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Resistance Movements Can Be More Powerful Than President Trump


#1

Resistance Movements Can Be More Powerful Than President Trump

Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan

From Barack Obama, the first African-American president, the pendulum has ominously swung to the Ku Klux Klan’s choice, Donald Trump. Just elected the 45th president of the United States, Trump opened his campaign calling Mexicans “rapists,” and promised to build a wall along the border with Mexico (and to make Mexico pay for it). He vowed to ban Muslims from entering the country, insulted people with disabilities, bragged about committing sexual assault, denied climate change and said he would jail his opponent, Hillary Clinton.


#2

"From Barack Obama, the first African-American president, the pendulum has ominously swung to the Ku Klux Klan’s choice, Donald Trump”

Trump can’t help it if any individual or party supports him for whatever reason. And to talk about Obama and “the pendulum” would suggest that Obama stands opposite to the evil that Trump is supposed to be.

Trump might indeed be as bad as some people claim, but isn’t it too early to judge someone on the basis of what he has said, as opposed to the horrors that Obama has actually committed?

The above is the first sentence I’ve read and I’m ignoring the rest of the article.


#3

It is urgent that progressives not let our guard down against Obama between now and January 20. Just like Bill Clinton during the lame duck period after Dubya was elected, Obama will attempt to push through TPP and as much other regressive legislation as he can get away with in order to sweeten the Obama family's retirement.


#4

Ignorance is bliss, eh?

Not surprising coming from someone who thinks that Nixon had integrity:

I guess when Nixon came right out and lied about getting out of the war, only to order attacks in Cambodia a few months later, his integrity was on display. And of course Watergate. There's that.

I think it's clear where you stand, Larry.


#6

The People should have begun resisting right after Citibank named Obama's cabinet. There's no need to protest republican policies only when advocated by republicans.


#8

A question I would like to ask: WHY is the FBI trying to stir up the population of the United States?


#9

I love Amy Goodman, and benefit greatly from DN!

However, I don't think she's going really to the bottom of what's happening here, although her guest Glen Greenwald yesterday was, it seems to me, going there more deeply, as has Naomi Klein in her CD piece a few days ago ("It Was the Rise of the Davos Class That Sealed America's Fate") and surely others I am not aware of.

The "bottom" is, to my mind, how and why really did U.S. people vote--and choose or be forced not to vote--the way they did in this election? For if we can really, fully understand this, how and why people voted or didn't vote, then we can build a strategy to democratically appeal to and motivate enough people to turn this thing around, even to take advantage of what may be new potentials newly revealed, and build the popular understanding and support to actually build the solutions--both electoral and beyond-electoral--that can address the immediate and long-term needs of the vast majority of people and even non-human species.

Goodman says:

"First, Trump’s campaign was overtly racist, and this seems to have motivated a terrifying number of voters." And in the next paragraph: "The media played a critical role in creating President-elect Donald Trump."

Her second explanation here seems very, very huge to me, while her first I think can be read in a way that makes it too simplistic, and potentially not very helpful for the work we need to do now. Even in the days of California's Gold Rush genocide, can we frame racism as the primary motivation without explaining how racism was intimately intertwined with notions of how Euro Americans and other Americans should and could strive for "success"? Racism, a horrifying dehumanization of the Indigenous peoples of the land (and their cultures and civilization, their profoundly different ways of living) in the eyes and minds of "pioneering" Euro Americans of all classes, but the great bulk being working class Euro Americans who sped to California for material gain and a certain dream of fulfillment, a chance to dramatically improve their chances at "success"--this racism and white supremacy was most definitely central to how these Euro Americans performed, contributed to, condoned, and watched the genocide--in eminently democratic ways, with the body democratic being the Euro American population only. (See Murder State: California's Native American Genocide, 1846-1873 by Brian Lindsay for details.) But racism and white supremacy by themselves did not generate the genocide. The Euro American culture's socioeconomic-cultural structure, its longstanding offering of "free land" as a most respected and most structurally supported basis for building economic independence and prosperity (available almost exclusively to single white men or white patriarchal families)--this, and not simply racist white supremacy--is what led the 49ers to initiate genocide and ecological destruction and change (the first genocidal wave in California being the Mission Period, with the second, further, and nearly entirely destructive wave of genocide coming with the Gold Rush, with a brief period of greatly lessened genocide in the Mexican period between these two waves). My point is: it was not then, and it is not now, racism ever separated from economic and sociocultural desires that motivates people. That is not to say that white supremacy and the way white people learn to identify some of their dearest perceived needs for self-respect to depend upon the maintenance of white supremacy (whether they see this themselves or not) is not something to examine and address profoundly. But it is to say that white supremacy in the U.S., for many white people, is intimately intertwined with other very basic concerns: how to provide adequately for themselves, how to find social respect, how to find self-respect, how to find a chance at happiness as they have come to believe happiness must be.

Which brings me to a statistic that I am finding hardest to believe: that a majority of white women voted for Trump. Now, I don't just trust that all these statistics on how people voted are correct: couldn't, in many places, voting machine results have been hacked and changed without our being able to even know this because such hacking is, in many of the voting machines, impossible to detect because they've been allowed to remain that way? But even so, even if this statistic on most white women voting for Trump is not quite true, my guess is that it is at least mostly true... and so how can this be? Maybe these women felt that to have a woman president as compromised as Hillary Clinton on ethical and trustworthiness grounds (and so deeply vulnerable to endless attacks on her and on the image of a woman president, and what that is perceived to imply about women's capacity to be in leadership positions, and with a right-wing, patriarchal backlash against her potentially manifesting in attacks on all women, but in this case, in these white women's concerns, specifically fearing a backlash against white women) and also as aligned with neoliberalism as Hillary Clinton, a neoliberalism that certainly harms white women, would ultimately be more hurtful to white women than helpful. Maybe there is wisdom in that. I still can't square that with how Trump could be any better, and not actually be far worse, for white women, but the point isn't what I think, but what they were thinking. Maybe they felt, in part, that to have a guy there so enthusiastically supported by many of the white men they know would be less of a liability for these white women in their everyday lives than would having Hillary Clinton there, so despised by many of the white men they know? This may be a very complex matter, and I really just don't know--we would need to ask them, and then also consider if what they say is the whole picture of what motivated them (and the media, certainly, must have played a huge role in this). But we need to really try to understand this better if we want to understand how to grow truly liberating paths that can unplug ongoing racism, sexism, ecological destruction and catastrophic change, and the class, rank, and other division and domination/oppression of people and animals on our deeply interconnected planet.

Love for deep understanding!

Thank you, Amy Goodman, for opening up many voices, including your very helpful roundtable of guests on November 10. Let's keep digging deeper, while we also share what seems clear already. I do think the push for Keith Ellison to be DNC chair is valuable -- OH heck, I just tried to put in a link for this, but CD won't let me because I'm a "new user" even though I was an old user but just had to set up a new account because I couldn't find my old password.

Just as important as transforming electoral prospects is making all our "unions" both democratic and committed to fundamental ethical-social justice principles. Especially if you are a "union" member, but also if you are any worker or care about workers' power, demand the AFL-CIO drop its support of the Dakota Access Pipeline and instead stand for partnership with Native Nations to cherish our environment and create jobs in balance with true sustainability:
And now I am also not allowed by CD to put in a link for this, alas. But you can find it by searching "AFL-CIO Change petition reverse pipeline."


#12

I don't know about that.
The Nobel Prize Committee awarded the Peace Prize to Obama on what they hoped would happen before Obama had done anything because Obama does talk a good game.

If war criminals like Kissinger and Obama can get the Nobel Peace Prize, Trump should at least get the Nobel Prize for Physics for denying climate change.


#13

Adding to your list:
17) the Kill List
18) the Drone War
19) Failure to close Guantanamo
20) War on Whistleblowers

I am sure that there is so much more.


#14

Vox: I wrote that “people are seldom one-dimensional characters” with the flaws you noted about Nixon in mind. Also, I used two dashes to emphasize the word “perhaps” when commenting on Nixon’s integrity because I anticipated some disagreements. Let me explain why I connected the word “integrity” with someone known to many as “Tricky Dick” and whose most infamous claim could’ve been “I’m not a crook.”

I believe that Nixon’s passion for politics was motivated by a love for his country and not, as we see so often today, by the dollar sign. I think Nixon’s fanatical moves to survive as commander-in-chief was driven not merely by power, but by a power to realize his goals of a secure United States and a safer world for humankind. Though it was Johnson who started the SALT talks, Nixon was the one who finally got the Soviet Union to sign SALT l and the ABM agreements. And as he (Nixon) eventually admitted, his approach to China was at least partly to drive a wedge between that country and Russia - a tactic that forced the Soviet Union to station troops along the Sino-Soviet border, threatening for the first time since WW1 the possibility of a two-front war should the Soviets become so foolish as to start hostilities. Both his visionary acts - the SALT/ABM treaties and engagement with China, served to weaken the Communist bloc and saw their eventual demise (China today is more capitalist than socialist), thus lowering the chances of a world war besides improving the security of the United States (Reagan’s role here should also be noted).

Nixon’s intense, single-minded efforts in getting Soviet support for a safer world, a world that had seen the hands of Doomsday clock pushed back, prompted me to associate him with “integrity”. He is a stark contrast with someone like Obama who’d 1) undermined the ABM/SALT agreements, and 2) endangers the United States by driving the Russians and Chinese together again.


#15

Haha. That’s funny! :slight_smile:


#17

Sometimes you need to look back in order to accurately assess where you are now. This can require being uncomfortably honest.

When I was young, the popular protest motto (and ideological framework) was: "The people, united, will never be defeated!" Decades of work have gone into successfully dividing and subdividing the "masses," pitting us against each other by class and race. Liberals raised up the banner to protect the advantages of the better off, the middle class. Through it all, there has been an ongoing stream of bashing the poor, most of whom are white. Ensuring that the poor can't pull together to build an effective new Poor People's Campaign for their own survival, we have dealt with a steady stream of anti-white racism for years.

So -- how do you build a resistance movement with a population who so deeply oppose each other?


#18

Nixon was a tremendously complex (and fascinating) politician, definitely not a one-dimensional character. Besides the range of international issues you cite, he was also instrumental in enacting some of the most progressive legislation seen since FDR, esp. in eras of civil rights and poverty reduction. I'd encourage people who are interested in politics to read a couple of books about Nixon. Even his positions on the war in South East Asia were not as simplistic as many of us assumed at the time.


#19

Exactly. Complex and despite his flaws, a powerful intellectual.


#20

Thank you. I'm liking this Nixon discussion because it seems very current. Nixon was clearly evil but there was a kind of bizarre sincerity to him that should be further explored. He was "put in place" by ingrained powers in the Republican establishment and may have been taken out of power by those same forces, but until we have a truly accurate "picture of Nixon", we should keep him in the active conversation.


#21

When Noxin was finally out, I wrote predicting that, like Warren Hastings, he would be back as an "honored expert" in foreign affairs. Finally, he was welcomed back as the expert on China and Far Eastern Affairs.
* When he finally died, I said I would believe that when he was buried in a crossroad with a stake through his heart, his head cut off, the mouth stuffed with garlic, and placed between his legs. :wink:
;-})