STATEMENT ON U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS
It would be unfair and misleading to try to put any positive spin on the outcome of the election yesterday. A Trump presidency combined with one-party control of the U.S. House and Senate is a very dangerous situation for working men and women. Despite the promises and rhetoric we heard from Trump during the campaign, we know what his real agenda will look like – and it is bad news for working people and unions.
Today we have heard from many of our members they are sad, anxious, and even fearful about the election results. This loss hurts. Analysis of the voting results will come later.
Regardless of whether Clinton or Trump won the election, the labor movement would still have our own job to do. And we will do it as strongly as ever.
This election was a contest of personalities, not policy. Donald Trump tapped into anger, fear, and frustration that has built up over years with a lagging economy, distrust of “politicians” and “experts” and “the media,” and the feeling that we are going backwards. He offered simple and blunt assessments of the problems that sounded like what a lot of regular Americans say or think to themselves. Clearly, a lot of people voted for him, and a lot more people voted against Hillary Clinton.
I recognize that many Local 1036 members supported Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders during the primary) and many supported Donald Trump as well. Some CWA members certainly voted for Trump, as did other union members.
Although it may sound attractive to “turn Washington upside down,” the reality is that policy and government make huge differences in real people’s lives. Our members who work in government see that every day.
Losing healthcare or housing, cuts to social security, outsourcing our jobs, and an increased danger around the world are big-picture concerns. Here at home, pitting one group against another, disrespectfully bragging and demeaning women, and bullying those who are less powerful than you… we in NJ already know how that type of political talk translates to a worse economy and worse policies for ALL of us.
Politicians need to learn from this election. They cannot take any vote for granted, especially working middle-class and union members like those who have been hardest hit by the economic downturn in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and elsewhere. They share much in common with our members in NJ too.
Many of our members worked Get Out the Vote phone banks and labor walks – blue-collar and white-collar, younger and older, first-time activists and seasoned veterans. Many GOTV-ers were excited about electing the first female President. They brought their daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, parents, neighbors and friends to work labor walks. We didn’t win what we worked for, but that does not diminish their strong and amazing efforts.
We have to make sure that our UNION VALUES are protected from attack during the next four years. If we see attacks that come after any one of us, then our Union will be the way we fight back. We carry on our mission and we will do our work - together.