Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1020/28346

From The Socialist newspaper, 28 November 2018

Non-fiction: Fear - Trump in the White House

Trump is capricious and dangerous - but is he really in charge?

Hated Republican president Donald Trump, photo Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)

Hated Republican president Donald Trump, photo Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Becci Heagney, Socialist Party North West

'Fear: Trump in the White House' by Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward is based on 'inside source' material - secret interviews with some of Trump's closest advisers and staff.

What it reveals is a character who makes major decisions on a whim, and rules by tweet. Throughout the book, you feel that Trump is a child playing at being president, or a stroppy teenager who will pull out of an international trade agreement because someone annoyed him.

When looking for a national security adviser, he apparently rejects one guy because he didn't like "his big bushy moustache," and chose General McMaster instead because he "looked the part" in his uniform. Policies are decided on what sound good, tax rates decided on "big round numbers" that Trump likes.

But, far from being a regime of "fear" as the title suggests - a quote from Trump referring to what he thinks "real power" is - it is a regime of chaos.

Trump's staff are not fearful of him. They describe him as a "fucking moron." You get the impression that actually Trump is not in control at all, but is being controlled by the people around him - and is completely unaware.

Ruling class

His protectionist economic policies, approach to Syria and Afghanistan, and attacks on immigration are representative of only a small section of the ruling class in the US. Those individuals are using Trump to promote their ideas, while others try to undermine him.

It's true he has utter contempt for the people working for him. Staff get fired or promoted on Twitter. Decisions are made by the Trump family that go completely against what has been agreed in committee meetings.

Talking to Rudy Giuliani, the right-wing former New York mayor and only person who would go on TV to defend Trump after his comments about grabbing women "by the pussy" emerged, Trump says: "You're a baby! ... I've never seen a worse defence of me in my life!"

But on the other hand, Trump is treated like a toddler. When he is playing up, he is distracted with a shiny toy.

Executive orders are stolen from his desk before he can sign them, because "if the paper was not sitting in front of him, he'd likely forget it... Without something or someone activating him, it might be hours or days or even weeks before he would think, 'Wait, we're going to withdraw from [Nafta], why didn't we do this?'"

A staff memo went out in the White House saying - in bold - "on-the-fly decisions are strictly provisional." In an attempt to stop his tweeting, Trump's weekend TV watching was limited to after 9pm!

Overall, this insight into Trump in the White House only confirms what many people know. On the one hand, we are right to be worried about this unhinged, bigoted billionaire being in power. But on the other, the book reveals more who is really in control.

Trump may be a liability to the US ruling class. But removing him from power, while important, will not on its own end the "fear" that working-class and oppressed people internationally experience at the hands of US capitalism.

Only a mass workers' movement, with its own independent political party and socialist policies, can begin to do that.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 28 November 2018:


What we think

End Tory misery - general election now!

For a socialist alternative to the EU - mobilise to kick out the Tories!


International socialist news and analysis

Eyewitness: French protesters seize streets against President Macron

San Francisco Bay Area's toxic smoke crisis and capitalism's mismanagement

Workers at the forefront of the new wave of protests in Iran


News

Haringey 'Corbyn council': end the secrecy and confusion - lead a fight against the cuts

The Tories' letting fee ban is full of holes - we need rent controls and council homes!


Workplace

PCS Left Unity election: All votes should count

Cammell Laird shipbuilding workers strike against job cuts on merseyside

College lecturers in Wales strike against low pay and workload

Black Friday day of action against Amazon


Environment

We need system change to halt climate change


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Islwyn Labour Party calls for council no-cuts budget

Scrap the Tories' Universal Credit now!

Reclaim the Night marches condemn violence against women

King George A&E faces closure again

Southampton: Join the pledge to resist cuts

"Horrendous" - Bristol's privatised buses

Nat West's benefit-claimant eviction policy


Opinion

Wonderful socialist play finds Edwardian poverty not in past

End "poverty, ill health and despair":a benefits adviser speaks out against the cuts

Trump is capricious and dangerous - but is he really in charge?


 

Home   |   The Socialist 28 November 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Trump:

triangleTrump, coronavirus, capitalism, and the presidential race

triangleTrump puts profit before safety (again)

triangleUS: Trump's public health cuts have condemned thousands worldwide

US:

triangleHong Kong: The fight for democratic rights

triangleBooks that inspired me: The Fire Next Time

triangleI left Labour and want to end capitalism - join us in Socialist Party

triangleReaders' opinion

TV:

triangleTV: The school that tried to end racism

triangleFrom slavery to Black Lives Matter - racism and capitalist injustice exposed

triangleTV Review BBC Panorama: PPE shortage - how many lives will be lost?

Socialist:

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: The collapse of stalinism

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: The socialist case for nationalisation

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

8/7/20

School

TV: The school that tried to end racism

8/7/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

8/7/20

Racism

Books that inspired me: The Fire Next Time

1/7/20

TV

From slavery to Black Lives Matter - racism and capitalist injustice exposed

1/7/20

US

Readers' opinion

1/7/20

Socialist Party

I left Labour and want to end capitalism - join us in Socialist Party

24/6/20

Letters

The Socialist inbox

24/6/20

Covid

A timely read about a pandemic that overwhelms society

17/6/20

Windrush

Tears and anger over the treatment of the Windrush generation

17/6/20

Grenfell Tower

Three years on: No justice for Grenfell, no peace from BLM

17/6/20

Film

Film: Da 5 Bloods - entertaining but politically constrained

17/6/20

Profit

Two-metre rule under 'review' - Another case of profit before safety

17/6/20

Letters

The Socialist inbox

17/6/20

Socialist Party

Why we joined the Socialist Party

10/6/20

Racist

Readers' opinion: Things will never be the same

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999