It’s hard not to read Delie’s letter with an open mind. After all, he’s a blue collar, union leader from a state that’s built on its working class. Like many, he listened to Trump’s campaign promises and hoped they’d come true. Trump was an uncorrupted outsider, fixated on boosting working class communities across America, why not give him a shot?
Well, in the months and years that followed, Dennis Delie saw a president far more interested in assisting his inner circle than the base that elected him. Delie cites Trump’s 2017 tax bill as a nod to massive corporations and a tactic to line his campaign coffers, “Instead of increasing wages for the employees who make it possible for these companies to make billions of dollars, executives were rewarded with even bigger bonuses. Instead of hiring more workers, they shipped jobs overseas.”
In the aftermath of the tax bill, Delie saw a farming sector in Wisconsin that was all but destroyed. Thousands of smaller, family-owned farms closed their doors and the local jobs they supported evaporated.
But for the United Steelworker, Trump’s response to COVID-19 was the last straw. The way Delie put it was unbiased and unfiltered, writing, “Neither I nor any reasonable person would blame the president for the pandemic hitting — but he is fully responsible for waiting months to mount any supportive response and putting us in a situation that has cost us over 110,000 lives and millions of jobs. We know it didn’t have to be this way — had he just listened to the warnings he was receiving in January; had he just considered the lives of the people he swore to protect and make better we wouldn’t be in this situation.”
His full piece in Wisconsin Examiner included plenty more cries for accountability and moments of anguish for his fellow blue collar workers. You can read it here.