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Resist, Protest, and Understand

While it is very important that we rally and protest and resist the election of Trump–and the policies and ideology that this bigot represents– it is equally important that we reflect on what brought us to this point.

What we saw Monday night was not evidence of a mass American support for a crypto-fascist wave–though there are certainly all sorts of crypto-fascists in Trump’s motley crew of proud “deplorables,” and among his nefarious advisers as well.

What we saw was evidence of perhaps the biggest electoral failure of the Democratic Party establishment in modern history.

What we saw was Trump getting *fewer* votes than Mitt Romney got four years ago, and yet still managing to win the electoral delegates–though not the popular vote, let’s remember.

How was this possible?  Because Hillary Clinton and her extensive DNC machine failed to generate anything like the popular enthusiasm and turn-out that the threat of Trump–and the spirit of our crisis ridden times– called for.

I learned last night, while marching in the streets of Boston with 5,000 others, that *6 million fewer* people voted for Clinton n Monday than voted for Obama in previous elections (despite population growth in the interim).

Reflect on that for a minute.  Doing so changed my view of what this election means.

Trump was–and still *is*, let’s remember–perhaps the most disliked and the most openly despised US presidential candidate in modern history, and yet Hillary Clinton and the centrist establishment Democrats could not rally the forces to beat him.

Even worse, the DNC and the Clinton posse did everything they could to sink the ship of a genuine progressive and genuinely inspiring candidate in the form of Bernie Sanders.

The Clinton Democrats could not could not defeat Trump.  Thus now falls to the *people* to defeat this bigot and his crypto-fascist cronies, in other ways.  In the streets, on our campuses, in our classrooms, in our neighborhoods, through whatever creative and militant means are necessary.

Let us not forget:  Trump won only 19% of the electorate on Monday night.  19% .  And Hillary Clinton won the same.  Not even a fifth of Americans turned out to support either of our electoral “choices.”

Can we build a movement that is bigger than both of theirs?  A movement that gains the support of 20% of the population, of 40%, of, dare we dream, more than half of the people who actually live here?

And, let’s remember, we have tens of millions of people living, working, and contributing to US society that are legally denied the right to vote at all.  Those locked in cages, those denied citizenship, those stripped of voting rights, those too young to vote. Let us not exclude these brothers and sisters from our movement in the way that our electoral system does.  They too are affected by the policies enacted by this government.  And there are many ways of exerting power that do not involve a ballot box.  Let us find them all.

Let there be protests across this country and the world each and every night.  Let them grow larger and larger, stronger and stronger until they are so strong that they shake the very system, exposing how our “democracy” has lost touch with the actual needs and desires of the vast majority of the people.

Let there be mass protests, and let they be both protests against Trump’s madness–against racism and xenophobia and misogyny and islamophobia and ignorance– and against the corporate hawk Democrats that accomplished a truly amazing feat: making one of the biggest pieces of shit on earth electable.

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Joseph G. Ramsey is an activist and writer living in Boston. He is a contributing editor at Red Wedge, a co-editor at Cultural Logic: an electronic journal of Marxist theory and practice, and a contributing board member at Socialism and Democracy.

Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
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