30 Dec Last call for the American left…
(I wrote the following words the day after the U.S. presidential election. More than a month later, I stubbornly persist in thinking it would be nice if the establishment, left and right, could focus on something more constructive than recklessly promoting a new Cold War and legalizing censorship of the media. Rather than getting sucked into the society-fracturing neo-McCarthyite hysteria du jour, maybe we should ditch these establishment hacks and take matters into our own hands, at the grassroots level.)
My fine friend, Boris Huntley, texted me this morning his response to yesterday’s election results: “I trust you have a contingency plan worked out for these circumstances.”
Actually, the plan is the same one that was in place for President Clinton II: do everything we can to keep our terrible new president from becoming completely co-opted by our even more terrible establishment.
Uniting the grassroots on the left and right remains our best strategy for influencing any new president away from the monstrous corporate agenda that threatens us all. IMO, it’s up to the OWS/BLM/Bernie-booster left (the activists) to reach out to the grassroots/Tea Party right. Rapprochement is long overdue and we need to recognize the enormous areas of common ground we share with the right, and stop with all the anti-working class bigotry, mocking so-called “deplorables” and conflating all populism, right-wing and left, with racism/sexism. (America’s problems with racism and sexism are bad enough without establishment liberals cynically exploiting them and crying “bigotry” as a tactic, whether or not there’s justification — like they did to Bernie with the manufactured “Bros” meme.)
The good news is that most Trump voters hate the GOP as much as liberals do… and Wall Street… and the neocon wars… and the corruption of our government/institutions by the .1%. Most are motivated by a healthy distrust of the establishment that’s been preying on us over the last several decades.
Honestly, this election result is very easy to explain (many of us saw it coming): most Americans simply are not so tuned-out, complacent, brainwashed, or obtuse that they don’t perceive the rampant corruption that’s all but rotted-out our system — and Sec. Clinton happens to be the perfect, self-serving emblem of that corruption and the extreme hypocrisy of our faux-liberal establishment.
A fake populist, even one as flawed as Trump, always had an excellent shot at beating Clinton, because THIS ESTABLISHMENT SUUUUUCKS.
There’s elitism in the manner that establishment liberals are trying to simply write-off Trump voters as nothing but a bunch of racist savages. The truth is that — while it is disturbing that Trump voters were able to discount or overlook his appalling sexism and demagoguery (much like Clinton voters did for their bigoted nightmare of a candidate) — racism is not what made Trump a viable candidate: neoliberalism, the MSM, and the electioneering DNC did that.
So let’s be honest in our post-mortem of this election. The percentage of racists in the Republican base/America hasn’t suddenly shot up (that’s fear-mongering horseshit from the same people who brought us Identity Politics and Divide & Conquer, in the first place). The GOP’s base has been mostly racist for a long time, just like a significant chunk of the Democratic Party’s base. America hasn’t “suddenly” turned racist, any more than America’s police have “suddenly” become minority-targeting thugs. We’re just seeing more of what’s long been under the surface… now that neoliberalism’s effects are visibly unraveling the society.
This really does represent the last call for the American left, if we want to survive: surrender your pompous claims of cultural superiority and UNITE WITH THE SENSIBLE, DECENT, GRASSROOTS RIGHT (understand that good Christians and good progressives sometimes have a great deal in common). Together we can work to push President Trump to make good on his few sensible promises (especially the ones that put him consistently to Sec. Clinton’s left): diplomacy with Russia, fighting ISIS/al Qaeda in Syria (rather than arming and backing them), scaling back Washington’s genocidal wars, protecting entitlements, rebuilding our infrastructure, putting people to work, and ending corporation-exalting/slavery-permitting “trade” pacts.
However hopeless this list may sound, we don’t have much choice but to fight for the future — and we’re talking about policies backed by overwhelming majorities of Americans. If we resist letting ourselves be divided and conquered along racial and cultural lines, we might actually stand a chance at reversing the corporate coup de tat and reclaiming our government.
Conversely, if we don’t organize, President Trump promises to do exactly what the establishment and President Clinton II were going to do to us, once he’s brought into the fold (as happened so quickly with Obama): Trump will expand the neoliberal assault on our institutions and continue the neocon wars, bankrupting the U.S. (further) while doing nothing meaningful to slow or reverse the wholesale collapse of the environment… only Trump will do it all with terrible hair and a bunch of KKK morons applauding his every move, even though the policies won’t have changed one whit.