How many working-class populists are in Trump’s new government?

Courtesy of Jim Hightower

Actor Jack Nicholson says he finally understood the meaning of the word irony when his mother called him a “son of a bitch.”       

So let us consider Donnie Trump, who campaigned as the populist champion of the working class, promising that — by gollies — he was gonna take on Wall Street and the corporate elites. But the bitter irony for the working class is that they now see what the SOB meant — he’s literally “taking on” the moneyed powers by taking them on-board his administration. For example, he’s brought in Wall Street billionaires to fill the three top economic policy positions in his cabinet!       

Then there’s Betsy DeVos, the billionaire heiress to the scandal-plagued Amway fortune. Her life’s work has been trying to defund and privatize the public schools that working-class people count on, and to eliminate the working-class jobs of teachers and support staff. Her new job with Trump? Secretary of Education, where she’ll now use our public money to try killing off our public education system. And here comes Myron Ebell, honcho of the Competitive Enterprise Institute — a corporate front group funded by fossil fuel profiteers like Exxon and the Koch brothers — where he pushed relentlessly to gut the Environmental Protection Agency. Where’s he now? Heading Trump’s EPA transition team.       

Also, more than half of The Donald’s Department of Defense transition team have been executives or lobbyists for such military contractors as Boeing corporation. Overall, according to watchdog group Public Citizen, three-fourths of Trump’s transition teams — which are organizing, staffing and shaping our new government — come from CorporateWorld. Not a single working-class populist has been allowed a seat at his power table.       

As America’s working stiffs know, if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. Trump’s no populist, he’s a full-time corporatist.

This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly. 

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