Medicine shows were traveling truck, horse, and wagon teams which peddled “miracle cure” medications and other products between various entertainment acts. They developed from European mountebank shows and were common in the 19th century United States, especially in the Old West era (though they continued up to World War II). They are most commonly associated with “miracle elixirs” (sometimes referred to as snake oil), which, it was claimed, had the ability to cure any disease, smooth wrinkles, remove stains, prolong life or cure any number of common ailments. Most shows had their own patent medicine (these medicines were for the most part unpatented but took the name to sound official). Entertainment often included a freak show, a flea circus, musical acts, magic tricks, jokes, or storytelling. Each show was run by a man posing as a doctor who drew the crowd with a monologue. The entertainers, such as acrobats, musclemen, magicians, dancers, ventriloquists, exotic performers, and trick shots, kept the crowd around until the salesman sold his medicine.
In his interview with Chuck Todd, August 16, Trump said he would move auto manufacturing, not overseas, but to another location inside the US so as to shut down the midwest more than has already happened.
He said then those same Midwest workers would be happy to get the work back at a third of the wages. That’s what the auto bosses have been doing to us for years, and they are doing it right before our eyes – ex: Ford, GM.
Trump’s candidacy should become the capitalists’ worst nightmare. One of their kind is coming forward throwing disguised crap in our face; in the process the masses will learn, because of his big mouth, what the big capitalists have in store for us. It is not pretty. We are the ones who will have to talk to fellow workers and clarify: Trump, and the capitalists he represents, hate workers, and they sure hate unions.
Trump decries the US turning into a third world country, and thinks we are too blind to see that he and fellow capitalists are the ones who are turning us into a “third world country.” The reason those countries are “third world” is because that’s where the capitalists want them – in zones without unions, no safety protections, no workers comp, and no regulations on protecting the environment. And now that’s where they want us.
His prescription for how to fix things is to accelerate the process that they’ve been doing to us for years. More of the same! They have their economy where they want it, where they get richer and richer at our expense, all the while keeping everybody in debt and hungry for jobs.
Working class whites (especially the men), need to see that Trump’s medicine is poison. It may taste sweet, but it will surely kill you.
It’s up to you and me.
Frank Hammer is a member of the Real News Network Board of Directors, and has been a social justice activist for nearly 50 years. He spent the last 40 years in the labor movement as an autoworker and a member, elected officer, staff representative, and now retiree of the United Auto Workers. Frank was the former president of the Greenacres Woodward Civic Association in Detroit, and he currently represents the association as a member of the Michigan State Fairgrounds Advisory Committee. He is a lecturer in the Labor Studies Programs at Wayne State and Indiana Universities. He’s a board member of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, an activist with South East Michigan Jobs with Justice, the School of the Americas Watch (SOAW-UAW), and the Autoworker Caravan.