The Editors

Trumpism, El Paso and Our Responsibility as Left Organizers

Trumpism, El Paso and Our Responsibility as Left Organizers
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Is there any doubt now about the deadly consequences of Trump’s election?

There is a direct line between the recent mass shootings in Gilroy and El Paso and the President’s stoking of racist hatred against left-wing Congresswomen of color and Latinx immigrants, his refusal to condemn neo-Nazis at Charlottesville, his cries of “send them back,” “infestation” and “invasion.” Trumpism draws on a long history of racism, nationalism, and xenophobia in U.S. politics to inspire what are essentially modern day lynchings. And policy accompanies the weaponry: concentration camps on the border, the acceleration of voter suppression, the “Muslim ban” and more. As others have pointed out, white supremacist terror and white supremacist policy go together, hand in glove. And they are the battering ram for pushing through Trumpism’s full reactionary package: roll back women’s and LGBTQ rights, decimate the labor movement, deny climate change, expand the military budget and threaten war against Iran.

The bottom line: The virulence and intensity of this weekend’s racial violence, ginned up from the White House, is a five-alarm emergency for the country and the left.

Debating the strategy and tactics for the struggle against Trumpism, and the role of socialists and the left within that struggle, have been at the center of radical attention and of Organizing Upgrade’s work over the past two years. Those debates—over the best ways to combine class politics with racial justice, internationalist, and feminist commitments, the possibilities and limitations for building power utilizing electoral politics, the balance of forces within and beyond the Democratic Party, the significance of increasing militancy among teachers, environmental activists, and others—will continue. The struggle against Trumpism will last longer than any electoral cycle. But we are clear that the 2020 elections, which is already underway, is a pivotal contest in the course of our struggle. Defeating the political bloc that is driven by white nationalism and has captured the Republican Party is our immediate responsibility as left organizers committed to the defense of the oppressed, the exploited, and the democratic space required to organize a movement large, united and powerful enough to contend for power and change the world. More than ever, we hold onto our belief that we can organize to win, if we stay focused on the scale and scope necessary to build real power. Let’s do this thing.

In solidarity,

The Organizing Upgrade Editorial Collective
Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Claire Tran, Harmony Goldberg, Jacob Swenson-Lengyel, Julie Chinitz, Kim Diehl, Max Elbaum, Rishi Awatramani, Stina Janssen

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07 Comments

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  • Frank
    Frank August 6, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    Any organizing upgrade requires that the organizers read and understand how the Koch network, an extended set of organizations larger, more wealthy, and more powerful than either Democrats of Republicans, is running the country. Read Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean! Blaming Trump is blaming the clown on the stage while ignoring the men behind the curtain. He could not last 1 week without their continuing support. They have full control of the Republican party, including the Senate. Most of Trump’s people come from that network. Everyone needs to understand who they are and what they do.

  • Frank
    Frank August 6, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    My website to popularize Nancy’s book. https://www.UnChainDemocracy.org Comments and content welcome.

  • Carl Davidson
    Carl Davidson August 11, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Here’s my powerpoint study guide on Democracy in Chains…. http://ouleft.org/wp-content/uploads/democracy-in-chains.pdf

    • Frank
      Frank August 16, 2019 at 3:22 pm

      Carl, I just saw your study guide to Nancy MacLean’s book, Democracy in Chains. It’s great! I would like to use it, with attribution, on the web site UnChainDemocracy.org, if I can figure out how to incorporate it into WordPress. May I? – Frank

      • Frank
        Frank August 16, 2019 at 3:36 pm

        I incorporated a link to it, but would also like to have the Power Point slides on the site. Possible?

        • Carl Davidson
          Carl Davidson August 19, 2019 at 11:53 pm

          I usually turn the powerpoints into pdf slides so they can be viewed on anything. The ppt file is too large to email, so I’ll upload it and post the link to you. Any particular reason you need the ppt?

  • Adam Schesch, Madison WI
    Adam Schesch, Madison WI August 15, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Right now the truth is that even the so called progressives in the Democratic Party cattle show have failed to make two big issues a major priority for their 4 years in office:
    1. CLIMATE CHANGE This issue is only mentioned in passing by 6-7 of the 20 candidates except for Gov. Inslee who has less than 1% support. Unless the new administration immediately starts shutting down all coal production and power generation with a goal of no coal in 4 years there is little hope of being able to get the main coal users outside the US to shut down too. There is a one page list of priority actions–including a major re-forestation program on non-agricultural land. Candidates lie if they say they will do something after they get elected. Only the 3-4 big issues they campaign on will get action. That is historic fact.

    2. ENDING THE 4 WARS WE ARE INVOLVED IN UP TO OUR NECKS AND CUTTING THE DOD BUDGET BY AT LEAST ONE THIRD. Again this has to be a 4 year or less timetable priority. This issue was probably the only progressive thing on Trumps 2016 agenda and surveys showed he got some votes on that because Hlllary said she would keep all four wars going–Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. The US National Intelligence Council has called for the Defense budget to be cut to just 3% of the GNP from the current 6%. They say over and over again that the current levels are “unsustainable”. Right now REP GABBARD of Hawaii is the ONLY candidate standing for no interventions and defense department cuts.

    Conclusion: Unless the left and progressive coalition is ready to put immediate NO BUSINESS AS USUAL pressure on the winner of the election, NOTHING WILL BE DONE ON THESE TWO CRITICAL ISSUES. And, non-violent civil resistance and direct action is going to be needed to get anything by the Democratic Party establishment. It is that simple.

    Remember 1954-1969 civil rights struggle. The civil rights leadership made it clear that they intended to make the South ungovernable AND to force the national political elite to act. See “Eyes on the Prize 8 part documentary if you do not believe me.

    Adam Schesch, Madison, WI

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