Reading the Opening Talk in the Context of the Alabama Senate Race
from Coco Das, Texas
I have been reading the opening talk to the Refuse Fascism Mass Meetings – This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! Where are We At? How to We Break Through? – over the last week, in the aftermath of the senate elections in Alabama. Although I too am happy that the lunatic Roy Moore didn’t win, and I think on some level his defeat could be seen as a repudiation of Trump, we have to consider these two recent statements by Doug Jones, the Democrat who won the race.
On calls for Trump to resign because of sexual harassment and rape allegations: “At this point, we need to move on and try to work with some real issues that are facing the country and not worry about getting at odds with the president any more than we have to.”
On the “gracious” call he received from Trump: “He congratulated me on the race that we won. He congratulated me and my staff on the manner in which we handled this campaign and went forward. And we talked about finding that common ground, to work together.”
I think these two statements concentrate why the Democrats are not the answer to the fascist Trump/Pence regime and the entire white supremacist, Christian theocratic movement they are leading right now. What does it mean to reach across the aisle and find common ground with people who deny the equality and full humanity of millions of people?
We know what it means. Too many immigrant communities terrorized by ICE. Too many Black youth sacrificed to mass incarceration and police killings. Too many women without access to abortion, birth control, or basic healthcare. Too many LGBTQ people forced back into the closet. Who will be offered up as collateral damage in the service of this meaningless peace with the fascists in power?
In this context, three paragraphs from the opening talk especially stood out to me.
People have been trained to see that all that is possible is to cheerlead, hope for, or work with the Democratic Party. Over and over on the media major issues are framed and reframed in terms of Republicans vs. Democrats with eyes focused on the next election even before the previous is over.
There is a sharp contradiction between people’s deep and profound revulsion at Trump and Pence, including all the horrific things they have done, and, on the other hand, people’s illusions that rest on their relatively stable lives, including their experience and belief in the stable functioning of the government, its institutions and processes. Even when people in this country’s personal situation is actually precarious, there is both the actuality of life here being relatively stable, and the illusory belief that it will always be so.
Look, let’s get down on the ground. The progressive and more historically marginalized strata of this country expect that their interests will be taken care of by the Democrats. This is so, perhaps especially so, by those who want to reform the Democratic Party. There is a “faith” that is not substantiated by reality that Trump and Pence and what their regime is doing will be redressed by the Democratic Party. It will not. They, and others in power, will only act if and when they feel that they are losing the allegiance of huge sections of society. They will only act when the turmoil created by the people compels them to act on what is for them their greater interest in maintaining their system.
The ideology that Roy Moore wanted to take to the Senate is already in the white house. This is a fascist regime that is leading an extremely dangerous fascist movement. In the face of that, we have an “opposing” party that doesn’t put up much of an opposition and will not call for what is really needed, a massive, sustained protest movement, because of the instability that would bring. We are told, by Doug Jones and other Democrats, that we should move on and find common ground.
There is a lot more in the talk on this point of stability and on the ability or willingness of the Democratic Party to stop fascism from further consolidating. These points should be vigorously and publicly discussed and debated. Let’s have some back and forth in the spirit of unity and forge ahead.