We recently caught up with freelance journalist Brendan O’Connor, after he had returned from covering a far-Right conference in St. Louis that brought together former White House staff with Pizzagate conspiracy peddlers, Alt-Right “race realist” YouTubers, and European MP’s from neo-fascist parties in Germany and Poland. After the conference, which O’Connor wrote about in The Nation, we wanted to pick his brain about the nature and future of Trumpism, as both the aftershocks of the recent tax cuts are starting to be felt and Trump remains mostly unpopular, yet at the same time, globally there continues to be a march towards far-Right populism and fascism, often in the wake of the failure of the Left in power.
We begin our conversation by essentially surveying the playing field of the far-Right, which has by and large, seen a decrease in street activity, yet an embrace from the political establishment and mass media outlets, such as Fox News. Fundamentally, we ask what the overall outcome will be from the institutionalization and recuperation of white nationalism.
Moreover, we discuss what the consequences, if there will be any, of the increasing negative returns of Trumpism itself. From the inability of Trump to keep jobs in the country, the failure of trade war tactics, the unfolding class war implicit in the tax cuts, to a possible looming economic recession.
Central to this discussion is the question, of which our conversation does not find a clear answer, of what has animated Trumpism the most in the US: a sense of attempting to re-cement the racial caste system of white supremacy, or simply a “buck the system” desire to push back on decades of neoliberalism and the ravages it has brought to poor and working-class communities.
well that didn't take very long, did it pic.twitter.com/QVkwviybcP
— Brendan O'Connor (@_grendan) October 9, 2018
As the Democratic Party along with its “progressive” social democratic wing attempts to maneuver in the lead up to the midterms, O’Conner correctly argues that hope for the future rests on working-class movements ability to organize and manage their own struggles and plot their collective futures.