Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Shortly after Donald Trump delivered his victory speech, about 2,000 people rallied against the election at UCLA. (Los Angeles Times)
Trump and the Republicans were able to tap into a wave of deep-seeded white anger and frustration the likes of which I haven't seen since the violent reaction to the black freedom movement in the south, 50 years ago. Only this time, it was expressed through the ballot box. Will the reaction stay constrained? Or are we in for another wave of violent, racist, anti-immigrant attacks that Trump is more than capable of unleashing?

Van Jones made an emotional and powerful statement on CNN last night, wondering what he should tell his children about the election of a neo-fascist to the highest political office in the land.
“This was a white-lash,” he said. “This was a white-lash against a changing country. It was a white-lash against a black president in part, and that’s the part where the pain comes.”
 If you don't know Van, in 1996, he founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. He was appointed Obama's Special Advisor for Green Jobs in '08, but soon came under attack from the far right (Mike Pence) was deemed "too radical" and thrown under the bus by the Dems.

As someone who grew up in a left-wing household during the McCarthy period, survived the repression and political assassinations of the '60s, and endured the Nixon, Reagan, and Bush years, Trumpism is no stranger to me. The tears, the eerie quiet, and then anger that befell Clinton's "victory party" in N.Y. around midnight, are things I have experienced too many times.

Trump's election victory was a devastating blow, not only to the Clinton dynasty, but for all of us who value democracy and social-justice. Now comes a brief, hopefully thoughtful and introspective period in which to gather ourselves and prepare for the reactionary winter that's about to be unleashed.

It's too soon to begin assessing blame for the loss or settling accounts. That time will come and we all have our lists.  But first, we need to let the dust settle and see what we're really up against here. There's also a lot we can learn about organizing election campaigns in the modern era -- besides not nominating the most hated, untrustworthy (even by her own supporters) candidate in party history.

We can also anticipate lots of spontaneous anti-Trump protests breaking out, starting today.

Agenda Topics from now until January...Who will be part of Trump's new ruling coalition and how will it rule? What are the inevitable divisions within it? What's left of the Democratic Party and progressive forces and how badly are they in disarray? How swiftly will Trump move on his campaign promises to round-up millions of immigrants in deportation centers? What will happen when he tries to smash the Affordable Care Act, pulling health care from some 20 million citizens? What about the Supreme Court and the future of same-sex marriage and Rowe v. Wade? And what will happen to public space (including what's left of public education) and public decision making?

And then, most importantly how do we resist?

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