Donald Trump Wants to Deport US Marxists “That Grew Up Here”

Image of statue of Karl Marx.

Image by Hennie Stander.

Probably the stupidest and creepiest thing I’ve run across in all my years as a radical US American socialist and communist is the Trumpenleft. By the Trumpenleft I mean among other things all the very disproportionately white and male left-identified so-called socialists who accused me and other anti-fascist radicals of supposed hysterical Trump Derangement Syndrome and who mocked and otherwise attacked us for making the elementary observation that Donald Trump is a fascist – and who idiotically accused us of being in cahoots with the dismal, dollar-drenched Democrats for having the basic historical and social- and political-scientific integrity to identify and call out Trump and Trumpism for what they are: fascist.

I’ve dedicated three or four book chapters and numerous essays and interviews to showing exactly how and why Trump, Trumpism, the Trump base, the Trump presidency, and now the Trump ex-presidency are fascist. Not “populist.” Not merely “conservative.” Not simply “extremist.” Nationalist but not just nationalist. Nativist but not merely nativist. Racist but not merely racist. Sexist but not only sexist. Authoritarian but not just authoritarian. No, all of that and more. Fascist, cultist, and eliminationist, potentially genocidal if you ask me, determined to overthrow what’s left of bourgeois democracy and constitutional rule of law and to substitute for the rule of law the rule of raw power and men in the ironic name of law and order.

All I want to discuss here in this short essay is an especially menacing speech that Trump gave to the evangelical Christian fascist Faith and Freedom Conference last June 24, the one-year anniversary of the female-re-enslaving Dobbs v Jackson decision handed down by the far-right Supreme Court that Trump did so much to create.

This speech was loaded with all the standard paranoid-style menace and Orwellian, Hitlerian, truth-eviscerating falsehood one should expect when this orange-hued neo-Nazi addresses his Christian white nationalist cultists. The Malignant One preposterously claimed that the devoutly Catholic Joe Biden was anti-religious, and that Biden is persecuting Christians. The wannabe fascist strongman Trump alleged that the “radical Left” and globalist “deep state,” headed by supposed Marxists like Biden and Merrick Garland, was trying to crucify him. The Mar a Lago maniac promised to revive the sadistic nativist policy of separating children from their parents at the southern US border. The tangerine-tinted tyrant said he would repeal US birthright citizenship, something that would require suspension of the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment – an openly dictatorial ambition.

The multiply accused rapist Trump took credit, to loud Christian fascist applause, for ending women’s half-century constitutional right to an abortion. He ridiculously referred to his corporate Democratic Party enemies as both Marxists and fascists, as if those two categories don’t cancel each other out and as if they haven’t long been lethally opposed to each other (please register that, Trumpenleft) – and, of course as if he himself is not an actual fascist.

Then he said some shit that caught even me by surprise. He proclaimed that if he is re-elected he will order the Department of Homeland Security to conduct mass deportations of left-wing people, citizens and non-citizens alike. “At the end of the day,” Trump bellowed, “either the Communists destroy America, or we destroy the Communists.” Using apocalyptic language taken from his hero Adolf Hitler, Trump said “This is the final battle. With you at my side, we will drive out the globalists, we will cast out the communists. We are headed toward communism,” Trump said, adding that “There’s never been a period of time like that in our country’s history. And that’s the way communism starts. And we can’t let it happen.” (Spoken like a man whose onetime mentor was Joe McCarthy’s chief counsel Roy Cohn.)

Trump raised the holy need to purge socialists and communists from the United States to the center of his campaign for re-election and, as he says again and again now, for retribution.

He called for mass deportations of immigrants with left-wing views: “Using federal law, section 212 (f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, I will order my government to deny entry to all communists and all Marxists. Those who come to join our country must love our country…we’re going to be keeping foreign Christian-hating communists, socialists and Marxists out of America. We’re keeping them out of America.”

But Trump went beyond this, adding that his campaign would also seek to expel US citizens for their political views. “Today I’m announcing a new plan to protect the integrity of our immigration system,” Trump said. “Federal law prohibits the entry of communists and totalitarians into the United States” – a technically accurate statement, by the way. “But,” Trump added, “my question is, what are we going to do with the ones that are already here, that grew up here?”

The Faith and Freedom audience rose in a chorus in response to Trump’s question, chanting “Deport them! Deport them!,” the Christian fascist audience screamed.

“I think,” Trump said, “we have to pass a new law for them.”

Yes, you heard that correctly, “the ones that are already here, that grew up here.”

I don’t want to make things overly personal, but, well, that’s me: US-American born and US-American raised Marxist/socialist/communist and it’s also pretty much everybody I’ve ever considered a good friend and a significant other since early adulthood. Well, maybe not communists but often communists and always at least socialists or some other kind of anti-capitalist.

Many of the knuckle-dragging mouth-breathing Jimmy Dore-fan Trumpenleft dopes I’ve been arguing with over the last six years call themselves “Marxists” (which I always find amusing). So, my good pink-brown Trumpenleft friends, if you are serious about being some kind of left radical like you say you are, guess what? The guy you’ve been telling me not to get “deranged” about says he wants to deport you!

It’s a shame more Germans didn’t get Hitler Derangement Syndrome in the 1930s.

Think about all this. I’m guessing that many of the folks who read me and listen to me here and at The Paul Street Report are very likely yourself some kind of socialist, maybe even a communist and that you like me grew up in the United States, love apple pie and ice cream. Some of you like me cherish American-made creations like jazz, the blues, rock and roll, baseball, basketball, the US national parks, the Indiana Dunes, Jones Beach, Chavez Ravine, the Philadelphia Philharmonic, Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain, Dr. King, Charlie Parker, Cornel West, Harriet Arnow, Janis Joplin, Patti Smith, Rachel Carson, my junior high crush Mary Tyler Moore. I could go on.

Get this through your head: the Trumpist movement says it wants to eliminate us from US soil. And trust me eliminationism is not restricted to deportation. It has another method: incarceration and mass murder.

And, oh by the way, something for Democrats to bear in mind. Trumpism-fascism regularly calls you socialists and Marxists. And guess what? Your very un-Marxist and militantly capitalist party is the other reigning major party with actual power in the US today and because of that the Trump base wants to politically and perhaps physically eliminate you first. So don’t act like “oh all this eliminationist talk is just something for the crazy radical Paul Streets of the world to worry about.” No sir, comrade, you are first; you’re up first.

It was communists and socialists first into the political concentration camps in Nazi Germany, into Dachau in 1933, but that was a time and place when actual Marxist movements were much more significant and powerful than they are in the USA today.

Whoever might go to the camps and/or deportation docks first, this would be a good time to get serious about the real nature of the eliminationist and retributionist and hate-filled Republi-fascist Party. When merely half-liberal books are being pulled off shelves by Christian white nationalists, when fascist state legislatures are mandating white nationalist and patriarchal history-teaching, when a Christian fascist US Supreme Court shreds the nation’s own merely bourgeois and already right-tilted constitution in order to openly restore traditional patriarchal and white supremacist hierarchy in blatantly arch-authoritarian ways, when a nation is full of fascists and saturated with firearms, it’s a good time to remember the old Martin Niemoller quote:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist.

Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

As I have pointed out on this platform, the left slogan “the people united will never be defeated” is kind of dumb. The people can unite all they want against fascism, capitalism and imperialism but if they don’t take and wield state power against those things and for a new revolutionary socialist society they will be defeated again and again. That said, the inverse is one hundred percent true: the people divided and atomized and indifferent to each other’s fate will be defeated and worse – decimated. Unity and solidarity matter a great deal in response to the very real fascist threat.

Paul Street’s latest book is This Happened Here: Amerikaners, Neoliberals, and the Trumping of America (London: Routledge, 2022).