This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
Donald Trump is getting traction. He is talking about trade, jobs, China, manufacturing, China, jobs, China and China — and it is resonating with a public sick of being told to ignore what they can see in front of their faces. “Nobody, other than OPEC, is ripping off the United States like China,” he says. And he climbs in the polls.
Why is blowhard Donald Trump getting such traction from talking about trade problems with China? Self-funded, Trump doesn’t require the support of the multi-national corporate/financial elite to be heard. He is able to use his own money to push his way into the conversation. So unlike politicians captured by the cabal that runs our politics, who have to get past the corporate-journalism gatekeepers to raise money and be heard, he is able to give voice to things that are right in front of our faces.
Poll After Poll After Poll Shows Public Wants…
Trump can read polls and poll after poll after poll shows that Americans are concerned about jobs, and are especially concerned about how our economy is sending the good jobs and factories out of the country. They are asking why they can’t buy things here that are made here. Whether Trump believes what he is saying or not is irrelevant, he understands what the people are thinking, and is giving voice to those sentiments.
Polls show the public wants tax increases on the rich, a focus on jobs not deficits, and more investment in infrastructure, education, transportation and alternatives to oil.
A recent Alliance for American Manufacturing poll found that “We have lost too many manufacturing jobs” is the top concern among independents and working-class voters.
Other highlights from the poll include:
• A majority believe the U.S. no longer has the world’s strongest economy—a title they want to regain
• Voters are anxious about the economy—specifically China debt, spending and loss of manufacturing
• 86 percent of voters want Washington to focus on manufacturing, and 63 percent feel working people who make things are being forgotten while Wall Street and banks get bailouts
• Two-thirds of voters believe manufacturing is central to our economic strength, and 57 percent believe manufacturing is more central to our economic strength than high-tech, knowledge or financial service sectors
• Across all demographics, voters’ economic solutions center on trade enforcement, clean energy, tax credits for U.S. manufacturing and replacing aging infrastructure using American materials, a surprising overlap between Tea Party supporters, independents, non-union households and union households.
People are sick of their factories being packed up and sent out of the country to places where people and the environment are exploited. They understand this is done to pit them against workers with no right, in order to lower wages, benefits and rights. They want something done about it.
Trump is giving voice to these sentiments. He is saying what people are thinking. Trump says, “We tell China, that if you don’t stop manipulating your currency, we’re going to put a 25 percent tax on your products that come into the United States.”
But Turn On Your TV And…
But turn on your TV or open a newspaper and you get pundit after pundit saying we need to cut taxes on the rich even more, and cut the resulting deficit by cutting back on the things We, the People (government) do for each other and for our economy.
The Elite Are Threatened
Here is a typical elite-media response to Trump’s message: CNN Money: How ‘The Donald’ could incite a trade war
Donald Trump’s call for a 25% tariff on Chinese goods is winning him a lot of attention as he weighs a presidential run in 2012.
“They have manipulated their currency so violently towards this country, it is almost impossible for our companies to compete with Chinese companies,” Trump told CNNMoney in January, during which he laid out plans for his 25% tariff.
Trade wars could arise: Imposing a tariff on China would do little more than irritate the world’s second largest economy, economists say.
… China could also respond by closing its increasingly important market to U.S. exporters, which would be a major blow to American jobs and manufacturing. China has become the No. 3 market for U.S. exporters, with sales jumping 31% from the previous year.
And that doesn’t even count the goods being made in China by U.S. companies. General Motors sells more cars in China today than it does in the United States, for example.
“The sad story is we don’t have much leverage,” said Lardy. “But a tariff certainly would not advance our interests.”
This response to Trump shows why Trump is resonating. In a piece that appears to be an ad for the Chinese Exporters Assn, CNN worries that responding to China’s manipulations could “irritate” them, which could lead to a trade war, and says there is nothing we can do to get our jobs back so we should just accept anything China does. We have already in a trade war with China for some time and everyone can see that we are losing. But this story takes the pro-China position typical of Wall Street and DC insiders.
Filling The Vacuum
The media gatekeepers won’t allow the voice of working people, and working people respond when they finally hear a voice speaking up for them. When the corporate/media elites ignore issues like China and trade you get blowhards like Trump moving up in the polls. The cororate/financial gatekeepers have engineered the information channels to such an extent that blowhards like Trump can gain traction by filling the vacuum and voicing what the polls say the public is thinking.
Here are a few more examples of Trump on China and trade:
Dire Warning From Donald Trump – China Will Destroy Our Country
Conservative News Media on YouTube: “The Obama administration isn’t equipped to negotiate with and handle the Chinese. … Donald Trump said the Chinese are ripping us off and the Chinese can’t deal with it. … Donald Trump says the Chinese aren’t playing fair. … We need to trade with everybody but we need to be sure it is fair.”
And, finally, Frank Sobotka: