Trump’s Speech to Congress:
“Something We Can Work With...”? NO Fucking Way! Drive This Fascist Out!
March 1, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
On Tuesday night, Donald Trump gave his first speech as president before Congress. It was a major moment, akin to a “State of the Union” address, and afterward commentators and media talking heads praised Trump’s new tone, and his calls for hope and unity. “Presidential”... “befitting of the office.” Speaking the “dialect of optimism and reconciliation,” reported the New York Times. A profoundly different speech than the inaugural, CBS said, “without anger or blame.” Trump came in the winner of a contested election and came out a president, one CNN pundit claimed.
Get fucking real! Did Trump somewhat dial down the tone of his vicious attacks and hate mongering? Sure—the tone!—to lull and suck people in and to claim the mantle of “president of all the people.”
But what did he actually say? He doubled down on the core elements of his fascist agenda: his racist demonization and attacks against immigrants; his threats (veiled in paternalistic, Mafia-like concern) against Black people and others in the inner cities; his America First, “über alles” xenophobia and chauvinism; his dispensing with any pretense of slowing down imperialism’s carnivorous destruction of the environment; his plan to radically remake U.S. society in horrific, Christian fascistic ways, including by gutting public education; and more. The “highlight,” all agreed, was Trump’s beatification of a U.S. Navy SEAL killed carrying out war crimes—to go along with his monstrous and murderous military buildup. In short, it was the same fascist big lie after big lie, but wrapped up in a somewhat more “unifying,” “hopeful” package—kinda like Hitler being “hopeful” when he talked of a thousand-year Reich and the glory of the Aryan race.
This came right out of the fascist mind-fuckery playbook of toggling between threats and reassurances that was crafted for the specific purpose of sucking in and disarming those who keep hoping this is all a nightmare they’re going to wake up from, and Trump is going to come to his senses and stop being such a, well, fascist.
Not on your life—as Trump made clear to anyone with unclogged ears! Even with his “tone,” Trump was still full of smug, threatening arrogance—some kind of horrific mutant blend of Adolph Hitler, Tony Soprano, and a KKK grand wizard.
Hate, Bigotry & War-Mongering
Trump began by condemning recent attacks on Jewish community centers and cemeteries and the murder of an immigrant from India in Kansas. “We are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms,” he claimed. A few seconds of rhetoric, backed by no specific actions, followed by an hour of hateful, blatant or not so blatant attacks on whole sections of the people, and the world!
“My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America,” Trump blustered. He big-lied that the U.S. has “exported our jobs and wealth to foreign countries,” when it’s actually the world’s number one predator, getting wealthy by exploiting and plundering countries around the world. Then he pledged violence against those who stood in the way of America robbing the planet even more aggressively—with one of the biggest increases in military spending in U.S. history—$54 billion worth. His pledge to wipe out “radical Islamic terrorism” was a direct threat to many, many millions in the Middle East and beyond.
And in one of the most nauseating of many nauseating moments, in a Nuremberg-style* tribute to Navy SEAL Ryan Owens, Trump beatified this special-ops murderer who was killed during a mission-massacre in Yemen that slaughtered 25 civilians, including nine children under 13... glorifying him as a “warrior and a hero” whose “legacy is etched into eternity.” Never mind that U.S. imperialist-backed aggression has driven more than 14 million people in Yemen to the brink of starvation. Trump’s ritual consecrated MORE U.S. aggression against countries that are not even officially at war with the U.S.
Trump also reaffirmed the core of his Muslim ban: We “cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form within” the U.S., he thundered. As if every Muslim coming to the U.S. is a terrorist suspect. And, in the clash between reactionary fundamentalist Islamic Jihad and the West, who is it who has the overwhelming set of beachheads? Motherfucker, the U.S. imperialists have beachheads of terror all over the world. They’re called U.S. military bases and aircraft carriers.
Trump’s “VOICE”—Straight Out of Nazi Germany
Trump tripled down on his assault on immigrants. He said that immigrants have stolen jobs and taken advantage of America. He lies, when it’s immigrants who have been ruthlessly exploited, marginalized, taken advantage of and robbed to enrich the U.S. “We’ve defended the borders of other nations while leaving our own borders wide open for anyone to cross,” said Trump, and we need a “great, great wall.” Say what? The USA defended Mexico’s border by stealing half its territory in the 1846 war against Mexico? Iraq’s border by bombing, invading, and killing millions? Yemen’s, Pakistan’s, Libya’s, Somalia’s, and dozens of other countries by drone-bombing them and sending in Special Forces murderers? While the U.S. already has a wall—a wall of more than 20,000 Border Patrol and Customs agents, fences, militias—that, as a matter of policy, drive desperate people to cross through deadly deserts in search of safety and sustenance. Since 1994, bodies of more than 7,000 human beings have been found in the borderlands, the majority of these in Arizona. Experts estimate that for every body found, two more have died and their remains buried in the desert sands.
Trump’s “wall” is both an even more militarized, deadly border and an ideological “border” separating people in the U.S. from other human beings—justifying vicious legal demonization/dehumanization/lock them up-throw them out and pogromist assaults on the “non-white other.”
Trump demonstrated before the national TV audience what that looked like—whipping up a lynch-mob atmosphere, claiming immigrants are murderers, drug cartel lords, and criminals—then bringing “victims’ families” to his speech as props. Trump then announced he’s setting up a special unit, VOICE—“Victims of Immigrant Crime Engagement”—to investigate (read concoct, publicize, and whip up lynch mobs against) crimes by illegal immigrants, which the media supposedly refuses to cover. This is a move that harkens back to the Nazi practice of publicizing real or alleged crimes by Jews at a time when they were driven from legal occupations and into desperate circumstances.
Stepping Up Violence Against Black People in the Name of Ending Violence
Trump laid out a chilling warning of a coming assault on Black people, talking of breaking the cycle of poverty by breaking the cycle of violence—which he threatened was “not acceptable.”
No, it’s not acceptable, it’s “heartbreaking.” The statement From the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party to ALL People: WHAT THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME WILL MEAN FOR BLACK PEOPLE—AND WHAT MUST BE DONE ABOUT IT, NOW says: “There’s no mystery why these heartbreaking murders go on. A whole section of youth, numbering in the millions, are told by the system they’re worth nothing in 1,000 ways. Living in torn-up communities with no future. Given no way to be somebody outside of the street life and the code of revenge. The latest link in a chain stretching back 400 years.”
Trump’s program makes those chains far, far worse. He says the answer is celebrating, supporting, working, and collaborating with the very police already murdering and terrorizing Black people and very often directly, as well as indirectly, fomenting this violence among the people.
Trump said that law enforcement worries every day about coming home safe and sound (with John Lewis, among other Democrats, clapping), but nary a word about the youth and parents who worry every day—millions and millions of them—about whether they’re going to come home alive from the neighborhood store? And what about the groaning walls of the prisons in this country, now holding 2.3 million—with Trump and his Grand Dragon—oh, excuse us, attorney general—Sessions now promising more prisons, with even more prisoners?
Attacking Public Education... to Institutionalize Christian Fascism and Quash Critical Thinking
“Education is the civil rights issue of our time,” Trump declared, calling for greater school “choice,” including religious schools and home schooling. This is nothing more than a call to gut public schools, attack teachers’ unions, and focus funding and support on religious schools as a means of institutionalizing Christian fascism and quashing critical thinking.
Trump puts forth a fantasy of “well-funded” urban schools, when scores of schools have been shut down in Chicago’s inner cities, when Chicago State University (serving many students of color) has been deprived of funds by its Trumpian governor and is barely breathing, and when they are even now talking of closing school two weeks early this year for lack of funds. With DeVos as Trump’s education secretary, the plan is to funnel these students into Christian fundamentalist charter schools, which are designed to extinguish the critical spirit and turn students into unthinking robots.
So What About the Democrats... Party of “Resistance” and “No”? Not So Much, It Seems...
So what about the—of late—tough-talking Democrats? The “opposition”? The party that was supposedly going to resist Trump tooth-and-nail? They were a bunch of whimpering, simpering collaborators and accommodators. Bernie Sanders clapped in support of Trump’s promises to build up infrastructure, clapped at building pipelines with American steel, and clapped even harder at Trump’s lie that he wouldn’t let U.S. capital leave—as if it could do anything but scour the planet for maximum return and strategic advantage. Yes, Bernie Sanders criticized other parts of Trump’s speech, but what does it mean to give “critical support” to a fascist? Would it have been right to express concerns about Hitler exterminating the Jews, but to seek to unite with him when his public works and militarization of society promised jobs for Germans?!
Democrats sat stone-faced at times, but at other times joined in applauding—especially for the nuclear-armed, world’s biggest, most deadly military alliance, NATO... All were in agreement that it was a wonderful moment to honor the dead Navy SEAL (Obama’s campaign manager said afterward you had to be dead not to appreciate how special the moment with the SEAL’s widow was. This, again, for someone who was part of a mission that murdered nine children.) But oh, the Democrats can all agree with supporting the troops—they’re part of the same system the Republicans are, part of the same empire, wannabe leaders of the same massacring troops. They’re all reveling in the ugliest of ugly Americanism. After all, remember what their great leader Obama said after Trump’s election? “We have to remember that we're actually all on one team.” And differences between the Democrats and Republicans are an “intramural scrimmage.”
And whom did the Democrats choose to give their “rebuttal”? Someone who claims to better represent Trump’s social base—backward, white, rural Christians—who tries to out-patriot and out-pander to the economic interests of the denizens of the capital of world imperialism
And then there’s CNN’s Van Jones (and other liberal commentators). Jones insisted that while he disagrees with Trump on policy, yes, it was a wonderful speech. If only Trump could be like that for four years, not just one hour—as if Trump’s tone is the issue, and not his utterly illegitimate fascism. Why in the fuck would anyone want that?? And then counseling the Democrats that they need to learn to say “yes” once in a while; after all they’d been asking Trump to talk more nicely and now he did. But beyond all that is Van Jones saying that the ritual with the Navy SEAL widow should be a “reset” for the progressive movement. WTF! This is nothing but craven capitulation and accommodation to fascism! Van Jones has bent so far over backward accommodating these fascists his head seems to have gone all the way up his ass.
“Divided”? Damn Right This Country’s Divided—Over Whether It’s Going to Be FASCIST or Not!
Trump called for unity—on his terms and behind his program: “Democrats and Republicans should get together and unite for the good of our country and for the good of the American people.”
His calls were backed by threats, the staple of fascist rhetoric that any criticism of, let alone resistance to fascism, “divides us.”
Well, Mr. wannabe-Führer—we ARE “divided”—into a world of exploiter and exploited, into oppressors and oppressed, and today into those who want to resist AND DEFEAT this fascism and those who are either fighting FOR it, or else caving in. And those who don’t want to go down that road you’re forging must be determined to call out the bullshit and bend every effort to defeat this madness before it’s too late.
Just step back and look at that whole room, the whole proceedings. Talk about a poisonous swamp, not being drained (as Trump has claimed) but being filled, and a poisonous and totally illegitimate system! A system that doesn’t just give a fascist demagogue a national platform from which to lie, and attempt to whip up support for a thoroughly reactionary, horrific, fascist agenda, but the power of state with which to implement that agenda. A system correctly represented by this room full of ghouls. A system that at this very moment is savaging the planet and threatening its very survival as one of those rare livable planets that astronomers search over millions of light-years to find.
It was like a Nuremberg rally with the so-called opposition legitimizing it with their attendance—nothing in that room on either side of the aisle for the masses or humanity.
All of this, all the proof that this is fascism, all the more reason this regime must be driven out, and all the more living proof that we cannot rely on regular channels or leaders of the Democratic Party to do it.
*Nuremberg was both the city in Germany in which Hitler held many pageant-like Nazi rallies, as well as the city in which the war crimes trials of Nazi leaders were held after World War 2. [back]
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