Sunday, June 11, 2017

In the Dumps? Ten Ways to Fight Trump

Worth posting again. And again. - Molly

This will be the seed-bed for a progressive populist uprising, 
if we organize, coalesce, and make it so.

If you care about everything from civil and human rights to economic justice and climate survival, Trump’s impending presidency is terrifying—but the amount of wreckage he can cause depends in part on how people respond. Already, a Dump Trump rebellion is rising up in the streets and online; it’s also worth remembering Trump lost the popular vote, the Senate is close to tied and not filibuster-proof, and things have a way of see-sawing in American politics.

What evolves may not be one grand strategy or unified movement, but millions of people joining multiple movements opposing Trump’s destructive agenda and promoting a vision for an egalitarian, sustainable America. In the spirit of the need for multiple approaches combined with broad unity, here are ten ways to fight the Trump nightmare that is just beginning to take hideous shape.

Mutual support and solidarity: This will be a time of heightened attacks (political, fiscal, and physical/verbal) on so many groups, including Muslims and Arab Americans, black and brown communities, immigrants, LGBT people, women – just about everyone except heterosexual white men (although Trump’s tax and labor policies will hurt many working-class and poor of all races). Amid this vicious politics of division and scapegoating, we must band together in mutual support and solidarity, have each other’s backs, be ready to vigorously defend one another’s rights and needs. Already, there are signs in the streets of greater unity among people threatened by Trump’s message and agenda – this will be an important four years to build a powerful politics of unity and solidarity. Support each other’s movements, and stand with people threatened by Trump’s policies and rhetoric.

Into the streets—and movements: In the first 72 hours of Trump’s election, hundreds of thousands marched and protested across the U.S., setting a tone of resistance that is only building. These protests can and must feed into sustained movements and campaigns that lead to real change. What’s promising here, building on the Bernie Sanders campaign, Black Lives Matter, Occupy, and other movements, is the rise of young people and the sheer size of the protests even before Trump has entered the Oval Office. What’s needed is not just shouting, but some serious monkey-wrenching: national strikes, filibusters, congressional sit-ins and more. Think big and think strategic, think blocking Trump not just opposing him.

Protest and pragmatism: Rather than split off into sub-groups based on tactics, progressives and liberals and lefties need to stick together even as we engage in approaches ranging from the radical to the pragmatic. We need to articulate a larger vision and push radical protest as well as pragmatic strategic harm-reduction campaigns. Think both/and.

Defense and offense: Two months before Trump takes over the White House, we are already fighting defensive battles for people’s lives—defending the rights and dignity of women, immigrants, LGBT people and black and brown people to exist and live with full rights and respect. There will soon be innumerable defensive battles, from cabinet and Supreme Court appointments to the likely gutting of social welfare and environmental protections, to war. All of this will be urgent and necessary, yet progressive movements must also maintain a proactive positive vision and push that wherever possible, at state and local levels, and building international solidarity with movements around the world fighting for economic justice, equal rights, and sustainability.

Two parties, one movement: Let’s face it—we’re never going to all agree on whether to reform/take over the Democratic Party, or build a new independent third party (or join or re-fashion the Green Party). So let’s build an independent unified movement for progressive values and principles with an ‘inside/outside’ strategy that is versatile and mobile, and that can remain independent while pushing for reforms such as a progressive new DNC chair (like Keith Ellison, who is supported by Bernie), promoting new candidates via Brand New Congress and Our Revolution, and other independent progressive movements.   

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