The rise of Donald Trump has been a very perplexing phenomenon. He has soared to the top of the Republican presidential race by riding on a wave of middle class anti-establishment fury, shifting the blame of America’s economic woes from the greedy plutocrats who caused the Great Recession onto minorities while being the living personification of the excesses and arrogance of the oligarch class that has caused their problems in the first place.
Trump has nothing but empty promises and bombastic bravados to offer the American people, and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has his number. Sanders, who has been a champion of everyday Americans for his entire career, recently called out Trump for making empty gestures of economic populism while endorsing the policies and attitudes that caused our disgusting income inequality and the depression of wages in the first place.
“Donald Trump says that I’m a liar because I said he believes wages in America are too high. Really? This is what CNN reported last Nov. 12. Trump insisted on Thursday that the U.S. must keep wages low in order to compete with other countries, one day after he dug in on his assertion that ‘wages are too high’ in America. ‘Whether it’s taxes or wages, if they’re too high we’re not going to be able to compete with other countries,’ Trump said Thursday morning on Fox News. Trump first said he believes wages are ‘too high’ during Tuesday night’s Republican debate.”
“It appears that Mr. Trump is getting nervous that working families are catching on that his policies represent the interests of the billionaire class against almost everyone else. He refuses to support raising the minimum wage. He believes wages are too high and he wants to provide hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the very richest families in America. That’s not an agenda that ‘makes America great.’ It’s just another Republican billionaire wanting to make the very rich richer at the expense of working families.”
Twenty Americans control more wealth than half of our population, while Wall Street workers received $28.5 billion in bonuses last year- an outrageous sum so large it “would be far more than enough to lift all 2.9 million restaurant servers and bartenders, all 1.5 million home health and personal care aides, or all 2.2 million fast food preparation and serving workers up to $15 per hour.” Trump’s collection of corporate giveaways and handouts to the mega-rich that he calls a “tax plan” would plunge our nation into financial ruin and add $34 trillion to our debt.
Bernie Sanders, however, has his number- and strives every day to make sure that the needs of everyday Americans are put ahead of the interests of the greedy oligarchs. The monied elite controls far too much power in our country – a report from Princeton confirms our worst fears: that our nation is no longer a democracy but is ruled by the whims of the ultra-rich. Bernie Sanders represents our nation’s best hope for restoring the integrity of our democracy and the health of our middle class; it is vital that we do not let Trump or any other Republican anywhere near the White House before they cause another financial crisis and destroy what little is left of the American Dream.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.