning and governance are dismaying for the Washington elite and appealing to some voters alienated from official politics. But there are inherent contradictions in channelling class rage against the establishment while being in the establishment that are among the destabilising factors Trump faces.

None of this means that what comes behind, or around, Trump isn’t potentially dangerous. The US ruling class is off balance and—with the collusion of a Democratic Party that has destroyed and alienated its own base and then expressed outrage when it loses an election by promising more of the same, so deepening the alienation—a space has opened up that the right can fill. Fascism’s successes have historically been aided and promoted by sections of the traditional conservative right and Trump has their support at the moment; he was propelled into office by their money and “expertise”, has extreme right wingers around him and uses language borrowed from shock-jocks, racists, nationalists and evangelicals. Trump’s presidency gives a mouthpiece and confidence to racists and fascist groups, encouraged by their federal seal of approval to attack Mexicans, women wearing the hijab and synagogues. Every bigot who would restrict women’s rights, assert white supremacy, attack sexual and gender choices, force religion into schools and increase segregation and division will be emboldened and there will be battles over all of those questions.

However, while it is centrally important not to underestimate the threat represented by the normalisation of racist, xenophobic language and violence against non-whites, immigrant or native, and to promote the widest possible movement to defend rights and resist Trump at every turn; and to recognise that the shape of 21st century US fascism would be necessarily different from that of 1920s Italy or 1930s Germany—a warning against complacency or failing to study carefully the dynamics of right wing populism and how it intersects with traditional conservatism in today’s US—it is equally important to insist that Trump is not a fascist.

Right wing populism, racism and sexism do not equate to a movement bent on destroying working class organisations. There is disarray in the US ruling class; it is disoriented by the recession and desperate to restore profits and its international position. But Trump is a symptom of its disorientation, not an active choice. He has not arisen separate from it with an independent street fighting organisation capable of demolishing democratic institutions or mobilising against every collective working class expression. The US ruling class is still the world’s most powerful ruling class and is still capable of ruling, despite the splits in the main parties.

Definitions are important. If the Tea Party were “incipient fascists”, as Noam Chomsky has argued, and Trump is a fascist, it becomes a catch-all category for right wing, racist authoritarianism that risks blinding us to the real thing, should it arise, and writing off in advance those workers and sections of the middle class who are attracted, to whatever degree, by the right in the absence of a more progressive pole of attraction.

The other, connected, reason for insisting on accurate description is that the logic of accepting the designation of Trumpism as fascism is to support whatever Democratic realignment emerges in the course of the next few years. This is a dead-end strategy that will do nothing to undermine the Democrats’ neoliberal approach, rebuild workers’ organisation or address inequality and will therefore move further away from, not closer to, a genuine alternative to the ravages of US capitalism.

What next?

The space opened up by the establishment crisis has not been closed by Trump’s victory. His administration already faces serious difficulties and new cracks open daily. Central to his survival will be a strong recovery of US capitalism, and that is highly questionable. Despite the stock market surging after Trump’s speech to Congress, prospects for significant US economic growth are doubtful.

As Michael Roberts asks:

Is the US economy really going to leap forward from its sluggish pace of 2 percent or less that it has achieved since 2009? Indeed, revised data for US real GDP growth in the last quarter was just 1.9 percent year over year, actually below the average growth rate since the end of the Great Recession… It is no accident that the wild claims by Trump that his policies would lead to the US economy soon growing at a 4 percent rate have already been watered down… Moreover, business investment growth slowed to a trickle… while government investment has collapsed.24

Most significantly for most Americans: “There has been little sign of a recovery in real GDP per person in the US since the Great Recession—on the contrary—and that is the real indicator of (average) economic success”.25

Trump’s proposed budget aims to restore profitability by cutting taxes and investing in infrastructure—his proposals include massive increases in military investment, money to build the US-Mexico wall (let’s see) and corporate tax cuts. The cuts in spending starkly illustrate Trump’s attitude to the poor, the working class and depressed regions: he wants to slash programmes aimed at promoting economic development in the coal regions in Appalachia, where he promised the “return of coal”, and cut Meals on Wheels and other assistance programmes for the poorest. Furthermore, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that proposed healthcare changes would mean 24 million Americans losing coverage by 2026 with health spending for low paid Americans being cut by $880 billion over the next ten years.26

The element of the budget likely to be popular with Trump supporters, though not with Washington, is the proposed cuts to federal government and agencies which could mean tens of thousands of job losses. The budget is highly contentious in Congress and may well be killed off. But the furore is perhaps part of the point. Posing as a giant-killer, Trump will be hoping he can get away with attacks that more traditional politicians have baulked at. His favourite newspaper, the New York Times, suggests that: “For Mr Trump, the complaints from nearly all quarters may serve to amplify his image as an outsider who is not beholden to the special interests in Washington. That could help the White House pressure Republican lawmakers to embrace his vision for a spending plan”.27

In the short term, disorientation and a political vacuum can leave Trump relatively free to act the part of “the American Macbeth, sowing brutal chaos throughout the dark highlands of the Potomac”,28 but he is unlikely to have everything his own way. His administration is far from stable, and the economic nationalism central to his campaign will meet serious obstacles in office. Threats of tariffs against Chinese goods, though more popular with business, especially smaller businesses, as a result of the post-crisis years in which the US has stagnated while China has grown, would also hit big US multinationals like Wal-Mart, Apple and Microsoft, whose goods are made in China. The likelihood of a trade war is making many corporate interests nervous.

At the time of writing Trump also faces real problems over his connections with Russia; a federal judge has thrown out his revised immigration bill, and Republicans in Congress are furious at spending cuts that threaten communities that vote for them, and will have the knives out for Trump should their own re-election chances fade. In addition, Trump does not have a significant mandate. Widespread alienation from, and increasing political vocalisation and agitation against the political establishment can engulf Trump too as he is inevitably unable to maintain outsider status.

The protests during the campaign, coalesced around the Sanders candidacy, have continued to grow and widen. A powerful enough movement will give rise to new ways of organising—over 6 million voters went for independents like Jill Stein, triple the number from 2012, despite the hysteria around the threat posed by Trump.29 That movement will inevitably intersect with the debate in a split Democratic Party between an alternative led by Sanders and/or Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren that associates itself with resistance and economic justice, and with efforts to pull anti-Trump sentiment back behind the Democratic establishment.

Davis argues that the Sanders movement:

has shown that heartland discontent can be brought under the canopy of a “democratic socialism” that reignites New Deal hopes for fundamental economic rights and the Civil Rights Movement’s goals of equality and social justice. The real opportunity for transformational political change…belongs to the Sanderistas but only to the extent that they remain rebels against the neoliberal Democratic establishment and support the resistance in the streets.30

Socialists take sides in this debate. The Sanders movement was the ­outstanding development of the 2016 campaign that managed to combine a principled defence of oppressed groups with an engagement on the basis of class. It will certainly have influence in the anti-Trump movement. There is, however, a difference between supporting Sanders against the Democratic Party elite and embracing Sanders and Warren as an alternative. The Democrats have a rich history of co-opting movements and Sanders’ “democratic socialism” is now being conducted as a battle within the party, lesser-evilism in a more left wing register, rather than an alternative to a failed institution and a fight for an ­independent voice.

But an “anybody but Trump” retreat into the Democratic Party would do nothing to change the systemic rot in that party or to reinvigorate its base. Quite the opposite: such an approach would sanction the existing strategy and neoliberal ideology of the Democratic Party and would fail, as it has for decades, to address the uncoupling of Democrat politicians from working class voters and union households, whether white, black or Latino. And, even if retreat into campaigning through the Democrats to oust Trump could return voters to the fold, to what end? It is an impoverished view of the possible that regards reconnecting workers to a party that has been a mainstay of US capitalism and is in no way responsive to the interests of workers or the oppressed as the heights to aim for.

Any movement large, deep and broad enough will contain these arguments as people, many of whom are being drawn into activity for the first time, grapple with the possibilities and limits of change. For mass opposition to Trump to put on the agenda a serious alternative to the two-party system and the neoliberal project, it will need to address the profound economic inequality in US society and find ways of connecting the various arenas of struggle. The situation in the US contains obvious dangers, and enormous potential. Whatever happens it will be the central global political issue facing us all.

Megan Trudell is a member of the SWP and a regular contributor to International Socialism.


1 Fraser, 2017.

2 See Fraser’s useful discussion of how “identity politics”, as co-opted by neoliberalism, has given the recent stage of US capitalism “progressive” cover—Fraser, 2017. Fraser’s view of “progressive neoliberalism” has been challenged by Johanna Brenner—Brenner, 2017.

3 Examples, among many, include Freeman, 2016, and McElwee, 2016.

4 Landau, 2017.

5 Singal, 2016.

6 Singal, 2016.

7 Tavernise, 2016.

8 Trudell, 2015.

9 Ben-Shahar, 2016.

10 Moody, 2017.

11 Moody, 2017.

12 Ben-Shahar, 2016.

13 Ben-Shahar, 2016.

14 Davis, 2017.

15 Davis, 2017.

16 Singal, 2016.

17 Pinto, 2016.

18 Pinto, 2016.

19 Moody, 2017.

20 Sasson, 2016.

21 Moody, 2017.

22 For more on the roots of the Tea Party see Trudell, 2011.

23 Davis, 2017.

24 Roberts, 2017.

25 Roberts, 2017.

26 Congressional Budget Office, 2017.

27 Shear, 2017.

28 Davis, 2017.

29 Moody, 2017.

30 Davis, 2017.


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Brenner, Johanna, 2017, “There Was No Such Thing as ‘Progressive Neoliberalism’”, Dissent Magazine (14 January),

Congressional Budget Office, 2017, “American Health Care Act—Cost Estimate” (13 March),

Davis, Mike, 2017, “The Great God Trump and the White Working Class”, Jacobin (7 February),

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