aNewDomain — I’ll admit I have a hard time finding empathy for the liberal Democrats who supported the weak candidacy of Hillary Clinton and who now are shocked, shocked, shocked that That Horrible Man Donald Trump is about to become president.
We lefties kept telling you that Bernie would have beaten Trump. You kept laughing at us. Now look at what we’ve got.
But what’s the point of rubbing it in? All the empirical evidence in the world won’t convince squishy liberals like you to meet us on the left. You guys are just congenitally attached to the big status quo and the mega capitalist system it frames. You just want to reform the system into something less savage. We lefties think differently.
But now it’s time to put away all our differences.
Some of my best friends are liberals, and they’re incredibly depressed at the prospect of four to eight years of President (or President-for-Life) Donald Trump. They’re right to be worried and right about Trump. This is one dangerous mofo.
But don’t loathe and fear the New Year. There’s time for that. Because all things topple. And there is a way — maybe there is only one way — to topple Trumpism. And that is for libs like you and lefties to me to join up and do it together.
We’re going to need big numbers. How else can we take on Trump, plus Trump’s Republican House, Senate, soon-to-be Republican Supreme Court. And don’t forget the right-leaning cops and soldiers who will back him, and the surveillance network and killer drones they control for the power brokers.
So, my dear dismayed Democrats, this one’s for you. Here’s my manifesto and step-by-step guide on exactly how we’re going to do it. This my manifesto.
One: Things are going to get worse before they get better. We need to accept that.
Things will be okay — eventually. But they will only get better if you buck up, roll up your sleeves and start preparing for our work together. This is no time for whining and bitching and tweeting. The time for New Year fear and loathing is past.
And do stop holding out for a quick fix. There are none to be had in the Trump era.
You already saw the futility of silly games like this when you actually hoped, beyond hope actually, that the Electoral College might throw the election after the fact. Then, only two “faithless electors” defected from Trump, and five of them even dumped Hillary. Quick fixes aren’t just futile, as you see, but they keep people like you and me from getting out there and affecting your own change. Waiting and whining in hopes of someone else creating the change you want is not your friend here.
And one other thing: Please, please stop saying Trump will be impeached. It won’t happen. Yes, impeachment is technically possible. It is so improbable, though. A heart attack from all that junk food is more likely to take him out. And anyway, no president since 1866 has faced impeachment by a Congress controlled by his own party.
This system isn’t going to self-correct. Fact is, the one thing Trump supporters were always right about is that the system really is broken. That’s how Trump won.
Two: Also, you need to accept how long, difficult and uncomfortable this is going to be.
You’ll hate this, and I’m sorry to break the news, but you can’t dislodge Trump and Trumpism while driving your desk, or on your smartphone insulting Trump fans on Twitter or driving around in your BMW, old VW van or Toyota Prius, grumbling at every old, white guy you see.
There’s only one kind of action that will set us all free, and the only place it can happen is outside the system.
This is going to be key.
Resistance can take many forms, but the only we lefties and you liberals can work together to dislodge Trumpism is to create a crisis of governance, through disruptive militant action. By militant I mean exactly what you’re dreading — energetically impolite and uncooperative behavior.
I’ll repeat: Action in the streets, taken by you, not someone else — indeed, taken by millions of our liberal and left-leaning brethren — is the only way to topple the coming tyranny Trump is now bringing into being. Nothing else is going to work.
Three: But don’t resist right away. Cool off. We need to let Americans see Trumpism failing the system …
What I’m saying here is that we need to keep our powder dry for a bit.
It won’t be easy to stay calm and still while we all watch Trump and his junta cabinet of ultra-right generals and billionaire oil execs commit their atrocities. But we must.
Let the media report on it all, with little result to speak of. Watch Congress fail to exercise its constitutionally-mandated oversight. Count on Democratic resistance that is so lame you’ll start to suspect that Trump wrote their playbook.
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Then cool your heels as you watch the horrifying spectacle of the US Supreme Court validating some of Trump’s horrors but rejecting others, another weak move that will only expose the whole charade as unbelievably impotent.
Just when you think it can’t get any darker, that’s when it’ll be time to move in. And move in, we will.
Four: And wait a little more. Hang back.
Those of us who follow politics closely know that Trump is a fascist-in-waiting. It’s hard to believe, I know, but the majority of America is in wait-and-see mode as Rome smolders.
If we protest too early — c.f., the anti-Trump demonstrations that added up to pretty much nothing after Election Day — no one is going to join us. And we need everyone. We need to let all avenues peacefully exhaust themselves, which won’t be easy.
Until no one sane can possibly deny that Trump is bringing the whole house down, do nothing.
Five: We might be waiting for awhile. Use the time wisely. Get to know your enemy.
Another advantage of waiting before we act is that it allows us to size up the enemy.
Don’t underestimate the size of this challenge, either. Trump will inherit Obama’s police state, the same police state he inherited from Bush. The government has had enormous powers ever since the Twin Towers fell. The situation may even worse than we think it is
It’s going to be critical to wait and see what we’re up against before we move forward. So keep quiet, and get ready.
Six: And take a cue — from the Afghans.
Poor and remote, the fierce Afghani people have for centuries managed to repel far richer, better-equipped invaders — like Great Britain, the Soviet Union and, now, the United States.
When foreign armies arrive, these Afghans just melt away into the mountains. They let their adversaries settle into Kabul and other cities. They study them, poking and prodding in search of weaknesses.
Then, when the time is right — and that is typically many years after the other side declared “victory” — the Afghans unleash their ferocious assault, one that drives out all interlopers.
Excepting the violence, that’s what we should do.
Seven: Reframe your image of Trump and all things Trumpish. This is no laughing matter.
Finally, before we do anything, we all need to work hard to reframe our image of Trump. Yes, I know Trump was born in Queens andI realize he looks and acts like a big, silly and ignorant buffoon most of the time.
Remember who Charlie Chaplin was portraying in The Great Dictator (1940). As anyone can see by looking at the film today, Chaplin saw what was coming — but despite his wealth, influence and reach, he still couldn’t get millions of Americans to stop laughing and start taking European fascist dictators seriously.
Better still, think about Trump’s mish-mash protofascism, his ferocious gracelessness and aversion to linear thinking for a minute. Now consider the consistency of what he does, not what he says or how he looks or sounds when he says it.
Bottom line:Trump is foreign to American politics and culture. He’s an alien to all that America stands for and has ever stood for. He doesn’t belong here. He’s un-American and anti-American.
Without anyone to stop him, he spells the absolute demise of our 225-year-old Republic.
He’s got to go.
For aNewDomain commentary, I’m Ted Rall.
P.S. Need a little inspiration? Here are some videos worth checking out. For all the opinion columnists here at aNewDomain, Happy New Year, America.
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Cover image credit: ABC News’ World News Tonight host Peter Jennings reporting on the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, via ABC News on YouTube, All Rights Reserved; Inside images: 500,000 protesters show up for the Moratorium March on Nov. 15, 1969, Washington, DC by The History Channel, All Rights Reserved; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. waves to supporters on the Mall in Washington DC during the “March on Washington,” Aug. 28, 1963: Minnesota Historical Society on Flickr, CC-by-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons, All Rights Reserved; Spirit of 76: Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons.