Ok, how to oppose Trump?

I am a bit perplexed. Sure, the people that I associate with mostly hate Trump, though I guess that I might have a friend or two that may have voted for him. With those: I just don’t bring it up; it is possible for me to have enough values in common but have different opinions on how to reach those values.

And unlike many of my friends, my biggest beefs with Trump is that I value proven competence and that I expect a certain deportment from the POTUS. He has shown me neither nor given me any hope that I’ll see any.
So when I say “stop Trump” I mean, well, the man himself. Yes, I don’t like most Republican policies, but I am willing to have a debate about those and I admit that, under the current rules, the Republicans won enough elections at just about every level, so they get to govern.

What I want is a stable, informed, principled Republican. We do not have that.

But, don’t count on Congress; after all, they go by what their constituents want and the Republicans like what they see. And because of several factors, including:

1. 2 Senators per state, no matter how sparsely populated
2. Geographic distribution of Congressional seats..and Democrats tend to live in tight clusters
3. Gerrymandering of US House districts

Conservative, rural people are grossly over represented in Congress. There is no getting around that. So national unpopularity of Trump means little.

So, what can we do?

The bottom line: Democrats and liberals are a minority in the US; we need allies. And yes, that means making friends with some whose values differ from ours, at least in some areas:

ut most left-wing leaders chose the second path. In the years between 1935 and 1945, they quietly began recruiting conservatives to build an anti-Hitler coalition and plan for the post-Nazi order. To achieve that goal, however, they needed to develop ideas and craft policies that would attract religious Germans.

This required some painful ideological compromises. Many left-wing leaders gave up their struggle against religion in public schools and abandoned their previous goal of socializing key industries. The more radical left criticized them as betraying the socialist cause. But after Hitler’s demise and the end of World War II, their decisions helped to provide a stable foundation for what became known as West Germany, and ultimately today’s reunified Germany, which by most measures is one of the least politically polarized societies in the world.

Meanwhile, the left-wing resisters who refused to compromise with conservatives found themselves isolated and dependent on support from the Soviet Union, whose leaders proved just as ideologically intransigent. These were the men and women who ended up founding East Germany, a state that survived only as long as communist Russia remained economically viable.

The current American situation is not identical to the German case. But Trump’s ascendancy is a symptom of societal crisis, just as Hitler’s was in Germany. At least since the 1980s and the entry of a religious right into politics, there has been polarization over the question of the country’s bedrock values. And for the past eight years, Republicans — establishment politicians and the tea party insurgents who brought them to heel — have run a successful campaign of “no compromise” with the left. Living in North Carolina, the so-called belly of the beast, I have seen how many on the right speak about liberals as enemies (and vice versa). They embrace Trump despite their skepticism because they think he can finally push through their agenda with no left-wing interference.

Liberals could emulate the pragmatic wing of the anti-Nazi resistance by appealing to conservatives. But this would require something more agonizing than normal bipartisan compromises. It would mean finding common ground on the very social issues that have riven politics for the past three or four decades.

Liberals might have to alter, or at least sideline, some of their most prized platforms on abortion or secularism in the public sphere. Conservatives might need to consider welfare policy proposals they have long condemned, such as single-payer health care. Compromise on that profound level seems almost impossible at the moment. But Trump’s threat to the republic grows in proportion to the widening ideological fissure between left and right. As the German example shows, bridging the worldviews of former enemies may be the only way to avoid the abyss.

Actions against Trump might include protests, but these protests should be effective. Protests which involve people who just run around and break things play right into Trump’s hands (“see? You need LAW and ORDER”)

Doing things like blocking highways is just idiotic; all that does is anger people …AT THE WRONG TARGET.

Targeted protests with a well defined message which are conducted peacefully (e. g. the Women’s Marches were a great example of this) could well be inclusive. I might even join in.


February 7, 2017 - Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political | ,

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