Filed under: Analysis, Capitalism, Featured, Health Care, The State, US
With glee the mainstream media has pointed out that Trump’s approval rating continues to fall, and indeed this week as the Republicans rolled out their proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as ‘Obamacare’), Trump’s ratings did just that. Leading the charge to attack the ACA was Libertarian-esque Paul Ryan, who proposed the old plan be replaced with an even worse system which would transfer even more wealth to the insurance companies and gut medicare for literally tens of millions of poor people. This push is part of a drive by the elites to roll back gains won by the working-class since the great depression, and even goes against Trump’s own campaign promises to not attack medicare and social security programs which millions depend on to survive.
many have missed one glaring fact: the Democrats are even more unpopular than Trump is.
But as Snoop Dogg makes videos shooting a clown President, millions take to the streets against the Cheeto, and Trump makes enemies along the border by threatening to take homes via eminent domain, many have missed one glaring fact: the Democrats are even more unpopular than Trump is.
A troubling new poll was just released showing that the Democratic Party is significantly less popular than both Donald Trump and Mike Pence. In other words, the Democratic Party has a favorability rating 11 points lower than Pence, nine points lower than Trump, and even one point lower than the GOP. Their unfavorable rating is 17 points worse than Pence, five points worse than Trump, and four points worse than the GOP. This is a disaster. At a time when Donald Trump is the least liked President ever measured at this point in his first term, the Democratic Party has found a way to be even less liked than him.
The cause for this mass rejection of neoliberalism and the Democratic Party should be clear, as George Ciccariello-Maher argued:
How did we get here? The debates are seemingly interminable and inevitably self-serving. The Democratic Party proclaims itself a part of #TheResistance while refusing to recognize its own role as primary cause. Wars in Syria, Libya and beyond, a coup in Honduras, decades of mass incarceration, neoliberal free trade, offshoring, factory closures, and even a border wall pioneered by Bill Clinton himself all testify to the fact that the effects of the Trump election are also its most potent causes. And so the Democrats play ostrich, celebrating the “deep state” and bathing themselves in crass Russophobia, while the word “resistance” rots in their mouths.
Noam Chomsky warned that President Donald Trump’s decision to load up his cabinet with Wall Street insiders has put the U.S. on a collision course to another crash — and that taxpayers will once again be expected to pick up the tab.
“Take a look at Trump and take a look at who’s appointed for the cabinet,” Chomsky explained. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, “comes from Goldman Sachs, a major investment firm where he was for almost 20 years.”
“As soon as Trump was elected, and since, stock values in financial institutions escalated to the sky,” he continued. Investors are “delighted he’s going to eliminate regulations, let them make more profit; of course, it’ll lead to another crash, but that’s somebody else’s problem. The taxpayers will take care of that.”
In short, while Trump may have run on the old slogans of already dead politicians with the appeal that he was not one, reality is quickly painting a much different picture. But what the Democratic Party aligned media largely misses is that rising anger against Trump cannot be divorced from a growing massive rejection of the political system as a whole.
rising anger against Trump cannot be divorced from a growing massive rejection of the political system as a whole.
For those that have been following IGD for some time, this will come as no surprise, but it needs to be repeated again and again: those that speak of a silent majority in this country have a rotting elephant and a dead ass donkey in their mouths. The true majority, and overall majority of people in the US, rejected both parties and the polls all together in November. Even those that did vote, often did so with no faith whatsoever in the politician they cast their vote for. In short, while liberals rub their hands with joy over Trump losing legitimacy, the truth is that the system in total is losing it, not just one faction of the overall structure. As Where the River Frowns pointed out:
Estimates indicate that 128.8 million people voted in Tuesday’s Presidential election, which is 55.6% of the voting-eligible population. However, if people who are typically overlooked for reasons of age and felony status are included, the percentage drops to only 39.6% of the total U.S. population having voted.
Of those who voted, 59 million voted for the winner–a mere 18.2% of the total population.
According to a survey from the PEW Research Institute from late October, of those who support a particular candidate, only 55% or 56% “strongly support” their candidate of choice.
And it is this majority that needs to mobilize to defend itself and its interests – now.
it is this majority that needs to mobilize to defend itself and ITs interests – now.
We’re only several weeks into his Presidency, and already his Orangeness is having to rely on organizing early campaign rallies for the 2020 election in an attempt to activate some of the few people that still give a crap about him: the growing ‘Deplorable’ subculture that takes its marching orders from Breitbart, InfoWars, and Trump himself. Meanwhile, in the face of mounting resistance, Trump supporters also organized a series of half-assed ‘March 4 Trump’ events filled with Alt-Right meme frogs, militia members who talked about ‘deporting liberals,’ and seig-heiling neo-Nazis. But while the base of support for Trump has moved farther and farther to the Right, it’s also lost a lot of backing from many working and middle-class Americans.
Moreover, the proto-populist base that swung toward Trump in November, hoping that he would improve conditions and bring back jobs – has crumbled. Nothing has gotten better, and Trump’s executive orders have only been payouts in the form of the psychological wages of white supremacy ala Muslim bans, draconian border measures which break apart families and fill private prisons with slave labor, and the blocking of refugees. While this has made the most hardcore of his far-Right base happy, no one can eat whiteness after all; no one can survive on citizenship, and very quickly anger has continued to build not only against Trump, but also against the wider system that Trump seeks to manage and defend.
Trump has in many ways been a steadfast defender of financialization and neoliberalism as any Democrat.
Trump’s true colors have also never been more clear, as he has pushed through a set of executive orders which slash regulations, environmental protections and the EPA, and taxes on the very wealthy. While Bannon speaks a language of “economic nationalism” against “globalist elites,” Trump has in many ways been a steadfast defender of financialization and neoliberalism as any career politician. To add to chaos, reportedly pro-Wall Street factions of Trump’s administration are openly clashing with Bannon in the White House. In short, liberals who mock the Trump administration miss the point – this is business as usual.
The Coming Storm
NOTHING HAS GOTTEN BETTER, AND TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDERS HAVE ONLY BEEN PAYOUTS IN THE FORM OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WAGES OF WHITE SUPREMACY
White supremacy has always been a useful system in the Americas because it has attempted to pit sections of the poor and working-class against each other, and better yet, to make one section, white workers, feel that they are the most represented through a cross-class relationship with elites and those in power. But by carrying out broad attacks on health care and social programs that millions of Americans depend on to survive, the Republicans also risk bringing together those same people they seek to divide. These attacks also risk splitting Trump’s base of support, leaving only the ideological hardcore who see Trump as their steamroller against social movements on the street.
This reality can be seen clearly in the recent round of town halls meetings where Republican and Democratic politicians were met with hostile crowds. Some politicians didn’t even bother to attend out of fear of angry constituents. In other instances, the DNC even sent their boy Bernie Sanders to try and calm down the rabble.
What these towns halls show is that both the legitimacy of the State as an overall system of management is breaking down as the anger of everyday people against the looming threats poised by the State to their lives is growing. And this anger is coming largely from the working and lower-middle classes; those who are threatened with the poverty that many millions of others are already living in.
What happens when all of these people realize that the politicians that pretend to represent them are actually only interested in managing their anger and directing it against each other?
What happens is that people explode.
You Made Your Bed, Now Seig-Heil In It
while the media played up fears of anarchists and antifa, the Right was stacking up corpses and burning down religious centers.
As anger was building at town halls, a wave of horrific attacks took place across the US as Jewish places of worship and cemeteries were vandalized, Mosques were targeted and burned down, and a string of deadly shootings were carried out by a variety of Trump supporters and white nationalists. Thus, while the media played up fears of anarchists and antifa, the Right was stacking up corpses and burning down religious centers.
At the same time, the intellectual leaders of the Alt-Right have been put into a strange place, pushed aside and not fully embraced by Trump, but also placed into the role of active supporters of the regime. And now that Trump is in power, those on the far-Right will have to decide if they will continue to stand with Trump, or if they will attempt to claim that he doesn’t go “far enough” and move to become the true vanguard of white nationalism.
Meanwhile, the far-Right will have to continue to find something to talk about now that their candidate is in office and they can’t point to the government itself as the key problem. This reality has led many on the Right to continue to look towards the Left, anarchists, and social movements as the main enemies at hand.
Thus, it should come as no surprise that the Alt-Right and far-Right is breaking apart; the thing that gave them unity, Trump, is collapsing and now they must deal with the fact that just like some socialist group that helped elect a Democrat, they have been used by a politician and spit out. With this in mind, is it any wonder that many on the Right have now begun to pick up the banner of outright terrorism?
The time for self-defense, on all fronts, is now.
Thinking and Acting Outside of the State
This means setting up neighborhood clinics, it means learning how to pull teeth and perform abortions, and it means sharing skills and knowledge in our communities.
Both the anger that has arisen from the town meetings across the US as well as the impending attacks on millions of people point to the possibilities for autonomous anti-capitalist and anarchist action.
Millions of people, if plans go through, are going to be without health care and will thus be open to new forms of organization and action that before they perhaps were not. Millions will be brought into organizing, demonstrations, and actions, and we must begin to think about how we can involve these people in concrete struggles and projects. At the same time, we need to think about what it would mean to build up autonomous infrastructure and resources in order to deal with Trump’s attacks. This means setting up neighborhood clinics, it means learning how to pull teeth and perform abortions, and it means sharing skills and knowledge in our communities.
But moreover, we need to resist liberal notions that the problem rests solely with Trump. It’s not, and all around us we see that people are rejecting not just the Trump regime but also an economic system that benefits only the wealthy and powerful, is destroying the earth for the sake of profit, and puts all of our lives in danger.
For the real silent majority out there, isn’t it time we start flexing our real power?