The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewTom Engelhardt Archive
Rajan Menon: How Trump Will Betray His Base
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

If you want a gauge of the state of America, the country that put billionaire Donald Trump in the White House, consider this: the three richest Americans — Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett — now have the wealth of the bottom half of the U.S. population, or 160 million Americans. Or consider this: the 2016 Wall Street bonus pool, as former Labor Secretary Robert Reich pointed out recently, was larger than the yearly earnings of “all 3.3 million Americans working full time at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.” And keep in mind that the Trump-Republican tax “reform” bill, if passed, will only make such figures more mind-boggling. It will assumedly send so much more money cascading upward that the copious funding of future 1% elections will be guaranteed for our “democratic” lifetimes.

And if anyone was in doubt about the nature of Donald Trump’s “populism,” he answered that question within weeks of his election when he began appointing the wealthiest cabinet in American history. It was already clear by then who he really thought the “forgotten men and women of this country” were: former Goldman Sachs partners with at least a few hundred million dollars in their pockets. In this new Gilded Age (in which, I suspect, disparities in wealth may actually become worse than in the nineteenth century version of the same), isn’t it time to stop talking about “trickle down economics” and come up with some new phrase? Gusher economics? We certainly need something that comes closer to capturing the realities of a moment in which, for instance, that tax bill will offer a staggering one-half of its cuts to the top 1% while, as Robert Borosage writes in the Nation, “raising taxes on families earning $10,000-$75,000 over the next decade” and even eliminating a tax credit that incentivizes employers to hire disabled veterans.

With that in mind, TomDispatch regular Rajan Menon takes a clear-eyed look at the populism of the Trumpian moment, the growing inequality that is increasingly the heart and soul of this society, and what is(n’t) being done about it.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Populism 
Hide 12 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Conatus says:

    How long does it take to spend a billion dollars if you spend $10,000 a day?
    274 Years
    So what do you need a billion dollars for?
    Pissing Power(Bill Gates had more pissing power than Steve Jobs)

    Join the no more billionaires movement.

    • Agree: Realist
  2. polistra says:

    WILL betray his base? You haven’t been paying attention. The betrayal was already complete two months after inauguration.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  3. Ben Frank says:

    America has been invaded by the 3rd World. The President is fighting back.
    Anything else is a detail.

  4. No Paris accord = WIN
    No TPP = WIN (the TPP is corporate governance, that’s why it’s contents are a secret)
    talking tough on illegals = WIN border crossing down by 50%

    That right there is a WIN WIN WIN….he’s sure hurting his base!!!!

    The author, just like everyone else, is trying to “cash in” on trump. Buy my book go to my web site!!!!


    • Replies: @animalogic
  5. The article reads like doctrinaire Marxist propaganda. In the real world, Trump’s base is wetting itself from joy. The guy is killing it! Here is a list of his achievements according to his base:

    Some highlights:
    - Best economy since the 1990s.
    - Isis crushed.
    - Illegal immigration down.
    - Hypocrites like Liz Warren, the sexual harassers, etc – humiliated.
    - Global Warming hysteria countered decisively.
    - BLM racist criminality countered.
    - Fake News exposed and humiliated.
    - Relations with foreign powers improved.
    - Fake refugees halted.
    - Almost passed the Obamacare repeal, exposing Republican treachery in the process.
    - Conservative Supreme Court Justice appointed. Prospects for many more appointments.

    And much more. A year into his tenure, Trump’s is looking like a new Reagan.

  6. @interesting

    What you mention may be “wins”, but if that’s all …? Do you REALLY think funneling more trillions up to the 1% is actually GOOD for the US ? Or dont you care ? As long as your social views are embodied in Fed-Gov action you could care less about the average working American ?

    • Replies: @interesting
    , @gustafus
  7. Thomm says:

    Trump is a good President.

    All I wanted him to do ws :

    1) Reduce regulation.
    2) Tax reform
    3) Fight the media and embarrass them daily.

    He has done all three.

    Appealing to WN wiggers, who were never a significant or valuable portion of society, was never his goal (even if they were dumb enough to imagine that it was).

  8. @animalogic

    no, who’s going to stop that? I’ll pick that person over anyone else for president. you name that person.

    no, it’s why things are so fucked up, the bailouts were of billionaires.

    I care plenty

    Of course I could care, I don’t understand that point at all,

    ask all the questions you’d like I have nonpartisan answers for all of them.

  9. gustafus says:


    Did this asshole ask that question during Bush 1, Clinton 1-2, Bush 2 or the Obamatang?

    Nope…. only Trump is betraying his base because he uses wealthy businessmen.

    Wealthy people are powerful people. end of discussion….

    All we can hope for is somebody with enough money that they decide to take on the ugly machine.

    Oh, right… THAT IS DONALD.

    And we must be vigilant because Trump is the outsider who doesn’t like the inside.

  10. gustafus says:

    Trump isn’t funneling money up to the 1% … he seems to be fighting for the rest of us.

    Did you ask that question of the Obamatang? Bush? Clitnon?

    The best thing Trump could do is go after Bezos….. Amazon has never made a cent of profit. Has never issued a dividend…. it grows and eats and grows and eats… and just keeps eating its competition.

    ALL DEMOCRATS AND MOST REPUBLICANS would cheer the Donald if he broke up Amazon…. or used his political muscle to destroy BEZOS……

    BEZOS is the enemy of mankind…. an Ashkanazi Jew … just like Gates, Zuck, and all the rest….

    start the revolt against the Ashki’s who own the country…. and the left will wash Trumps feet

  11. bjondo says:

    trump is in a titanic battle
    the most important in republic’s/world’s history
    the repubs and demos are exposed
    the various media are exposed
    amurderka the cesspool is being cleaned
    rottenwood, nyc, dc undone.
    stand with trump
    fight alongside trump
    trump pres in 2024
    u s of a reborn

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Tom Engelhardt Comments via RSS
Personal Classics
Eight Exceptional(ly Dumb) American Achievements of the Twenty-First Century
How the Security State’s Mania for Secrecy Will Create You
Delusional Thinking in the Age of the Single Superpower