Letter from a Reader:

The Trump/Pence Regime Is Not “Self‑Destructing”

June 19, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Many people say “Trump is self-destructing” and self-sabotaging his presidency with his tweets and ill-considered statements, getting into deeper trouble as investigations continue and he does not heed wise counsel. “He’s a lawyer’s worst nightmare,” voices blare from MSNBC and other media. In the context of continuing investigations in Congress and at the Department of Justice, with talk and hopes of impeachment being raised, with opposition not only from the Democrats but from the intelligence agencies and the judiciary, there is perception and opinion that the Trump presidency is “imploding,” even if it takes a while, and he will be removed due to a combination of all this.

In this context, and as a response, consider the following points:

* First, fascism has deeper roots and is a result of larger dynamics. There is a cohered fascist social base, and they are not going without a fight, quietly into the night. They see this as their last chance to “take their country back.”

Trump has labeled the Robert Mueller special counsel investigations “a witch hunt” and reacted with anger, disdain, and a resolve to fight. While he does—at times—seem to step on his toes, fundamentally Trump is lashing out, remaking rules, and rallying his fascist social base to the fight.

“Entrenched interests” are doing “everything in their power to try to stop us,” Trump told a gathering of evangelicals the day James Comey, former FBI head who was fired by Trump, testified before Congress. “Nothing worth doing ever came easy, but we know how to fight better than anybody. And we never, ever would give up, and we don’t give up. We are winners, and we are going to fight, and win, and have an unbelievable future.”

What is contending between the “entrenched interests” and Trump’s “unbelievable future” are two different worldviews and forms of rule, both rooted in and presiding over the capitalist-imperialist system. Fascism, as represented by Trump/Pence and the Republican-fascists, is, however, more monstrous and grotesque than liberal bourgeois democracy, as represented by Clinton/Obama and the Democrats. As revcom.us points out:

Fascism is the exercise of blatant dictatorship by the bourgeois (capitalist-imperialist) class, ruling through reliance on open terror and violence, trampling on what are supposed to be civil and legal rights, wielding the power of the state, and mobilizing organized groups of fanatical thugs, to commit atrocities against masses of people, particularly groups of people identified as “enemies,” “undesirables,” or “dangers to society.”

As Bob Avakian (BA) has analyzed extensively in The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer and other works, fascism in America is a result of larger dynamics at this moment in history. He has scientifically analyzed the rise of this fascism, its underlying causes and drivers, and peculiarly American expressions such as Christian fascism—and what is to be done for the emancipation of humanity. (See sidebar.)

The fascist Trump/Pence regime, with the Christian theocratic fascists and the Republican leadership that supports them, represents an extremely reactionary section of the bourgeoisie. They have forged and cohered a social base around this program, decades in the making, a phenomenon in evidence at Trump’s rallies. “With the leading edge of ‘America First,’ white supremacy, patriarchy, and absolutist ‘traditional values’ and Biblical morality, this constitutes and further reinforces underlying oppressive and exploitative relations of this system―and coheres its base around an uncritical exaltation of American might and a violently oppressive and repressive stance toward all who do not fit, or will not subordinate themselves to, the white Christian-fundamentalist mode.” (From “Some Points on Strategic Orientation for the Next Period“ from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party)

This is what Trump means when he talks about “an unbelievable future” or what Vice President Mike Pence meant when he declared “Now is our time” when the new fascist cabinet was fully formed.

This differs from the “multiculturalism” and liberal secularism of Clinton/Obama which, while different, does not fundamentally break with this system’s Christian, white supremacist or patriarchal norms—or the dominant oppressive position of U.S. imperialism in the world order. Fascism and liberal bourgeois democracy are differing responses to major contradictions—globally and in the U.S.—faced by the bourgeoisie, the capitalist-imperialist ruling class. See box on this page for more.

This Trump/Pence regime is a fascist cabal that is not going to be unseated easily, that is not going to go without a fight. Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City and a close supporter of Trump, expressed this during the campaign as, “There is no next election. This is our last chance to save this great country.

All of the different factions of fascism in America that have come together under the Trump/Pence regime want to see their program and vision realized, and are not going to go without a fight. Trump’s mistakes and ongoing investigations can contribute to their being removed from office, but relying on them to “self-destruct,” and measures short of driving out this whole fascist regime, will leave intact a program with horrendous consequences for humanity.

* Second, as a fascist regime, they are not bound to or going to respect bourgeois democratic norms, and the “checks and balances” that result from those norms. In fact, Trump’s whole record starting with his election campaign is one of breaking norms and imposing his will.

The reality is that Donald Trump now holds the reins of state power—including its key institutions of repressive power—the military and the Department of Justice (which oversees the FBI and local police forces). He and his cohorts have made clear from day one that they fundamentally are not bound by the traditional separation of powers and what has characterized the “checks and balances” and the bourgeois democratic norms they rest on—asserting, instead, the unchecked power of the executive.

As the Call to Action for Refuse Fascism states, “Donald Trump and Mike Pence have assembled a vicious cabal that has put forth positions and begun initiatives which demonstrate that they fully intend to shred political and social norms with catastrophic consequence.”

Newt Gingrich, one of Trump’s supporters, went so far as to say, in effect, that the president by definition cannot obstruct justice. The regime will try to suppress and silence any group—even within the ruling class—that poses obstacles to the implementation of their program.

As the Call to Action for Refuse Fascism states, “We must recognize that the character of fascism is that it can absorb separate acts of resistance while continually throwing the opposition off balance by rapidly moving its agenda forward.”


* Third, while the Democrats sharply oppose Trump/Pence and their program, they are not—and will not—do what is needed to STOP this.

The Democrats have sharp differences with the Trump/Pence regime, highlighted almost daily by the regime’s reversals of Obama-era legislation and policies. They pose real obstacles to the imposition of the fascist program, along with other sections of the ruling strata like the judiciary and the intelligence agencies. But while the Democrats and those they closely influence are mobilizing certain kinds of opposition, they don’t want to risk this spinning out of control where it puts the whole system and its legitimacy in question. They haven’t even called out this regime’s fascism and its illegitimacy on this basis.

They have not and do not want to openly call their electoral base of support—of liberals, progressives, Black people, immigrants, women, and others—out into the streets, to drive out the fascist regime, for the sake of humanity. Doing so can potentially destabilize society, and risk the legitimacy and unraveling of this system as they, the Democrats, have NO answer to the fundamental concerns of these sections of society, the deep fault-line contradictions of this system that cannot be resolved within the confines of this system—wars of empire, the oppression of Black people and oppressed nationalities, of women, of immigrants, and the destruction of the environment. They cannot risk these becoming the terms of struggle, so they confine and channel the struggle instead to terms such as Russian interference in this “great American democracy.”

As the Call to Action for Refuse Fascism states, “After the election, Obama said of Trump: ‘We are now all rooting for his success.’” Obama further underscored this, saying they “are all on the same team.” Maintaining the capitalist-imperialist system for the Democrats takes precedence over their opposition to fascism—and the lives of millions of oppressed people, here and around the world. (See “The Pyramid of Power and the Struggle to Turn This Whole Thing Upside Down” by Bob Avakian.)

Having said all this, it is possible to conceive the impeachment or removal of President Trump from office due to the investigations, opposition, and machinations in the ruling class, at the “top.” This brings us to the next point.

* Fourth, if they do somehow “implode” without the mass independent action of the masses of people fundamentally repudiating this fascist program, then the terms will be really bad for humanity. Mike Pence may remain in power, as would others from the fascist cabal.

As revcom.us has said before, “Who is worse, Trump or Pence? Both are worse!” As a leading representative of Christian fascists, Pence instituted vicious and unprecedented attacks on women and the LGBTQ communities during his time as governor of Indiana. He has stood by and defended Trump on virtually every single act. He is known for being much more “efficient” and “disciplined,” which should send chills down the spine of everyone with a conscience, and who has some sense of what this regime represents as a whole.

There’s the openly white supremacist attorney general, Jeff Sessions, aiming to escalate the legal-police-penal onslaught against Black and Latino people and immigrants. There are others—Betsy DeVos, John Kelly, “Mad Dog” Mattis, and others. Fascism has backing at the highest echelons of society, connected to a broad, mass social base for fascism and tied in with fascist networks within the military. (For more on this, see The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era by Bob Avakian.)

If this regime and this program are not fundamentally repudiated with mass action of the millions of people who hate this regime and everything they represent, then humanity and the oppressed of this country will suffer greatly. Just see what has happened already, chart out the trajectory, and imagine this fascist program intact. Every single day of this regime causes greater horrors, putting humanity at greater risk, including from nuclear weapons—and we cannot afford to simply wait or rely on Trump to “self-destruct” or the long process of impeachment to take its course. Humanity cannot afford this a single day longer!

This fascist program needs to be fundamentally repudiated, as part of driving this fascist regime from power, as soon as possible—by the mass independent historical action of millions—like in the 1960s, with society wide protest, upheaval and mass resistance.

In this context, obstacles from and sharp struggles among ruling factions are part of the mix, and can contribute to driving out the regime. Whether or not these are in the interests of the masses of people—and where this all goes—depends on what we do. So, how should these struggles be approached? In this context, the two paragraphs that the revcom site recently published are critical:

The Democrats, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, etc., are seeking to resolve the crisis with the Trump presidency on the terms of this system, and in the interests of the ruling class of this system, which they represent. We, the masses of people, must go all out, and mobilize ourselves in the millions, to resolve this in our interests, in the interests of humanity, which are fundamentally different from and opposed to those of the ruling class.

This, of course, does not mean that the struggle among the powers-that-be is irrelevant or unimportant; rather, the way to understand and approach this (and this is a point that must also be repeatedly driven home to people, including through necessary struggle, waged well) is in terms of how it relates to, and what openings it can provide for, “the struggle from below”—for the mobilization of masses of people around the demand that the whole regime must go, because of its fascist nature and actions and what the stakes are for humanity.


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