Lèse-Evilism: On the US Election Season

by The Editors

This is an extract from the perspectives that will accompany the forthcoming issue #3: Or What Is a Hell For?.

World-on-Fire

1) The Elephants

The dark carnival of the US election season is upon us. In considering it, we must start by admitting sheer surprise.

Any online archaeologist of the left social-media-sphere will find, scant months ago, a plethora of long-standing radicals exhorting more excitable and alarmist comrades to calm down; explaining, with the Olympian patience of the socialist know-all, that it is impossible that Donald Trump will secure the Republican Presidential nomination.

Salvage has repeatedly insisted that a Left in dire need of reconstruction must learn humility. So we start by acknowledging the shock of Trump. His ascent requires us to rethink nostrums. As we write, it is not certain that he will become the nominee, but it is by far the most likely outcome. Those who denied the possibility were not stupid: they were deploying outdated certainties in a new time. As the Financial Times has put it, ‘If the normal rules of politics applied this [the certainty of Trump’s failure in his own party, among other things] would be true. They do not.’

The FT goes on maliciously to link the rise of Trump – and Marine Le Pen – with that of Jeremy Corbyn, to ‘explain’ these phenomena as part of the ‘story of modern democracies [which] is one of an insurgency against the elites’. This response, directed against a tenebrous ‘populism’, has become the preferred one of ruling classes in the face of the collapse of 20th century political order. Such ahistorical abstractions elide distinctions between left and right – to pathologise the former. It is no wonder the mainstream media is so titillated by the imaginary Trump-Sanders swing voter, a poor white man in thrall to some nebulous fury, only secondarily concerned with the differentia specifica of his chosen candidate – most obviously overt racism versus overt anti-racism (see for example Gerald Seib in the Wall Street Journal, ‘Angry White Males Propel Donald Trump—and Bernie Sanders’, or the Guardian’s ‘The Bernie Sanders voters who would choose Trump over Clinton’). The height of this groupthink is to be found in Kevin Williamson’s National Review article that, contrary to the homogenising impulse common to White nationalists and online social justice warriors, laid bare the view of America’s White ruling class towards its white workers: ‘downscale communities…that deserve to die’. There are such communities in the US, but they are to be found on Wall Street, not in Appalachia. Salvage welcomes the glimmer of a movement of the angry, of colour and of pallor, that might stand a chance of putting US plutocracy out of its misery.

For, notwithstanding a few outliers, the elision of ‘angry populisms’ is bogus: Sanders’s supporters tend to be young, working class, left-liberal to left, and (to a small but significant and growing degree) multiracial. Trump’s supporters don’t correlate with any particular income group, are overwhelmingly white, older, and are radically authoritarian. Of which more below.

It is true that, as we have previously discussed, these disparate movements – including the embattled rise of Corbyn – are due to the decay of the institutions of representative democracy, in the context of austerian authoritarianism in a limp and beleaguered recovery, increasing and entrenching inequality, and a more and more brazen – sadistic – ruling class; and, especially in the case of the American right, the cynically stoked racism and ressentiment of white supremacy. The reason it was supposedly certain that Trump would not get the nomina-tion because the machine does not work that way. But there has not in generations been a time when institutional certainties are less certain. We live in a moment when the machine no longer works properly at all. The fracturing of each party’s base is producing a similar, though mediated, crack in a previously relatively coherent, well-managed political leadership. The normally seamless circulation of power is subject to crippling deadlocks. Trump is merely one symptom of this crisis, though an exceptionally morbid one.

There were earlier, protean signs of this instability in the rise of the Tea Party (a movement overlapping with later Trump-ism). And with that rise came early evidence, too, of the recalcitrance and inadequacy of left analysis in changing times, in the all-too-common insistence that this was an ‘astroturf’ movement, an artificial creation of the party’s machinery, subservient to it. The GOP’s various efforts to culvert Tea Party’s energies notwithstanding, this was never simply the case.

Of course it’s sensible to start from an assumption of the rationality, Machiavellian rigour and strength of our enemies, and their power to push forward their (sometimes conflictual) agenda(s). But Trump is not part of grand Republican strategy. Nor is he precisely a pathology of it. He is an unintended consequence, no ex-nihilo Event but the culmination of a trend. He is an excr/essence thereof – essence and excressence in superposition.

It’s a sign of the severity of the breakdown that all of the options facing the aghast Republican establishment are bad:

i) Presented with a fait accompli, the institutions of the party may accommodate, surrender to, and/or even be able to domesticate Trump. Sections of the party are already trying. ‘A lot of donors are trying to figure their way into Trump’s orbit,’ in the words of Spender Zwick, Mitt Romney’s national finance chairman in 2012. ‘There is a growing feeling among many that he may be the guy, so people are certainly seeing if they can find a home over there.’ The GOP establishment’s mood, according to Rich Lowry of the National Review, is ‘moving from fear/loathing to resignation/rationalisation’. Motivated by personal ambition as much as by strategy, such accommodation reached a bizarre zenith in the endorsement of Trump by the governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, cravenly selling his previously touted credentials as a ‘moderate’, as well as any last rags of dignity, for a mess of pottage. The problems here are obvious: Trump is still considered unlikely to defeat Hillary Clinton, the likely Democrat candidate, and the damage his unprecedented strain of brutal, charismatic and vulgarian swagger may do to the party brand may stain it for years.

ii) An alternative is to come out for Ted Cruz, Trump’s nearest rival, as – among others – Jeb Bush and the right-centrist Senator Lindsay Graham have recently done (despite Graham once accurately describing a Trump-Cruz choice as similar to the choice between being shot or poisoned). The belief is that Cruz is the only person with a chance of beating Trump in a fair fight, and that his positions are genuinely conservative, unlike Trump’s blowhard weathervane politics. But Cruz’s hard-right dominionist ideology is unlikely to carry the country, he is almost universally loathed by the GOP establishment, and very unlikely to rule with any collegial nod to its desiderata and norms. He is, in other words, not much more electable and probably less controllable than Trump.

iii) Some are placing hopes and faith in a ‘brokered convention’ in June, in the increasingly likely event that Trump gains the largest number of nominations without an outright majority. According to complex rules, a wholly new candidate could be anointed by delegates freed from their previous commitments. This process, however, is extremely unlikely to offer any such candidate authority, will only exacerbate the schisms in the party, could even provoke Trump to run as an independent, and has already been ruled out by many Republican strategists.

iv) A few Republicans might declare, for this election, for Hillary Clinton. Eliot Cohen, a former Bush State Department official, has called her ‘the lesser of two evils’ in this context. This may be the choice of some neoconservative intellectuals more committed to their project than their party, certainly when it acts out in this fashion, but it will only ever be a minoritarian position.

More likely than iv), then, for the disgusted Republican, is v) abstention. Retreating to a watchtower for this cycle. And indeed, many Republicans, whatever they choose, have written off the 2016 election.

There is enjoyment to be had in the right’s miserable auto-cannibalism. But from none of this breakdown is there is any certainty that the Left will benefit. This is an opportunity too, in most cases one easier to grasp, for the hard, far and fascist right (see Poland, Sweden, France, inter various alia). As David Broder has noted in an astute article on Trump and fascism – one that takes a different view to that of Salvage, on which more below – the outcome may resemble France in particular: a deracinated assembly of establishment parties facing an insurgent, racist hard right flattered by the contrast. Even where the Left is able to use such cleavages to its advantage, whatever toehold it gains will be instantly assailed, as the experience of Corbyn – hemmed in, ridiculed, blocked and undermined from all sides, caught between compromise and coup – shows.

The ahistorical and evacuated ‘rage’ by which liberals ‘ex-plain’ Trump- and Sanders- and Corbyn- and much-else-ism does nothing of the kind. It is true, however, that we need to engage seriously with the politics of anger – or, better, angers – concretely theorised, in class and historical terms. Rakeem Jones, a protestor at a Trump rally, may be as angry as John McGraw who sucker-punched him, but their furies are differently derived, doing different things, and contain different potentialities.

This brings us back to that other key question: that of the nature of Trump’s campaign. Anger-plus-resentment-plus-populism, after all, is closely associated with fascism. And whether or not Trump’s can be considered a fascist campaign has become a key political question.

Our position is that rather than Trump being just another bombastic right-winger or some strange anomaly of this moment, Trumpism is (potentially) nascent fascism. And that both theorising and organising should proceed on that basis.

The claim that Trump is a fascist is becoming a mainstay of an appalled liberalism. The characterisation, of course, is not disinterested: it serves as a rallying call demanding liberals and the left fall into line with the Democratic Party. To hold their noses if they will, but to acknowledge that in the face of the Greater, None-Greater-Than, Evil of Fascism, not to come out for the Democratic candidate – Clinton, in almost all such jeremiads – would be an unconscionable political indulgence. All that is necessary for evil to triumph, etc.

Unsurprising, then, that so many on the Left, rightly refusing to be so corralled, have been deeply sceptical of claims that Trump’s politics are fascist. It is not, after all, as if these are the first times such analogies have been made: though less exuberantly (and much less plausibly), the ‘fascism’ of Bush was asserted by those eager to recruit Leftists for Obama in 2008, for example. In their admirable refusal to give political succour or quarter to the Democrats, whose politics are as much part of the problem that has got us here as are those of the Republicans, many Leftists are dismissive of the references to fascism, seeing them merely as scare tactics for the erecting of the Big Democrat Tent.

In the words of one activist in a recent symposium in Jacobin entitled ‘Is Donald Trump a Fascist?’: ’For these establishment figures, charges of fascism are a cynical ploy to distance their own rhetoric and policies from Trump’s open displays of racism and bigotry. … [I]f our side succumbs to panic about Trump, we miss the greater dangers we face.’ Another contributor agreed: ‘[W]e should reject absolutely the hysterical lesser-evilism implicit in calling him “fascist” … because it plays into the logic of supporting whomever emerges from the Democratic Party primary’.

But this is a logical fallacy: right-liberalism calls Trump a fascist; we are against right-liberalism; ergo Trump is not a fascist. It might be reasonably argued that Donald Trump’s is not a fascist campaign, of course, but not in this fashion. There is no contradiction between non-dogmatically and seriously investigating Trump’s politics – which cannot a priori preclude their proximity to fascism – and opposing the ‘lesser-evilist’ mainstream politics that motivates liberal descriptions of Trump as a fascist.

In its editorial on why Trump is not a fascist – in which it attacks attempts to deploy the label in order to rally radials for the Democrat ‘lesser evil’ – one prominent US socialist paper cites as an authority a 1968 article by Hal Draper arguing for the tragic results of ‘lesser evilism’ in Germany in 1932, in the face of Hitler… who as the editorial cheerfully grants, was indeed a fascist. Draper’s argument, then, is directly contrary to that of the editors who cite it: his is that actually-existing-fascism does not justify surrendering to the lesser evil; theirs is that to oppose the lesser evil, we cannot give ground to the claim that we face fascism. Salvage claims, with Draper, that we can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Too many on the Left are driven by their opposition to this blackmail to rely on the comforts of outdated theoretical givens on this question, usually as post-facto justification. Especially in the chaotic political context of today, the procrustean bed of ‘classical Marxist’ categories by reference to which the existence or otherwise of some ideal-type ‘classical Fascism’ can be ascertained is decreasingly useful, if indeed it ever was.

In the Jacobin discussion, one contributor insists with startling formalism that, ‘Fascism arose in countries that had mass militant left parties aiming at the transcendence of capitalism, were excluded from the spoils of imperialism, had very large backward agrarian sectors, and possessed very weakly developed capitalist states. Out of this context arose mass party formations of the far right that displayed some organisation and tactical similarities to parties of the far left. None of these features obtain in the US today.’

The problems with this methodology of Trotskyist checklist-reference should be clear. First, these characteristics only apply with complete stringency to those countries in which fascism took power. Second, if the relevant period of comparison is the Twenties and Thirties, then the relevant example to look to is the Second Ku Klux Klan, a mass organisation with five million members at its height. Combining paramilitarist terror with middle class civil society mobilisation, it did not expressly seek the overthrow of bourgeois democracy so much as its transformation on a nativist, racist and authoritarian basis (much as Breivik’s manifesto favoured the adoption of a ‘managed democracy’). With links to the repressive apparatuses of the state and ties to the main bourgeois parties, it broke the boundaries of ordinary legality and parliamentary politics. There, clearly, was a fascist potential in such a movement, whose origin and social basis are by no means identical to that of European interwar fascisms. Third, if those listed social factors are ‘necessary’ for fascism, it is not just that Donald Trump is a priori defined as not-fascist, but that there can be no fascism in the US – or indeed Britain, among many other countries. This will presumably come as news to the Aryan Nation and the British National Party.

A satisfactory definition of fascism, rather than fixating on the social bases it could not have in the twenty-first century, would have to account for the social bases that it could have, and would have to outline the nature of fasco-genetic crisis now rather than that of near a century ago.

If the distinction intended is one between fascist mass movements and fascism as (perhaps marginal) ideology and politics, and the claims of those in Jacobin is that the former is not present in the US, or in Trump’s campaign, well and good, but i) that was not the question, ii) that needs to be made clear, and iii) it would be extremely complacent not to acknowledge a permeable membrane between the two.

‘Unlike in Italy or Germany in the 1920s and 1930s,’ one contributor argues, ‘the US ruling class doesn’t face the kind of political crisis that would lead a section of it to abandon its “democratic” forms and resort to fascism.’ This is to imply that ‘fascism’, meaningfully so-called, can only be born as a strategy of a significant wing of the ruling class – this bowdlerises the real history of fascism, and also remains in thrall to the ‘political machine’ theory of politics that we have argued is at best outdated. And it casually exempts from possibility a reversed causation: what if, rather than ‘resorting’ to fascism, a section of the ruling class may feel compelled to ‘accommodate’ it after its arrival? Might not the agonies of the Republicans reflect exactly that debate?

And even on the checklist’s specifics, this approach can obscure more than it illuminates. Though ‘Trump has given confidence to some of the most right-wing elements in society’ and though ‘they do pose a real threat’, one of the writers insists, ‘these elements are not organised into anything like a disciplined fighting force that could serve as the basis for a fascist movement’. Though there is no official Trumpian black-shirt movement, it seems too sanguine and formalist not to consider the role of Trump-encouraged violence against the left at rallies, and the armed militias which are explicitly supporting him, such as ‘the Oath Keepers’, as potentially nascent forms of such organised violence. In this context, we should not be at all surprised by the announcement in mid-March 2016 of the formation of ‘The Lion’s Guard’ – the name itself redolent of inter-war kitsch – a militia ‘to provide security protection to innocent people who are subject to harassment and assault by Far-left agitators’ at Trump’s rallies. At the time of writing, the group is debating ‘uniform suggestions’.

To repeat, it is perfectly possible to argue that Trump is not a fascist, or that his is not a fascist campaign. But thus far, left attempts so to do have been hamstrung by theoretical nostalgia and by cart-before-horse tactical defensiveness.

For our part, Salvage maintains that ‘Fascism’ and its qualities cannot be pickled in aspic, nor is it useful to consider fascism a discrete condition. The extremes may be reasonably simple to categorise, but politics are motion. For reasons both of analytical rigour and political strategy we must take into account groupings’ dynamics and potentials, and be open to considering them not only ‘not-fascist’ but ‘not-(yet?-)fascist’.

If Trumpism is not fascist, it is clearly not not-fascist in the same way that mainstream Republicanism is not-fascist. Given its insurgent nativism, its overt racism and performative misogyny, its spectacular glorification of violence, including racist violence – as when Trump described as ‘very passionate’ a Boston supporter who severely beat a Hispanic man with an iron bar – its refusal to condemn overt white supremacist support, its sadistic and resentful authoritarianism, its populist denunciations of ‘big finance’ and ‘the system’, its willingness to suspend constitutional-legal norms in the interests of resolving a supposed emergency, and given our hard- and painfully-won perspective that things, particularly in these bad times, can get worse, Salvage is not complacent about the trajectory of this movement.

We see little point in engaging with the fervent claims of leftists who insist, according to Holy Writ, that Trumpism cannot be the F-Word. We simply argue that there is a fascist potential in Trump’s campaign, and that the traditional political dominance of the big bourgeoisie is by no means as assured as left-realists assume. And, per Draper, acknowledging this need involve no accommodation with the Democratic Party machine. To which extent we celebrate unstintingly the demonstrators who have shut Trump down – and we strongly contest the Sanders campaign’s recent advice to supporters to avoid such confrontations.

 

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2) The Donkeys

Hillary Clinton, we are repeatedly told, is all that stands between Trump and the White House. ‘Sanders’ utopian visions of affordable healthcare, education and housing would be nice’, goes the extruded wisdom of the ideological apparatuses, ‘but do you really think us dreaming Democrats are representative of America? Do you really think the swing voters are more likely to vote for Sanders’ unrealistic nonsense than Trump’s walls? It’s nice that the young people have hope, but they’re wrong’.

Pessimism is a sensible starting point for any left analysis in the current moment, but the Democrats needling Sandernistas aren’t pessimistic at all. Their ‘realism’ is bad faith, and they are fully invested in the project for a hegemonic centre. To this end, they display a condescension that flows from power, or alignment thereto. They are confident that they can scare young dreamers out of their aspirations, and they may be right – though substantial numbers are more likely to abstain in disgust than to rally as instructed, if Sanders loses the candidacy. Certainly, given a run of poor primary results in February and March, and notwithstanding thrilling upsets such as Sanders’ victory in Michigan, and his recent good run and encouraging polling, even with his win in Wisconsin, it remains more likely than not that the Sanders campaign will slowly decline.

Many of Clinton’s supporters thank Bernie for his work in pulling the debate left. They assure us that they went to plenty of demonstrations in their time, that they defer to no one in their activism. But they are progressives melancholically committed above all to keeping out the Republicans – cue the references to the Supreme Court, to Roe versus Wade, to, yes, the ‘fascist’ Trump. And they are motivated, they say, by ‘realism’ – and thus the time has come to get in line behind the Lizard Queen.

But in recent polling data, Clinton versus Trump looks set – currently – to result in a Clinton victory by 3.4 points. In a hypothetical Sanders run against Trump, on the other hand, Sanders wins by more than double that – 8 points. There is not a republican candidate against whom Sanders loses. As, in some polls, Clinton does not only to Ted Cruz, but also to Kasich.

So the question is, as The Intercept has acidly put it, will the Democrats take a chance on the unelectable Clinton?

Either the Clintonians are ignorant of such polls; or they are taking a wager that they ‘know’ by some infallible sniff-test that Sanders numbers will precipitously fall off against Trump; or they are committed at the possible cost of a Republican victory to Clinton’s cocktail of right-wing, authoritarian, committed neoliberalism and unvarnished geopolitical hawkishness. Or, indeed, some combination.

A consummate operator, Clinton has leavened her traditional positions with requisite sops to the left inspired by Sanders, and has, with chilling and dead-eyed ease, assimilated certain activists and suitably vague calls for something called ‘social justice’, metabolising buzzwords and twitter memes to throw out for the easily-pleased – even, if you please, committing to solutions to ‘intersectional’ challenges.

Hillary is despised by great swathes of the electorate, for varied and contradictory reasons – ranging from entirely correct hatred for her complicity in the lockdown-politics of the 90s and her support for the Iraq war, to contempt for her repeated tactical vacillation on issues of principle such as gay marriage, through to hard-right paranoia about her notional ‘liberalism’ and straightforward toxic misogyny.

Should, as seems likely, she take the nomination, the question of whether her undoubted skills in performative politics will be enough to overcome this reservoir of loathing remains to be seen. The odds remain that she will beat Trump: but i) they are significantly lower than they would be were the candidate Sanders, and ii) they are in no way strong enough that we should not brace ourselves for the possibility of President Trump.

While Sanders continues in the race, it is imperative to work with the people his ‘revolution’ – partial and easy to pick holes at as it is, and pick those holes as we must – has energised into politics. This is not at all the same as being un-critical, nor of folding over into his campaign. ‘Progressive’ in the US context, Sanders’ politics are to the right – by some way – of those of, say, Corbyn, his supposed transatlantic soul mate. His tardy and initially sluggish engagement with race, his previous repeated ultimate surrenders to the Democrat machinery, and his past history of deplorable concessions to Zionist oppression of Palestinians preclude a surfeit of excitement about his agenda.

But it would be mere sneer to deny that his run has had a salutary impact of unexpected magnitude. His politics have engaged many young voters who have felt previously disenfranchised, and dragged the discussion to the left. And it would be churlish to claim that the response of Sanders and his campaign to the leftward pressure on them in turn, from grassroots activists who have found in him an outlet, hasn’t been, for a mainstream politician, pleasantly surprising. On more than one occasion, and more than one issue, this Larry David of US social democracy has somewhat undermined the pre-emptive scepticism with which Salvage approaches electoral politics.

Though undeniably slow to start, he has responded to the #blacklivesmatter movement and radicals of colour who have repeatedly challenged him with a serious engagement which has begun to make inroads into Clinton’s lead among black Americans. He has been far to the left of the public conversation on issues of Islamophobia in particular. And even on Israel there are signs of movement; in a genuinely surprising move, Sanders turned down an invitation to speak before the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the powerful Zionist organisation before whom the respectful appearance of all candidates of all parties is a formality. True, he cited scheduling conflicts for his no-show. But his statement was notably bereft of overt support for Israel, and his excuse for not appearing is quite unconvincing. It is a quiet snub, and it is known to be.

Salvage is delighted by the successes of the Sanders campaign – notwithstanding its obvious limitations, both politically and electorally – by its potential to destabilise a complacent and complicit Democratic Party, and by what we see among its activists as the potential beginnings of the formation of a longer-term network of socialists to the left of that party.

We hold out hope that once Clinton is announced as the candidate, Sanders and, much more importantly, his supporters continue to put pressure on her and on her party (of which he is not after all, formally, a member) from the left; that, rather than entering the big Democrat tent, those supporters form a movement that can remain a pole of attraction beyond it.

And if the choice for president were Sanders versus Trump? Then notwithstanding our remorseless suspicion of the Democratic Party, against which we remain implacably opposed and for which we would never campaign, if this UK quarterly could vote, Salvage would seriously consider doing so for Sanders. It would be a wager, of course, and a risk. But such a moment would seem an instance when the best available choice to ameliorate the effects of racialised and gendered capitalism for the working class and oppressed would dovetail with the best chance available of opening up a radical reformist space, and – potentially – of accelerating the social contradictions both between the Democrat machinery and the radicalising milieu behind Candidate Sanders, and between left and right tout court.

This, however, is highly unlikely to be our choice. So what of Clinton versus Trump?

Ours is certainly not the position of another mythic figure of some prurient fascination to the Guardian: the ‘Leftist for Trump’.

‘I began plotting to vote Republican in hopes that the party would send the country so far in the direction of complete unrestricted neoliberalism and libertarian free market superstition that Americans would come to recognise the dangers of these ideologies and eventually reject them’, one anonymous informant declared to it. Trump’s ‘candidacy is a happy accident that is currently ripping the soul of America apart, which is something that I think we desperately need (and deserve)’.

Such ultraleft swagger is very badly misplaced, on at least three counts:

i) Behind the seeming apocalypticism of such a strategy of tension lies an unreconstructed optimism, a theory of radical reform as crude as that of the German Stalinists in the 1930s. ’After Trump, Us’. It is as likely that After Trump would come more Trump, or worse.

ii) It is predicated on the thoroughly unconvincing and elitist model according to which if only the ‘sheeple’ can be persuaded to ‘wake up’, they will rise. Millions of people are awake, and know the truth only too well: the problem is that they feel, not without reason, that they can do little about it.

iii) To pursue this nihilo-chiliastic strategy means to actually try to usher in the world of legitimated violent racism of President Trump. There is getting one’s hands dirty in the pursuit of freedom, but all the perfumes of Arabia would not cover that particular stench.

Nor, of course, will Salvage ever declare for Clinton, nose held or not. Trumpism, rather than being the nemesis of Clintonite triangulation, is its symptom and culmination. The long-term, structural complicity between these two political formations is what is missed both by those corralling progressive votes into the centrist fold, and those foolhardily hoping for Trump to make the system bleed.

The toxic and baleful political landscape that the two-party system has wrought in the US makes its destruction the pressing political concern for any radical concerned not only with the conditions the day after the election, but two, five, ten years after that. The lesser evil may be lesser on day two: but if that lesser evil also enables and maintains the system of evil itself, a system that also feeds the power of the greater evil, then the costs of supporting it outweigh the pros by far.

To vote for Clinton – for the Democratic establishment – is to vote for the candidate who actively sought a formal role in ‘welfare reform’ in the 1990s; who was instrumental to the rise of carceral politics and race-scapegoating in that decade; whose description of young black men as ‘superpredators’ was a powerful ideologeme of American racism and the self-same resentful white supremacy that now declares that Blue Lives Matter, and rallies to The Donald’s speeches; who is committed to Obama’s policies of drone warfare and the ‘War on Terror’ (and indeed, considers Obama a foreign policy wimp); who favours ‘triangulation’ on Islamophobia, trade treaties, and inequality-accelerating bank bailouts; and who is an experienced ally and defender of Wall Street. These have been key components in the recent toxic and abyssal politics from which Trump has risen. Hillary Clinton is a politician whose politics, poisonous in themselves, will also maintain the system that has given us Trump.

Neither Chappaqua nor Trump Tower.

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