Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign is using a vast reserve of donations from the usual plutocratic suspects to pry even deep-red states away from an incumbent who’s done little to help the working class.
The Biden campaign broke all-time records for TV ad spending over the weekend, leveraging Wall Street donors’ unprecedented largesse in its effort to woo ordinary Americans back into the establishment fold.
Given how Trump’s record bristles with policies so ‘pro-business’ they can be seen as anti-working-class, it’s a strategy just crazy enough to work. Voters need only be reminded how the incumbent cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations while printing trillions of dollars to be diverted directly into the pockets of big banks and big companies during the pandemic. The media is encouraged to do its part by hyping up Trump’s “divisiveness.”
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The same corporate-friendly policies that alienated many in Trump’s 2016 base have somehow failed to keep the .01 percent in the Republican camp, and Wall Street has poured $50 million into the Biden campaign, CNBC reported on Monday, holding up former Goldman Sachs president Harvey Schwartz as a typical contributor. Schwartz made his largest-ever political donation earlier this month to the Biden Action Fund, a $100,000 gift that was also one of the biggest donations the Fund received during that period.
And it’s not just Wall Street – aside from hardcore Republican Zionists like casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and vulture capitalist Paul Singer, the US oligarchy is firmly and vocally in the Biden camp. Former New York City Republican-turned-Democrat mayor Mike Bloomberg announced a $15 million ad buy in Texas and Ohio on Monday, two states where Trump won by a healthy margin in 2016 but where the failed presidential candidate apparently smells weakness. That hefty sum is in addition to over $100 million Bloomberg spent in the critical swing state of Florida, where he also raised millions of dollars to pay off the court fees of black and Hispanic ex-cons – whose votes the businessman believes will reliably land in the Biden camp, never mind the candidate’s history of supporting the kind of laws that probably landed them in prison in the first place.
Overwhelming support for Biden among the ruling class is also amplified by wealthy celebrities. From Cher’s cringe-inducing ditty “Happiness is just a thing called Joe,” recently performed at a Biden benefit concert, to Taylor Swift’s insistence that 2020’s election is “more important than I could even possibly say,” to questionable statements from one-time anti-establishment stalwarts like Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys, Americans are being cajoled, shamed, and pushed into the voting booth to deliver their support to candidates who have never cared less about average Americans.
Working class people whose lives have been torn asunder by the coronavirus shutdowns Biden has essentially pledged to expand aren’t left with many options. While Trump resisted calls to lock down the nation, his self-presentation as an anti-establishment maverick contrasts with four years spent racking up debt and bombing Middle Eastern civilians. Recent polls suggest that even the “poor and uneducated” – groups whose support for Trump has long been the butt of liberal jokes – are defecting.
While a New York Times analysis on Sunday showed Trump continuing to outperform Biden in low-income areas and Biden’s support remains concentrated in traditional liberal bastions on the East and West Coasts, it showed middle-class suburban voters bailing out of the “Trump train” in droves. Meanwhile, wealthy and college-educated voters have coalesced around Biden more firmly than in the past, with even big-money establishment Republican types drawn to Biden’s promise of a return to the Obama-era status quo.
Where does that leave the poor, or those who lost their middle-class status in the last crash? Trump’s detractors have pointed out the irony of the man surrounded by gold presenting himself as the people’s champion, and the Biden campaign is spending relentlessly to poach wavering Trump supporters, with ads and opinion pieces featuring self-described “Christian Republicans” embracing the Democrat.
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Short of voting for a third party – described by the media establishment as something akin to a war crime, especially for swing state residents – the working class is caught in an unenviable bind. More than a few must be wondering if voting is merely a long con aimed at drafting Americans into participating in their own oppression. Driving through rural western Pennsylvania, a state polls insist Biden has bagged, a bumper crop of Trump signs – more than a few of them handmade – has blossomed, suggesting the small farmers of the Rust Belt really are expending their meager resources to re-elect the man with the gold-plated bathroom. But if this is, indeed, what democracy looks like, it’s no wonder the system is losing support among the younger generation.
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