|Newspapers React to Trump Victory|
By Nikil Saval
Since the election results of November 8, shock has compounded shock. The initial shock was the surprise victory of Donald Trump, and the Republican Party throughout the country. The second has been the immediate turnaround on the part of commentators from shock and surprise to confident analysis and prognostication. It took virtually no time for the intelligentsia—pseudo- and otherwise—to reheat an old dish and serve up the culprit to be feasted on: the white working class. Endlessly discovered and rediscovered, from the hardhats of 1972 through the Reagan Democrats of 1984 and the Angry White Men of 1994, professionals have also wasted little time in projecting fantasy after fantasy onto this impossibly vast and intellectually diverse group of people (around 42 percent of the country). Barbara Ehrenreich dissected the lurid imaginings of the middle classes about the working classes in Fear of Falling (1989) in the wake of the victories of Nixon and Reagan. Now, as then, writers have launched blithely into trivial essays on what the voters wanted, more often through modes of inquiry resembling divination than actual reporting or analysis.
October 29, 2016
For decades, the dominant approach to electoral politics on the left has followed a now-familiar formula. The formula goes something like this: the Democratic Party and its presidential candidate leave much to be desired. They fall far short of our aspirations for a free and just society. Despite these shortcomings, however, the Republican Party and its candidate are far worse and will inflict much harm on the institutions and constituencies we care about. We have no illusions about the Democrats, but leftists and progressives should vote for them because the political terrain will be much more favorable to us with them in office. Once the threat from the right is defeated at the polls, we will mobilize to hold the Democrats accountable whenever they move to implement neoliberal and militaristic policies.
However, we 75 signatories of this statement seek an alternative.
DUMP TRUMP, DEFEAT RACISM AND MISOGYNY, BUILD THE LEFT: A call from 47 grassroots organizers (see signatures below)
|Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call|
Individually signed posts do not necessarily reflect the views of DSA as an organization or its leadership. DSA’s perspective on the 2016 elections can be found here.
October 17, 2016
RIGHT NOW IT FEELS LIKE WE’RE IN AN “EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES” MOMENT. A lot of us see something really clearly, but few of us – radical and revolutionary organizers – are willing to say it out loud.
So we’re going to say it. Defeating Trump in the presidential election is a top priority for the left. And at a minimum, that means mobilizing voters for Hillary Clinton in swing states even if you vote for another candidate in a safe state. We’ve got to beat Trump and Trumpism while building movements that will fight, resist, and disrupt a Clinton administration that will be militaristic and pro-corporate.
Most of us on the left feel about the Clintons the way we feel about leftovers that have been sitting in the fridge for too long: repulsed. NAFTA, mass incarceration, Palestine, the 2003 Iraq invasion, legitimizing the coup in Honduras, cozying up to Wall Street – take your pick of crimes that can be laid at the Clintons’ feet. And judging from the DNC, the Clintons will talk a good game on economic inequality while resorting to jingoism and nationalism throughout the election. But if the Clintons’ neoliberal politics induces nausea, then Trump's brew of racism and misogyny makes us projectile vomit.
|Bernie Sanders Rally in Portland Maine|
By Bill Fletcher
Every four years, hopefuls announce their presidential ambitions, and that giant sucking sound is people being pulled into different candidates’ campaigns. Some leftists sit it out, others work for the lesser evil. And afterward, we don’t do any electoral work for four years. We miss the midterms and local races. And at no point do we stop and say, not, “Who’s going into the White House?” but “How do we take over Iowa?” This is because the left does not have a national electoral strategy.