Millions march to stop Trump;
women lead in self-mobilization
On January 21, less than one day after Donald Trump–self-proclaimed sexual assailant and virulent authoritarian, xenophobe, and racist—was inaugurated as U.S. president, an unprecedented and unexpectedly huge outpouring of humanity, for humanity, rose up in demonstrations against him. Throughout the country and around the world, between three-and-a-half and five million people served notice to him and his government that we will not sit idly by as he tries to take away our rights, freedoms, and well-being.
Although the Women’s March on Washington refrained from officially declaring that it was a march against Trump and Trumpism—and although Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, had the audacity to claim that it was not—no one was fooled, least of all Trump himself. The Washington Post reported that he “grew increasingly and visibly enraged” as he watched “massive demonstrations around the globe protesting his day-old presidency.” He lamely tried to divert attention from this gigantic rejection of his rule by forcing Spicer to publicize the lie that the crowd Trump drew the day before was “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration.”
[Note added Nov. 16, 2016: see also our post-election Statement in Featured article below]
[Note added Nov. 24, 2016: see also Freies Sender Kombinat's post-election podcast on this editorial. Anne Jaclard and Andrew Kliman spoke on behalf of MHI.]
Marxist-Humanist Initiative is thoroughly, unequivocally, opposed to Donald Trump and all that he stands for. We are aghast that part of the so-called “left” thinks that there is anything good about him, and that some “leftists” actually support Trump because he comes from outside the political establishment and trash-talks about it. Whether such responses are based on “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” or “better the devil you don’t know than the one you do,” they are irredeemably irresponsible and unserious. They disregard Trump’s class bias, racism, misogyny, xenophobia, totalitarian inclinations, and interest in using nuclear weapons, and treat those who will suffer under Trump as “collateral damage.”
The backbone of his campaign are appeals to racism, nativism, xenophobia, and sexism. Despite Trump’s recent vague doubletalk, he has—as everyone knows–vowed to build a wall across the Mexican border and force Mexico to pay for it, and to ban Muslim immigration. Even if he is defeated on November 8, the racist, xenophobic movement he has created—Trumpism—is likely to persist and it is questionable whether the flimsy institutions of U.S. bourgeois democracy are any match for it.
The allegedly “anti-establishment” and “anti-elite” character of Trumpism doesn’t make his racism and chauvinism any less despicable or more deserving of “understanding.” Any and every discussion of Trump and Trumpism that fails to denounce their racism, sexism, and xenophobia clearly, loudly, and without qualification—without ifs, ands, or buts—is complicit with them. There are no mitigating circumstances. There is no silver lining. There is just willingness to tolerate racism, sexism, and xenophobia.
It is not “far left” to say that there is some good in Trumpism. It is just infantile posturing.
We mourn the 49 lives cut short in the June 12 massacre of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. We support the 53 people who were wounded and the many who were traumatized. We abhor the increased fear now permeating LGBTQ communities around the country and around the world. We reiterate how empty legal rights can prove to be in capitalist society (see our editorial last year).
Whether or not the killer had any relations with ISIS, as he claimed; whether or not he was a closeted gay man, as has been reported; whether or not he picked “Latin Night” at the club out of racism against Latinos; whether or not gun control laws could have prevented it or diminished the number of deaths; whether or not his ex- or current wife could have gotten the authorities to prevent it by reporting the violence he inflicted on them–the fact remains that homophobia is still a huge force in the world. In the West, gays have become prominent in popular culture and won some civil rights, but these things alone cannot change the propensity to hate and perpetrate violence against “the other” by people who hate their own lives and the diversity in their society. Some experts contend that the increased general acceptance of gays may actually cause those who strongly oppose it to feel their culture is threatened and to strike back through violence. Read More