- District 12 Votes This Week
- Zora Neale Hurston and the Problem of Audience
- 2018 US Midterm Elections
- Wokepedia: This is Us, Dudley Randall
- 2018, 2020, 2022: Third Party Strategies
- 2018: Moral / Victory
- Feeling Encouraged
- Encouragement Day
- Strategies VII – Knowing the Stakes (is it all just PC hysteria?)
- Strategies VI: Effective Protests and Marches
God has put them into a deep sleep.
To this day he has shut their eyes so they do not see,
and closed their ears so they do not hear.
What makes this election so scary is not so much Trump himself (click here for Strategies: Part I – Trump), it’s the fact that his election was secured with the open aid of three nefarious forces. For those of us who voted against Trump, his alignment with those forces was a large part of the reason. On the other hand many of his supporters wouldn’t consider themselves to have endorsed these forces –they simply chose to ignore (to, you might say, deliberately blind themselves to) those forces’ central role. Nonetheless those forces were greatly emboldened by his success, and now will expect to enjoy the spoils of his victory. Let us call them out by name: The Fascists, the KGB, and the Ku Klux Klan.
Dangerous, yes. Formidable, absolutely. Frightening, immensely. But let us also remember that these are three losers. American defeated them in World War II, the Cold War, the Civil War, and again in the Civil Rights movement. They can be beaten.
Let’s examine them in ascending order of difficulty:
1. The “KGB”: Russian president Vladimir Putin is an actual onetime KGB operative, and his ambition to return Russia to the days of the Soviet Union is an open secret. Although Putin is smart, ruthless, and one of the most powerful people in the world, it’s unlikely his aim is actually to destabilize the United States. He simply wants free reign in his part of the world, without US interference. He’ll exploit the current situation as far as he can, and then withdraw.
2. The “Fascists”: We’ll use this title as a shorthand for describing those around Trump promoting a cult of personality, and a scorched earth policy towards any kind of dissent. Figures like Bannon, Coulter, Conway and Giuliani arguably fall in this category. They are dangerous because they are a perfect match to Trump’s own worst inclinations. As such, they have his ear and his favor, and accordingly, a large level of control over his decisions. Breaking Trump away from them as early as possible may be a crucial move.
Although they are sheltered deep in the Big Man’s shadow, fascists make a lot of enemies, including among those nominally on their side. They build enormous edifices on weak foundations and stifled dissent, therefore they overreach and make unforced errors. There are also some core protections against them woven into the American fabric. Basically, fascism is antithetical to the American character, so calling them out early and often (while it hasn’t yet worked so far) may keep them from building up the power base they need in order to thrive. Here in the pre-administration days, placing strong and directed pressure on Trump to drop these specific figures from positions of authority might forestall some of the worst possible futures.
As a specific first step, I’d encourage writing AND phoning your own Congresspeople (or better yet, organizing campaigns –it can be just your friends, if necessary), as well as Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, to demand they specifically repudiate Bannon, and pressure Trump to drop him from his team. (Strange as it may sound, you should also definitely contact Mike Pence –we want as much daylight between him and the rest of Team Trump as possible.) Bannon is both smarter than Trump, and more of a genuine, ideologically committed hatemonger, so it’s extremely dangerous to let him hang around in the inner circle. This is potentially the weakest and most vulnerable he’ll be for a long time. If we miss the opportunity to get rid of him now, we’ll all pay the price.
NOTE: DO reach out to friends or family members who voted for Trump, and ask them to join your anti-Bannon efforts. They need to know exactly who their candidate is placing at the center of his transition. (If they won’t help out, that tells you something important about them –something new above and beyond just the fact of them voting for Trump. Talking point: “Remember when you said, if Trump does turn out to be a racist, I’ll be the first to…”)
3. The “Ku Klux Klan”: We’ll use the term “KKK” to to refer to any and all advocates of a race and gender-based hierarchy, with white males on top, supported by the labor and servitude of other races (and the other gender). Spiritually akin to the original architects of race-based slavery, the KKK reemerges whenever blacks or other minorities seem too likely to succeed.
Of the three losers, the KKK is the most difficult to combat, because it is the only one truly native to America, and thus fighting on home turf. Often underestimated or dismissed as the obsession of backwards hillbillies, the movement actually contains some extremely intelligent and aware theorists. It also draws strength from the fact that its DNA can be found even in some core American symbols and institutions.
On the other hand, if the KKK can be beaten, the rest of the forces will fold. So the entire battle comes down to winning this victory. As to how best to do that, we’ll explore a possible approach in Strategies: Part III.