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Trump, Pence: How to Best Take Them On Part 3

Trump, Pence: How to Best Take Them On - Part 3

By Dennis Loo (6/23/17)

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

There are, of course, many different dimensions to the question of how best to deal with this Trump-Pence regime. On the one hand, it can quickly become a very complicated issue, as anyone alive and at least semi-aware knows. On the other hand, there are certain simple truths that you have to get right or you will immediately, or soon thereafter, go astray.

Let's begin with the simple truths and then move from there.

The first simple fact: more of the same or similar won't do. We got here through those means and if this result is unacceptable to you, then you have to take a different path. As Sherlock Holmes said in The Sign of the Four story: "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"

We are dealing with a system and therefore our aim is to change the governing system logic with a different system. While Trump is hardly normal, in fact, highly abnormal, even his closest associates are running in circles trying to please their mercurial and agitated boss, and Trump though he doesn't like it, needs other people to do anything. As peculiar and out-from-right-field as Trump is, the issue is not mainly him. The problem we face is not "human nature" as people usually mistakenly mean that - greedy, selfish, narrow-minded - but the logic of capital and the pursuit of more capital. Even Trump obeys that law. As would anyone else, including Bernie Sanders. The existing system isn't going to offer you within its existing legal channels the means to undo that very system. It would be crazy to do that and there is a reason why no system ever has done so. If you think that voting for a new system is on the ballot, then you have another think coming. You have to go outside the normal channels. That is what the Civil Rights Movement, the anti-war movement and the women's movement all learned and showed. That is what history can teach us, if you pay attention to that cumulative and world-historic experience, which leads us to the second simple truth.

The second simple truth: study and learn from history. Millions of people over history have tried many things and humanity has certain facts to teach us. Don't act as if that experience is irrelevant because people have paid in blood for these lessons. This moment in time is not a thing apart but is part of that whole cloth. Act steeped with a sense of history and don't go into battle without it. Ignoring that past would be like showing up for war unarmed, without a sword or a gun. 

The third simple fact is that the most popular idea is generally wrong, especially at the start.

In order to fix the situation, you must be willing to do, in other words:

  1. what has not been done before, or at least is a path often not taken,
  2. learn deeply and study in an ongoing way historical lessons, and
  3. what initially at least may seem to most people (even maybe yourself) far-fetched.

Already these three points eliminate most avenues right off the bat. There is no easy path to do what you want and one sign that it's not what you want is if somebody offers you a simple and safe way forward. I'm not saying that your route will always be unpopular; in fact, if you do your work right, then in some respects you will eventually draw tens of millions of people to your banner, but if you start out thinking and acting in customary ways, by definition, you know you're wrong.  

How do you know you're not just unpopular because you're barking up the wrong tree? How can you tell the difference between a crack idea and a crackpot idea? 

The first smell test: are you basing this on a deep grasp of history or are you offering up something you think no one has ever thought before you came up with this brilliant idea? If it's the latter, most likely you have a lot of company who are also wrong and you should look more closely at what history tells us. 

Why do you think that the Occupy Movement disappeared within two weeks or so, all over the country and with the co-ordination of the Obama DOJ? 

Here is what the GOP pollster Frank Luntz said in 2011: 

This was before the violent evictions of the Occupy encampments. He confessed that the Occupy movement was “frightening” him “to death because it was changing the way Americans think about capitalism.” Note that he didn’t say that he was frightened to death that people would vote Democratic. He said that he was frightened to death about the way this social movement was changing public opinion. The battle for public opinion is where the action is. Elections are a means by which public opinion is shaped to suit the purposes of those who run things. If we want something else, then we have to puncture the elections charade and build an alternative pole of opinion not beholden to one party or another, a movement that bases itself on facts not spin and that tells people the whole unvarnished truth, not convenient fictions. That is the only way to usher in a new, just world and the only way to truly engage people politically and mobilize them as an independent force rather than some artificial version of democracy.

What was it about a bunch of tents and handpainted signs that so threatened authorities they had to bring out the police and sweep these small arrays of people away and keep them away? They were changing how people thought about capitalism and a majority of Americans all over the country supported their goals. Pollsters saw this and recorded it in their polls. This is the same people, many of whom voted for Obama earlier, and then out of desperation, voted for Donald J. Trump. 

There is, in short, the basis for a movement from the grassroots to change the whole picture.

To be continued.

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Elaine Brower 2

Elaine Brower of World Can't Wait speaking at the NYC Stop the War on Iran rally 2/4/12