An anti-Trump protest in Washington, D.C. Photo via Wikipedia

Trump. Must. Go.

There’s no other way

by ANDREW DOBBS

We are now only a few days — hours really — until a man despised and opposed by the overwhelming of U.S. adults and youth is sworn in as president of the United States.

Donald Trump’s unthinkable victory has led to an unprecedented opposition to his victory. Protests are likely in Washington, D.C. and around the country — student walkouts, strikes, civil disobedience and other disruptions.

Yet despite this opposition and the clear grounds for rejecting the legitimacy of his election — if not on constitutional grounds, then on the grounds of the very values the constitution claims to be rooted in — the public and political class have assumed that the best we can hope for is an electoral victory for the Democratic Party in four years, and that we should act as though the liberal political order is still a valid tool for resisting Trump, not directly culpable for his ascension.

These messages are reactionary, wrong and destructive of the very force that will bring Trump’s reign to an end one way or the other. The only realistic and legitimate demand is his immediate removal, and the immediate removal of all his allies and enablers from power.

To sum it up in a hashtag — as we must nowadays — the demand needs to be #TrumpMustGo.

I cannot overstate the power and importance of this demand and slogan. The government exists to resolve conflicts within the ruling class and to keep all other classes down, especially the working class.

Wealth has concentrated into fewer and fewer hands in recent years, and thus the ruling class has gotten smaller and smaller. At the same time we have seen the system’s ability to produce ever-increasing levels of surplus and profit slow down, and so divisions within the ruling class have become dangerously inefficient for them — they threaten the future of the profit system altogether.

Unity of the ruling class becomes increasingly possible and necessary, and while to this point its various factions have contended with one another by mobilizing different parts of the working class with electoral promises and politics, now their tasks at hand are totally anathema to working people at large.

Their continued power and wealth demands a unitary elite political position that opposes liberal democracy.

This fascist necessity is upon us now, of course, and there is now a single ruling-class political demand — act as if things are normal. Everyone from Sen. Elizabeth Warren to the Ku Klux Klan demanded that we “give Trump a chance,” and Pres. Barack Obama helped ease his “peaceful” transition. “Peaceful” insofar as we ignore the spike in hate crimes since Trump’s election.

Mainstream liberals tell us that the solutions are writing to our members of Congress, hoping for impeachment if things get bad enough and winning elections in two or four years. But proponents of conventional means of resistance forget that Trump is wildly popular in the party in charge of Congress and could easily use executive power and the Justice Department to suppress voters enough to actually rig elections.

The message from every corner of the ruling class — from the most politely “progressive” to the most stomach-churningly fascist — is that we must resign ourselves to Trump’s rule.

This unified ruling-class position, however, begs for a unified position from the classes Trump’s regime leaves out of power. This position must arise from material interests, and at this point there is no interest more acute than the need to end threats to individual survival and security for members of oppressed communities.

An anti-Trump protest in Washington, D.C. Photo via Wikipedia

It should reject the give-him-a-chance position, and it should be broad enough to pause the internal distinctions and contradictions of the oppressed classes. We must give Trump no chance. He must be removed from power. Again, in a phrase, #TrumpMustGo.

This demand is both realistic and revolutionary. It is revolutionary in the sense that once we adopt it, the class struggle crystallizes on the simplest possible terms. Either we allow Trump to rule or we don’t. There’s no compromise position, no common ground, no ambiguity about whose interests lie where.

There’s only the contest to decide a victor, and the organizing necessary among revolutionaries to ensure that our side wins.

It’s realistic because popular demand has brought down hundreds of regimes the world over, including dozens in our lifetimes. Together these facts mean that revolution is a real possibility in the foreseeable future.

But we need a single, simple, revolutionary demand to pull it off — #TrumpMustGo fits that need.

One important additional benefit of such an unambiguous demand is it forces Trump’s opponents who possess significant class power to choose sides. It’s easy to chant “love Trumps hate” and pine for a liberal savior in 2020. It’s harder to acknowledge that the system that generates your class privilege also threatens the lives and liberty of millions of people — and always has.

An anti-Trump protest in Baltimore. Photo via Wikipedia

We cannot allow anyone to try to have it both ways. We must expose liberals and their political party — the Democrats — as collaborators with terror and force them to abandon their compromises.

A stark position — one that takes them at their word of support for the threatened and forces them to follow it to its logical conclusion — is crucial for clarifying the struggle at hand and eliminating potential traitors and obstacles to what must be done.

Demanding Trump’s immediate ouster makes people determine which is more important — their solidarity with Trump’s targets or their fidelity to the order that produced him. This sorting-out is indispensable.

Of course the very simplicity of #TrumpMustGo leaves a lot of questions unanswered. It’s a point of unity, and on its other side are numerous points of departure.

One immediate concern to dispatch with is the fear that #TrumpMustGo means the rise of vice-president-elect Mike Pence or even Rep. Paul Ryan or another Republican or accommodating Democrat. It ought to be a concise way of saying “Trump, his entire administration, all their allies and enablers.”

The point is not a mere replacement of officeholders, but a total elimination of real threats to our communities. These are the grounds for unity. Beyond that, the departures proliferate. If I’m wrong and liberal institutions can be saved, it could mean impeachment, the election of a progressive and consistently anti-Trump speaker of the house who becomes president when Trump and Pence resign … or some other orderly and constitutional process.

It could alternatively mean mass pressure forcing a resignation a la the Arab Spring protests, or some other extraordinary means of removing the regime.

Different groups will have different visions for this piece, not to mention the diversity of positions on what comes after Trump’s ouster, but those struggles can commence once our united action has eliminated the threat. Only a common goal can allow for this, and #TrumpMustGo consolidates the vision of all those in fear and rage today.

There are signs that the unified ruling-class position has already starting to crack, with parts of the ruling class associated with cultural production already beginning to push back against the give-him-a-chance line. It’s also very likely that once its power consolidates sufficiently, the regime and its class allies will suppress this position until we restore unity.

And that reference above to the Arab Spring should indicate that while this common vision is necessary, it’s hardly sufficient for securing lasting change, a real revolution. Removing a president or even an entire party while leaving their class base secure and intact is a recipe for instant counterrevolution.

In that instance, the same fundamental conditions prevail — and we merely delay the crisis. But these experiences should also give us confidence that while many may scoff at or ignore #TrumpMustGo at first, there’s likely to come a day when it’s spoken by nearly everybody. Unity of purpose is the start. Unity of effort and organization must follow.

On Jan. 20, 2017, there will be mass demonstrations the world over, with protests giving voice to the 75 percent or more of U.S. adults who rejected Trump — including Clinton and third-party voters, nonvoters unmoved by two underwhelming ruling-class candidates and the immigrants, prisoners, former prisoners and legally disenfranchised voters barred from the ballot.

If those protests are to be anything more than sour grapes, we need to be as unified in our opposition as the ruling class is in its assault. The basis for our unity is war against the immediate threat to our lives and limb. The demand that #TrumpMustGo.

Stay defiant.

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