In a move described by some as a “hail mary,” presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has gone to Capitol Hill to shore up support from Republican leaders, some of whom have strong reservations about the purported billionaire’s candidacy.
Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear Speaks with Kevin Aiken, Secretary of the California Peace & Freedom Party, about whether Trump is the candidate Republicans deserve.
Loud & Clear host Brian Becker asked Aiken if Trump’s campaign has caused division in the Republican Party, noting Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s proposal to cut $23 billion from the food stamp program and Trump’s constant call for stricter immigration laws.
"The Republican Party is still largely united in their particular program, which is dictated by the billionaires," Aiken said, adding, "…and they’re determined to do anything at all to weaken working people, make working people easier to divide, easier to oppress and, the number one thing, easier to exploit. Because the more you can divide working people, the more you can lower their wages and living standards, the better you can keep them from fighting for what they need. Republicans for the last half century have been unreservedly against anything that would help working people at all."
Aiken said the Republicans adopt anti-worker measures because, "Politicians represent particular class interests and sometimes the interest of a narrow, but extremely powerful segment of some class. And in this case, the top dogs of the capitalist class, the billionaires, are more and more openly determined to eviscerate the poor." Aiken believes the so-called ruling class moves, "To put workers in the ranks of the poor, to put the middle class among the ranks of low-paid workers. They [the ruling class] are determined to move towards a society in which the top 1/10th of the 1% is determined to be on top, by keeping everyone else down and they don’t care how bad it gets."
Aiken suggests that recent actions by conservative Republicans can be attributed to a "right turn amongst the richest of the rich, and the Republican Party doesn’t come up with this stuff by itself. It [the Republican Party] pleases its patrons, and that’s why they’re doing what they’re doing."
Host Becker pointed out that prominent Republicans, including Arizona Senator John McCain, have opted to not attend the upcoming Republican convention, in an apparent protest of Trump, and asked if this is a sign of dissension in the ranks.
"There are some people," Aiken said, "while Republicans, that have some independence of thought, some control over what they say, and those people are utterly disgusted [with Trump]. And I’m not saying the ones that are going aren’t disgusted, but they’re better at kowtowing to the authority, no matter how fantastically right wing that authority seems to be."
Aiken added that, "McCain has a little bit of independence, his gesture is to not attend the convention, but he won’t oppose Trump. In fact he’s said repeatedly that he’s supporting Trump." He remarked that McCain could be exercising caution, given the support Trump has in his home state. "One reason for this is that Trump has some substantial support among the right wing of the Republican party of Arizona, and that’s the only wing the Republican party has in Arizona."
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