The election of Donald Trump has unleashed a storm of righteous anger, as hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets in cities across the country, blocking major highways, surrounding Trump-owned office buildings, and upending ‘business as usual.’ Among a broad section of people who cherish peace, progress and equality there is a deep revulsion that grows every time Trump opens his mouth or tweets another piece of his reactionary agenda.
Trump has been crystal clear about his views about what he wants to do - he plans vicious attacks on immigrants, Muslims, women, the environment, working people and labor movement. His racist rants about Mexicans and the fact he greenlights cops who kill are telling indicators of the what Trump’s America holds in store for African Americans, Chicanos, Latinos and other oppressed nationalities. When the bigot Trump talks, he should be taken at his word and we need to act accordingly.
Nor should anyone expect Trump to play the ‘isolationist,’ who will set about dismantling the U.S empire which dominates so much of the globe. His rants about China and Iran, the alignment with the most extreme and brutal trends in Israel, and his threats against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are signs of new wars ahead.
Compounding the real challenges we are up against, the Republican majorities in both houses of Congress guarantee a barrage of reactionary, rightwing legislation. In state houses around the country we can expect the Trump agenda will make itself felt with attacks on low-income people, collective bargaining, and ‘right to work’ (for less) legislation.
In light of Trumps agenda, and the shrill rhetoric of chauvinism that accompanies it, it would be a mistake to treat all this as some kind of ‘new normal,’ or a set of topics that reasonable people can disagree over. Sure there are contradictions among the people, and yes, there are some backwards ideas out there. In our workplaces and communities what is wrong can be corrected, but at the end of the day the earth is not flat and climate change is real. Sexual assault is not ok. When speakers appear in public, making Klan type statements like “Mexicans are rapists,” it is entirely right to disrupt and shut down their events.
The times we are now living in are anything but normal. The political center of gravity among the rich and powerful has shifted to the right and the response cannot be a search for common ground. The approach needs to be the opposite, one of steadfast struggle. Every major attack should be met with a powerful counteroffensive or with fightbacks that take as many people as far as they can possibly go. It should be a goal to make this country ungovernable.
The very last thing we need is Washington DC is government that ‘gets things done,’ because the things it ‘gets done’ are going to be attacks that set people back and enrich the billionaire class that rules this country.
The ascent of Trump to the White House stands as an indictment of a dying capitalism, where big business sits on top, calling the shots for its political representatives, who manage to be cartoonish without being funny. We had an election where two candidates represented Wall Street and the billionaire won. As the movement against Trump and his cronies grows and develops, everyone who can should join it, while we leave the corporate politics advocated by many leaders of the Democratic Party behind.
Nothing about the upcoming period is going to be easy, but people are already moving and is possible to build a powerful and determined resistance to Trump, his agenda, and the system he represents. A movement can be built that brings millions into the streets. We can never accept the unacceptable. A better world is necessary, and possible.