I am on both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s mailing lists. I make sure that I am friends with many Trump supporters on social media platforms to ensure the algorithms include materials from both campaigns in my feed. Hillary Clinton spoke to one’s intellect, while Donald Trump addressed one’s animal brain.
To be clear, Hillary Clinton won the election convincingly, currently by more than 2.7 million votes (north of a 2 percent margin). As such, we should not assume that Donald Trump has some mandate. He won the presidency because of a constitutional aberration intended to ensure a corrupt power structure the ability to override the will of the people. The Bill of Rights protects the minority from the tyranny of the majority. The Electoral College is the the constitutional device of the powerful minority to usurp the will of the majority.
This isn’t about sour grapes: this is about the future. The reality is that the plutocracy is just as happy with Trump as it would have been with Hillary Clinton. Given rise in the stock market, they are probably even happier with Trump after realizing he was but a faux populist. A plutocracy does not fear an administration filled with billionaires, generals, and provocateurs. It has all the elements necessary for an oligarchy with their required side of fascism.
Immediately after the election, I read two articles from activists I respect. Daily Kos publisher Markos Moulitsas wrote a piece titled “We oppose everything” and Bryan Henry wrote “Explain why Democrats, after eight years, should treat your party any differently than you treated ours.” Both pieces took me aback because I am a firm believer in the ‘two wrongs do not make a right’ ethos, and that to move forward someone at some time needs to turn the other cheek. But I came to the realization that Democrats and progressives turned the cheek at least one time too many.
Going forward now requires a robust and forceful opposition at all costs, in a strategic manner.
It is imperative that Democrats do absolutely nothing to assist the GOP in implementing their Republican policies. This is a painful conclusion to come to, given that I strongly believe in cooperation between parties and compromising to ensure the well-being of all Americans. We preach that at Coffee Party USA, one of the groups I participate in. So why would I support behavior anathema to that? It is simple: one cannot reward extortion.
It’s our duty to fight any substantial changes to domestic policy, since most Americans’ votes dictate that we do so. We must be a visible opposition party. We must be welcoming and become the go-to place for those who realize they’ve erred.
So how do we do that? How do we get away from the platitudes of high-minded words and thoughts and convert those into action? Remember, Trump did just that to win a very slight majority in the areas he needed.
Two-thirds of all Americans and 90 percent of young people use social media. Campaigns on social media look very different than campaign on the airwaves. And by the way, most Americans do not believe in TV news and newspapers. Investigative reporters wrote scores of well-researched pieces that normally would disqualify anyone running for president, but Trump’s narrative online and through the internet was more powerful where it counted.
Starting now, in a decentralized manner, we must flood the internet in a way that highlights issues which directly affect those who were hoodwinked by Trump and the Republicans. We must challenge their upcoming Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security narratives with particular stories that directly hit the working class and the have nots.
If we intend to keep all factions in our coalition then identity politics must remain a part of our campaigns, lest marginalization of some continues. We must ensure that as we address systemic issues like the disproportionate incarceration of people of color, women’s rights, health care access, LGBTQ rights, systemic police brutality, etc., we use the necessary tools to tailor the message. We must tailor that message in a manner that leaves Republicans unable to make it fodder for their white supremacist allies and many of their paternalistic beliefs. Honesty requires me to point out that this is a problem in the Democratic Party to a lesser extent as well, though not codified as it is in the Republican platform.
Finally, the ground game does not begin during an election. A ground game is ongoing. Grassroots connections require time, familiarity, respect, deliberateness, and consistency. Democrats opened the door for the false narrative that Democrats were not there for the factory worker, for the white working class, and much more. We all know that it is the boat anchor of Republican orthodoxy under which we are still living that is the cause of the poor and middle classes’ ills and angst. Inability to pass legislation to prevent the pilfer by the plutocracy of the middle class and poor is, in fact, the culprit. We can prove it, and it is measurable.
With his cabinet selections, Donald Trump is providing tremendous opportunities to show that he conned those who placed their faith in him. His thin skin, including his Twitter feuds with some who helped elect him, creates a metastasis of buyer’s remorse that we must capitalize on immediately.
We attained the effective control of AIDS by attacking the virus from several angles. We must consistently do the same for the political virus afflicting the American people, and we must do it in all 50 states.
Our Revolution is organizing throughout the country. The organization is identifying issues and preparing real grassroots progressives to run for office throughout the country from school boards to state legislatures to the House of Representatives and the Senate. Every progressive has avenues of participation—either by themselves through their social media sphere, or integrated into various new and old progressive organizations. Let’s get to work. We can make the entire country that blue wall.