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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 9/1/20

Four Years Ago, We Warned That Trump Could Win. Now We're Warning Again.

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Trump supporters in Portland clash with Black Lives Matter Saturday.
Trump supporters in Portland clash with Black Lives Matter Saturday.
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Five days before the election that put Donald Trump in the White House, an article we wrote appeared under the headline "Dangerous Myths About Trump That Some Progressives Cling To." The piece warned progressive activists about "three key myths":

Myth #1: "Trump can't win."

Myth #2: "If Trump becomes president, he'll be blocked from implementing the policies he's been advocating."

Myth #3: "Trump couldn't do much damage as president."

We wrote that each of those myths was based on major misunderstandings of political realities: In fact, Trump actually could win. If he did, we shouldn't "have an inflated view of our own power to block the policies of a President Trump." And, "Trump plans to appoint to the most powerful policy positions of the U.S. government individuals who are as whacked out as he is: Rudy Giuliani, Dr. Ben Carson, war fanatic John Bolton, to name just a few."

We added: "A Trump presidency made possible by his demagogic appeals to racism, misogyny, immigrant-bashing, and Islamophobia would empower the worst elements of U.S. society."

Our point now is not to say we told you so. Our point now is to tell you that Trump really could win again and progressives must do everything in our power to stop that from happening. That means, individually and collectively, going all-out to Vote Trump Out. Crucially, in swing states, that means voting Joe Biden in.

We have no illusions about Biden, who has faithfully served neoliberal corporatism throughout his political career. At the same time, we have no illusions about the neofascist elements of the Trump presidency or the virulent extremism of much of his political base.

That's why, in recent weeks, the two of us have helped launch a campaign to "#VoteTrumpOut (in Swing States)/ Then Challenge Biden from Day One."

An encuraging reality is that the progressive movement is much stronger today online, in the streets, and on election ballots than four years ago. We're better organized, better funded, better networked, and more astute about the need to challenge corporate Democrats.

Large numbers of progressives are ready, willing, and able to battle a Biden-Harris administration on behalf of transformational reforms like a Green New Deal, major criminal justice reform to counter racism and establish true public safety, Medicare for All, affordable housing, free college, increased taxes on corporations and the rich, and big cuts in Pentagon spending.

Before that battle for progress can begin, the racist Trump regime must be defeated in battleground states (listed here) and by significant margins, so the election can't be stolen.

While a Biden-Harris administration could be pressured toward reforms benefiting poor and working-class people, Trump is immune to progressive pressure and protest. And a second Trump term would stoke more white-supremacist vigilantism and an even more far-reaching assault on democratic rights and marginalized communities.

The #VoteTrumpOut campaign is aimed at a sizeable bloc of voters in swing states that mainstream media pundits generally ignore: "swing voters on the left." Some of these change-oriented voters are thinking about sitting out the presidential election or casting a third-party protest vote, even though they live in battleground states.

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Jeff Cohen was director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, where he was an associate professor of journalism. He founded the progressive media watch group FAIR.org in 1986.

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