Trump & Pence: An Arranged Marriage Made in Hell

July 25, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Joey Johnson burning the flag at the Republican Convention.Revolution Club at the RNC & DNC

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The selection of Mike Pence as Donald Trump's vice-presidential running mate was, to all appearances, an arranged—if not a forced—marriage between Trump and powerful forces in what has been the establishment of the Republican Party. Both of the "families" behind this marriage—Trump's camp and the traditional mainstream Republican Party—represent the most hellish exploitation and oppression, here and around the world. But they have real contradictions over how that should go down.

Trump and the establishment Republicans have a lot in common. For decades, and in increasingly blatant ways, the Republican Party has been the party of the "angry white male"—whipping up and unleashing unapologetic white supremacy and patriarchy. Trump's fascist madness is a continuation but also an extreme escalation of this.

There are forces in the ruling class, including high up in the Republican Party, who worry that Trump's naked fascism—his open racism, his indiscriminate assault on immigrants, the crudeness of his violent hatred for women, his open embrace of torture and executing innocent relatives of "terrorism suspects" to defeat "America's enemies," and his visceral disdain for the rule of law—threaten to tear society apart in ways they are not ready for.

Further, there are elements of Trump's agenda that are in serious conflict with the traditional positions of mainstream ruling class politics. Trump is dismissive of NATO—which has been a key to U.S. domination of the world since World War 2. His attacks on "free trade" agreements conflict with what the Republicans have championed for decades as a core element of their program—"free," unimpeded U.S. investment in sweatshops, mines, plantations, and other sources of massive profit around the world.

For these and other reasons, a number of very prominent Republicans—including nearly all the former Republican presidents and presidential candidates—are at this point sitting out this election. At the same time, many of these forces are hedging their bets and working to influence the Trump camp from within. These establishment Republicans prevailed on Trump to replace his close advisor Corey Lewandowski with Paul Manafort as campaign manager. Manafort has a long record of working for previous Republican presidents. And Manafort apparently played a key role in pressuring and maneuvering Trump into accepting Mike Pence as his VP over Trump's objections.


Pence represents the establishment Republican Party, and in case anyone is looking for a "lesser evil" in this mix there's nothing good about them! Pence is a Christian fascist who, while in Congress, led one of the efforts to shut down the government unless all funding was cut off for Planned Parenthood. He has long and deep ties to representatives of capitalists who chafe at any government regulation that impedes "free trade"—meaning any regulation that gets in the way of the manic movement of capitalist investment around the world. These forces, including the oil billionaire Koch brothers, are fixated on shredding environmental protection; virtually eliminating government regulation of workplace safety; privatizing education; and cutting taxes by de-funding essential social services including social security and Medicare.

American Crime

Bob Avakian recently wrote that one of three things that has “to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better: People have to fully confront the actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today, and the terrible consequences of this.” (See “3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better.”)

In that light, and in that spirit, “American Crime” is a regular feature of Each installment will focus on one of the 100 worst crimes committed by the U.S. rulers—out of countless bloody crimes they have carried out against people around the world, from the founding of the U.S. to the present day.

See all the articles in this series.

Pence's views on U.S. aggression around the world are in line with mainstream ruling class strategic thinking. One of his first major statements after being nominated for vice president was to contradict Trump's dismissive attacks on NATO and reassure U.S. allies that, if elected, Trump "would absolutely stand by our allies and treaty obligations."

If all this sounds like a bunch of cutthroat mob factions maneuvering for power, that's because that's what it is, only on a scale no mobster could ever dream of. No change for the better will come from either side of the conflict represented by Trump on the one hand and forces behind Pence on the other. Or from Hillary Clinton, for that matter. They all salute, demand respect for, enshrine, and pump out the American flag that symbolizes genocide, slavery, and unjust wars. And they are all about preserving the system based on exploitation and oppression.

There's nothing good in this whole ugly mix for humanity. But the contradictions and conflicts embodied in the forced marriage between Trump and the establishment Republicans have the potential to lead to greater infighting among the powers that be. That kind of infighting can be part of the mix that goes into a revolutionary situation—where there is a real chance for an ACTUAL revolution to win.

In this situation, what to do?

Fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution!


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