Any working class Americans voting Republican are voting against self-interest.
John Nichols, a long-time contributor to The Nation and the periodical’s National Affairs correspondent, wrote a blistering Labor Day article on Donald Trump as the Republican Party, writing that their “platform is a litany of foolish dreams.”
Nichols tears into Trump from the start, writing that “the billionaire candidate… is running for president this fall on the most virulently anti-worker and anti-union platform in the history of his Republican Party.”
As Nichols aptly explains:
This year’s Republican platform is dismissive of the federal minimum wage, declaring (in a stance similar to the one Trump appears to have evolved toward) that decisions about base hourly wages “should be handled at the state and local level.” It endorses the anti-union “right-to-work” laws enacted by Republican governors such as Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, and calls for taking the anti-union crusade national with a proposal “for a national law” along “right-to-work” lines. The 2016 GOP platform also attacks the use of the Fair Labor Standard Act to protect workers; rips the use of Project Labor Agreements to raise wages and improve working conditions; and proposes to gut the 85-year-old Davis-Bacon Act, which guarantees “prevailing wage” pay for workers on federal projects.
Reminding us that “for more than a century, Republicans made a serious effort to compete with Democrats for the votes of workers,” Nichols details just how far the party has strayed from the policies of its past.
For instance the Republican Party Platform of 1956 pledged to build “a dynamic prosperity in which every citizen fairly shares.” They promised to “continue our far-reaching and sound advances in matters of basic human needs—expansion of social security—broadened coverage in unemployment insurance.”
The Republican Party of Dwight D. Eisenhower vowed to
- Protect by law, the assets of employee welfare and benefit plans so that workers who are the beneficiaries can be assured of their rightful benefits;
- Assure equal pay for equal work regardless of Sex;
- Clarify and strengthen the eight-hour laws for the benefit of workers who are subject to federal wage standards on Federal and Federally-assisted construction, and maintain and continue the vigorous administration of the Federal prevailing minimum wage law for public supply contracts;
- Extend the protection of the Federal minimum wage laws to as many more workers as is possible and practicable;
- Continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or sex;
- Provide assistance to improve the economic conditions of areas faced with persistent and substantial unemployment.
Nichols concludes his article writing that: “the Republican Party’s platform is a litany of foolish dreams and ugly thoughts regarding the rights or workers and the trade union movement that defend those rights.”
Featured Image By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19430211