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As Trump Destroys, the Left Must Rebuild

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Leftists believe that racial and gender equality cannot be fully achieved in a system designed purposefully to keep women and minorities out, and so it must be torn down and rebuilt. What exactly did liberals think that would look like?


No one in recent history has applied the type of stress test to America’s institutions and founding principles than President Donald J. Trump. The claim that America is greater because it was settled by immigrants, that we are a nation who welcomes the tired and the poor, no longer warrants even lip service from the current administration. The fear that Roe v Wade will be overturned by an ultra-conservative will, evangelical Supreme Court pick is probably at its greatest height since the original hearing of the landmark case. Democrats have decided there is a white supremacist (Steve Bannon, Chief of Staff) in the White House and Trump is his puppet. The nomination for Secretary of State is a step backward in race relations and another nominee has unsettling ties to oil and Vladimir Putin. Trump’s base is attracted to fascism and seems proud of it, which strikes fear in every democracy-loving citizen on the left. Good. Maybe now something can be done.

For more than eight years, most liberals have been in a dream-like existence and while we slept, quasi-public schools have flourished while poor districts were neglected; many minorities do not trust the police investigations that have occurred and do not expect perpetrators with badges to be punished. The judicial system has all but illegitimized itself to the public and even under the guidance of Loretta Lynch, with all of her beautiful black skin, the DOJ was not a department that provided relief to citizens most vulnerable to police brutality. However, in the short time since Trump has become president, Americans by the millions have taken to the streets, airports, and social media to present a united front against inequitable policies.

Threats to send the FBI into the heightened crime areas of Chicago have many African Americans at the edge of their seats, ready to fight against extreme measures of law enforcement. Lawyers and private business owners are forming ties to fight right wing extremism and Amazon has sold out of Orwell’s 1984. That means people are reading. The liberal base is looking more intently at their elected leaders, how they vote and doing the same with the opposition. With more scrutiny from the base comes the appliance of electoral pressure. Democrat names are being taken and talk of replacing representatives who sign onto Trump’s agenda isn’t dying down. And the beauty is, (Republican) congressional resistance isn’t as strong as it appears. (Yes, they are voting for Trump’s nominees, but let’s be honest, Sessions and DeVos aren’t hard reaches for conservatives.) Charles and David Koch have threatened to abandon any Republican who supports Trump’s Muslim ban. There was a Senate bill introduced that would require presidential candidates to show their tax returns. A few establishment Republicans have vowed to fight against relieving Russia of U.S. sanctions, and Trump’s affinity for Putin makes them nervous. President Trump’s base isn’t clogging arguments with strict constitutional interpretations and after taking some heat from its own base, Democrats have gotten creative with stalling votes on Trump’s nominees. Are they the Democratic party leftists want right now? No, but they’re starting to show wear from signs of pressure.

The point is, whatever Trump does destroy, leftists have a chance to rebuild. It would require vigilance, a clear vision, true solidarity, and disallowing elite Democrats to co-opt leftist’s efforts, but it’s possible. Americans have shown they can come together against President Trump. Can they fight for each other is the question?

 

 

Written by L.P. Hatfield

L.P. Hatfield

B.A. Political Science from Indiana University.

L.P. is a Guest Contributor to Progressive Army.

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As Trump Destroys, the Left Must Rebuild