A comrade posted this on Facebook, and I believe it deserves a wider audience. I reprint it here with permission of the author.
Trump is malignant. He is repellent. He absolutely must be fought. But no one ever just wakes up to a phenomenon like Trump. And if we had, we could take him out with the force of the Constitution.
That’s not what happened, though. Trump did not materialize in a vacuum, hermetically sealed from social forces and fed upon the ignorance of the working class (and even if that were true–it doesn’t answer to why workers might be ignorant).
That’s not the way we got stuck with him. He is here because both the GOP and the DNC knew that we, the people, were turning sharply left in the face of their coordinated assaults upon our standard of living. They knew we were sick of their covert wars, their spying, their lying, and the austerity that underwrote all of that. And they sent out their antennae to see how far leftward we might go, and how far rightward they could force us to go.
The Democrats accomplished this reconnaissance and recovery by using Sanders and his faintly socialist sloganeering. He ended up being far more popular than they expected, and instead of gathering voters back into the fold for Clinton, the end of his candidacy propelled many of his supporters out of the democrats’ orbit for good.
At the same time, Trump was used to see how far rightward people would go. And the DNC dismissed him as a clown, as did the Republicans. They didn’t bank upon the wide swathes of ruined petty bourgeois (or scared petty bourgeois) who would vote for him. They didn’t bank upon members of the ruling class gathering behind him in favor of his tactics and war plans, which, while different, were not significantly so from the DNC’s.
No one banked, with such a heated campaign cycle, upon a vote of no confidence from the majority of the populace, who refused to vote on the shinier of two turds.
And that “apathy,” if you want to call it that (you’d be wrong), was earned. It was earned by a quarter century of war, under Bush v1, which increased in pitch and scope by leaps with each successive administration—Clinton, Bush v2, Obama. Each administration expanded upon executive privilege. Each administration expanded upon military operations. Each went ever deeper into the realm of deep state tactics of domestic spying, covert military operations, and regime change. Each went a few steps farther in the total annihilation of Constitutional guarantees.
And finally—with our last president, a Constitutional scholar, No less—We went into the realm of kill lists, the realm of extrajudicial assassination of US citizens. With each successive administration, there has been less spent upon infrastructure, healthcare, nutritional programs, and education. With each successive administration, There has been more spent upon warfare, surveillance, and various stock market bubbles.
We didn’t just wake up one day to a tyrant. I will not sit here, knowing fully well that we did not, and feign surprise. I will not sit here, after poring over the Constitution passionately my whole life, and say that this is an anomaly that cannot be understood. And I certainly will not defend those who helped bring us here. Whatever side of the aisle they sit on in the legislature, they were not there to watch out for your rights or mine, and while I may not be significant or important, i can nevertheless refuse to sign my name to a lie wherein they did.
We do need unity at this time, but it has to be a unity based upon facts. It cannot be the false unity of the DNC. They have failed us too many times. The New Deal is gone with the wind, it is not coming back. They can produce no deus ex machina: they will only send another shyster up through the hell mouth to mislead and misdirect.
There is a sense in which that ridiculous meme, wherein Obama switches off the lights in the White House only for the entire nation to go dark, is absolutely correct. As long as you remember that he has been, like his predecessors, steadily dimming the lights on our rights and our culture for years, leading us to our current state. Rome didn’t fall in a day. The Dark Ages didn’t represent a sudden shadowing over the lights of the classical age. And we didn’t just wake up one morning to Tyranny.
C’helle Egalite Griffin is a writer and mother in the Deep South of the United States