Same meat different gravy

Donald Trump is a racist, sexist, extreme right-wing bigot. How much that makes him different from most other Presidents of the United States is, of course, open to question. When does a quantitative change become qualitative?

What is clear is that there is a reactionary offensive taking place in the USA which is emboldening the extreme right worldwide. We see the rise of the Front National in France and Geert Wilders in Holland, while Turkish President Recep Erdoğan and Israeli Prime Minister “Bibi” Netanyahu are consolidating their power. All are using extreme nationalism and racism to blunt opposition and pursue policies aimed at enriching the oligarchy’s they represent.

In particular we need to remember that the main enemy is at home, so let us not forget our own Theresa May who completes the set of reactionary leaders. The present British government’s policies do not differ very much from Trump’s, it is just that May has better manners. He wants to build a wall, she already has the Channel, their anti-immigrant stance is the same, the deportations are the same. May is currently even refusing to recognise the right to stay of EU citizens who have made their lives here perfectly legally. Trump denies the existence of Climate Change and signs off the Dakota access pipeline, while the British government promotes fracking. Trump tries to repeal the Affordable Care Act and May starves the NHS of finance. Both are stoking islamophobia, both are war-mongers – the list of comparisons go on, but essentially it involves the use of nationalist rhetoric to cover economic policies that enrich the already wealthy at the expense of working class living standards.

But the working class movement can defeat this. Let us take the small example during the last election in Britiain. The Thanet Stand Up to UKIP collective, who campaigned solidly for a year and more before the election, stopped Nigel Farage winning what he thought would be a shoe-in. By campaigning on specific policies that unite the maximum number of people in opposition to the present government’s agenda, we can start to rebuild a movement for socialism. By organising international solidarity with the victims of Trump, Netanyahu and Erdoğan we can strive to make that movement Internationalist rather than National Socialist.