How a Trump Presidency Would Unleash a Torrent of Racist Violence-And Devastate the Left
The Left should take the Trump threat very seriously.
How a Trump Presidency Would Unleash a Torrent of Racist Violence-And Devastate the Left
By Arun Gupta /
Sep 28, 2016

To gin up progressive votes for center-right candidates, Democrats cry wolf every four years: “This is the most important election ever! If the Republican wins, the world will come to an end!” Understandably, progressives who feel burned by this routine have joined the “Never Hillary” camp. And it’s hard to disagree when Clinton rubs elbows with neocons, Wall Street bankers and Henry Kissinger.

But the moral of the fable is this: The wolf eventually shows up—and no one takes the threat seriously.

This is the case with Donald Trump, who is all too easy to dismiss as inept, a clown, clueless, and more interested in the trappings of power than the details of policies.

However much truth there is to all this, it masks a grim reality. As president, Trump would launch an all-out war on social progress. 

Those who think the ruling class will restrain him ignore that it has been unable to stop him thus far. Trump’s own party couldn’t do it. And despite Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood and the corporate media all lining up behind Clinton, Trump is gaining in the polls. Given his disdains for any laws, norms or rules, he would make the Bush era look like a paragon of probity and judiciousness.

And he’ll have momentum on his side. If Trump wins, he will probably carry enough Senate candidates with him to retain GOP control of both houses of Congress. More sobering, a Trump victory would embolden white nationalists, giving them access to vast state power and resources and a White House that would downplay or ignore their violent excesses. Trump has bundled together many branches of racism into a proto-fascist movement hell-bent on the ethnic cleansing of America by eliminating Muslims and many immigrants through walls, bans, barriers and deportations.

Movements that have emerged or gained strength during the Obama years, such as Black Lives Matter, immigrant-rights “Dreamers,” the climate justice movement, and low-wage worker and reinvigorated labor campaigns would be devastated. All that work would be crushed or abandoned as activists desperately try to defend the millions in Trump’s crosshairs.

This is an especially painful election because I, like many, have despised the Clintons since their racist 1992 campaign, and through their ensuing record of free-trade deals, assaults on social welfare, war, mass incarceration, pro-police and anti-immigrant policies, coziness with Wall Street, mendacity, and corruption.

But this is a case, as Adolph Reed puts it, when it’s essential to “Vote for the Lying Neoliberal Warmonger.” This is not a call to back Clinton’s policies; it’s a recognition that an authoritarian strongman like Trump is such a threat, there is an urgent need to defend people of color and social movements from the violent white nationalists now riding his coattails and who will shape his White House agenda.

Think of it this way. If a doctor says you are dying of cancer and only radiation therapy will save you, that doesn’t mean you suddenly think the nuclear power industry is great. But you’ll take the treatment. On November 9, the day after the election, the Left should redouble the real political work of building independent mass movements and working against the right-wing elements of Clinton’s agenda.

This is not a call to stop criticizing Clinton or to abandon independent organizing and shunt that energy into the Clinton campaign. That must continue without pause, but taking a second to cast a vote to stop Trumpism from taking state power will benefit that organizing enormously.

While Clinton, like Obama, is no friend of social movements, Democratic presidents must pay them lip service because they are the party’s base. To Trump and his supporters, especially the Alt Right he has embraced, the Left is public enemy number one. He would crush progressive movements and overturn many of the hard-fought and partial victories over the last eight years, while rampaging across the planet with no check.

Think about all the damage Trump would do, far beyond what Clinton is capable of.

Last decade, under President Bush, the FBI designated the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front a “serious terrorist threat,” ending these movements. The right is clamoring for the same designation for Black Lives Matter, and Trump will happily oblige, effectively outlawing the movement to end police violence and structural racism.

Obama’s halting steps to mitigate climate change would be reversed as Trump opens up lands and coasts to oil, coal and gas industry plunder, and pulls out of international agreements to reduce carbon emissions. He would likely send the National Guard to bulldoze the climate justice movement blockading oil pipelines, trains and terminals, along with the indigenous communities defending their lands. His platform calls for overturning rules favoring renewable energy. All this would be a prelude to gifting tens of millions of acres of federal lands and monuments to mining, grazing, logging, and energy interests. The Right, especially the Koch Brothers, has been pushing hard for this for years, and Trump is unlikely to stand in their way.

In many areas, Trump is turning over policy to extremists. He has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood, he will no doubt stack courts with judges who will further erode if not strike down reproductive rights, and he has allied with fundamentalist Christian forces eager to overturn all the recent LGBT victories.

The Obamacare coverage millions of Americans received, while inadequate, would be wiped out under Trump and replaced with purely market-based measures, while Medicaid would be gutted through a conversion to block grants. There would be no plan to end the student debt cycle for millions, which is the one big concession Bernie Sanders extracted from Clinton.

Under Trump and an attorney general like Rudy Giuliani, cops would have a free hand to brutalize Black and brown people. There will be no more federal scrutiny of police violence, no more investigations, or consent decrees with police departments. Indeed, Trump has recently endorsed “stop-and-frisk” policing, which was abandoned in his hometown of New York City after a judge determined the practice unconstitutionally targeted Black men and Latinos. With a right-wing Supreme Court, voter suppression would also become the norm to solidify overt white nationalist rule for a generation.

African-Americans are well aware of the risks Trump poses and how he has stirred old racist demons. This is why Trump is getting zero percent African-American support in some polls. While Trumpism will linger even if he loses, and white nationalists remain dangerous, they would also be demoralized, with the movement splintering and descending into infighting rather than having a door thrown open to the most powerful entity in the world: the U.S. government.

As we know, Trump has called to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants and “build a wall”—a plan so outrageous that it has overshadowed many of his other radical proposals. Trump has vowed to kill Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that provides protection from deportation for up to 1.7 million undocumented immigrant youth, He aims to bar federal funds to cities with sanctuary programs. He wants to curb even legal programs for foreign workers and slash the share of all immigrants in America to “moderate historical averages,” which, based on statistics in an article linked on his website, would mean a two-thirds reduction, or expelling 27 million immigrants.

This is only the half of it. If Trump slaps tariffs on imports, deports millions, and gives huge tax breaks the wealthy, Moody’s paints a dire scenario of declining home prices, 3.5 million jobs lost, and a downturn outlasting the Great Recession. If he also roils relations with Europe, the Middle East, and Asia that will further cripple the economy. As much as free trade harms workers and the environment, once an economy is hooked on it, you can’t just pull the plug. We have to be weaned off slowly while supply chains and networks are rebuilt.

Put it all together: a white America angered by fewer jobs and declining income, a campaign that has brought together neo-Confederates, white nationalists and Neo-Nazis (and emboldened the Klan to openly recruit), and there will be a hunt for scapegoats. Trump will deliver them because his candidacy was born in a sewer of racism, beginning with birtherism.

This could include a ban on Muslim immigration, a registration program, police invasions of Latino communities, or mass round-ups—which would mean concentration camps to hold immigrants before they were forced out, overseen by his “deportation force” of Brownshirts.

There is a quaint notion on the Left that somehow Trump is hot air. This ignores the dynamics he's set in motion that will make new types of state-sponsored racial violence all but inevitable. This is not just a quantitative change over Obama and Clinton, but a qualitative one.

This is a man who wants to fling around nukes, kill the families of terrorists, conduct mass racial profiling, and enact torture “a lot worse than waterboarding.” Millions approve when he calls for the assassination of his opponents and mass ethnic cleansing.

But nattering leftists on social media go to Trumpian extremes to downplay the threat. They have an unbelievable faith in the ruling class to hold back Trump. They think if Trump takes power, terrible racist violence will spur incredible mass movements. Of course, if extreme violence alone could kickstart a proletariat revolution, half the world would be in open rebellion. Rather, these Facebook revolutionaries are willing, even eager, to see new forms of extremism unleashed on untold millions inside and outside the United States because they’ve burrowed so deep into rotted-out political clichés, they can’t see the threat before them.

For those not drowning in the dogma, but focused on making social change in the real world, this election poses as stark a choice as there ever was.

Do you want to see movements like Black Lives Matter, Climate Justice, low-wage workers, immigrant rights, and other left social forces continue to grow and develop? Or do you want to see a Trump administration carry out ethnic cleansing as it sets loose armed white nationalists?

It’s that simple. 

ARUN GUPTA is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York and has written for publications including the Washington PostThe NationSalon, and the Guardian. He is the author of Bacon as a Weapon of Mass Destruction: A Junk-Food-Loving Chef’s Inquiry into Taste (The New Press).

4.0 ·
Trending Today
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 12,137 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Trump Is a Symptom of a Sickness That Is Raging All Across The World
1 min · 10,450 views today · This is why we are here. And this is what we need to remember. 
What Is My Activism Really About? to Love, Serve and Remember
Tim Hjersted · 4,590 views today · I have made a promise to this world that I will carry with me to my last days. It is my vow to lessen the suffering of the world while I am here - it is to ensure that every...
Escape! From the Cult of Materialism (2016)
50 min · 3,210 views today · Does the philosophy of materialism work to destroy our identities, experience, and environment? Join narrator Daphne Ellis on a radical romp through the evidence and decide for...
Looking Forward to the Day That Nationalism Is as Reviled as Racism
Tim Hjersted · 3,059 views today · Nationalism is a form of geographical racism that makes some lives matter more than others, and explicitly justifies that logic without apology. While today, not even lying...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 2,347 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 2,249 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
Supporters 'Ecstatic' After Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning's Sentence
Nika Knight · 1,320 views today · Whistleblower to be released from military prison in May
Stunning Photos By Alexander Semenov Showcase The Alien Beauty Of Jellyfish
Earth Porm · 886 views today · Jellyfish appear like beautiful aliens in Alexander Semenov’s photography, calling a new attraction to a magical species of marine life. Alexander Semenov is a marine...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 824 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine · 607 views today · “…everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious.” —Arthur Young; 1771 Our popular economic wisdom says that...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 593 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 529 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Coping With Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the White House
N Ziehl · 431 views today · I want to talk a little about narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve unfortunately had a great deal of experience with it, and I’m feeling badly for those of you who are...
The Greening of the Self: The Most Important Development of Modern Times
Joanna Macy · 419 views today · Something important is happening in our world that you are not going to read about in the newspapers. I consider it the most fascinating and hopeful development of our time...
Positive Thinking in a Dark Age: A Guide to Gracefully Losing Faith in a Collapsing Dominant Culture
Jim Tull · 280 views today · I recall a Buddhist parable involving a stick that appears from a distance to be a snake, causing fear to rise in the perceiver. As the perception shifts upon closer...
Watch How Europeans Carved Up African Land They Never Owned
56 min · 276 views today · Watch how Europeans gave away African land they never owned, then expressed anger when Africans resisted. The film is called Africa: A Voyage of Discovery, Episode 6: The...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 257 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 247 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
This Woman Gets No Applause...Why? They Are Too Creeped Out...
7 min · 236 views today · Think you aren't being fooled by advertising tricks? Take a look at this so-called expert revealing food marketing's secret weapon. No amount of marketing makes factory farming...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
How a Trump Presidency Would Unleash a Torrent of Racist Violence-And Devastate the Left