How do we counter Trumpism?

By   /   November 15, 2016  /   3 Comments

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How do we counter the right-wing populist currents emerging in several Western countries? The Trump victory shows that backing a liberal establishment alternative, like Hillary Clinton, is not a successful strategy.

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How do we counter the right-wing populist currents emerging in several Western countries? The Trump victory shows that backing a liberal establishment alternative, like Hillary Clinton, is not a successful strategy.

It’s pretty obvious, and polls back it up, that if Bernie Sanders had been the Democratic candidate he’d have won. Only a radical campaign could have beaten Trump. After the election, Sanders explained Trump’s appeal:

“Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media. People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids—all while the very rich become much richer.”

Only a radical critic of Wall Street like Sanders could have effectively exposed the fraudulent nature of Trump’s anti-establishment credentials and countered his resort to racism, sexism and xenophobia.

What of the future? Some say the answer is to reform the Democratic Party so that next time it can have a more progressive candidate. But that is an impossible mission in a party beholden to big moneyed interests and run by officials desperate to hold on to the reins of power. They did everything possible to stop Sanders becoming the Democrat presidential candidate.

The answer lies outside the Democratic and Republican parties, and their domination of US politics under its first-past-the-post electoral system.

Change is already beginning. The first state to move away from first-past-the-post voting is Maine, where last week citizens backed “ranked choice” voting in a referendum.

A more preferential voting system will help radical third parties like the Greens, whose presidential candidate Jill Stein garnered over one million votes, despite being marginalised by the media. One study found that Stein’s campaign received 3 seconds of coverage on corporate media for every 1,700 minutes for Trump and every 1000+ minutes for Hillary Clinton.

After the election Jill Stein acknowledged “the very real pain that so many Americans are feeling. We cannot and will not concede to what a Trump presidency represents for people of color, women, immigrants, Muslims, LGBT folks, the poor and working people.” Stein’s catch-cry was “don’t mourn – organize” as she listed upcoming community actions, including protests in Washington this month against the TPPA and “Occupy Inauguration” protests in January.

The NZ Greens tuned in to Stein’s message when they refused to support a parliamentary motion congratulating Donald Trump. Green co-leader Metiria Turei vowed “to fight the climate change denial, the misogyny, the racism. We will not let hate triumph.” That stand was in the spirit of tens of thousand of people who have taken to the streets across America to protest the Trump presidency.

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3 Comments

  1. Mike in Auckland says:

    First of all, I recommend by watching this good program, and to draw the logical conclusions and to take action to remedy the media bias:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/listeningpost/2016/11/trumped-abyss-reporters-reported-161112060429336.html

    Trump and his team managed to manipulate the media, that is the privately owned, corporate media that absolutely dominates the US, and also the new (increasingly corporatised) “social media”.

    People have little or no alternatives to get information, and many that go to certain alternative forums, they must also be careful, not to fall for misleading information, and brainwashing, and to not end up in one of many bubbles people live in.

    With the trends we have had, which are getting stronger, we will in future perhaps have NO independent, reliable information at all anymore, as all will be internally censored for its value to the ones making the “news”, the ones presenting information and the ones who earn with all this, also getting advertising and other funding from rich and powerful.

    New Zealand is heading where the US is, very fast.

    Why is there NO post here that links to the new petition on Action Station that supports the Coalition for Better Broadcasting, to stop RNZ from selling their Broadcasting House in Auckland? They are apparently planning that. We need more funding for the last truly public broadcasting operator, not more shoe string budgets, forced sales and so.

    We can see with blogs having their clear limits, a diverse, more independent and vocal media is essential to keep democracy alive.

    Trump will not want it, it will hamper his ambitions, and others in the US do also not want it. Key and gang here do not want free, independent media. RNZ is already as tame as it has never been, it is now totally conformist and dry, what they broadcast, journalists and other staff have been muted and compromised, not to bite the hand that feeds them.

    So there lies one area that needs urgent attention!

  2. Mike in Auckland says:

    Add your voice to what needs to be done now, and take more action than just add your name to the petition:

    http://betterbroadcasting.co.nz/

    http://betterbroadcasting.co.nz/news/blog/please-sign-our-petition-save-rnz-funding/

    We need street protests and pickets also, the PSA should bloody well organise RNZ and TVNZ staff members, to take action, as their inaction will only lead to the total dismantling of independent, free, more balanced public and community broadcasting, that is already nothing much more than a dead carcass now.

  3. Shelz says:

    Totally agree with you Mike that the PSA and other Unions should be organising more actions and strikes over the RNZ issue and others, but No, what are they doing? Planning their xmas holidays and working out what to buy each other for theirwork party?? Probably, it seems that they are too scared to do much and end up allowing the Nats to do whatever they like, with very little opposition in 8+ years. The time for action is now, whether xmas is near or not I think. Will sign the petition also.



Authorised by Martyn Bradbury, The Editor, TheDailyBlog, 5 Victoria St East/Queen St, CBD, Auckland, New Zealand.