How can Progressives get through the Next 4 Years? Organize!

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Anti-Trump demonstrations have broken out all over the country in the wake of his surprise victory on Tuesday. Latinos are afraid he will deport their undocumented relatives, breaking up millions of families. Women are afraid for their basic rights to control their bodies, a right Trump and his tiny hands clearly do not respect. Environmentalists are afraid he will ramp up carbon emissions, spelling curtains for planet earth. Muslim-Americans are afraid he will make them register, sort of like Jews had to register in Nazi Germany before the Holocaust (registering was the prerequisite for the Holocaust, along with removal of citizenship rights). African-Americans are afraid he will revive the KKK.

I have been asked on several occasions in the past couple of days about how we can possibly get through these next four years. I agree that it is an urgent question, and I disagree with the Pollyannas who maintain that everything will be all right. It clearly won’t be all right. The rights of millions of people will be injured. Racist gangs will target people of color because they think they have impunity. It is already happening. Critics could be targeted for dirty tricks. It isn’t hard for a government agent to sneak up behind someone at the airport and slip a bag of cocaine into their luggage. Nixon actually had an office of dirty tricks, and I expect most of the White House to be taken up with the vindictive and petty Trump’s such office. If you don’t know how Nixon did a number on rival Ed Muskie with the Canuck letter and allegations that his wife was a pill addict, look it up. Muskie could have defeated Nixon in debates and at the polls, if Nixon had played fair. Some people are incapable of playing fair.

So how can we get through all this? Do something. Organize! Individuals are weak. Organizations are strong. If you have the opportunity to join a union, do so. The decline of unionized workers, at which the corporations connived for decades, is a big part of our current problem. But nowadays we also have new forms of organization including crowdfunding, e.g. of political campaigns. The early 20th century labor organizer Joe Hill, castigated as a radical “wobbly” and ultimately framed by conservative officials for a murder he did not commit, then executed, inspired the famous song that Joan Baez song at Woodstock.

Joan Baez Live @ Woodstock 1969 Joe Hill.mpg

The song writer was wise, and any social scientist will tell you, was right. Organize!

We have a first past the post political system, which means that the winner takes all. That fact underpins our 2 party system. The only vehicle we have to oppose Trump on the national stage effectively is Democratic Party activism. Of course, that is at the level of the legislatures, e.g. Other kinds of organizing are also important. Here are some suggestions about what to do.

1. Speak out against the corporate media’s normalization of Trump. CNN, Fox, MSNBC, NBC, ABC and CBS are culpable in having given him billions of dollars of free air time. After the election the anchors suddenly started fawning on him. It isn’t all right to have an alt-Right president. Racism isn’t all right. Sexism isn’t all right. Religious bigotry isn’t all right. All those media have contact pages. Write them. Pressure them. Get up advertiser boycotts of the biggest ass-kissers. Organize pressure groups to make sure that Trump-inspired racist intimidation and violence is covered by the corporate media and not swept under the rug. Make sure that climate change is covered (it isn’t, presently). These are money-making enterprises. Hit them where it hurts. Threaten not to buy the products advertised on their shows unless they change their ways. This way of proceeding is contrary to liberals’ first instincts, since they believe in airing a variety of opinions. But some opinions are beyond the pale, and if we don’t draw a line in the sand here, white nationalism will become our reigning ideology and many of us will be jailed. There are some baby discourses that must be strangled in the crib.

2. Work toward a consumer boycott of corporations that gave money to Trump’s campaign or who support his presidency. Do some web searches to see which consumer companies have a history of belonging to ALEC and supporting right wing causes. Find ways of publicizing Trumpish leanings among them and embarrassing them.

3. Speak out! Everyone can now be an op ed writer. Social media is everywhere. Start a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a blog, and update it at least weekly. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get many hits at the beginning. If you are regular and keep at it, it may well grow. Try to develop a “beat”– cover something no one else is paying enough attention to, and show the ways Trump’s reign is harming the country. Corporate media will try to crowd out our voices and normalize Trump and Trumpism. Don’t let them invade our social media space.

4. Mobilize to ensure the Democrats take the Senate in 2018. That is a tough proposition, since only 8 Republicans are up for reelection, mostly in reliable red states, whereas 25 Democrats face a contest, and some of them may be in trouble, as in Missouri. But this configuration is a challenge, not an insuperable problem. It needs money and effort. Republicans often do better in the midterms because only a third of people vote, and they are disproportionately older and whiter and wealthier, as compared to presidential election years. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s aim for a massive voter turnout in the 2018 midterms. For instance, Arizona could be trending blue, with a significant increase in the number of Latino voters and more importantly in the number of registered Latino voters. This trend could make Sen. Jeff Flake vulnerable in Arizona. Likewise, Latino voters are key to bluing Nevada and defeating Sen. Dean Heller. But it isn’t just Latinos. White workers and millennials and middle classes at risk from Trump’s policies are even more numerous. But youth in particular tend to stay home in off-year elections. They can’t afford to do that if they want health care and want a liveable planet. Despite gerrymandering, there isn’t actually any barrier to the Democrats taking the lower house, as well, in 2018, if enough people get of their duffs and devote resources to it and actually go out and vote. Walk your neighborhood. Donate to the progressive candidates. Mobilize.

5. Latino-Americans who worry about Trump and his policies toward them haven’t registered to vote should think seriously about a) registering and b) voting in 2018 and 2020. And, Democratic activists need to volunteer their time for voter registration drives in minority neighborhoods. Some 71% of registered Latino voters cast their ballots for Barack Obama in 2012. Only 65% voted for Hillary Clinton. While in crucial Florida Clinton actually did better with Latinos this time than Obama had in 2012, she lost Cuban-Americans compared with Obama and she didn’t pick up as many Puerto Ricans as she needed to in order to take Orlando. Trump couldn’t have won without Florida, so it matters.

6. Where you can vote for judges, mobilize to elect progressive ones who will strike down Trumpist legislation.

7. Take risks. If Trump follows through and tries to register Muslim-Americans, insist on being registered along with them. Muslim with a large “M” means a follower of Muhammad and someone who practices Muslim faith and law. But in the Qur’an, the Muslim scripture, “muslim” with a small “m” actually just means generic believer in God. Abraham was a “muslim,” it says, and even Jesus was. The small “m” “muslim” could even be understood as someone who accepts Reality as it is. So in this sense, everyone can be a “muslim.” The Federal government doesn’t have the right to Establish an official religion or tell us what to believe, by dint of the First Amendment. Let’s all be “muslims.” Let’s all register. If he tries to keep Muslims from entering the country, let’s tie up the bureaucracy by saying we are “muslim.”

The Republican Party will expect the scattered protests to die out. They and their corporate backers will expect people to go back to being couch potatoes and letting the grown ups run the government. They will expect us to be silent when goons beat up Latinos or African-Americans or Muslims or liberals. Only sustained activism and organizing and effective steps to change the balance of power in Washington and in the statehouses can actually challenge Trumpism.

Let’s foil their expectations.

46 Responses

  1. I accept much of what you say professor and if I was a Muslim or any other racial minority, I would indeed be anxious about my status, even though I might be just as American as the next man. I take issue however, with your last paragraph where you refer to Republican ‘corporate backers’ the inference being that Clinton was some how not in hoc to these corporate interests. She most definitely was and as far as I could see she had the support of just about every large corporate institute there is. She may not have been receiving financial support from many of them, but moral support was there in abundance. I hold no brief for Trump, but at least he spiced up your election and riveted world attention on the outcome. Your election is usually a dour predictable affair with the inevitable’ more of the same’ about it. I hope Trump puts aside his more salacious and stupid comments and really does make the next four years of the American presidency a positive one. He inherits no less than seven wars from Obama in which America is mired. He could start by extracting America from some of these murderous and expensive enterprises for a start.

    • There was nothing remotely predictable or dour about the election of Obama. You are treating this as normal – it is not, and we will not be Gas-Lighted.

    • You hope Trump puts aside his salacious and stupid comments? How delusional can one get? This is what he is. Not just his words, put his past behavior over not just years, but decades, shows that he is racist, narcissistic, authoritarian, short tempered, and knows almost nothing about government.. He may even have ADD. His co-writer on Art of the Deal reported that he couldn’t get Trump to cooperate in a usual way that books are written. He doesn’t read and has a short attention span and is uninterested by facts. His co-writer had to make appointments with him and interview him to get enough material for his book and the sessions couldn’t be too long because then Trump would lose interest. Even the majority of those who voted for him said he was unfit and unqualified, according to exit polls. You need to get a clue.

  2. Another excellent analysis! In the midst of all this doom and gloom, it is good to feel that we can do something to reverse the situation. One of the unfortunate traits of most human beings, which is also necessary for our survival, is that we adapt to circumstances. I am often asked by liberal friends in the West why Iranians put up with the oppressive and reactionary regime that rules over them, and my answer is that they have adapted themselves to it, in the same way that the Germans adapted themselves to Hitler and the Russians to the Soviet Union. It is only when we realize that there is something wrong with the situation to which we are adapting ourselves that we try to do something about it.

    For Americans who claim to be the leaders of the free world and champions of human rights and democracy it is not acceptable to have a president who wishes to ban Muslims from entering America, who wishes to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, who belittles, insults and gropes women and thinks it is all a part of locker room banter, who denies global warming and says it is a Chinese hoax, who wants to build a wall not only against Mexico but against trade with the rest of the world, who believes that blacks and Latinos and people of color are inferior to white people, who likes and empowers despots and dictators and who wants Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Japan to have nuclear weapons of their own.

    It is time that we all say in a loud voice that these are not OK, and that these are not the concepts and the way of life that we wish to adapt ourselves to. Democracy and human rights are fragile plants and despots and bullies have often crushed them in the past when people have allowed them to do so out of fear or laziness. It seems the only answer is first to realize the depth of the crisis and not try to explain it away, and then to organize to reverse it. The alternative is a return to a medieval mentality.

  3. You forgot the most important thing of all — to demolish every last vestige of the Clinton “new left” that was the true cause of this catastrophe. No more liberal interventionism, no more divisive identity politics, economic justice for all.

    • “no more divisive identity politics”

      I hope I am misreading you, but this sounds like code for “roll over and let the Orange Menace persecute the minorities he wants”. And just how far do you think we will get with economic justice as the Orange Menace smacks down equal pay for equal work laws, as he privatizes social security? But yes, I in part do agree, the new left crap practiced by Bill did his wife no good.

  4. I doubt Trump has the slightest intention of undertaking any of those controversial promises. An RT reporter, armed with a large print list of nine things Obama had promised asked people in the street to mark those he had actually done. There weren’t any. Facts are worse than useless in a campaign, to win you have to connect with people’s emotions. Britain’s Ukip party apparently acknowledges learning that lesson from Trump. By the way, RT also asked, I think this time in NY, random people to name the wars the US is engaged in. One did hesitantly suggest Afghanistan and another offered Iran in questioning tones. The rest just shook their heads. Is it not a shade dangerous to stir such people to greater public manifestation while the policies Trump announced are abstractions that may never descend to the real world.

  5. Is political speech even possible these days?

    Political enunciation remains an enigma as long as it is considered from the
    standpoint of information transfer. It remains as unintelligible as religious talk. The
    paper explores the specificty of this regime and especially the strange link it has
    with the canonical definition of enunciation in linguistics and semiotics. The
    ‘political circle’ is reconstituted and thus also the reasons why a ‘transparent’ or
    ‘rational’political speech act destroys the very conditions of group formation

    An article by Bruno Latour with a catch phrase “No Issues, No Politics.”

    Bernie brought politics into the campaign. There was more time spent by the media waiting for Trump to come up to the podium to speak than was spent on Bernie.

    What if we Talked Politics a Little?

    Complaints about a loss of interest in politics are heard all over.1 But what if
    the famous ‘crisis of representation’ stems simply from a new misunderstanding
    of the exact nature of this type of representation? As if, in recent years, we
    had begun to expect it to provide a form of fidelity, exactitude or truth that is
    totally impossible. As if talking politics were becoming a foreign language
    gradually depriving us of the ability to express ourselves. Could it be possible
    to forget politics? Far from being a universal competency of the ‘political
    animal’, might it not be a form of life so fragile that we could document its
    progressive appearance and disappearance? This is the hypothesis that I would
    like to explore in this paper.

    The idea can be formulated simply: by attempting to explain politics in terms
    of something else, we might have lost its specificity and have consequently
    forgotten to maintain its own dynamics, letting it fall into disuse. To retrieve
    the invaluable effectiveness of political talk, we need to start with the idea that,
    as Margaret Thatcher so forcefully put it, ‘society doesn’t exist’. If it does not
    exist, we have to make it exist, but in order to do so we need the means to do so.
    Politics is one of those means

  6. Hillary didn’t play fair with Bernie either, and that’s why we got Trump. She would have been a nightmare as well, e.g., more war, favors to Wall Street and big banks, bailouts for them, more inequality, more privatization, more prison time for blacks, no universal health plan, continuation of Obama’s record deportation of immigrants.

    • There are so many things wrong here I don’t know where to start. Look, a democracy just kicked 240 years of liberal republican and democratic government to shit and handed over the nuclear codes to someone with the temperament of Gaius Caligula. This is a unique menace. Are you a part of this world? Will fall out some how miss your neighborhood?

  7. The globe of globalization does not exist. Flee to safety.

    The globe of globalization does not exist. Where can we find safety?

    One of the most important thinkers in the world, the Frenchman, Bruno Latour, takes us on a plane ride. The captain gives an announcement that the plane cannot go to the globe of globalization. There is no earth that supports the globe of globalization. It is impossible.

    Later the pilot comes out with the message that we cannot return to the land. What with species extinction going on, seas rising, 400 ppm CO2, the land of the past can not be a place to land. This is also impossible. (It takes a little work to realize this. The Native Americans know about this along with the indigenous people of the world who are trying to project what is left of land.)

    There is a third leg of the triangle, Gaia, and we now must chart a course there.

    A speech on the triangle in the following article.

    Ona possible triangulation
    of some present political positions

    Bruno Latour’s AIME project tweeted about the election. (AIME — an inquiry into the modes of existence — modes include science, religion, politics, law, etc.) Note the desire to return to the land of the past and hence the U-turn. The last tweet is up on the top of their twitter page which is the Reset Modernity project. Bruno in 1991 published “We Have Never Been Modern” and continues his ethnography project of the moderns — who are we? were are we going? Need to reset modernity.

    AIME ‏@AIMEproject 6h6 hours ago

    Brexit, 1; United States, 2; next one France? One after another nations engaged in globalisation are making a U-turn: back to the old land.

    AIME ‏@AIMEproject 6h6 hours ago

    2 delusional parties: one deny that people could vote for Trump the other that climate mutation & migration change everything. We feel lost.

    AIME ‏@AIMEproject 6h6 hours ago

    How could the intelligentsia been so wrong? We have lost contact with those who have lost contact with the climate crisis. 2 way to be blind

    AIME ‏@AIMEproject 5h5 hours ago

    If the arc of history is any indication the free for all should be England, United States, then France then Germany lots of ruins before end

    AIME ‏@AIMEproject Aug 21

    In the next months AIME will pursue Reset Modernity! in other countries & work on the triangle Land GLobe Earth to respecify politics’ goals

    From a presentation on Oct 25, 2016 at Cornell

    … we seem to lack a shared definition of the territory inside which we are supposed to exert our political rights. By territory I don’t mean only the legal framework within which state and private owners exert their sovereignty, but the very shape, composition, nature and even, to put it simply, the very place where it is supposed to lay. Where are we supposed to live is no longer clear cut. To say that we live on Earth, or in nature, does not seem to clarify the situation that much.

    My hunch is that the disorientation everybody feels about the dislocation of politics — even more evident at this time of the presidential election — is the direct consequence of this other disorientation regarding the territory. If politics appears so vacuous, it might be because it has not a solid and shared ground on which to raise issues of substance. How can you expect to have substantial policy debates if there is no territory to map, no cosmos to share, no soil to inhabit? How could we maintain a minimum of decent common institutions if we have no land in common, literally no common ground?

    Link to Bruno’a talk at Cornell

    Is Geo-logy the new umbrella for all the sciences?
    Hints for a neo-Humboldtian university

    Final thought. Thomas Frank’s book “Listen Liberal” says that for the Clinton’s in the 1990’s globalization occupied the place that most people put their God. Because of Latour, I immediately realized the political liability of assuming that the status quo could be continued, progress, globalization, etc, . There is no earth that supports the promise of globalization. Yes, people voted against the establishment but as noted in the Cornell paper, it is much deeper since earthbounds (Latour’s word for the formerly humans) no longer have a common sense of space or time because the promise of the future is impossible.

  8. Good post. Just wanted to pass along an anecdote. I went to the periodontist the other day for my regular cleaning and wound up kibbitzing with one of the receptionists. Her parents brought her here from Mexico when she was a kid and she’s as American as apple pie – but with one exception: She never applied for citizenship and so she can’t vote. I gently chastised her and suggested she take care of that as soon as possible. “Yeah, you’re right, but it’s not been a big agenda item.”

    That drove me crazy. She’s a sweet kid but had no clue what that apathy meant. How many other legal immigrants are of a similar mind? I wonder.

    Meanwhile, while we need to wait for the final stats, the numbers so far suggest that blacks and latinos failed to show up for Hillary in the same percentages that they did for Obama. If those numbers hold up, it would be a tremendous disappointment. What part of “Trumpism” don’t they understand? If that’s the case, it makes little sense to pin your hopes on a narrow coalition where there are these kinds of variables. Beyond organizing and protesting, the Democrats need to expand their base. Specifically, they ought to rethink their positions and come up with ideas to help economically struggling Reagan Democrats who remain alienated from the party. If they fail that challenge, they will never win back white working class voters who feel forgotten.

  9. In addition, do your part to reduce climate change. I am going to get solar panels. My new car will be a hybrid or electric car even if I do not get tax credits. I am also considering moving my money from big national bank to a community bank.

  10. Juan, I think your suggestions to organize are all good but I don’t share your pessimism toward a Trump rather than a Hillary presidency.

    I never viewed Hillary as a progressive but rather as a hawkish, well connected, experienced representative of the 1%. And post-election, it would have been difficult to push a genuine left agenda — jobs, climate change, peace, etc — during her reign. However, I believe the Trump presidency may be an ideal time for social change and here’s why:

    1) with Hillary sidelined there may well be a lull in our hawkish foreign policy with “regime change” diminished and less antagonism, if not a pro-Russian attitude, prevailing;

    2) despite winning, Trump is weak because he’s already alienated large segments of the population, blacks, Latinos, immigrants, women etc and has few allies even among Republicans — and some of these people are already rioting in the streets;

    3) Trump’s voter base seems to be low income white working class and he promised them jobs rebuilding the infrastructure, but he has no real plan and if he doesn’t do something for them real soon, they too will turn against him;

    4) the government apparatus and ruling class are in disarray as no one, even Trump, expected this result;

    5) he has probably the lowest approval rating of any elected president — most people didn’t want either of them;

    6) to date, his “team” seems to consist primarily of retreads like Guiliani and Newt types who have about the same approval rate;

    7) he has no experience governing and it will take him a while to develop a working relationship with the Congress;

    8) had the neo liberal Hillary been elected, the left agenda — peace, jobs, economic change — would have been met with resistance from liberals who would defend her from all critics — but with a Trump presidency, the opposite will happen and the liberals will join with the left to work on these issues;

    I could go on but I think you get the drift — Trump may represent the best opening into social change that we’ve had in a long time.

    • I applaud you for highlighting how weak the Trump project really is. Too many on the left see nothing but a great tsunami headed their way, and applaud your analysis of the ‘best opening….we’ve had in a long time.” The problem, however, is effective leadership. The opposition has none. The only effective leadership for the opposition would be someone who can organize the white working/middle classes with the Black and other minority/immigrant communities around common interests vis a vis the political agenda of the concentrated seats of power. Nate Cohn has done analysis of the actual 2012 vote vs. exit polls that show Obama had white support in the mid-30s vs. the ‘conventional wisdom” of mid-20s the exit polls showed. It is clear that many whites who voted for Obama rejected Clinton and voted for Trump. If Obama couldn’t do it, maybe Trump will. Unfortunately for them, Trump’s ideas are both provacative and pie-in-the sky. They will go nowhere. Trump will fail worse than Obama. The system will be wrong out election after electon until new leadership comes into play, IMHO. But yes, an organized oppositon can press the case.

    • People will be hurt by Trump. The Medicaid expansion part of the ACA will likely be eliminated. We can’t be sure how many people the Republicans will be able to harm. Don’t sit back in your easy chair and look at the ” big picture” while being oblivious to the people being thrown under the bus.

  11. For those who hated having the Clintons in charge, now could be an exciting time to take back the Democratic Party back for the common citizen. Don’t look upon Trump’s win as a tradegy, but look upon it as being an opportunity, and take back what was once yours. This isn’t the end of the world, as much as it is the end of the Clintons, so help mold and create a better democratic society, if your up to it.

  12. When Nixon’s dirty tricks were revealed, Many Republican in Congress were genuinely appalled. That won’t happen now, Indeed, it has already failed to happen—Trump’s campaign, after all, was openly rotten. There is hardly a need to find secret tapes when the perpetrator celebrates his own vileness in every public speech. Although a few Republicans simply said no to Trump’s outrages, the mass of them fell in line even before the election. There will be no investigations and certainly no impeachment. We’re on our own.

    • And, what this presages for 2020 is what’s truly scary. Trump was limited by his capabilities in this campaign to the media; next time around he’ll have the whole national security apparatus at his fingertips, and he’ll have proven and reliable stooges in place, like Guiliani and Christie, who will be just aching to use it.

      If his efforts aren’t showing promise, he can arrest whomever he wishes for material support of terrorism, or twist some other half-forgotten and disgraced law to suit his purposes (e.g., the Espionage Act of 1917), following the direct precedent set by Obama in squelching whistleblowers.

      The playbook for aspiring Presidents For Life is well-known and developed. The traditional (first) move that comes to mind would be a ‘state of emergency’ on some pretext, delaying elections indefinitely. The options that follow that will all be rather straightforward. All that is needed is his disposition and the infrastructure for broad scale suppression, and he’ll have all that In Spades. All we can really hope for is a (sufficiently) undisputed natural death beforehand, and a lack of sufficient disposition/competence on the part of Pence to carry on his work.

      Have a nice day.

      It’s not at all the case that we’re in uncharted territory here. If one really feels the need to get all intellectual about it, what’d be interesting is a historian’s comparison and contrast of how other authoritarians managed things when they got to power, and some ideas of how to finesse and manage these historical tendencies.

      • Checked-in after a weekend tear, we now receive news of Trump’s first two hires, declared as co-equals, in Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus. Since cabinet nominations must wait until inauguration and Pence is already on-board, let’s review Trump’s most telling and critical first moves (e.g., core-staffing):

        BANNON, is a leader of the alt-right, a White Supremacist movement, and he is to be ‘chief strategist.’ That would be the Vision-Guy.

        PRIEBUS, waffled diplomatically throughout the campaign, leaving himself just enough room to take this post. As a back-bench politician, Power is evidently his ideology. What’s telling is Trump’s choice of him for COS, clearly as a tool to identify and co-opt those in the GOP who can and will help him. It’s a purely utilitarian hire.

        PENCE, as VP (and COO designate), is a proven and proud Christian Supremacist. Trump earlier said he had no more intention of directly managing the USA than he would any other organization he controls. Such policy and administrative work, he says, will go to someone with appropriate political experience and dispositions, and Pence is to be that man, in charge of Domestic AND Foreign policy.

        In fact, Trump also says he will be watching the operation closely to keep things on-track. But his statements and actions are all fully consistent with how any decent CEO consolidates an important new acquisition. And as EVERYONE with any real corporate experience knows, after the hiring and orientation of new executives phase is complete, the next step is the deep purge and restructuring.

        Get ready. There’s nothing here that hasn’t been seen with great consistency post-election in many other countries.

        Not to put too fine a point on it, and I don’t know the details (tell me I’m wrong, please), but I gather that GOP wins in 35 state legislators is putting them within constitutional amendment passing range. Add to that the legal support they’ll receive if its needed in passing more accommodating laws, by having someone in Scalia’s seat on SCOTUS who isn’t so liberal (!)

        Of course, Trump may not really want to do all that he says. But, does anyone want to bet on that, when he has the power to do every bit of what he says and more?

        This isn’t do go all The Sky Is Falling in effete helplessness, but rather for everyone to simply sober-up, smell the coffee, and look as objectively as possible at the facts. Within a couple weeks we will all need to begin to execute on appropriate planning of our own.

  13. Methinks that any one who “organizes” like this will be the target of the US gov’t: now that all three branches are controlled by one clique. “Organizers” will be branded and treated as “traitors”.

    • See my comments above. It doesn’t take a weatherman to see which way the wind is blowing.

      Actually, the breeze started some time ago: arguably 16-25 years ago (citing Juan’s neoliberalism argument). The storm is only now rolling in. I was thinking it’d be mid-spring before Trump’s appointees were in place to begin doing what their wont, but this is wrong: at the local level any number of well-equipped and highly-motivated forces are already ready to go at the slightest excuse. That would be…now.

    • PS::::

      Just to get all practical about this practicality, in case anyone here is disposed to try their luck (tempt their fate?).

      This guy Micah Lee at the Intercept has a number of indispensable technology self-defense articles for aspiring activists. Drill down into their website for related articles; I don’t know that its ‘all’ one would need, but it would be a good start.

      Take good notes; the game is very much on, and it is a serious one.

      link to

  14. progressives WERE mobilized this cycle.
    Their standard bearer sold out.
    Pick a better leader next time, someone who is more committed to your values.

    Bernie decided that winning for the neocon Dems was more important than losing for progressive principles. He woulda kicked Trump’s butt, if he had more conviction.

    • Trump is expected to end a program that protects immigrants brought here illegally by their parents as children. There are over 700,000 of these people who Obama protected and Trump will deport. They’ve been living here since they were kids.
      Low-income people will lose health insurance.
      Those of you who stuck to your principles and did not vote for the only person who could stop Trump share the blame for the pain he will cause. Bernie cares more about people than being a standard bearer.
      After the primary, even Norman Finklestein said to vote for Hillary. You think Chomsky, Finklestein, and many other leftists all sold out? You are wrong.

  15. Let’s not forget, too, that Clinton actually received more total votes than Trump. Trump does NOT speak for a majority in this country. All the major things he stands for are evil. You don’t compromise with evil. The Republicans have won because they lie, they cheat, they steal. Progressives have to fight constantly, never give in, and keep up a constant opposition in all its legal forms. At his inauguration, there should be massive protests.

  16. This morning’s “Washington Post” carried two articles that, juxtaposed against each other, tell an interesting story about personalities, substance vs. non-substance, and the election. Several “celebrities” who prior to the election said they would move out of the country (to Canada, Europe, etc.) if Trump won have apparently reconsidered. They include Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham, some rapper called Ne-Yo, Bryan Cranston, the ever-predictable Barbra Streisand, Samuel Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Cher, and Miley Cyrus. This reminds me of the 2008 election when Alec Baldwin mouthed off that he would move out of the country if George W. Bush won. Bush won and Baldwin didn’t. These “celebrities” are about as shallow and transparent in their “pronouncements” as one can be. They exhibit nothing but the solipsistic, self-absorption that is the cornerstone of their insulated lives.

    On the other hand, there was an OP-ED piece by a gentleman named Manu Saadia, a French citizen who has been a U.S. Permanent Resident for 20 years. He penned the piece entitled, “Resisting Trump by Becoming a U.S. Citizen.” In his piece, Saadia writes:

    “I will become an American. It is a small act of defiance and resistance. I owe a debt of loyalty to my American friends, to the city where I live and to the amazing, crazy, troubled, quirky and always surprising country that has welcomed me with arms wide open.”

    Saadia ends his piece as follows:

    “And so I will become a U.S. citizen at long last. I will be a hyphenated American, a proud French-American, an immigrant. I will take my rightful, if minuscule, place in the ranks of President Trump’s loyal opposition. And to paraphrase the gracious words of former Senator Bob Dole, I will do my utmost to defeat him and his party as an opponent, not an enemy.”

    Would that our “celebrities” demonstrate such class.

  17. The ongoing liberal worries (and hysteria) over President-elect Trump are liable to become self-fulfilling prophecies if these attacks continue. Trump is no misogynist or he would not have married women. He is nationalist but no racist, objecting to undocumented migrants not all Hispanics or Mexicans. Ditto for his views on Muslim migrants. The continued, post-election attacks are isolating Trump who is cocooned by an already small coterie. If these attacks continue (e.g. Harry Reid!) Trump will soon have no place to turn but to the far right and the neo-conservatives whose policies Trump himself dismissed. It may already be too late. It is possible that these continuing anti-Trump attacks speak to a disappointed audience hungry for reinforcement. But the result may be precisely what they fear. Trump is a political novice but not an ideologue. His appreciation of Sanders policy proposals says so. However those gathering around Trump now, from Giuliani to Bolton are not the same. It is imperative that balanced advice reach the President-elect. Leaders like Obama, Warren, and Sanders must now become states-persons. This forum too must move beyond election year attacks and towards advice that bring out the best from Trump’s innovative ideas of protected markets and borders.

    • Trump is no misogynist or he would not have married women.

      I think you are confusing something, here let me fix it for you:

      Trump is no gay man or he would not have married women

    • I find it hard to believe the lack of information still evident about Trump. What more does one have to do before you consider him a misogynist? On national radio he once admitted he doesn’t respect women, he calls women sexist names, rates them according to his standards of beauty, and has sexually assaulted probably at least 10 women, As for racist, 30 some years ago he was cited for refusing to rent to African Americans and one of his property managers revealed later that he gave specific instructions to throw away all rental application from African Americans. When an important visitor was going to go through one of his casinos, Trump ordered that all his African American employees be moved out of sight. He statement about Judge Curiel is widely considered to be racist and so was his first campaign statement about Mexican immigrants. As for advisers, Trump says his main foreign policy adviser is himself because he has a good mind, he knows more than the generals, and seems totally uninterested in policy details. About the only policy detail he highlighted was to build the wall. Most everything else was he was going to have some great ideas and they will be huge and you will love them.

    • I must disagree with one of your statements however. Many misogynists marry women, sometimes multiple women at once. And, he is a racist.

  18. Progressives better learn to play hardball. One of the things is to make sure that people don’t forget about Trump’s Russian connection. Republicans don’t care about any of the issues close to the hearts of progressives, but they care about national security, and they may have just voted a Benedict Arnold into the White House.

    Trump may very well be the ultimate Manchurian candidate.

    Just the facts:

    1) Trump had no interest in changing the GOP platform presented at the Republican convention, with one exception, he pulled all the hawkish lingo that condemned the Russian intervention in the Ukraine.

    2) His second campaign manager Paul Manafort spent considerable time in the Ukraine working for the former president, and Russian asset, Viktor Yanukovych. He had to step aside when this connection became too much of an obvious liability to the Trump campaign.

    3) The Russian deputy minister confirmed that they were in contact with the Trump campaign through-out the election process.

    4) According to a CNN report, a Kremlin advisor admitted they coordinated with Wikileaks.

    5) Trump has considerable business interests in Russia and visited the country often.

    6) Trump exhibits considerable sexual appetite.

    7) Russian “political culture” perfected the art of compromising politicians with embarrassing material, they even have a word for it.

    8) Mother Jones reported that a retired Intelligence officer came forward, alleging that this is exactly what has been done to Trump.

  19. On the positive note in Tuesday’s election for those interested in news of political victories in the U.S. for adherents of Islam, the Hamtramck School Board in the Detroit enclave is now Muslim-majority for the first time in its history – as Hamtramck City Council became last year.

    Here is the article:

    link to

  20. I keep waiting for the next Franklin Roosevelt or Eugene Debs (from my neck of the woods) and I keep waiting and I keep waiting. They never show up. I hate to say this but I think its time for the Democrats to become more hateful than the Republicans. I’m willing to vote for hateful people if they support and give the people universal healthcare. We Democrats can’t win with issues like guns, environment and transgendered bathrooms. Those are losing issues in the Midwest and south. I really lost faith in the so called minorities that were supposedly going to vote strong this election. Where were they? If you can’t beat them then join them I guess. Hate to say all that though.

  21. Does not everyone feel a deep unease that wars divert attention and resources from pressing matters we don’t even need to define because they are so deeply felt. War is destroying more than infrastructure and life, it is destroying the environment, eroding human solidarity and poisoning civilised values. The US has a constitution it regards as a template for democracy, yet when it brings about a result some don’t like, crowds pour onto the streets in inchoate opposition. It Is, after all, no fault of Trump that he has been elected. Perhaps it wasn’t red neck, homophobic, racism that put him where he finds himself but his apparent purpose to scale back war. Why is his expressed intention to work with rather than against Putin lumped together with his locker room vulgarities? Why is his further intention to concentrate on overcoming Daesh rather than Assad not welcomed as common sense? The US wants democracies in Syria, Iraq, etc. but they must have certain predetermined results. That the attitude, like a virus, seems now to have contaminated the US post electoral scene. I read somewhere Nuland might have become Clinton’s Secretary of State. Thank the gods we’ve been spared that.

  22. I don’t feel much like working with people who backed a murdering war monger, Wall St. bootlicker, and permanent joblessness and endless austerity. You dishonour whatever good you’re for by packaging it together with this really bad stuff. Go get cleaned up before you presume to engage in future activity elsewise this millstone will get hung around your necks every time you speak or act.

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