#Trump: Notes to self and Lefty friends
synopsis and synthesis, movement strategy #TrumpNotes for 2017 in ‘progressive’ cities. a sloppy list of compelling ideas, all informed by friends and colleagues.
Trump Repression, Regression and Response (11)
- prepare for devastating regulatory and policy losses. resist implementation along the chain. become ungovernable through direct action, divestment, boycotts, strikes, mass CD, creative disruptions etc. raise up, resource and support action by those most targeted by Trump. call-in people with privilege to push beyond their comfort zones. direct action can still get (some) goods.
- state persecution at mass scale requires participation and complicity from local and state police and other arms of local law enforcement. intensify local organizing around police accountability #blacklivesmatter — make participation in Trump’s new repressive programs politically infeasible for locally elected mayor’s, DA’s, sheriffs etc. prioritize policies envisioned for sanctuary cities and other forms of local governmental non-cooperation w Federal repression. give cover to local pols and officials that step out.
- support our friends and family in rural and agricultural cities who face very different political conditions; national hate-mongering accentuates disparities across geography. a comrade in Jackson, MS reports a social volatility with growing white supremacist elements that advance physical threats (arson and worse) targeting Black movement spaces etc. invest and rally around Black and indigenous led resistance especially in the South and Midwest.
- support rapid response networks (deportation resistance, hate crime response, safety walks, abortion facility protection, eviction blockades, copwatch etc.) and other mutual aid supports for targeted peoples. consider efforts growing community “first responders” — who intervene and help diffuse disputes — as an alternative to calling the police. help align these strategies to model and scale longterm community controlled security infrastructure.
- invest in readiness training for environmental and political disaster, and view crisis related skill building as a political strategy. advance the localization and decentralization of food and energy production to build community resilience in the face of global economic and political volatility.
- as assault on women and queer & trans people intensifies, develop strategies to better integrate womanist analysis and framework in our community and labor organizing. push mainline white feminist organizations to resource especially the leadership of low-income queer and trans women of color. seek to align political resistance against Trump with pro-feminist values, like promoting #ConsentCulture as contrast to Trump’s rhetoric and policies. #DemandConsent #NoTrump
- educate our communities and networks around the functions of our surveillance state, the history of cointelpro and other domestic repression. reject the digital security divide, and seek equitable access to communications tools like encrypted texting, trainings in “security culture,” and infrastructure like the blockchain sector to anticipate repression and popularize resistant alternatives in technology. better integrate speech & privacy, and press & internet freedom fights into our movement discourse and strategies.
- prepare for specific attacks on Left and nonprofit infrastructure by the federal government. expect efforts to freeze c3 & c4 funds. move assets to more secure legal and financial vehicles.
- prepare to resist extreme privatization. find better ways to communicate about the commons, the public good, and the danger of the profit motive in essential public services. link to #flint and other animating impacts of profit creep or austerity within the public sector. attempt to leverage the debate on healthcare to articulate the nuances: attribute ObamaCare’s real challenges to the lack of a #PublicOption, and a dependence on market solutions that enriched private insurance & health companies. foster clear eyed discernment of #infrastructure scams and mass corporate subsidies, couched in universalist language.
- support domestic community based organizing and the nonprofit sector to build internationalist analysis and narratives to compete with Trump’s nationalist panic. a popular front against militarization, trade aggression, migrant & refugee persecution, sex-trafficking, and climate change not only depends on resistance by US frontline communities, but also an emergent moral populism animated by a sense of global solidarity and empathy.
- invest in and amplify cultural and narrative resistance strategies. our role is not to change his mind. rather, work to delegitimize him by exploiting contradictions within his already fractured coalition, while energizing our base. make #2FaceTrump the least popular president in modern American history.
Election Takeaways (5)
- don’t blame 3rd parties. drive fights to reform voting structures to end 2 party supremacy and give voters new options without the fear of “spoilers.” NY has fusion voting. Maine through referendum adopted historic Rank Choice Voting. change the rules, run radical candidates, push Dems left, win local contests.
- Electoral College is antiquated. but notice the less visible, more influential role of redistricting & gerrymandering in 2020. Republican state houses will cement map rigging against progressive voter viability for another decade. start building state tables and strategy now.
- read Trump’s win as a hunger for radical alternatives, not as a cosmological shift to the Right. in the 3 key states (Penn, Michigan, Ohio), Trump had small increases in Republican turnout, while HRC hemorrhaged voters from the Democratic base. Clinton+Kaine would never tap Obama’s anti-establishment ethos and was never designed to. the enthusiasm gap was the Democrats’ to loose, and it wasn’t because they weren’t centrist or white enough.
- begin to articulate an explicit post-capitalist politic. Millennials favor socialism over capitalism in polls. we’ve seen #Occupy and Picketty’s success. Movement for Black Lives Policy Platform outlines a non-capitalist economic vision. and 20+ million people voted for a Democratic Socialist. the nonprofit Left and labor sector is lagging conspicuously in our messaging and vision. the only way to build an anti-capitalist politic is to name it. resist “white populism” and invest in a multiracial poor people’s movement to transform capitalism eg King (both Martin and Mel).
- the resounding rejection of Trump by younger voters and people of color is a critical trend to follow. foster longterm repulsion by younger voters and the “new majority” w the Republican party. seek to make Trump the last Republican president.
In the Moment (10)
- advocate fiercely against internment and ethnic persecution. center a demand for reparations for Black and indigenous communities. cite Japanese American internment and reparations as warning and precedent.
- better integrate grassroots organizing and movement building with the small business sector to popularize and scale #neweconomy #solidarityeconomy #localism #socent #cooperatives #impacttinvesting #justtransition #economicdemocracy efforts. contest the Right’s “pro-business” position and build multi-stakeholder ecosystems to align new political coalitions with local governing power. #ujimaproject
- support experimentation with decentralized network organizing to build the reach of our movements. seek to align new formations with existing community organizing, labor and progressive faith infrastructure.
- media oriented direct action strategies are now more essential for national narrative intervention. however, beware of conflating successful PR strategies with meaningful community organizing.
- the “future of work” convos that includes artificial intelligence, impending surplus labor crisis, and strategies around universal basic income and platform cooperativism, as well as the future and role of the labor movement, demand further debate and focus.
- we’ve passed the precipice of climate disaster. but long before the earth becomes uninhabitable, globally destabilizing climate refugees, precipitated by famine, disease, water & resource wars, and political collapse, will result in a humanitarian catastrophe of unprecedented scale. the question is only of magnitudes. we must animate potential impacts of inaction for our communities, and begin making real preparations. seek to motivate mass action without resorting to fear as our fuel. gratitude for our #waterprotectors #StayNoDAPL
- invest in cities as progressive centers of Left power, and drive “High Road” strategies where we have meaningful traction and can show — not tell — the benefits and viability of Left policy. use cities to anchor trans-local movement building, as well as urban-rural alliances to help align political and economic solidarity.
- more important than ever, arts, culture, media, and narrative can help us see our power and beauty.
- create spaces for movement leaders to step out of our nonprofit industrial commitments. recognize the ways that our work can corrode our livelihoods — invest in healing (physical, mental, spiritual) of our leaders. prioritize movement resilience and center #love in all work.
- as always, make the alternative irresistible AF.