by William Skink
While more marches and protests are launched, and social media activity explodes, the first week of Trump’s reign makes one thing clear: Trump is putting his rhetoric into action.
The fear and rage manifesting in opposition to Trump’s executive actions seem to approach Trump as a unique threat. The problem with this approach is it ignores the incremental continuum that pre-dates Trump.
The outrage directed at Trump is a blinding outrage that can’t encompass the 8 years of finishing touches the Obama administration put on this long-term project, building on the 8 years of fascist groundwork pushed through, post-9/11, by Bush Junior.
It’s just not realistic to expect the passionate reaction to the first week of Trump to include a broad, all-encompassing outrage capable of seeing this culmination of fascist potential as part of a process that goes all the way back to when we absorbed fascism after “defeating” the Nazis during WWII.
The travel ban issued by the Trump regime capped off a disturbing week of executive action that is suddenly ok to those who cried fowl when Obama was doing it. Something else Obama did, which didn’t inspire protests at airports at the time, was restrict the movement of people from certain countries.
To get to that story, one must delve into Russian-occupied alternative media, like Moon of Alabama–one of 200 sites smeared by the Washington Post in a brazen attack later walked back due to shitty anonymous sourcing that blew up in the Post’s face. Here is how b puts it in his latest post:
The current “librul” outrage about Trump’s announced policies is somewhat amusing. Yes, these policies are bad. Very bad. But wherever you look, those Trump policies are building directly on or simply repeat Obama policies. The now outraged people swallowed those without a word of protest.
A Trump order yesterday introduced a temporary ban on visa holders and visa issuing to citizens of seven Middle East countries. These countries are: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Outcries on social media and in various papers ensued. People went to airports to protest. TV was there to spread the news.
But it is nothing new that the citizens of these countries are targeted with U.S. visa restrictions. It was Obama who had introduced such in 2015 and 2016. The Trump order links directly to them. It does not name any country but refers to them as “countries designated in Division O, Title II, Section 203 of the 2016 consolidated appropriations act.”
Those opposed to what Trump represents need to take a fucking breath, step back, and commit to being more strategic and less reactionary–because y’all are being professionally trolled by Steve Bannon and he’s winning.
In the flurry of activity this past week, Trump’s official kick to the corpse of the TPP hasn’t received much attention. That action, though, solidified the loyalty of significant sectors of the labor movement.
Ignoring the death of the TPP is a huge missed opportunity for a decimated political party that needs to be coalition building right now instead of letting a privileged white woman like Madonna make headlines about day-dreaming of blowing up the White House.
I know protests feel good. I remember turning out for the historic global outcry against the impending Iraq war in February of 2003. The following year Bush stole the 2004 election, then the tide started shifting in 2006.
But the tide never really shifted at all. While the anti-war sentiment helped elect Jon Tester in 2006, then Barack Obama in 2008, once in power they hopped off the wave as it hit the shoreline and disappeared. Here is b again making an observation too many Americans are incapable of seeing:
Yesterday people were protesting at airports against Trump’s new immigration restriction. Lots of outrage against Trump ensued on social media over this and the other issues. The hypocrisy here stinks to high heaven. Where were the protest when Obama did similar?
Where are the protests demanding the repeal of the Patriot Act? Where are the anti-war protests? These died as soon as Obama came into office. They never came back even as Obama pursued polices that were, at best, Republican light and far from any progressive ideal. Only fake liberals, aka “libruls”, could agree with these.
Many of the people coming out now against Trump would likely have jubilated had Hilliary Clinton won the election and introduced the exactly same policies. How can they expect to be taken serious?
I bite my virtual tongue on Facebook and won’t be turning out to the streets because I can’t take this deluge of outrage seriously. I know the psychological distress is real and the growing threat people fear is real, but where were they for the last 8 years as Obama codified indefinite detention with the National Defense Authorization Act and established the capacity to bypass due process in order to execute US citizens with flying robots?
Placing the building blocks of American Fascism has been a long, bipartisan process. I think we are at the terminal phase of this project, so conventional forms of opposition aren’t going to be effective.
Instead of street protests and trying to elect better candidates for political office, I think it’s time to start preparing for the day when food trucks stop delivering food products to grocery stores.
I hope I’m wrong.