Refuse Fascism Editorial Group | Printable PDF
Statement from Editorial Board, September 25, 2019
Nancy Pelosi announced on September 24 that the House of Representatives will begin formal impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump.This announcement comes after months of trying to take impeachment off the table, even with a Democratic majority in the House, under the logic that it would be too “divisive.”
On the heels of a whistleblower’s report that Trump pressured the government of Ukraine to find information that could damage the political reputation of Joe Biden, his main electoral opponent, Nancy Pelosi felt compelled to begin an official impeachment process. Not only did this new development represent a significant attack by Trump on the ruling norms of this country, to continue to refuse to impeach after yet another blatant attack on political opponents would have greatly damaged the legitimacy of the Democratic Party and their ability to galvanize its base before the 2020 elections.
It is important to note that concentration camps at the border, threats on the 80 million people of Iran, diverting funds to build a racist wall, open support for white supremacists, Christian fascist attacks on abortion rights, and so many other aspects of the fascist program are NOT the reason for Nancy Pelosi’s announcement. The Democrats are couching this in terms of national security and what is most threatening to their system and vision of American power in the world. But this conflict at the top, and this change of stance on impeachment, is an important opening for us to launch sustained, non-violent protests with the unifying single demand that the Trump/Pence regime must go. While these impeachment hearings are going on, there is great potential to create a political crisis, like in Puerto Rico and Hong Kong, if we flood the streets and refuse to go home until the Trump/Pence regime is removed from power.
There are also great dangers to humanity if we get sucked into waiting for the results of impeachment hearings while the regime barrels ahead with even more urgency to consolidate their power and hammer into place their nightmare agenda. If we do not act with equal urgency, going all out to force the removal of the regime with sustained non-violent protests now, the consequences for humanity could be disastrous – with accelerated moves toward war with Iran, attacks on immigrants, and shredding of governing norms and laws.
In this context, the Refuse Fascism editorial board is highlighting a piece from last spring: 5 Points on the Demand for Impeachment. This will not be resolved in the interests of humanity without building with even more urgency our movement from below to stop a fascist America and drive out the Trump/Pence regime.
The following points provide some guidance in light of all this contention and complexity:
1. Within the normal channels, impeachment alone is not a precedent for removal. No U.S. president has ever been removed from office through impeachment. A simple majority in the House of Representatives can impeach, but a ⅔ majority in the Senate is required for removal. Even after the 2020 elections, that kind of majority is unlikely, especially without millions of people acting now to stop a fascist locomotive on a collision course with humanity. If millions of people act on their conscience and step outside the normal channels into a sustained, nonviolent protest movement, impeachment can open the door to resignation or become one mechanism by which the ruling forces, if they are compelled to by a mass movement from below, can try to resolve a crisis of legitimacy.
2. We do not want President Pence, the leader of the Christian fascist wing of the regime. Aiming for nothing less than a Christian theocratic society ruled by biblical law and morality, Pence’s ascension to the White House, through his unholy alliance with Trump, is bringing about a Handmaid’s Tale nightmare in which women are forced to bear children, LGBT people are persecuted and erased, and science is suppressed. Refuse Fascism is mobilizing people around one unifying demand, the removal of the entire Trump/Pence regime. This can create an overwhelming rebuke of all of the values and aims of this fascist movement—the white supremacy, patriarchy, xenophobia, vicious wars with the escalating danger of nuclear war, and the fascist assault on truth, science, and the environment. History has shown us that the people acting together, with creativity, courage, and conviction, can force out tyrannical regimes.
3. Impeachment cannot become another means by which the millions who hate what is happening become sucked into another waiting game as the Trump/Pence regime terrorizes more people. While people are arguing for impeachment, the decisive factor is whether or not a critical mass takes to the streets to stop this regime. The point needs to be brought home that no one’s vision of a positive future for humanity will be possible while this regime remains in power. The hour is getting late, and waiting until 2020 while this regime consolidates power is unconscionable. Sustained, nonviolent protests must be organized and launched at the soonest possible time.
4. Without a “clamor” from below in the form of a critical mass of people in the streets, this crisis will not be resolved by the ruling powers in a way that is good for humanity. What we are facing is fascism: rule by open terror and violence, civil liberties stripped away, dissent criminalized, and group after group demonized and targeted along a trajectory that leads to real horrors. Fascism advances in stages and makes leaps in a vacuum of opposition. This regime is waging war on Muslims, immigrants, women, LGBT people, the press, science, and on the planet itself. We cannot rely on the Democratic Party to stop this. Absent a mass movement from below, the Democratic Party’s calculus will put order over justice and prevent people from breaking out of politics as usual.
5. This is a time for millions to seriously confront, take up, spread, and get organized around the message of Refuse Fascism: “In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America. This nightmare must end. The Trump/Pence regime must go!” People who are engaging in the call for impeachment need to get into our Call to Action and the vision it lays out for sustained, nonviolent protests that “…will shake millions awake, with many losing their adjustment to life under this regime. The international credibility of the regime will be undermined. A determined struggle that doesn’t yield and won’t be provoked can create a serious political crisis. Those in power who are themselves now under attack by the regime but conciliating with it would be compelled to respond to our struggle from below, leading to a situation where this illegitimate regime is removed from power.”