The end of Trumpism?
Our hopefuls are social movements, not governments
By Bernd Drücke in Grassroots Revolution (11/26/2020).
Editorial, Grassroots Revolution No. 454, December 2020
[This editorial published in Dec 2020 is translated from the German on the Internet, Das Ende des Trumpismus? | Linksnet.de.]
after the US election results were announced in November 2020, I had an online discussion with a comrade from Russia. My friend pointed out that Trump's poor relations with European elites have made NATO weaker and more fragile. "Biden and the rulers of Europe are speaking the same language, and this will lead to a new strengthening of NATO. Trump was very bad, but now things are getting worse in this world," is the pessimistic thesis of the Moscow anarchist.
I don't think it will necessarily get worse, although my comrade's fears are not unfounded and Joe Biden is a man of the U.S. arms and nuclear lobbies, so building new nuclear power plants in the U.S. and more drone and other wars are likely.
I was still pleased that Trump lost the election. I was touched that Kamala Harris will be the first African-American woman with Indian-Tamil-Jamaican roots to become vice president in the patriarchal system of the United States in January 2021. Without extra-parliamentary pressure from Black Lives Matter, LGBT (1) and the feminist movement, this would have been unthinkable. It is gratifying that Harris wants to stand up for women and people of color (2), but she has called for prison sentences for parents of truant children as a law-and-order politician, and stands like Biden, supports military rearmament and neoliberal world power policies.
Still, compared to the narcissist Trump and his evangelical running mate Mike Pence, the Biden/Harris duo is a lesser evil. Also from a social movement perspective (3).
My comrade from Moscow: "It seems to me that Trump is more of a demagogue. His speeches are notoriously anti-left, that's true, and they sound terrible. His imperialism is also without any doubt. But he was the first US head of state not to send a military to any additional countries - not out of love for peace, of course, but because he is an isolationist. I do think the self-isolating U.S. would be a little more tolerable for our poor world."
Looking, for example, at the climate catastrophe massively fueled by coal and oil industry lobbyist Trump and the growing racism under his aegis, I see it differently. The more than 260,000 Corona deaths in the U.S. are also largely victims of Trump's irresponsible lying policies. Under his hate propaganda and policies, blacks, Latinos, and made poor suffer the most, and in the extreme class society of the U.S., they are particularly affected by the pandemic, by racist and classist discrimination.
Unlike his predecessors in office, Trump had no qualms about dropping the largest non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan. No one knows how many people were killed in the process. To this day, this war crime is not an issue in the mainstream media.
Trump has made gigantic arms deals during his term, for example, with Saudi Arabia, which is state terrorist and at war in Yemen. He almost instigated a war against Iran. He poured oil on the fire wherever he could.
But it is also clear that Biden is partly responsible for the drone war policy under Obama, that he wants to expand the U.S. nuclear industry during his term, and that he is, like his predecessor, a fracking lobbyist. But Biden, unlike Trump, is a Democrat from whom social movements can extract concessions through pressure from below. He showed that with the nomination of Harris. Biden wants to rejoin the Paris climate agreement and the WHO. He is not a denier of man-made climate change.
An anarchist friend writes in an email: "I find this jubilation on the part of the left that Trump is gone troubling. I understand the joy, but is Biden any better? Two old white men, one: (neo)liberal conservative and the other national conservative. Misogynistic and assaultive to boot. I don't see any difference."
I see a crucial difference. Our hopes lie in emancipatory social movements, not governments. But we should not minimize the contrast between a right-wing extremist and a (neoliberal) democrat. It makes a great difference when a man is president who hates women, hates minorities, calls Mexicans animals, promotes torture and sexual violence, and calls on the neo-Nazi "Proud Boys" in a TV duel.
Trump is not only a gun lobbyist, extreme nationalist, racist and sexist, he is, in my view, perhaps the most influential modern neo-fascist of the 21st century (4).
So I am relieved that he lost the election. Trump's undignified exit is also a defeat for his cronies, for the AfD, Qanon, for fascists like Bolsonaro in Brazil, right-wing nationalists, autocratic governments in Hungary, Poland and elsewhere. Way to go!
The hopefully now heralded end of Trumpism is also a success of anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-fascist movements from below. Our anti-militarist comrades from the US War Resisters League (WRL) see it similarly. But in their GWR-454 article they also make clear: "We will continue to work against the White House and against white supremacy."
On that note,
Anarchy and happiness,
(GWR Coordinating Editor)
1) LGBT is an abbreviation adopted from English for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender.
2) BIPoC is the abbreviation of Black, Indigenous, People of Color and means Black, Indigenous and the term People of Color is not translated. These terms are political self-designations. They emerged from a resistance and represent the struggles against these oppressions and for greater equality.
3) See the USA focus in this GWR.
4) I outlined why I think Trump is a neo-fascist in GWR 414 of December 2016: https://www.graswurzel.net/gwr/2016/12/die-us-wahl-als-zeitenwende/
This assessment has been confirmed in four years of US presidency.
born Dec. 24, 1965 in Unna, PhD, sociologist, freelance journalist and author. He lives in an alternative housing project in Münster.