Former President Donald Trump is evidently planning a visit to court striking auto workers as he tries to assemble a winning coalition for the 2024 presidential race, but it’s unclear that the former president’s visiting outreach is particularly well positioned for political success.
Shawn Fain, the current president of United Auto Workers, many members of which recently went on strike, condemned what Trump represents. “Every fiber of our union is being poured into fighting the billionaire class and an economy that enriches people like Donald Trump at the expense of workers,” Fain said. “We can’t keep electing billionaires and millionaires that don’t have any understanding what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to get by and expecting them to solve the problems of the working class.”
Trump has himself spoken negatively of Fain, though there are, in general, some clear pieces of the recent historical record that can more fully outline the actual situation at hand. While in office as president, Trump infamously pushed steep tariffs on targets like imports from China, a concept still pushed by Republicans in office generally aligned with his political principles, like Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.). The problem, though, is that these tariffs — meaning taxes on imports — are generally paid by the American individuals and companies doing the importing, which remains completely lost on Trump to the point where it seems he’s just actively ignoring the facts. He consistently references his regime of tariffs as somehow systematically beneficial for working class Americans.
In other words, Trump’s record is distinctly not something to which the American worker can look with consistent hope. And the examples continue! While in power, the Trump team supported the end of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement health care law ready to go. The many millions of Americans — many low-income! — supported by the Act, often known as Obamacare, would have done… what, exactly? Just magically no longer needed health coverage or care?