Some of you are interested in my political opinions out of a desire to be exposed to different viewpoints, or out of a certain amount of sympathy, or out of a feeling that “something needs to be done and at this point I’ll listen to anything.” Some of you have no interest in, or possibly actively hate my political opinions, but put up with them because we’re friends, or you like my books and are curious about what makes me tick. Others finally can’t stand it any more and unfriend, mute, or block me. I can’t complain, I’ve done the same with those who, for various reasons, I just couldn’t put with. Fair is fair.
But now, some of you wonder, will we finally be done with the Obama- and Clinton-bashing? Will Steve at least be focusing on the Republicans now? No and yes respectively.
Trump may be laughable, but he’s no joke. He has announced plans to drive toward WWIII, he has proposed a cabinet ideally suited to attack democratic rights and drive the working class back to Dickensian conditions. Anyone with a shred of human decency either opposes him or is, at best, hopelessly disoriented. And the rest of us have to ask ourselves: how do we fight? Or in the immortal words of Buffy: Where do we go from here?
We either view the way forward as with the Democrats, or against them. In terms of economic policy, of wars of aggression, of police militarization, of deportation of immigrants, of cuts to food stamps, of extra-legal drone killings of non-combatants, of persecution of whistleblowers, and of surrendering to the religious right, we have just come out of 16 years of George W. Bush. President Obama referred to the election of Trump as an “intramural scrimmage” in which “we’re all on the same side.” Clinton and Sanders have expressed their willingness to work with Trump. Does this sound like a party that can fight a fascistic egomaniac? To put it in the starkest terms I can: If the Democratic Party were capable of mounting a serious opposition to Trump, he wouldn’t have won the electoral college victory in the first place, and party hacks wouldn’t now be trying so desperately blame their loss on Russia.
I have no interest in talking to hard-core Trump supporters. “It wastes your time and annoys the pig.” And as for Nazis and overt white supremacists, well, punching them in the face one by one isn’t a serious solution, but it makes a hell of a lot more sense than trying to debate with them. So, if I’m not going to address the Trump supporters, who am I talking to? Everyone else.
How do we fight? What is the way forward? Many, many people see the Democratic Party as the only alternative. A good number cannot seriously imagine the working class intervening on a mass scale because it hasn’t happened in their lifetime, or because they have some idealized image of what the working class is and think it doesn’t exist any more, or for some other reason; they thus believe that, like it or not, we’re stuck with the Democrats. Others consider any alternative to capitalism as absurd as Charles I and his nobles saw any alternative to feudal monarchy. I believe they are dangerously wrong, and I intend to continue fighting for this position. So if you’re a Democrat and you’ve been hoping you could read my blog and not have to put me with me hating on your party, I’m sorry to disappoint. Call this fair warning.