How many of us wish we were going into 2018 without Trump and Pence in the White House?
In its first year, the Trump/Pence regime has proven its resilience, bouncing back from crisis after crisis, shock after shock. The regime has withstood protests, petitions, legal challenges, mockery, twitter storms, and a potentially damning investigation.
But they have not yet faced their biggest challenge, a challenge that could actually stop fascism in its tracks and drive out the whole regime. They have not faced a critical mass of people in the streets day after day declaring them illegitimate and demanding their removal.
Yes, this regime with its eyes on cementing white supremacist, Christian theocratic rule and its finger on the nuclear trigger is still in power. But the potential remains for millions of people to stand on the right side of history, clogging the streets and disrupting business as usual, refusing to allow them to destroy humanity in our name. Over and over again we have seen how swiftly the determined power of the people in the streets can cause a political crisis that forces tyrants to step down. What happens after is not the right question. What happens after is unknown, but what this regime is doing now, and what it plans to do as quickly as possible, is a known horror.
What the Trump/Pence regime has survived thus far is the turbulence it promised, a turbulence necessary for tearing up the existing norms and bringing about a qualitative change in how society is governed. This turbulence will give birth to a new order, the order of fascism, where everyone in society knows their place and doesn’t dare step out of it.
Our movement, aimed at mobilizing the millions of people who can stop this, has faced its own challenges this year, from fascist lies and threats to media white-outs to dismissive shrugs from forces that could play a crucial role in leading us out of this mess but have chosen a different road, a road that leads to accommodation and conciliation even despite their best intentions. Going outside of the normal channels to drive out a fascist regime, in the name of humanity is not an easy path, but it is the right path. As long as fascists remain in the executive branch, with the freedom that gives them to shape the law of the land, the terms we must work with are set by them, and what becomes the norm is the unconscionable.
This opening talk of the Refuse Fascism December conference carefully analyzes the past year of the Trump/Pence regime, as well as the achievements and shortcomings of the movement to drive them out. All of us looking at this reality together, discussing and debating in the spirit of unity, and acting on our shared understanding is crucial to building a sustained political movement that can deal with the crisis at hand. Now is not the time to withdraw and retreat. Now is the time to engage and commit.
There is a world of possibility in the word “yet.” As we move into a new year, whether it is with despair, disbelief, or even some hope that the end of this administration is near, let’s remember that this regime has not yet faced its biggest challenge, a crisis brought about by the people refusing to accept its rule, voting with their feet in the streets, and becoming, en masse, ungovernable.
The power of “yet” is a future still unwritten.