What Kind of Opposition?
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/05/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21553
To address the millions of Trump supporters whose lives are devastated by his government... requires building an independent - and yes, socialist - left with uncompromising loyalty to the working class and oppressed people of the United States and the world, not to the liberal wing of capital or the Democratic Party.
The Democrats are certainly parliamentary opponents of the Trump and Republican menace, but beyond those tactics do they represent a meaningful opposition?
Popular resistance exploded against the Republican and Trump agenda - on the Muslim travel ban, on immigration raids and deportation, on the drive to kill the Affordable Care Act, on the threat to wipe out what's left of women's reproductive rights and access to legal and safe abortion - from the fantastic January 21 Women's March and airport mobilizations to local demonstrations and protests all across the country. Rightwing legislators' "town hall" meetings were deluged with angry constituents demanding the preservation of health care.
The Democrats of course cannot ignore these developments, which picked up where the previous Occupy movement left off. The Democratic Party naturally seeks to ride the wave of this popular anger. It's entirely capable of being (relatively) liberal, when pressed by social movements, on critically important issues like abortion, LGBT rights, and opposing the pure vicious cruelty of Trump's war on immigrants and Muslims.
Some Democratic heavyweights, particularly the Congressional Black Caucus and Latino representatives like Luis Gutiérrez, are outspoken on issues like the Muslim travel ban and immigration raids. Along with grassroots outrage, this places some limits on how far the Trump gang can go. For their own survival, Democrats have to try to prevent the wave of racist voter suppression and gerrymandering tactics sweeping across Republican-controlled state legislatures. Theyre also opposed to the most extreme and lunatic rightwing moves to cut taxes on the super-rich and let climate change run amok.