A record number of Americans tuned into Monday night’s presidential debate. And what they witnessed was one candidate’s unapologetic advocacy for the rich and big business to use all the tools available to them to maximize their bottom lines at the expense of the less powerful trying to make ends meet.
Donald Trump made no bones about his taking advantage of a system tilted dramatically toward the “haves” over everyday Americans. A billionaire who doesn’t pay any taxes? That’s “smart,” he said. Rooting for a housing market meltdown a decade ago so his real estate empire could come in and sweep up homes on the cheap formerly occupied by families? “That’s called business by the way,” he asserted. What about not paying hundreds of contractors employed by Trump after they’d already done the work for him. It’s OK, because they didn’t do a good job, he opined.
Does this sound like someone who cares about U.S. workers? Trump has tried to project himself as a wealthy version of “everyman,” just one of the guys who knows about the struggles families across this country experience. Instead, it’s clear from his debate answers he is contributing to the woes for those of us not fortunate enough to receive millions from their fathers like he did.
Maybe he needs a lesson on how his efforts would undermine parts of his own platform. Take, for example, infrastructure investment. The Teamsters and others have stressed the need to rebuild the nation’s transportation, energy and water systems. Trump has too. But that doesn’t get done without businesses and people paying their fair share. He’s not doing that.
But his shortcomings are so much more. Besides not paying his own contractors, he stands as a roadblock to economic fairness. He is fighting efforts by the Culinary Workers Union to unionize his Las Vegas hotel, causing the union to call for a boycott of all Trump properties. He supports the passage of a nationwide “right to work” law that would hamper collective bargaining. And it’s impossible to understand what he believes when it comes to the minimum wage.
In short, Trump is not the man of the people. He doesn’t understand the problems of working Americans because not only has he not had to hustle to earn a living like one, he’s taken advantage of such people anytime it’s suited him.
Legendary author Maya Angelou once said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” The truth is right there for all voters to see.