The Union Members Who Voted For Trump ‘Have To Be Organized, Not Ignored’ – Unions ‘Should Be Holding More Political Discussions With Their Members And Listening Closely To Their Needs’
Although Republican President Donald Trump will (hopefully) be leaving the White House, Progressives must reckon with the fact that 74 million people - almost a third of whom came from households making under $50,000 - voted for him.
It is alarming that so many Working Class People would vote against their class interests, but perhaps most alarming of all are the Union Members who were drawn in by Trumpism.
Before the 2016 election, Democratic Presidential Candidates had long won Union Households by comfortable double-digit margins, but in 2016 and again in 2020, Trump eroded those margins.
If the Left is to win progressive policies (and the next Presidential Election), it needs a militant Labor Movement.
Unions, after all, are one of the only effective Working Class Institutions in this country that can engage Workers to build power on the job and in society at large.
We must understand who these Union Trump voters are, why they voted for Trump, and what can be done to win them back.
Many on the Left have written off Trump supporters as a lost cause or unworthy of effort.
This response is understandable, particularly for People of Color and others directly harmed by Trump policies.
And we should by no means court the vocal subset of Trumpists who are virulent White Supremacists.
But most Americans hold a confusing mix of political beliefs that will never fit squarely within the Democratic and Republican parties.
When the group Working America held in-depth conversations with more than 2,300 Working Class Voters in so-called Battleground States in 2016 and 2017, it found that beliefs didn’t map to party lines: Voters believed in both expanding the coal industry and protecting the environment; in both universal health care and keeping out “freeloading” refugees; in both banning abortion and lowering health care costs.
A 2019 poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation and Cook Political Report found that, in Battleground states, 70% of respondents supported a pathway to citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants - and yet 71% felt it was a bad idea not to detain people who crossed the border without documentation.
Not every issue drives voting behavior: 70% of Americans support Medicare for All, and yet the Presidential Candidate championing the policy (U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders) came up short.
If the goal of reaching out to Trump voters is to activate their progressive beliefs strongly enough to influence their voting behavior, then Union Trump voters should be a promising place to start.
A good Union naturally ties the fate of the Worker to others, a powerful counter-narrative to the rugged individualism our society (and Trump) promotes.
Union Members are also (theoretically) trained and experienced in fighting their bosses.
Being part of a struggle against a boss means reliance on fellow Workers, regardless of race and gender and other social divisions.
Unions themselves, of course, need to embark on a far-reaching program for Membership to put these struggles in context - one that doesn’t shy away from tough questions in fear of upsetting a (tenuous) sense of unity.
To Continue Reading This Labor News Story, Go To: https://inthesetimes.com/article/trump-voters-labor-unions-election-2020?fbclid=IwAR0eRQDsfm0BUVoL7XLmI1wtyLTpBIP7HP466H1N-1wHZAnfJdQuVYHuy8s