Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

US: Trump wins presidency

Building resistance to his right-wing agenda
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The victory of Donald Trump is being met with shock, fear, and anger. Especially for immigrants, Muslims, people of colour, women, and other oppressed people who Trump has singled out for attack, the question of how to defend themselves against the coming attacks is sharply posed.

A wave of demonstrations is being organized across the country to fight back against Trump. These protests must be the beginning of coordinated nationwide mobilizations to organize millions into a massive grassroots movement.

Plans are underway for huge nationwide protests around Trump’s inauguration on January 20th and 21st. We need to build a grassroots wall against threats to escalate mass deportations of immigrants and a clampdown on Muslim communities, among other attacks.

Our sister group in the US, Socialist Alternative, will be at the forefront of building these demonstrations and organizing broad community coalitions to stand united against bigotry and hate.

How Could Trump Win?

To build an effective movement to block Trump’s agenda we must learn from the mistakes that allowed him to win the White House. After all, he was the most widely hated presidential candidate in modern history. Even exit polls showed 61% of voters with an unfavourable view of Trump.

There are two competing explanations for how Trump won. Many of the Democratic Party’s defenders are blaming the American people, particularly the white working class who they write off as hopelessly right wing. This divisive theory is designed to shield the political establishment and the leadership of the Democratic Party from any responsibility.

In reality, while there is a dangerous racist right-wing minority at the core of Trump’s campaign, it was his ability to exploit the broad anti-establishment anger that allowed Trump to narrowly win.

The Democratic Party leadership’s insistence on nominating Clinton – the very epitome of establishment Wall Street politics – was a gift to Trump. Clinton acted as a lightning rod for popular rejection for politics-as-usual, allowing Trump to channel enough of the built-up anger at the economic crisis, declining living standards, and the corporate corruption of politics behind his campaign.

We cannot forget that the DNC did everything in their power to block Bernie Sanders, whose left anti-establishment call for a “political revolution against the billionaire class” had him consistently polling far better against Trump than Clinton ever did.

In reality, the corporate controlled leadership of the Democratic Party cared more about nominating a friend of Wall Street than they did about defeating Donald Trump. They played a dangerous game – and they lost. And it will be working people, communities of colour, and women who bear the brunt of their failure.

What Strategy to Stop Trump?

The central lesson of the 2016 election is this: To defend against right-wing and corporate attacks, working people must unite in solidarity, get organized, and rely on their own collective strength. The political establishment is incapable of defending us or taking society forward. The most effective way to fight Trump and the right-wing movement gathering around him is to build a powerful left, anti-establishment movement, independent of the corporate-backed politicians of the Democratic Party.

Organizing mass protests and civil disobedience against every attack by Trump and the Republican Congress is a crucial starting point. They will attempt to divide and conquer our movements, and so our guiding slogan must be “an injury to one is an injury to all!”

To be successful, however, protests alone are not enough. Building a new mass party of the 99% is vitally needed. Despite his mistake of running inside the Democratic Party and endorsing Clinton, Bernie Sanders’ campaign proved it is possible to win mass support for a bold left-wing program to challenge big business for power and lift up all working people. Millions of those who voted for Trump as a protest against the political establishment could be won over to a new left party, cutting across support for right-wing populism.

Stand in Solidarity to Say:

No Border Wall! Stop the deportations!
Tax billionaires like Trump! Fund health care for all! Make college free!
Black Lives Matter!
Stand up to Trump’s Misogyny – Defend Women’s Rights!
Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline – Green Jobs Now!

By CWI reporters in the US


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