Significance of the Dutch Election

by Roel van de Pol
Voters in the Netherlands elected a new House of Representatives on March 15. I think that what stands out about the election is, first of all, that the ruling coalition lost big time, especially the social democrats. VVD (the “conservative liberal” People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy), and PvdA (the social-democratic Labor Party) together lost nearly half of their seats, but PvdA took most of the heat and is almost decimated. It’s a scenario similar to what happened to the social-democratic party PASOK in Greece. This indicates that people are fed up with how things are going. The government took office on a “social” platform, and they are now paying the price for piously imposing the EU austerity program.
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MHI Statement on Fighting Trump & Trumpism


Nov. 15–Tens of millions of Americans–and people throughout the world–are rightly terrified of what awaits us under President-elect Donald J. Trump, and they have begun to fight back.

Our August editorial, “The Extraordinary Dangers of Trump and Trumpism,” warned of the dangers that lie ahead. We urge you to study it again, as preparation for confronting the future. To hear more about our views, you can listen to an in-depth post-election interview with Anne Jaclard and Andrew Kliman by a left-wing German radio project, Freies Sender Kombinat, which remembered our editorial and reached out to discuss it with us. We expect the English version of the podcast shortly and will post it in our publication. [Editor’s note, Nov. 24, 2016: the link to the hour-long podcast is now posted here.]


The whole world has been turned upside down. We protest without a semblance of normalcy in our lives.

Today was the seventh straight day and night of anti-Trump protests in cities and college campuses. Through Sunday, there were at least 193 different protests across the U.S., plus more overseas. In New York City, we march to Trump Tower, the new seat of government; tens of thousands gather outside to shout and cry.

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The Extraordinary Dangers of Trump and Trumpism

[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 butsis 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.

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