By Yoav Litvin
On January 20 2017, surrounded by family and the usual suspects, the real-estate mogul, sexual-predator and conman Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Now known as ‘National Day of Patriotic Devotion’, it will be remembered as the day Trump used inflammatory language, some fist-pumping, and a healthy measure of old-fashioned populism to deliver a message of “America First” to a relatively small crowd at the National Mall. Trump’s inauguration debacle would be the first of a series of alarming signs that a fascist-like regime has taken power in America.
Less than a week after leaving The Oval Office, neoliberal Democrat Barack Obama seems like a distant memory that is quickly fading, a punctuation mark in the story of this country. In what may be the defining moment of his presidency, Obama assured a smooth transition of power to the American oligarch Drumpf and his merry band of misogynists, religious zealots and white supremacists.
Since taking the helm, Trump set in motion a regressive, dystopian agenda that will enrich the billionaire class at the expense of regular Americans, minority communities, the environment and world peace. The new president signed executive orders targeting women, indigenous groups, the environment, immigrants, refugees and Muslims and has already managed to compromise the health of millions of Americans.
Those who believed Trump the President would be any different than Trump the host of The Apprentice, Trump the billionaire from Wrestle Mania, or Trump the vulgar chauvinist pig were proven wrong. His juvenile shenanigans and obsessive tweeting have carried over into his presidency. Trump has unabashedly perpetuated a thoroughly debunked lie about the elections and has dangerously lashed out at the press about crowd estimates at his inauguration, in what can only be viewed as an insecure, somewhat Freudian obsession with “size” and an undermining of the First Amendment to the Constitution.
He threw another temper tantrum at a controversial visit at CIA headquarters, calling the press “among the most dishonest human beings on earth” in front of a crowd some claim was boosted by his very own cheerleaders. In a transparent attempt to hide his draft-dodging, veteran-insulting, CIA-dissing past and boost his credibility as some sort of strongman, Trump groveled to the audience at Langley and issued an executive order that will lift the ban on “Black Site” prisons.
United by outrage at the absurdity and cruelty of the new administration, resistance has galvanized all over America and the world. Women, immigrants, Muslims, anti-fascists, indigenous groups, environmentalists, scientists and other communities have come together in protest; uprisings united by what they are against – Trump.
But a common enemy is not sufficient. In order for a resistance to succeed, it must define clear fundamental principles, set a series of goals and lay out a realistic strategy to accomplish them. Those groups that cannot rally behind a common, productive agenda and are only defined by what they are against must be excluded. Otherwise, overly inflated protest movements become a transient vent for frustration that may devolve into a delusional celebration. Ultimately they may tragically serve to normalize and even fortify the power structure they have come together to oppose.
The elections of 2016 have fully exposed the futility and fraud of working within the American “democracy”, in which citizens are afforded two lethal alternatives. While Democrats use smokescreens of liberalism and identity politics to advance a self-serving agenda for a group of billionaires and lobbyists, Republicans use dog-whistles, militarism and fundamentalist Christianity to promote an equally self-serving agenda for a slightly different group of billionaires and lobbyists.
Both parties are guided by the destructive principles of capitalism and imperialism. Neither party promotes social welfare for regular Americans. Neither party provides pragmatic solutions for the crises of the 21st century.
The American political system itself and thus both corporate parties are directly responsible for the ascension of Trump and his dangerous agenda. In fact, a recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit downgraded the U.S. from a “full democracy” to a “flawed democracy”, irrespective of Donald Trump’s election.
Thus, an effective resistance to Trump with an agenda of democracy, equality and justice must work outside the American duopoly and be untethered to the Democratic party, which sustains the corrupt capitalist and imperialist system. In fact, prominent Democrats are currently busy approving Trump’s cabinet appointments and normalizing his administration. No more Clintons, Schumers or Pelosis. These corporate sell-outs, warmongers and sheepdogs have too long served to anesthetize people into passivity, cynicism and selfishness, while colluding with their benefactors to rob public resources.
Led by a coalition of groups that place people and planet before profit, a resistance must work toward Donald Trump’s ouster as a first step toward revolutionizing American politics with the ultimate goal of empowering a truly democratic and radical alternative to the duopoly. The effects of such a revolution will reverberate around the world and may be the last hope we have for peace and prosperity as a species.