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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/6/18

Trump, Year One

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This "#MeToo" campaign raised many issues. Some people argued that naming names of offenders did an injustice to them since they were not being given the chance to be seen as innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Others argued that these men were insulated from legal proceedings because of their political and financial power. Many had intimidated women into signing confidentiality agreements that seemed to shield the men from charges of sexual harassment. Accounts of the film producer Harvey Weinstein's behavior flooded into the public sphere and then opened the doors to other powerful men being challenged for their various forms of violence and inappropriateness.

This #MeToo dynamic played a major role in the Women's March of 2018. In Los Angeles, the actor Viola Davis said: "I am speaking today not just for the Me Toos, because I was a Me Too. When I raise my hand, I am aware of all the women who are still in silence."

"Power to the Polls"

In 2017, the protests were against the Trump agenda. Midterm elections will be held in 2018, so this time the focus moved from anger towards elections. The slogan before the marchers was "power to the polls." At present, the Republican Party controls the White House, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, as well as a majority of State Houses. The U.S., in other words, is dominated by the power of the Republican Party.

This year's midterm elections will be fundamental for the resistance to Trump. Each and every one of the 435 members of the House of Representatives will be up for re-election, as will a third of the U.S. Senators. A majority of the Governors in the States will face elections. If the Democratic Party could whittle away at the Republican control of these offices, Trump will be weakened. But it is unlikely. Seats have been utterly gerrymandered -- in other words, districts have been drawn in such a way as to ensure Republican control of the House of Representatives at least, if not other offices.

Furthermore, political alignments do not necessarily suggest that the hundreds of thousands of people who take to the streets command a majority in the country. This was known as the Women's March. And yet, in the last presidential election, Trump -- despite his vividly sexist behavior and remarks -- won a majority of the votes of white women. A striking 62 percent of white women went for Trump, while 95 percent of black women voted for Hillary Clinton. If black women and non-white women in general (81 percent) had not voted for Hillary Clinton, she would not have been able to win the women's vote.

It is remarkable that the first woman candidate, a candidate who ran on women's issues, was not able to win over white women to her side. There is little guarantee that they would vote for the Democrats this time around.

This article originally appeared on Frontline (India).

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Vijay Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair of South Asian History and Director of International Studies at Trinity College, Hartford, CT His most recent book, The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World, won the Muzaffar (more...)
 

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