What Else Happened While All Eyes Were Fixed on the “Great Election Victory”?

November 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


On Tuesday, November 7, the Republifascists were thrashed in elections in a number of states, particularly Virginia. Ed Gillespie, their candidate for governor, had gone all out with the poisonous Trump agenda—upholding monuments to slavery, denouncing NFL players who protest police murders of Black people, equating Latino immigrants with the MS-13 gang. Gillespie ended up losing.

These results are another indication that tens of millions of people in this country are repulsed by Trump and what he stands for. This is the underlying basis for mobilizing millions of people in sustained nonviolent struggle to drive out the Trump/Pence regime, as Refuse Fascism has called for and is organizing to bring about.

Democratic Party spokespeople, along with a host of liberal and progressive commentators, cheered these electoral victories—which did NOTHING to curb Trump’s actual power—as proof that elections were not just the main, but the only form of meaningful “resistance.” Meanwhile, the Trump regime was aggressively pushing forward its fascist agenda and endangering the world! And the Democrats either downplayed, normalized, or outright supported these power moves.

This intoxication with elections is a dangerous illusion, because it ignores the basic reality that the Trump/Pence regime is a fascist regime on a mission, and it does not respect, nor feel bound by, the “rule of law” or by elections either. Remember how during the Republican presidential primary campaign, when the possibility of an open convention came up, Trump and his supporters openly hinted that there would be riots if that happened? Then remember how, as the election approached and it looked like Trump might lose, he refused to say he would accept that result—again, implicitly threatening violence if he was not installed as president?

These fascists are playing by a different rulebook, and this becomes clearer every day. Just look at some of the things that went down in the seven days around the elections:

  • November 4: The Saudi Arabian crown prince launched an internal coup, arresting hundreds of opponents and concentrating power in his own hands. He declared that actions of Houthi rebels in Yemen constituted an “act of war” by Iran against Saudi Arabia. He forced the public resignation of the Prime Minister of Lebanon (who appears to be under house arrest in Saudi Arabia). These moves are an escalation targeting Lebanon and Iran, and could lead to a new war—or wars. But the kicker is that right before this coup, the Saudi prince and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, held two late night meetings “planning strategy.” And immediately after the coup, Trump tweeted support for the prince, saying he “knows exactly what he is doing.”
  • November 6: A woman who had given the finger to the Trump motorcade in Virginia as it passed her—which was posted on social media and went viral, and which appeared on her own personal websites, with no mention of her employer—was fired from her job at Akima, a government contractor.
  • November 6: Conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks published an analysis of the Republican tax reform bill, showing that it is structured to target those sections of the middle class (professionals, artists, intellectuals), institutions (private colleges), and areas (big cities, California, and the Northeast) that are centers of opposition to the fascists, funneling funds from them to corporations and billionaires.
  • November 7: As Donald Trump spoke to the South Korean parliament, three U.S. carrier attack groups sailed into North Korea’s coastal waters. Both the dominant section of the South Korean ruling class and the majority of Korean people are deeply anxious that Trump will cause a devastating war with North Korea. Disregarding this, Trump spoke like he was the emperor of the world, declaring that “the time for excuses is over. Now is the time for strength,” warning North Korea that it is in “grave danger” if it does not follow U.S. orders, bellowing “DO NOT TRY US.”
  • November 7: The Intercept reported that Trump told CIA Director Mike Pompeo to have an in-depth meeting with William Binney, a right-wing conspiracy theorist who claims that the Democratic Party itself—and not Russia—hacked the Democratic National Committee emails. The Intercept said this meeting points to Pompeo’s “apparent refusal to push back against efforts by the president to bend the intelligence process to suit his political purposes. ... [and] raises the possibility that right-wing theories aired on Fox News and in other conservative media can now move not just from conservative pundits to Trump, but also from Trump to Pompeo and into the bloodstream of the intelligence community.”
  • November 7: The Washington Post reported that Pompeo has restructured the CIA so that the counter-intelligence division is under his direct supervision. This division was the source—and still presumably holds much of the evidence—of reports on the relationship between the Trump campaign, and later his administration, and Russian operatives. Pompeo has positioned himself to be able to suppress such evidence.
  • November 9: It came out that Trump’s Justice Department intervened in a planned merger between Time-Warner and AT&T, which currently owns CNN, a frequent target of Trump’s attacks on journalists. The Justice Department told AT&T that they have to sell off CNN, or the merger will not be approved. This is not only a direct attack on CNN, but also a powerful warning to all media that the full force of the federal government can be brought to bear against them if their coverage is “unfavorable” to Trump. (Meanwhile, the Justice Department is not objecting to a massive expansion of conservative media group Sinclair Broadcasting, allowing it to reach 72 percent of viewers in the U.S., almost double the 39 percent limit previously allowed by Congress.)
  • November 9: Former federal district judge Shira Scheindlin exposed in the New York Times that Trump is stacking the federal courts with extreme right-wingers, including a supporter of so-called “conversion therapy” (psychological and physical torture) for gay youths, who believes “marriage equality is a ‘threat’ and evolution should be taught as a theory, not a fact.” Another nominee is one of the architects of a voter suppression plan that courts found “targeted black voters with ‘almost surgical precision’.” These judges have lifetime tenure.
  • November 10: The Trump regime has begun dismantling the decades-old Temporary Protected Status program for refugees from Central America. Now hundreds of thousands may face deportation back to situations of extreme violence in their home countries—conditions that are the direct result of U.S. domination and wars in that region.

What all this shows is a regime that is forging ahead with its program by using the tremendous powers of the executive branch (including the “bully pulpit” to arouse and unleash fascist mobs). It is a regime that is preparing to unleash wars for empire in Korea or Iran—wars that would also serve as justification for suppression of dissent and civil liberties, and further concentration of power in the hands of the executive branch. It is entrenching its people in key positions, and it is working systematically to weaken and crush its opponents, by both open and subtle means.

The regime is positioning itself to be able to go forward in the face of indictments, falling poll numbers or electoral defeats.

It is a regime that will not quietly give up the power it has seized nor the fascist transformation it is carrying out.

It has to be driven from power.




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