It’s true that apart from his ‘apparent’ desire to impose congressional term limits, and his ‘apparent’ reluctance to participate in endless stupid wars, and his ‘apparent’ opposition to predatory trade deals, Trump stands in opposition to pretty much everything I value.
I think the cataclysmic threat of climate change and the inevitable job losses that will be caused by increasing automation in both the lower and the middle classes are going to necessitate both a substantial tax increase for the one percent and a substantial decrease in the political influence of wealthy elites in order to resolve.
We’re going to need a massive, nationwide push of human energy, collaboration and innovation to prevent disastrous climate change, and we’re going to need major social programs and probably a basic income for all citizens if automation is going to reach the levels Stephen Hawking says it will.
Those are just necessary changes that we will have to make if we don’t want to collapse as a civilization, and we’re going to have to purge corporatism from our governmental systems in order to implement those changes in a way that doesn’t end up oppressing and exploiting people. Some non-idiotic financial, legal, foreign and healthcare policy would be great, too.
That said, I’m happy to leave the Trump-bashing to the much bigger voices of the much more widely-viewed corporate media giants at CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, Comedy Central, HBO, the New York Times, the Washington Post, etc., because Donald Trump and his supporters are not the major obstacles to those changes I’d like to see made. The elites of the Democratic party are.
The only thing we need to get the Republicans out of the way is votes. The only thing we need to get votes are candidates who aren’t slobbering sycophantic minions of Wall Street running as Democrats against Republicans. As we saw clearly in the Democratic presidential primaries, the people will joyfully rally around a good person with good ideas, but the Democratic establishment will fight tooth and claw to silence, sabotage and subvert them.
As we saw clearly in the presidential general election, that kills voter turnout, putting the Republicans in power. So that is plainly the real problem here. If we can get good candidates running as Democrats, we can make the Republicans our bitch every time, but the Democratic establishment, since it is pervasively immersed in corruption and cronyism, stops that from happening. This has been the case for a long, long time, and will continue to be the case until we force it to change.
So if we can fix the Democratic party, the Republican problem solves itself. If we can’t fix the Democratic party, we’ll have to rally behind a party that better represents our interests, in which case we’ll still be fighting the Democrats first and foremost, since they’ll be competing for the votes on the political left. Either way, joining with the Democratic elites and their media pawns in opposing Donald Trump is a waste of progressives’ time and energy right now.
And of course, that is the idea. If they can keep us focused on Donald Trump, the ruling elites of the Democratic Party will successfully avoid having to stop their rampant cronyism and corruption by distracting everyone with a message of opposition and enmity. They’ll be able to keep their corporate donations rolling in and keep the party under the control of the Nancy Pelosis, the Chuck Schumers, the Barack Obamas and the Debbie Wasserman Schultzes.
The thing is, this tactic is actually far less effective against the Republicans than consistent campaigns based on anti-corporatist populism would be. The opposition strategy can only work if the Republicans perform badly; if the economy improves and Trump’s popularity doesn’t take too much of a plunge due to implementing moronic domestic policies, they’ll keep winning in 2018 and 2020, because nobody will buy into the “vote for us because we’re not them” narrative.
If the Democrats can actually put together a sales package that the American people want to buy, something they’ll get excited about and rally behind, there’ll be no stopping them. But it’s going to have to come from impressive policy changes since Hillary’s loss proved that the novelty of wedge issues and “first ______ president” has officially worn off. And those impressive policy changes will not happen as long as the Democratic party is being controlled by neoliberal corporatist plutocrats and their cronies.
As it is, it’s hard to even tell which party is supposed to be on the left or the right anymore. It’s the Democrats trying to sell us on exploitative corporatist trade deals now, and they’ve certainly become the bigger warmongers. Their candidates predominantly embrace the Walmart economy and are only interested in tiny, incremental changes when it comes to climate policy and income and wealth inequality.
Their official party narrative is that they can keep soliciting financial favors from Wall Street and the military industrial complex while still serving the interests of the poor and marginalized, and the facts simply don’t bear that out.
So I focus on where the real problem is. Trump gonna Trump, and that’s just going to play itself out however it plays itself out. Unless he actually starts doing what the alarmists say he’ll do and starts putting Muslims in internment camps or whatever, I find opposing him ultimately uninteresting if the Democrats aren’t going to put forward something much saner.
If we’re going to turn this country around, I can promise you it’s not going to come from the people in the Democratic party who got us here in the first place.
Article by Caitlin Johnstone first featured on Newslogue.com (@caitoz)
Caitlin Johnstone is a journalist, author, feminist thinker, cage rattler, giant woman, and mother of two. Thank you for joining her on her adventure.