Former President Donald Trump, now running again for the presidency, has recently been attempting to cast himself and his political ambitions as a winner for working class Americans in the Midwest. Auto workers with the union United Auto Workers recently went on strike, and President Joe Biden actually showed up on a picket line to support those seeking better working conditions. Trump also visited the Midwest for a speech… which he delivered at a factory whose workers aren’t even unionized.
In other words, it appears the former president was essentially attempting to get something politically out of the auto workers’ strike without actually showing up — literally and figuratively — on par with the current president. Trump has argued that an increased prevalence of electric vehicles could threaten some of these workers’ jobs, and he’s also spoken more broadly against the rise of cleaner energy, recently claiming to a South Carolina crowd that wind energy production was somehow driving whale deaths. That’s about as seriously as Trump has established any kind of systematically pro-American worker agenda — meaning with not much internal seriousness at all.
His tariffs? The tariffs, meaning taxes on imports, have been paid by the individuals and businesses doing the importing — meaning Americans. And this fact remains especially relevant considering how many times Trump has argued essentially the opposite, characterizing government revenue from tariffs as having come from the country where the affected goods originate.
“Coming to Michigan to speak at a nonunion employer and pretending it has anything to do with our fight at the Big Three is just more verbal diarrhea from the former president,” remarked Mike Booth, UAW Vice President for General Motors. Booth communicated this sentiment to the Detroit Free Press, a Michigan paper. And the president of the entire union was also critical. “Our workers at GM were on strike for two months,” union President Shawn Fain said, describing a 2019 incident. “I didn’t see [Trump] hold a rally, I didn’t see him on the picket line and I sure as hell didn’t see him comment on it. He was missing in action.”