Displaying an orgy of racism, anti-union, anti-lesbian-gay-bi-trans-queer and anti-women bigotry, Fox News presented the first Republican Party “debate” on Aug. 6.
Of course, this was not a real debate at all. All 17 candidates speaking in the two sessions vied with each other to show how they were the most reactionary, the most pro-big business and the most pro-war. Each candidate’s goal was the same — to show potential wealthy donors that he or she could best maintain Wall Street’s grip here and abroad.
On the stage was an authentic voice of Wall Street himself: real estate tycoon Donald Trump. As expected, he continued his obscene tirade against Mexican people, saying that attacks on undocumented workers were “his issue.”
And how did the other candidates respond to Trump’s racist vitriol? Ohio Gov. John Kasich saluted the “merit of Trump,” saying he was “touching a nerve” among the people. And despite their supposedly being opposed to federal “interference,” all the candidates agreed that local governments around the country which have declared themselves “sanctuary cities” for people fleeing U.S. imperialist-spawned terror and oppression in their homelands must be stopped — even that their mayors should be arrested.
Trump openly boasted of giving bribes. He said that most of the other candidates on the stage, as well as Hillary Clinton of the Democrats, had received millions from him in “donations” in return for “favors.”
Did any of the politicians on the stage object, call out Trump for being the criminal that he is and proclaim their own independence from big money? No, of course not. Some even raised their hands to indicate that they had not yet received their expected Trump donation.
One of the Fox announcers, Megyn Kelly, called out Trump’s publicly labeling various women as “dogs,” “fat pigs,” “slobs” and “disgusting animals.” Kelly described how Trump once said to a contestant on his TV show that it would be a “pretty picture to see her on her knees.”
In response, Trump said he “didn’t have time for political correctness.”
It’s not that Wall Street bankers disagree with any of his racist and misogynistic utterances. They agree with every word. But Trump is vying for the power that lies with the presidency, which would give him a huge financial edge versus his competitors. That they cannot tolerate, so each of their well-paid political hacks on the debate stage questioned Trump’s “loyalty to conservative principles.”
Of course, like Trump, the only principle that these hacks’ corporate backers care about is the principal — plus interest — that they gain from the exploitation and oppression of workers and poor people around the globe, from Detroit to Greece, from Baltimore to Yemen, from Ferguson to Palestine.
Love war, hate women’s rights
Each candidate beat the drums of war. All proclaimed how they would pump up the bloated Pentagon budget. All denounced the agreement with Iran, showing their eagerness for a new military adventure. Each expressed support for the repressive regimes in Egypt and Saudi Arabia and, of course, the Zionist regime in Israel.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas announced that any people who decided to join ISIS should automatically lose their U.S. citizenship and had “signed their own death warrant.” He failed to mention anything about a trial.
In response to a question about water-boarding torture, Dr. Ben Carson said that its only problem is that it was exposed. “There is no politically correct war,” he added. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey chimed in his support for National Security Agency spying and torture as well.
When asked about the growing Black Lives Matter movement, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin said that while more training of cops may be necessary, the most important response is to “support law enforcement.” The word racism was never mentioned during the entire debate.
Women’s reproductive rights came under relentless attack. All the candidates supported banning abortions under any circumstances. All want to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides health care to millions of women, particularly poor women, across the country. Cruz proclaimed that he would have the Justice Department launch a criminal probe of that organization.
Michael Huckabee, a former governor of Kansas, made a point to denounce granting any rights to transgender service people, since that did not help the military “blow up things and kill people.”
Huckabee, Christie, Jeb Bush, Kasich and Walker all boasted of their cutbacks of social programs as well as their campaigns against unions, particularly public workers’ unions. The EPA and the Education Department are surely headed for the chopping block. Christie proclaimed his intention to cut back Social Security benefits and raise the retirement age.
Clearly all the Republican candidates wanted to show off their austerity stripes to their Wall Street backers.
In this time of continuing high actual unemployment and stagnant wages, all these political hacks are vying to show Wall Street they can carry out the most gruesome program of cutbacks, repression and war. Unlike the Democratic candidates, they don’t try to conceal their loyalty to the super-rich but flaunt it.
The solution for working and poor people lies not in the electoral arena of candidates representing various factions of the ruling class, but rather in the streets — in the struggle to break capitalism’s stranglehold over the vast wealth the workers have created.