It's tempting, after Donald Trump's election, to think magically. If you're an evangelical, why worry about climate change if you're convinced that The Rapture is just around the corner? And, if you're a desperate coal miner or steel worker, why not think magically when Trump promises that he'll bring your jobs back? But bringing those jobs back won't be as easy as settling a $25 million suit against Trump University.
And Trump's opponents are making a mistake if they, too, begin to think magically. Chris Hedges writes that Trump's opposition must focus on economic justice:
We cannot battle the racism, bigotry and hate crimes that will be stoked by the Donald Trump presidency without first battling for economic justice. This is not a gap between the tolerant and the intolerant. It is a gap between most of the American population and our oligarchic and corporate elites, which Trump epitomizes. It is a gap that is understood only in the light of the demand for economic justice. And when we start to speak in the language of justice first, and the language of inclusiveness second, we will begin to blunt the protofascism being embraced by many Trump supporters.
You will not find the fight for economic justice on the Christian Right:
Those enthralled by such thinking are Christian heretics—Jesus did not come to make us rich and powerful and bless America’s empire—and potential fascists. They have fused the iconography and symbols of the American state with the iconography and symbols of the Christian religion. They believe they can create a “Christian” America. The American flag is given the same sacred value as the Christian cross. The Pledge of Allegiance has the religious power of the Lord’s Prayer. That a sleazy developer and con artist was chosen as their vehicle—81 percent of evangelicals voted for Trump—for achieving this goal is startling, to say the least. But this is not a reality-based movement. Most of those who profit from this culture of despair, many wrapped in the halo of the ministry, are, like Trump, slick, amoral trolls.
But, more importantly, those who Hedges has labelled "the liberal class" must realize that their place is on the side of the economically dispossessed:
The liberal class has no hope of defeating the rise of American fascism until it unites with the dispossessed white working class. It has no hope of being an effective force in politics until it articulates a viable socialism. Corporate capitalism cannot be regulated, reformed or corrected. A socialist movement dedicated to demolishing the cruelty of the corporate state will do more to curb the racism of the white underclass than lessons by liberals in moral purity. Preaching multiculturalism and gender and identity politics will not save us from the rising sadism in American society. It will only fuel the anti-politics that has replaced politics.
Convincing Americans to buy socialism is going to be a tall order.
Image: Always On Watch