Emile Roemer: The lesson from the US

10 November 2016

Emile Roemer: The lesson from the US

Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States. Following Brexit, this is the second time that the people of a western democracy have dealt a solid blow to the political elite, an elite which has no idea what goes on in the everyday lives of ordinary people and which shares out the plum jobs amongst its members.

This was a justified blow, but the election of Trump is a dangerous leap into the dark, the election of an ageing, right-wing president who will only exacerbate differences and contradictions. With lower taxes on the rich and the multinationals, and less health care for people who sorely need it.

I wonder what would have happened if Bernie Sanders had been the Democratic candidate. This would have paired the fight against the ruling elite with a powerful social message, offered a choice in favour of good health care, narrower income differences and a society in which everyone had equal rights.

That is the lesson from the US. The fight against an elite which has turned its back on ordinary people can’t be left to right-wing radicals. We are ready for our own election on March 15th.

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