Home | About | Donate

Greater Expectations: Anti-Trump Forces Should Aspire to Much More


#1

Greater Expectations: Anti-Trump Forces Should Aspire to Much More

Sonali Kolhatkar

In response to the collective feelings of dread at the dawn of Donald Trump’s presidency, a new and determined mass movement seems to have formed. The most tangible expression of that movement is the impending Women’s March on Washington, D.C., which is expected to draw more than 200,000 to the nation’s capital a day after Trump is sworn in.


#2

Socialism is a very dirty four letter word in America, so i suggest social democracy would be better.
And yes indeed, the Women's March is great, but the political focus will have to be razor sharp clear. Political action on those particular issues must be skillful and persevering.
The big decision next election remains the same as this election - will Americans choose democracy or continue under their corporate governance? Will Americans finally recognize that the source of their debt, as it has been for decades, is their war machine industry?


#3

The last two paragraphs should be re-read a few times because I feel that is right on the money. That is exactly where we should be going with all this. Thanks, Sonali.


#4

"If the mass movement against Trump emerges as a response to Trump alone, the goal will simply translate into the promotion of a Clintonesque Democrat to replace him in the next election. And that simply is not enough."

The "lesser evil" philosophy, or the idea that we can elect anyone as long they call themselves "Democrat" and they won't be as bad as, thus better than, any Republican, is so deeply ingrained in the so-called liberal psyche that no matter what the evidence to the contrary Democrats will continue to push to the forefront candidates "who can win," despite their obvious and long term subservience to corporate and large donor interests.

Unfortunately, the past election has proved beyond all doubt that the only political change will be movement further to the right. The Republicans are now all-out white supremacist plutocrats, and that means the Democrats can now easily move further right and still be the "lesser evil." That has been the trend since at least Bill Clinton, and probably earlier, as each successive Republican moved further to the right and Democrats followed, being careful to articulate slightly less disgusting social policies, so as to maintain their "lesser evil" status. The never-ending wars went on, the mass incarcerations went on, the expanding surveillance state continued to expand, income inequality and the demise of labor unions continued, and all we heard was "But, Republicans are worse."

All one has to do is look at how Democrats reacted after losing to an unsophisticated, unqualified moron, by doubling down on support of the people and policies that were defeated, to see that nothing is going to change.


#5

Agree 100% about the last 2 paragraphs, then we should re-read these 2 CommonDreams columns by David Michael Green detailing what really are the roots by which a right wing populist came to rule the free world:
How to Squander the Presidency in One Year, and
Which Part of the 1930s Did You Not Get? Americans Finally Learn To Cooperate On A National Suicide Project

I cannot post a link as a new user-not even to a CommonDreams article!!


#6

I do have to wonder about some of the conclusions here, because I truly believe that if Obama had been able to run again, he'd have won.

Obama is not a progressive and I think people here know that. Obama pushed for the TPP, after all. But, yet again, we're told that Clinton lost because she didn't move far enough to the Left.

It couldn't be because she isn't a man, could it?

In fact, she lost to a man who is openly hateful toward women.

"Backlash" doesn't get much clearer than this.


#7

What if, instead of Clinton, Elizabeth Warren had run? What if it was about political baggage instead of misogyny that your corporate toady lost?


#8

I think Warren would have lost.

As for "my" coroporate toady, I don't recall saying one nice thing about Clinton here. She was terrible. Still better than Trump, which has been my position this entire time.


#9

Warren would have trounced Trump into the stone age where he's most comfortable. It was the year of populism and we could have had it thoughtfully from the left or bat cra$ crazy from the right. Our DNC and corporatist dems insisted on a horrible hack of an establishment candidate with the worst favorables in history except those of the man she unsurprisingly lost to.


#10

Allot of truth here. It's way beyond identity politics. It's blatant unabashed class warfare on all Americans not part of the 1%. Starting in earnest with Ronny Raygun and getting worse since. Of course Trump will be Raygun on steroids.

Perhaps Susan Sarandon was right. Trump will bring the revolution.


#12

GREAT Post. I marched in Cleveland today, and all the signs--as amazing as they were--directly critiqued Trump or were some version of identity politics, which while totally legitimate, could still leave us all getting equal scraps from the table.

If I had taken time to make a sign, it would have been something about the 99% and economic justice, but I think I only saw one mention of poverty and one of food in a crowd of 17,000. I don't think people grasp yet the incredible ripple effects of poverty and inequality--including for driving up tribalism and sexism, racism, and ethnocentrism.

It's like people also don't grasp that economic power (or lack thereof) is a huge driving force in getting (or not getting) any of the things they want on other fronts.


#13

Obviously, there are multiple variables with any candidate. I agree Obama could have won, and partly because he is a man, and partly because he doesn't have the ethical baggage Clinton had (at least in the eyes of the people who would have tipped this). But people are souring on the economic record, and while they like HIM, low-information voters know something ain't working. However, had Clinton had Warren's economic positions, she could have won handily. I don't mean had she adopted them temporarily to please voters, which is the kind of maneuvering people were suspicious of with her... I mean if she'd been a consistent progressive on economic issues, and wasn't so strongly associated with neoliberalism, she would have won.


#14

You may be right about socialism, but recent polls show much more favorable attitudes towards it than in my youth. Many of the people who associated that word with the USSR are no longer walking the earth.


#15

What the Anti-Trump forces need to do is create a communication network to monitor everything The President says so that lies are pointed out to all involved in the Oppositional Resistance so that rebuttals can be researched and disseminated with Press and other media contacts so the Facts of Liee can be made public.

The president's own words can be used to undermine his legitimacy and effectiveness. The goal must be to tarnish him in the eyes of those who think they love him. It won't do any good good to try to persuade his "base". That will only solidify it. But his own tendency to shoot off his mouth if tracked, recorded, made widely available can do the trick because Don Presidente will provide plenty of usable content.


#16

Modify your link before posting. Delete the "." and in it's place type "(dot)".

We will know what to do.


#17

The Dems' move to the right started immediately after WWII, but yes, you're right that Slick Willie's "New Democrats" and their new corporatism, combined with the decimation of unionized labor over the preceding three decades, pretty much sealed the deal, with the results we see today. Otherwise I completely agree with your post. The duopoly must be smashed.


#18

No one here is actually DOING anything useful you talking armchair heads.


#19

I don't follow your logic. She didn't lose because she isn't a man. First of all, she didn't "lose" she won by almost 3 million votes.

Second, are you suggesting that she DID move far enough to the left? Perhaps by speaking to Goldman-Sachs for Hundreds of Thousands of $$$$$? Or by calling for a no-fly zone in Syria which practically guarantees a war with Russia? Or by having her surrogates in the media like MSNBC ridicule Universal Health Care and Education? Or by telling us that when she heard about the bloodletting by Wall Street, she told them to "Cut It Out"? Or by waving off her support of the Iraq war as a "mistake"? Or by being the force behind the attack on Libya? You know, "We came, we saw, he died"? That ended well, didn't it?

Third, she "lost" because the election was stolen. See

Speaking of moving to the left, did you ever hear of someone named Bernie Sanders!? He was FAAAAR to the left of Hillary and FAAAAR more popular than she was. Is. In fact he was clobbering Trump in every poll and survey for months, and pulling in mega-crowds to his rallies all across the country. You can thank the DNC for nominating the second most disliked candidate in the race.

Bernie would have been a sure winner although Repub voter suppression and fraud might have still gotten us Trump. But it wouldn't have been as easy, and maybe not possible at all.


#20

My point wasn't that she moved to the Left. My point was that she was no farther to the right than Obama, and I think he'd have won.

For the last time, because I'm tired of repeating myself, Sanders lost. He lost by millions and millions of votes to Hillary Clinton. Sanders got very little support from the black community, and, as I've said before, I don't see how anyone wins the Democratic nomination without support from black voters. He also lost the Hispanic vote by close to a 2-1 margin. This is important because, unlikie the Republicans, the Democratic Party isn't actually just a party of white people. Democratic voters picked Clinton.

Also, you might want to see what Clinton said about the no-fly zone. It wasn't something that was going to be set up unilaterally. She actually talked about this during the debates. She said that it would take a lot of negotiation and also hoped that it would give the US some leverage in negotiations with Russia, which is something you'd expect to hear from someone from the State Dept. Shocking, I know.

It's also impossible to say that Sanders would have won without seeing the attacks on him in a general election. Personally, I think he'd have lost.


#21

I will add to this: just dissecting and discussing does not accomplish a thing. And marching is great- but it is the movements and accomplishments that follow such as getting homeless people off the streets. Just wearing pink hats does not cut it. I doubt that many actual poor people marched- they are too busy surviving.