LUMPENPROLETARIAT—Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is to not stop questioning.” Let’s do that together.
We’re attending a @RefuseFascism virtual forum: Why did 74 million people vote for Trump? Join us. Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 5pm (17:00 PST) #RefuseFascismLive RSVP here: https://actionnetwork.org/events/why-did-74-million-people-vote-for-trump
When Donald Trump, a reality TV celebrity ‘mogul’, was allowed to take the highest position in the Republican Party (GOP), it wasn’t entirely surprising because some of us are old enough to remember screen actor Ronald Reagan doing the same back in 1980. For the GOP to allow a ‘non-politician’, a Hollywood actor, to take that highest post wasn’t new. What was new was how Trump hijacked American populism , at odds with many within the GOP, who can’t stomach having the uglier sides of the GOP, the racism and the jingoism, the strongman behaviors displayed so publicly. But, no matter, our representative democracy being what it is, in 2016, the Trump campaign gamed the system using weaponized data mining tech from Cambridge Analytica, et al. And Trump 2016 convinced enough people that Trump would fight for the little guy. And he donned a conspicuous MAGA trucker hat. And a huge chunk of conservative America bought into it. Of course, we can’t forget the context, the wave of racist animus, which had been growing against President Obama. So, the festering undercurrent of racism in America, happily represented by the GOP, was eager to beat back the Democrat Party with a vengeance. And so they did with President Trump. With Obama gone, Trump in power, who was the new target? Activists, Black Lives Matter, the First Amendment, domestically. Abroad, Trump and the Pentagon continue U.S. imperialism as usual.
What may have surprised everyone, though, who before 2016 just thought of Trump as a harmless buffoon on TV with a bad hair system, was his history of virulent racism. People in New York City knew all about his checkered past. But much of America didn’t know. And, at any rate, when news did get out the racist part of middle America gave Trump a pass, on his racist past. Republican Christians talk all the time about how they don’t like everything about Trump, but think he’s the best candidate for the GOP at the moment to beat back the Democrat. So, they hold their noses, they say, and vote for Trump for the good of the GOP. Imagine that, meanwhile liberals often say, they’d vote third party, but since we don’t have ranked-choice voting, they hold their noses and vote for the lesser of two evils. Such is the nature of two party politics, or a two-party dictatorship. The Central Park Five is one example of Trump’s racist ways, taking out a full-page ad basically calling for a lynching of young people of color accused of a crime they denied committing, denying them due process, and appealing to the lowest in society to try them in the press with yellow journalism.
In office, President Trump exposed himself as a racist with delusions of grandeur and a fetish for fascism. President Trump is a wannabe dictator, who needs to be exposed for the antidemocratic threat, which he represents to any open society he is allowed to lead. This reality about Trump is true. It has been surreal to watch an attempted coup, by legal means, of the White House. Seth Meyers, Jimmy Dore, et al. have admitted this on their comedic segments. Elizabeth Warren was accused of “using the ‘F’-word, fascism” against Trump; Warren didn’t deny it. Those with courage have called bullshit. Prof. Carol Anderson, author of White Rage, has also admitted the reality we have witnessed. She was interviewed on Democracy Now! yesterday:
CAROL ANDERSON: I watched a series of lies. I watched Loeffler mastering soundbites without any kind of depth, but a way to try to define Reverend Warnock in ways that would resonate with a base that is bereft of evidence. I saw an attempt to a coup, an attempt to overthrow an election, and I saw the weakness of both Perdue and Loeffler in challenging that. So, even when Loeffler is asked point blank about the election, she says, “Well, it doesn’t matter. It’s not about who won.” Yes, it is. But what we’re are seeing is that as she was casting aspersions out there, that this is the lie of voter fraud that the Republicans have sown for decades. And it is now really taking root in a most horrific, horrific way. And it is a lie. It is designed to cast aspersions on the American citizenship, the right to vote for African Americans, for Asian Americans, for Hispanics. That’s what I saw this weekend.Prof. Carol Anderson, 7 DEC 2020, Democracy Now!
Trump has been literally gaslighting his followers and the American public with his baseless allegations of election fraud. The scariest part of the terrible Trump administration, more so than his own transgressions against democratic society, is the precedent he has set for a future, more competent demagogue, who might actually push through the authoritarian policies Trump could only dream of imposing.
People of conscience must speak out against fascist tendencies wherever and whenever they arise. As Fred Hampton so poignantly articulated so many years ago:
REFUSE FASCISM—The Situation
More people voted in this election than in any other election in U.S. history, but 74 million of them voted for a fascist incumbent whose regime has advanced a vicious program of white supremacy, misogyny and theocratic patriarchy, and “America First” xenophobia. 74 million people endorsed locking children in cages, throwing immigrants in concentration camps, and backing the most vicious white supremacy, including vigilante racist and anti-Semitic murderers. A political form of Christian fundamentalism makes up the most organized solid base of this fascist movement. The 74 million include millions deeply mired in a world of lies, crazy lunatic conspiracy theories and a vicious anti-science mindset that has already killed a quarter of a million people from COVID, with the pandemic now out of control.
What accounts for this? What are its roots and how deep are they? Is it an historical aberration? Will this movement fade away with Trump out of office, or be further filled with revanchist determination? What is the danger and what do we do about it?
Don’t miss an important forum to dig into this and more, with:
Michael Coard, attorney and columnist for Philly Tribune, host of WURD’s Radio Courtroom
Coco Das, National Editorial Board of RefuseFascism.org
Chrissy Stroop, writer, scholar, ex-evangelical, co-editor of Empty the Pews: Stories of Leaving the Church
Andy Zee, host of The RNL – Revolution Nothing Less – Show; co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org; spokesperson for Revolution Books.
Sponsored by RefuseFascism.org and The RNL – Revolution, Nothing Less! – Show
RefuseFascism.org is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives, united in our recognition that the Trump/Pence Regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet, and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power through non-violent protests that grow every day until our demand is met.
The RNL — Revolution, Nothing Less — Show is a multidimensional youtube show about making revolution and emancipating humanity. It’s about the world and for a radically different world, bringing alive the need for revolution and the new communism developed by the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian.
Learn more at REFUSE FASCISM.
 On Trump hijacking American populism, cf.:
“Opinion: How Donald Trump hijacked the Democrats’ best issue,” by Rex Nuttig, Market Watch, 30 SEP 2016, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-hillary-clinton-could-beat-donald-trump-on-his-strongest-issue-2016-09-30
“Trump Won’t Be the Last American Populist: The Conditions That Produced Him Need to Be Understood to Be Addressed” by Daron Acemoglu, 6 NOV 2020, Foreign Affairs, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2020-11-06/trump-wont-be-last-american-populist
“A political populism far removed from Donald Trump: Letters”, by Blomfield, Marquand, et al., 25 OCT 2020, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/25/a-political-populism-far-removed-from-donald-trump
“Michael Lind on Populism, Racism, and Restoring Democracy,” by Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 6 FEB 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/michael-lind-on-populism-racism-and-restoring-democracy
[8 DEC 2020]
[Last modified on 8 DEC 2020 at 12:00 PST]