FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Don’t Believe the Bullshit: Trump is Not the Answer

by

shutterstock_363799646

In recent days, as the US election season has heated up, there has been a small but getting louder sentiment among certain leftists and anarchists suggesting that if Bernie Sanders does not win the Democratic nomination and decides not to run as a third party candidate, then voting for Donald Trump is better than voting for Hillary Clinton. This idea is beyond wrong. Voting for DonaldTrump is not a reasonable response if Hillary Clinton is his opponent. I am not even sure I consider it a sane response.

Clinton is definitely an imperial warmonger, but Trump is no anti-imperialist. Clinton has rarely met a member of the 1% she didn’t like, but Trump has been a member of the 1% since before his birth. So, obviously he is no anti-capitalist. Furthermore, Trump has no problem encouraging the most reactionary elements of his base to act on their racist, sexist and otherwise hateful impulses. If he is elected, the possibility that an openly racist and even fascist government will be running the United States becomes more of a possibility than at any time since Richard Nixon.

That is not a laughing matter or a concept to be taken lightly. Nor is it something that should be welcomed by leftists hoping to heighten the contradictions of our current crisis. Even if Donald Trump is not a fascist (and that is a question not yet answered), there are many of his strongest supporters who are. Even if Donald Trump is not an out-and-out racist (and that is a question not yet answered), there are many, many of his supporters, many more than those who openly call themselves racist, who are. Even if Donald Trump is not a warmonger (and that is also a question not yet answered), many of his supporters are all about war and imperial domination. If Trump is not a misogynist (and I genuinely think he has proven he is), chances are good that most of his supporters are. As noted above, Trump is a super-capitalist and no anti-imperialist. He has also proven he hates Muslims, detests most immigrants that aren’t named Ivana, and has little regard for civil rights and civil liberties.

When a leftist tells me they are voting for Donald Trump to prevent Clinton’s corporate neoliberal warmongering into the White House, it says to me they are giving up. By suggesting that putting a figure even more authoritarian than Clinton in the White House to keep her out, they are letting the 1% set the agenda and the terms of the debate. Indeed, they are taking the easy way out, even though they are very uncertain of the outcome. When the choice is between worser and the worst, then it is beyond time to revive the third choice: the choice of organizing mass resistance to the system that insists that the only choices are the ones they provide us with.

That time has come. As recent events along the campaign trail make clear, there are already thousands of US residents who have figured that out. From its small beginnings in Massachusetts to its coming out protests in Vermont to the recent massive protest that forced the cancellation of Donald Trump’s hate rally in Chicago, the beginnings of a movement against hate, fascism and the system that fosters it is well underway. In addition, the growing support for Bernie Sanders also indicates that there are large numbers of US citizens who want radical left-leaning change. So, why the hell would anyone suggest voting for a right wing demagogue as a means of bringing about that change?

I have leftist and anarchist acquaintances who tell me that a Trump-occupied White House would sharpen the contradictions of our current crisis and bring the system down. As a friend of mine commented on Facebook about this possibility, “How did that strategy work in Germany from 1928-1933?” I hope you get the point. There are also more recent examples: Italy and Germany during the 1970s and 1980s when certain leftist groups engaged in armed struggle hoping to bring about a fascist state that would cause the workers and students in their respective countries to rebel.

Instead, mainstream Left parties joined with capitalist parties and created liberal authoritarian regimes, much like the one we currently exist under in the United States. In other words, although there existed a fair amount of support for the demands of the radical Left in those nations, their attempts to hasten that change without doing the hard and patient work of organizing not only brought down the wrath of the State on them and other radical left organizations, it also arguably set back the possibility of anti-capitalist change.

An even more recent example of this idea can be found among those who argued that having George Bush in the White House would spur a broad movement against war and capitalism. Although this occurred, the sad fact is that too much of that movement’s leadership led the rank and file into the arms of the neoliberal campaign of Barack Obama.

I don’t think that most of those who suggest voting for Trump instead of Clinton fall into the category discussed in the previous paragraph. Instead, it seems that their disgust for Clinton’s known “qualities” and politics has led them to consider taking an action that might grant a reasonably unknown member of the ruling elites power in an arena with much more weight than any of his previous roles in the marketplace and the media.

While perhaps understandable, taking this action (of voting for Trump) is at best trading a known devil (Clinton) for an unknown one. At worst, and more importantly, it is essentially giving up on the most important element of any chance at radical and left-progressive social change–the people. The Left and those who support their vision of social change need to get off their asses and do the hard work called organizing, during the presidential campaign and, even more importantly, after the election, no matter who wins.

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
Stavros Mavroudeas
Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece
Arun Gupta
A War of All Against All
Dan Kovalik
NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes
Randy Blazak
Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity
Murray Dobbin
Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of Globalization?
Daniel Falcone
Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen, an Interview with David Hilfiker
Gloria Jimenez
In Honduras, USAID Was in Bed with Berta Cáceres’ Accused Killers
Kent Paterson
The Old Braceros Fight On
Lawrence Reichard
The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare
Peter Berllios
Bernie and Utopia
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
Indonesia’s Unnatural Mud Disaster Turns Ten
Linda Pentz Gunter
Obama in Hiroshima: Time to Say “Sorry” and “Ban the Bomb”
George Souvlis
How the West Came to Rule: an Interview with Alexander Anievas
Julian Vigo
The Government and Your i-Phone: the Latest Threat to Privacy
Stratos Ramoglou
Why the Greek Economic Crisis Won’t be Ending Anytime Soon
David Price
The 2016 Tour of California: Notes on a Big Pharma Bike Race
Dmitry Mickiewicz
Barbarous Deforestation in Western Ukraine
Rev. William Alberts
The United Methodist Church Up to Its Old Trick: Kicking the Can of Real Inclusion Down the Road
Patrick Bond
Imperialism’s Junior Partners
Mark Hand
The Trouble with Fracking Fiction
Priti Gulati Cox
Broken Green: Two Years of Modi
Marc Levy
Sitrep: Hometown Unwelcomes Vietnam Vets
Lorenzo Raymond
Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Doesn’t Work (Unless You Have Lots of Bombs)
Ed Kemmick
New Book Full of Amazing Montana Women
Michael Dickinson
Bye Bye Legal High in Backwards Britain
Missy Comley Beattie
Wanted: Daddy or Mommy in Chief
Ed Meek
The Republic of Fear
Charles R. Larson
Russian Women, Then and Now
David Yearsley
Elgar’s Hegemony: the Pomp of Empire
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail