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Why not Trump again?

Chris Cutrone

Platypus Review 123 | February 2020

Presented with an introduction to Marxism in the Age of Trump (2018)[1] and “Why I wish Hillary had won”[2] at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, December 4, 2019. Video recording of presentation and audience Q&A discussion available online at: <https://youtu.be/EaOfsnrmSo0>.

“Nothing’s ever promised tomorrow today. . . . It hurts but it might be the only way.”

Kanye West, “Heard ‘Em Say” (2005)

“You can't always get what you want / But if you try, sometimes you find / You get what you need.”

The Rolling Stones (1969)

KANYE WEST FAMOUSLY INDICTED PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH for “not caring about black people.” Mr. West now says that it’s the Democrats who don’t care about black people. But he thinks that Trump does indeed care.

West, who received an honorary doctoral degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago a few years ago, intends to move back to Chicago from Hollywood, which he describes as The Sunken Place.

West’s wife Kim Kardashian convinced President Trump to free Alice Johnson, a black grandmother, from jail, and to initiate the criminal justice sentencing reform legislation called the “First Step Act.” Prisoners are being released to join the workforce in which the demand for labor has been massively increased in the economic recovery under the Trump Administration. The reason for any such reform now, after the end of the Great Recession, will be this demand for workers — no longer the need to warehouse the unemployed.

Trump ran on and won election calling for “jobs, jobs, jobs!,” and now defines his Republican Party as standing for the “right to life and the dignity of work,” which was his definition of what “Make America Great Again” meant to him. This will be the basis now for his reelection in November 2020, for “promises kept.”

The current impeachment farce is indeed what Trump calls it: the Democrats motivated by outrage at his exposure of their shameless political corruption, with the Biden family prominently featured. After trouncing the infamous Clintons in 2016, Trump is keeping this drumbeat going for 2020. Don’t expect it to stop. The Democrats have wanted to impeach Trump from the moment he was elected, indeed even beforehand, but finally got around to it when Trump exposed them — exposed their “frontrunner.”

Trump has held out the offer of bipartisan cooperation on everything from trade to immigration reform. He went so far as to say, when congratulating the Democrats on their 2018 midterm election victories, that he would be potentially more able to realize his agenda with a Democrat-majority Congress, because he would no longer have to face resistance from established mainstream Republicans opposed to his policies. In his State of the Union Address to Congress this year, Trump contrasted the offer of negotiation and cooperation with the threat of investigations. As it turns out, the FBI, CIA and other U.S. government security services personnel who have tried to indict Trump out of political opposition are now finding themselves the targets of criminal investigation. At least some of them are likely go to prison. The bloated national security state is dismayed and in retreat in the face of Trump. — Good!

What is the argument against Trump’s reelection? That he is utterly unbearable as a President of the United States? That Trump must be stopped because the world is running out of time? Either in terms of the time spent by separated children being held under atrocious conditions in appalling immigration detention centers, or that of glaciers falling into the ocean? Both of these will continue unabated, with or without Trump. The Democrats neither can nor will put a stop to such things — not even slow them.

What is the argument for electing the Democrats, then? A Green New Deal? — Will never happen: Obama promised it already in 2008. That they will restore “civility” to American life? Like we had under Obama? In other words, the same conditions, but with a comforting smile instead of an irritating smirk?

But Trump’s supporters became annoyed with Obama, and have been reassured by Trump’s confidence in America: Trump’s smile is not sarcastic; Obama’s often was. Don’t the Democrats deserve that grin?

Will the Democrats provide free quality health care for all? — Not on your life!

Neither will Trump. But not because he doesn’t want to: he definitely does; he thinks that it’s absurd that the wealthiest country in world history cannot provide for its citizens. But what can you do?

The last time national health care was floated as a proposal was by Nixon. But it was defeated by Democrats as well as Republicans. Nixon floated UBI (Universal Basic Income), too — but it was opposed by the Democrats, especially by their labor unions, who — rightly — said that employers would use it as an excuse to pay workers that much less. Abortion was legalized when fewer workers were needed.

But that was a different time — before the general economic downturn after 1973 that led to the last generation of neoliberalism, austerity and a society of defensive self-regard and pessimism. Now, it is likely we are heading into a new generation-long period of capitalist growth — and optimism. — At least, it’s possible. Nixon and Mao agreed that “what the Left proposes we [the Right] push through.”

Are we on the brink of a new, post-neoliberal Progressive era, then? Don’t count on it — at least not with the Democrats! They won’t let their Presidential nominee next year be Bernie Sanders. — Probably, they won’t even let it be Warren, either. And anyway, after Obama, no one is really going to believe them. Even if Bernie were to be elected President, he would face a hostile Democratic Party as well as Republicans in Congress. It’s unlikely the Squad of AOC et al. will continue to be reelected at all, let alone expand their ranks of Democratic “socialists” in elected office. The DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) have already peaked, even before the thankless misery of canvassing for Democrats — not “socialists” — in the next election. The future belongs not to them, but to Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping hosted by Trump at Mar-a-Lago. Climate change must be stopped by China.

(The clearest indicator of American counties voting for Trump in 2016 was density of military families — not due to patriotism but war fatigue: Trump has fulfilled his promise to withdraw from the War on Terror interventions while funding the military, and is the peace President that Obama was supposed to be, drawing down and seeking negotiated settlements with everyone from North Korea to the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Taliban in Afghanistan; the Neocons are out and flocking to the Democrats.)

The arguments against Trump by the Democrats have been pessimistic and conservative, distrustful and even suspicious of American voters — to which he opposes an unflappable confidence and optimism, based in faith in American society. Trump considers those who vote against him to be mistaken, not enemies. But the Democrats consider Trump voters to be inimical — deplorable and even irredeemable.

My Muslim friends who oppose Trump — half of them support Trump — said that after his election in 2016 they found their neighbors looking at them differently — suspiciously. But I think it made them look at Americans differently — suspiciously. But it’s the same country that elected Obama twice.

If Trump’s America is really the hateful place Democrats paint it to be, for instance at their LGBTQ+ CNN Town Hall, at which protesters voiced the extreme vulnerability of “trans women of color,” then it must be admitted that such violence is perpetrated primarily not by rich straight white men so much as by “cis-gendered heterosexual men — and women — of color.” — Should we keep them in jail?

The Democrats' only answer to racism, sexism and homophobia is to fire people and put them in prison. — Whereas Trump lets them out of jail to give them a job. 

Perhaps their getting a job will help us, too.

So: Why not Trump again? | P


[1] Platypus Publishing: <https://platypus1917.org/publishing/>.

[2] Platypus Review 108 (July–August 2018), available on-line at: <https://platypus1917.org/2018/07/30/why-i-wish-hillary-had-won-distractions-of-anti-trump-ism/>.

2 comments

  • Posted 5 months ago

    Why not Bernie Sanders? We don’t need need 100 reiterations of why he’s the same as the dems, won’t be able to change the dems, calls for new deal solutions to a post-industrial economy…but to honesty suggest trump over and over or say that we “need” 8-12 years of trump in order for the dems to “change” is shameful. You’re not diagnosing anything, and you’re going to do some well-wishing, the least you could do is wish for the least amount of damage inflicted on the poor and disadvantaged who suffer the most under Trump.

    by Former platypus reading group member on February 15, 2020 6:49 pm
  • Posted 3 months ago

    Thank you for sharing this here to be discussed among leftists. This article is dangerous and should not be disseminated to folks with less grounding in political theory.

    -The “first step act” wasn’t written by Trump and had broad bipartisan support. It would’ve almost certainly been passed by any administration. The author says “The reason for any such reform now, after the end of the Great Recession, will be this demand for workers — no longer the need to warehouse the unemployed.” There’s no citation that quotes trump stating his broader intentions regarding the bill and labor. Even if trump did state that his intention was to put more people to work, why would we believe him or any capitalist politician?

    -the author states “The bloated national security state is dismayed and in retreat in the face of Trump. — Good!” It is? What evidence is there for that? There does to seem to be some upheaval in our government due to trumps administration, but in the end, the goals of US politicians has remained largely homogeneous. Perhaps there’s something specific the author has in mind with this claim, but I see no citation for it.

    -in the 7th and 8th paragraph the author claims that immigration and environmental policy is just as bad or better under trump than under Obama. Immigration: I’ve read and heard that immigration practices in place under Obama have remained largely the same or have gotten worse (depending on what you read), this author again has no citation of data to convince me one way or another about immigration policy under trump. Not that this alone is proof that the trump admin is causing an increase of violence against oppressed identities, but 2019 saw a 15 year high in hate crimes (according to some stats I looked at.) Energy policy: whereas someone like Obama is slightly more inclined to be pushed to the left than trump to create something like the mandatory green house gas reporting initiative, trump has consistently rolled back environmental protections put in place by various administrations. Just google the topic; trump hasn’t tried to hide the relaxation of environmental protections.

    -the article claims that trump “definitely wants to” provide universal healthcare. When did he say this? And even if he did, has he taken any actions to prove his intentions?

    -the author literally calls Mao a right-winger out of nowhere. I have critiques of Mao, but he sure as hell wasnt a right winger and it’s pretty insulting to the left to claim that.

    -okay, so many claims about trumps inner thoughts. Is the author an insider or something? “Trump considers those who vote against him to be mistaken, not enemies.” This is not reflected in his actions. He makes despicable comments about women and POC and tells his supporters to take violent actions against protesters at his rallies. His actions don’t align with the author’s apparent knowledge about trumps inner thoughts.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/12/us/hate-crimes-fbi-report.html

    https://www.statista.com/chart/16100/total-number-of-hate-crime-incidents-recorded-by-the-fbi/

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/trump-epa-finalizes-rollback-of-key-obama-climate-rule-that-targeted-coal-plants/2019/06/19/b8ff1702-8eeb-11e9-8f69-a2795fca3343_story.html

    by Revo 1917 on May 9, 2020 12:15 pm

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