New Tool for Organizers:
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You can vote a fascist in, but you can’t vote fascism out!
1 – Title slide: You can vote a fascist in, but you can’t vote fascism out!
From the Refuse Fascism Call:
We are horrified and angered at the shocking damage already done to lives here and around the world by the Trump/Pence regime. We recognize that they are poised to do far worse, including threatening WAR, even nuclear war. Through an unrelenting barrage of daily outrages and twitter outbursts, the Trump/Pence regime is radically remaking society – step by step hammering into place a vicious American fascism. This is not insult or exaggeration, it is what they are doing.
Therefore, WE RESOLVE that nothing short of removing this whole illegitimate regime from power will stop this nightmare.
2 – No Trump
This was written a year ago. Since that time all of that has gone on, relentlessly…
What the regime has done – Just in the last weeks…
Shut the government down over the wall… the supreme court backed the regime’s banning of trans people in the military – just a step towards where they want to go… Pence and Trump by video spoke at the March for Life in DC, fully backing and even giving a more “political” edge to that movement which calls for an end to abortion rights and which supports ending even contraception… gave a fascist State of the Union speech with white supremacist demonization of immigrants, lies about abortion that went almost completely unchallenged in the news commentary, vicious “America First” chauvinism putting Iran, Venezuela, and the people of the world in its cross hairs.
3 – Trump State of the Union with Pelosi
This is an emergency. This is not normal. This is not something that can just go on and on for two more years.
4 – Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond VA, 2017
The emergency did not come out of nowhere. Its’ roots lay in the hundreds of years of history of slavery and genocide – deeply embedded white supremacy, which continues to the present day.
5 – Sundown towns –
This is an old picture of a sundown town, where by law people could not be on the streets after sundown. Thousands of them existed, north and south, and exist to this day where it is dangerous for Black people to be out.
6 – Northam yearbook
This is a society saturated in white supremacy. The fundamental thing revealed in the furor over Democratic Gov. Northam’s racist medical yearbook picture is not about maneuvering for control through scandal in Virginia. It is about white supremacy in America. This is the ground that this country is standing on, and which Trump’s fascism is taking to a whole other level.
7 – RefuseFascism.org at Walk for Life
Abortion rights hang by a thread. Here is Refuse Fascism protesting at the recent massive pro-abortion Walk for Life in San Francisco. The fascist regime we face draws in and galvanizes all those who yearn for and increasingly demand a forced return to the day when women were relegated to the home and bearing and raising children.
8 – White House Bible study
An important part of the core the regime is an alliance between Trump and the hard-core politicized Christian fundamentalist movement. He needed them to get the presidency. They supported him because they saw in him someone who would carry through with his promise of going outside the rules and norms. He was in a kind of alignment with their hatred of constitutional democracy and desire for a radically different form of rule – they want a theocracy. Another, blunter way of putting it is that what drew them together was their mutual fascism.
In July (2017), it was revealed that Cabinet secretaries meet every week to study the Bible and pray together.
9 – Trumpocalypse
Some of the most powerful figures in the U.S. government subscribe to the notion that Armageddon is near, and welcome. And this is a central part of the outlook of a section of Trump’s most ardent social base.
10 – Trump-king
Katherine Stewart in a 12/31/18 NYT Op-Ed piece writes about how a movie about an ancient king of Persia sheds light on the cohesion of the fundamentalist social base around Trump. She quotes an influential evangelical who declared “I believe the 45th president is meant to be an Isaiah 45 Cyrus,” who will “restore the crumbling walls that separate us from cultural collapse.” He is invoking the chapter Isaiah 45 in the Bible which tells the story of Cyrus, an ancient king of Persia, a non-believer supposedly put in place and guided by God to restore ancient Israel to greatness by triumphing over and enslaving enemies.
11 – Handmaids in Philadelphia
I asked one woman in why she wanted to put on the handmaid costume at a protest this summer. She put her fingers together said “we are this close”.
Stewart concludes: “This isn’t the religious right we thought we knew. The Christian nationalist movement today is authoritarian, paranoid and patriarchal at its core. They aren’t fighting a culture war. They’re making a direct attack on democracy itself. They want it all. And in Mr. Trump, they have found a man who does not merely serve their cause, but also satisfies their craving for a certain kind of political leadership.”
12 – Trump with troops in Iraq
There are other strands of fascist politics in the regime besides Christian fascism. There is Steve Bannon’s “European civilization must rule” version of white supremacy and there is the raw revived KKK and other street elements as fascist footsoldiers.
13 – Trump in Iraq
We have to confront the reality that a form of fascism has won the presidency, taken over a majority of the Supreme Court, and controls a majority of the legislatures in the states. We cannot give a complete picture here – but I highly recommend the talk by Bob Avakian “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!” The consequences if this regime fully consolidates power are enormous, and not just for people here, but for the entire planet.
14 – Kavanaugh protest
The normal processes of American Democracy will NOT, by themselves, redress the situation we face. Central to the project these fascists have is shattering the established norms of political life and decision making, and that takes chaos. If we think we can somehow take refuge and find comfort in the fact there is some big daddy Democracy out there that will come to the rescue because they are not doing things the way government should be done and has been done, then we are fooling ourselves. As the RefuseFascism.org Call to Action puts it “we are not getting what they actually ARE doing and we are not understanding the determination of these fascists in power to shatter norms” – even though they have been doing so for over 2 years.
The heightened activism and protest of the past several years – either by itself or with the elections including the advances by the Democratic party in 2018 – will NOT stop this regime. What is needed is another level of determined and much more massive non-violent protest focused on driving the regime from power. That is possible – there are millions who hate the regime – and it would be an enormous step forward in the situation we are in.
What has been done in terms of protest so far is NOT enough to deal with the emergency we are in, and I will get to the Democratic party very soon. The regime has absorbed individual protests as it rapidly moves its agenda forward on multiple fronts.
16 – Los Angeles freeway protest
The right to protest is increasingly under attack. One example, Maya Cruz participated in a Refuse Fascism silent protest at the University of Chicago. 11 minutes of silence for 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country. She was arrested on felony charges and faces up to 7 years in jail. Protesters in LA are facing very serious charges for blocking a freeway with a banner.
17 – Nazis on parade
Jason Stanley in his book “How Fascism Works –the Politics of US and THEM” concludes by talking about the danger of normalizing fascism. “What normalization does is transform the morally extraordinary into the ordinary. It makes us able to tolerate what was once intolerable by making it seems as if this is the way things have always been. By contrast, the word ‘fascist’ has acquired a feeling of the extreme, like crying wolf.”
18 – Ocasio Cortez
Today, people are being told – and far, far, far too many are believing – that the new Democratic majority in Congress marks a huge victory and a “new day.” MSNBC, Democracy Now, and many others are nonstop heralding the “good news” of the diverse identities of the freshmen congressional reps, various new legislation or inquiries, and on and on. But the “women in white” at the State of the Union chanting “USA, USA, USA” did NOT mark an advance but they are instead normalizing and bolstering the regime – and sucking a great many people in along with them.
19 – Pelosi & Schumer
We have to confront what it is that the Democrats are actually doing. They are not opposing Trump’s fascism. They do not call it out, and they have no plan for stopping it, and they are playing a big role in helping to normalize what should not be normalized. And they confine every means of protest and resistance to the channels of politics as usual, i.e., elections and other normal channels. They do not call people into the streets to oppose fascism, they oppose and work against people taking to the streets.
20 – cartoon of “Democrat border”
Take for example the position of the Democratic leadership on the wall. They oppose the wall, but increasingly stress that they support “border security.” Which means what? More border patrol, high-tech surveillance, treatment of the immigrants and refugees as an alien force, driving desperate people into dangerous deserts to try to cross where thousands have died over the years.
21 – Guatemala
They are complicit with Trump’s family separation and with the attacks on asylum seekers BECAUSE THEY AGREE with the underlying assumption that the immigrants are a problem and must be kept out, or strictly controlled. This is why Bill Clinton built hundreds of miles of border wall. This is why Obama was the “deporter-in-chief” and deported more than 2 million.
22 – baby Trump
Many are saying that Trump is bad, yes, but he is just chaotic and destructive and an idiot, and we can just wait him out or vote him out. But this is a dangerous mis-assessment. There is a coherence, even to the chaos. Coco Das argued on the Refuse Fascism website:
”In some ways, this chaos is the very vehicle by which this regime frees itself from the constraints imposed by the established domestic and international order. We become obsessed with the chaos, while the vicious fascist program beneath it becomes secondary or invisible. Even during his campaign, Trump brought and promised a destabilizing level of chaos. The raucous lynch mobs whipped up at his rallies, the constant rumors and scandals that shocked and titillated but never brought him down, the insults and threats against opponents and the press.”
23 – Trump campaign
We should assume that fascists like Trump have an infinitely high tolerance for the kind of chaos that sends other sections of the ruling order reeling. We should also assume that those sections, in their desire for stability, will seek that stability by capitulating to the demands of a fascist regime. This is what we can learn from history, and what they are already doing.
But fascists are not tempered by compromise. They go after the totality of what they want, maintaining their momentum in what the historian Robert O. Paxton calls, “an ever-mounting spiral of ever more daring challenges,” toward a final stage in which dreams of racial purity and expanding power are realized, at great cost to humanity.
24 – Charlottesville
… For two years, people have been taking the chaos of this presidency as a sign of incompetence or unraveling. This is a dangerous illusion. At the same time, this chaos can become a source of vulnerability for them, IF the people, thousands growing into millions, act in determined mass protest to stop them.
25 – Border tear gas
We have to think about and confront the failure of the German people to deal with Hitler. Especially at the start, the Nazis were a distinct minority, even among conservatives. But no party, and no popular movement, correctly identified what Hitler represented and found the way to remove the fascists from power. It is on us to do better – much better.
26 – Women’s march Cleveland
IT is widely proclaimed that the shutdown of the government in order to build the Wall was a defeat for Trump. Not true. Eight months ago hundreds of thousands took to the streets to protest the separation of children from their parents. It was deeply felt as something that people could not just sit and watch on the news, but had to protest.
Today the high-tech border clampdown of the Democrats is frankly accepted as a viable alternative to Trump’s wall by many who were out there protesting, and there are almost no street protests against the truly shocking treatment of the immigrants right now. They just admitted that there are thousands more children that they separated from parents and they didn’t even keep track. Where were the massive denunciations and what does it mean that they are not there?
27 – from the Call: “but there is another way
from the Call: “but there is another way, a different kind of protest. We need to organize now for the time when we can launch massive, sustained nonviolent protests in the streets of cities and towns across the country- protests that continue day after day and don’t stop, creating the kind of political situation in which the demand that the Trump/Pence regime be removed from power is met.”
We can in fact do this, and we must.