Make America Great Again—Trump Must Go! #137
EDITORIAL | 9/19/2019, 12:59 p.m.
There is nothing in the Obama matrix that doesn’t infuriate Trump. Among his most recent missiles at the Obamas—and this time he assails the couple—is their Higher Ground Production Company that launched the first in a series of documentaries and other projects on Netflix.
“American Factory,” now streaming on Netflix, takes a serious dive into the industrial heartland, and while there is no direct mention of Trump, for more than 100 minutes his promise to bring back manufacturing, his destructive tariff acts, particularly against China, and other labor issues are deftly nuanced.
These subtleties apparently are not missed by Trump, who has charged that the documentary is “propaganda.” Moreover, he said, rather than investigating him the Obamas need to be investigated for their deal with Netflix and their various book deals.
With the current GM strike commanding headlines and Trump’s unfounded allegations, “American Factory” is a must-see because it cuts to the core of the challenges of U.S. manufacturing and automation and the cultural differences that arise when a Chinese owner and workers try to co-exist with American workers.
But the central issue that drives the film’s narrative is the contentious relationship between the workers and the Fuyao Company, and whether a union will be voted into the auto glassmaker plant.
After the filmmakers chart the complex worker-employer terrain, the vote is two to one against a union. Hoping to ameliorate worker hostility, the owner invites a delegation of workers to China so they can witness how the workforce there conducts itself and completes a finished product.
Although Black workers appear throughout the documentary, there appear to be none in the delegation to China. Given all the hoopla about the delegation and the festivities showered upon them, it was hard to really single out the delegates.
Even if there were none, this has nothing to do with the Obamas, nor can it be said they intended the film as an indictment of the Trump administration.
Trump once more is the knight-errant, a misguided Don Quixote, his lance poised to do damage to an imagined adversary.
His dismissal of the film is very much in keeping with his other attempts to eradicate reminders of Obama’s successes, including the emission standards and climate change agreements now under attack.
Trump will not be satisfied until he erases every reminder of Obama, and nothing is more immutable than a book and a film, each of which is made all the more pertinent when censored or disputed.
The Obamas, then, should be overjoyed to be impugned by Trump. He brings the attention, however negative, that gives their productions added value, more resonance.
It is our hope that Trump continues to invoke the very things that could backfire and speed his self-destruction thereby muting our call to Make America Great Again—Trump Must Go!