I had two reasons to hold a rooting interest in Trump’s campaign to become president: first, virtually every position he took in the campaign was a poke in the eye of the establishment, neocon, culture-destroying elite. Second, he said he would make nice with Russia.
On the first, the point was not what Trump would or wouldn’t do; the point was that people voted for what he offered. It is impossible for one man in one election to turn the tide of over 100 years of progressive Marxist / Gramsci-ist philosophy; but with tens of millions of voters behind this, and if they have some staying power over time (along with the fact that the business model of those who control us is unsustainable), anything is possible.
On the second, I felt that if there was one area where the president could make a difference, it would be on foreign policy and on the edges of foreign policy. Obama proved this: he negotiated a deal with Iran, he opened the door to Cuba, he did not go all-in in Syria, and he did not push Russia past the brink on Ukraine. Whatever other nonsense he did do (Libya, further fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq), these others were clearly contrary to what many of the neocons would have chosen.
Of these two, the first remains a reality; the second, well, let’s say the burden of proof now falls entirely on Trump’s actions.
There was one aspect of his run – and certainly possible to witness only if / since he won the office – that I did not consider: his victory would almost daily give us the gift of witnessing riots, marches and protests – regular reminders offered by witnessing the basket of acceptables in action.
Before considering the value of this, a review is in order.
Perhaps most important to understand, yet most difficult for many to internalize, are the lines drawn in the political order. Trump’s election makes clear – as has no other previous presidential election in my lifetime – that there is no such thing as democrat vs. republican, left vs. right.
All sixteen other republican candidates were initially unified on one item – and only one item: anyone but Trump. Many prominent republicans and prominent (supposedly) conservative thinkers and think tanks went all-in for Clinton. McCain and Graham were launching daily daggers and certainly would have convicted if impeachment articles ever came to the senate – well, until Trump deep-sixed Flynn and then lobbed a few in Syria.
Trump ran against virtually every sacred cow progressive / neocon principle and objective – and won. Trump ran against the elite. This was the dividing line that his run – and victory – fully exposed.
And with this came the riots and protests – the basket of acceptables.
Here is a listing of the dozens of protests and riots against Trump – both before and after his inauguration. An example of the mixed-bag of participants:
MoveOn.org, People for Bernie, the Muslim Students' Association, Assata's Daughters, the Black Student Union, Fearless Undocumented Alliance and Black Lives Matter were among the organizations who sponsored or promoted the protests at the March 11 Chicago Trump rally.
There have been women’s marches, airport protests, a day without immigrants, a day without women. Most spectacular, perhaps, has been the events in Berkeley, California.
We can lump into one bucket the several Berkeley protests against Milo Yiannopoulos, various pro-Trump supporters, the Oath Keepers and (the reluctant) Ann Coulter. Property damage and assault were captured on video – proudly displayed by the criminals, watched in disgust by many Trump supporters (and those of goodwill who were not supporters of Trump but will soon turn to support the next guy who speaks out even more forcefully against such destructive action).
The entire cornucopia was on display over the weekend; the “People’s Climate Movement” held their march in Washington DC. It was this march and this movement that brought into sharp focus the reality that I did not see during the campaign or even after Trump’s victory; call it the gift that keeps on giving.
What is this “People’s Climate Movement”?
On Sept. 21, 2014 the Peoples Climate Movement organized the historic Peoples Climate March on the eve of the UN Climate Summit.
Fair enough. Climate protests, mother earth, back to nature. I get it. Well, I mean I don’t get it, but I get it.
That march laid the foundation for the growth of the Peoples Climate Movement. The work of the PCM is grounded in a set of core principles:
Prioritize leadership of front-line communities, communities of color, low-income communities, workers and others impacted by climate, economic and racial inequity.
Economic and racial inequality causes climate change? Can I see the science on that?
In any case, to say that the organization is after something more than climate change would be an understatement. We can see this in the list of intended participants in their April 29 march in Washington DC.
Let’s just say that the list of participants offers a window into the “science” behind climate change – it isn’t about the climate; it is about putting the final nail into the coffin of decentralized political power, traditional western culture, and market-driven economies:
Consider the intended participants, in marching order:
Protectors of Justice: The frontlines of crisis are the forefront of change. It takes roots to grow the resistance.
Indigenous, Frontline Environmental and Climate Justice Communities: Native Youth and Youth of Color Representatives; Sunrise Ceremony Native/ Indigenous Women’s Delegation; Indigenous Peoples; Local DC People of Color Delegation; Black Lives Matter; National Frontlines Communities.
Your justice, no peace.
Creators of Sanctuary: We stand up for every person’s right to live their lives peacefully with their families and communities.
Immigrants, LGBTQI, Women, Latinos, Waterkeepers, Food Sovereignty and Land Rights: Immigrants; Migrant Rights; Refugee Rights; LGBTQI; Women for Climate Action; Waterkeeper, Riverkeepers & Ocean-Protectors; Food Sovereignty & Food Justice; Land Rights.
And if you don’t like it, there is no sanctuary for you.
Builders of Democracy: We stand with those who are the pillars of our democratic institutions.
Labor, Government Workers, Voting Rights and Democracy organizations: Labor; Elected Officials; Political Parties; Media Orgs; Government Workers; Voting Rights; Democracy Organizations.
Pillars? Where is Samson?
Guardians of the Future: All ages are united to fight for the lives of future generations.
Kids, Parents, Elders, Youth, Students and Peace Activists: Kids and Parents; Elders and Grandparents; Youth and Students; Peace & Justice.
I am guessing that students for peace and justice were the largest group represented.
Defenders of Truth: We defend the facts and promote scientific learning in service of humanity.
Scientists, Educators, Technologists and Health Community: Scientists; Health Community; Educators; Technologists
The science is settled, after all.
Keepers of Faith: All faiths respect the earth. Stewardship of our planet is a moral duty.
Religious and Interfaith groups
As opposed to every other “basket of acceptables” invited to this march, no further details regarding the desired participants in this group were offered. Suggestive, you think?
Reshapers of Power: We resist corporate greed. We demand an energy economy powered by and for the people.
Anti-Corporate, Anti-Nuclear, Fossil Fuel Resistance, Renewable Energy and Transportation: Economic Justice; Fossil Fuel Resistance; Anti-Nuclear; Renewable Energy; Bicycling and Transportation
An energy economy powered by the people? Stationary bikes connected to electric generators? A Flintstone-mobile?
Look again at the list. What is missing? Well, besides the left-libertarians who would fit right in with many of these groups….
The global elite – those who pull the strings of those in political power. It is with these elite that the basket of acceptables declares common cause.
Funny world, isn’t it.
It is against this list that many / most Trump supporters voted – regardless of Trump’s complete turns, this was the belief and reality.
Many have offered that Trump gave the people an opportunity to give the middle finger to the establishment. Trump so far is proving relatively incompetent at the task. Angelo Codevilla suggests that if Trump supporters don’t get what they want via Trump, just wait to see what they will do next time.
The rioters, marchers, supporters, basket of acceptables – they are giving almost daily reason for more people of goodwill to consider even stronger options in the future.
There will be an even stronger backlash; two such diametrically opposed value systems cannot survive in one political body.