This piece was first published on eoinhiggins.com
Consider this an open letter to the American public and, more pointedly, to the American youth.
Part 1: What the F*ck Just Happened?
On election night, upon the news that Donald Trump was projected to win the presidential elections, at least hundreds of protesters from UC Irvine, UCLA, and Northern California quickly took to the streets, chanting "Never Trump!" and "F*ck Donald Trump!" The demonstrations took many forms in many streets across the country for the rest of the week, and this is what we should all be doing.
If there will be one good thing about a Trump presidency and the fact that the Republican Party -- the most dangerous organization in the world -- now has virtually full control over legislation, it is that at least now we know what we should be doing with ourselves. It's time to hit the streets. Under Obama, and hypothetically under Clinton, liberal citizens have remained complicit in ecocide, the nuclear-weapons buildup and our perpetual wars, and the financial recklessness that spawned the legitimate rage of the Trump constituency.
The Hillary Clinton campaign, instead of trying to absorb the Bernie Sanders constituency, relied on stealing votes from Donald Trump via the moderate right to make up the difference; the Democratic party showed itself willing to risk the fate of humanity just to hang onto the kind of corporate power they enjoy. They preferred moving further toward the weak center to execute this strategy over making the concessions that the Sanders campaign pressured them to champion.
There is no left-wing in mainstream American electoral politics anymore, and for this, the corporate body of the Democratic party -- mostly made up of lawyers and business people -- must beg for our forgiveness and accept that they will never receive it.
If you are patting yourself on the back on the morning of November 9th for having supported Hillary Clinton, you are part of the problem. Yes, Trump is an arrogant, bombastic imbecile. But do not be surprised. This is how societies in rapid decline and tailspin behave. The Democratic party has accelerated us down that path as much as the Republicans. Trump is the kind of figure that rises out of a bankrupt establishment that will risk anything -- even handing over the reins to a complete dumbass like him -- to cling to its power.
Thomas Frank wrote a piece for The Guardian, "Donald Trump is Moving to the White House, and Liberals Put Him There," the morning after the elections, a first-rate analysis that deserves to be quoted at length. First, Frank acknowledges that Hillary Clinton was just about the worst possible choice the Democrats could have picked for "[...] this angry, populist moment. An insider when the country was screaming for an outsider. A techno-crat who offered fine tuning when the country wanted to take a sledgehammer to the machine." Further down, he notes, of Sanders and Biden as opposed to Clinton, "Each of them would probably have beaten Trump, but neither of them would really have served the interests of the party insiders," and finally, on the topic of how sickeningly presumptuous, patronizing, and enslaved by the status quo the Democratic party was, Frank writes,
"[...] but it was the quality of the media's enthusiasm that really harmed her. With the same arguments repeated over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. Here's what it consisted of: