From my weekly column at Greed: “No Quarter.”
(GREED) – Donald Trump hasn’t even taken the presidency and he’s done more for the Left than Noam Chomsky has in 10 years.
That at least appears to be the feel of things as millions of Americans swarm the streets, burn cars, and stock up on guns as the swearing in of our Arch-Salesman looms ever closer. People who never would have dreamed about violence, let alone sneezing in the direction of a racist, are messaging me en masse asking about gun laws in states I’ve never been and just what kind of damage a .357 round can do to a Klansman’s head.
Where in the hell did this come from?
Remember the Iraq War? Streets lined with faces of young and old, marching in a seething rage that demanded to be heard, signs jutting into the sky like triumphant rifles, flags flying like soaring dragons ready to smite the forces of evil! Everybody felt like a global shift in consciousness was near, that The Powers That Be couldn’t possibly witness just how against this war the entire planet was and go through with it.
But they did.
And the protests ended. And people went home and bought yellow ribbons saying that while they may not have necessarily liked the fact their neighbor’s children were killing people trying to stop a foreign invasion they’d sure as hell not be the ones to say a word about it. Cue Obama, where the EXACT SAME THING CONTINUED yet dressed up in the signs of tolerance and love. The people not only took the bait but ran with it, cheering on the same president that killed innocents with robots and deported 7,000 children.
Flash forward to 2017.
President Trump sits at the oval office, joking with Pence about a beautiful secretary he just hired. “I’m tellin’ ya Mike, give me 2 weeks, 3 tops. I’ll make Bill’s cigar incident look like Sunday school.” As laughter explodes a worried aide arrives with a manila folder in their softly shaking hands.
“M-Mr. uh, President Trump. The deportations in Arizona are continuing to have trouble.”
“I don’t care where you have to pull agents from, I want that place cleaned up. Get ’em outta here.”
“I understand sir, but the protesters-“
“Domestic. Terrorists. Say it with me Anthony. Domestic-“
“Now, what are they doing?”
“The, uh, domestic terrorists are refusing to allow detainees to be taken to any facilities. They’re blocking traffic, chaining themselves to doors. They have even been reports of bombs-“
“You go down there and you tell…what’s the name of the Homeland guy over there?”
“Director Gilbert M. Orrantia, sir.”
“You tell Gil if he doesn’t bring some Law and Order to that state really fast he’s about to have another California on his hands and this time the National Guard will be using live rounds. His boys are going to have to do whatever is necessary or I will. Understood?”
Anthony continues to shake, struggling to swallow. “Yes Mr. President.”
There is a feeling in the street, and across many corners of the Dark Web that there is no hope in any institutions anymore, that Trump reflects a real mandate from the American populace to do “what needs to be done,” and the only way it’s going to end is if the people get organized to stop it.
The great danger of Hillary was the Left would see her presidency as a victory, no matter how hollow, and end up back as a neutered group of centrists who may not have liked war with Russia but would have gone right back to throwing on yellow ribbons and pleading for the need to “support our daughters” sending atomic hell to Moscow.
A Republican victory is something so disgusting and against everything the Left loves they are compelled to fight him. That’s normal.
What separates Trump from Bush is radicals of every stripe are actually terrified. Bush Jr. was just a bumbling idiot, a texas drunk who honestly thought God wanted him to invade the Middle East. He couldn’t inspire his was out of a paper bag, and lacked the boldness to really kick his Patriot Act into gear. Hillary would have coyly de-escalated whatever resistance folks may have had to her presidency. Trump doesn’t give a shit. He will TELL YOU he doesn’t give a shit, and if you piss him off he will ensure the police they have free reign to enforce that “Law and Order” he called for during the entire election.
Sure your roommate’s “Anti-War Left” still exists, a crusty hold-over from the Bush-era that still believes if enough people held up cardboard signs the world would suddenly buckle under their feet. But as I write this a mutant cross between the most empathetic care-bears and bloodthirsty scorpions hellbent on cracking Klan skulls and bigot spleens is being born. Folks are sharing information on blackmarket birth-control providers, legal defense, weapons training, and encrypting everything from cell phones to group message boards.
With one electoral victory Identity politics are being jettisoned:
“This is the inevitable playing out of the grand paradox of identity politics – that it celebrates and patronises all ethnic identities except one. And while well-to-do whites in coastal cities can get off on checking their privilege, those with no real privilege to check are either forgotten or smeared.”
Discussions of privilege are discussed tactically rather than as weapons of shame:
“To build solidarity networks, you need to give that benefit to someone else. You can’t change the color of your skin, but you can acknowledge that your white skin can be used to protect the life of a person targeted because of theirs.
- If you’re white, you can get away with stuff your immigrant or Black friend can’t.
- If you’re male, you’re safer at night than your female friends.
- If you are healthy and have no medical problems, you can do things your disabled friends cannot.
- Straight and cisgendered? Your body can be used to protect your gay and trans friends.
This will also help you dismantle your privilege. Really listen to the needs of those around you, recognize their vulnerabilities, and use your lack of them to help them. Use your white skin to protect a Black person from a cop, your male body to protect a woman from sexual assault, your able body to gather resources and do work a disabled person cannot.”
On the horizon we have an actual revolutionary movement committed to building networks and defending territory, slowly freeing itself from the poison of pacifism while acknowledging the tempest of social relations constructed under Capitalism.
And all this in response to a business-suit Fascist allowing America to expose just how terrible it really fucking is. They say it is the good cause which can make holy even war.
Perhaps now it is the good war which can make glorious every cause.
“The spear which I hurl at my enemies! How grateful am I to my enemies that I may at last hurl it!” – Friedrich Nietzsche