New year, new battle: How the left can fight Trump in 2017 — and beyond

Filmmaker Michael Moore recently took to Facebook to lay out his plan for taking on the coming presidency of Donald Trump. While Moore was correct in calling for an “all hands on deck” movement to resist Trump, his entire plan relied upon the current Democratic establishment — the establishment of neoliberals that brought upon the conditions ideal for Trumpism to flourish.

{mosads}Moore called on voters to pressure their lawmakers to oppose Trump.


“If he/she is a Republican, they will explain why they ‘support the new president,'” he said. “You then must politely tell them you and everyone you know will work to unseat them in 2018 if they don’t act independently from Trump.”

“If your rep is a Democrat, tell him/her you expect them to AGGRESSIVELY fight the Trump agenda – and if they don’t, you will work with others to support a true progressive in the Democratic primary in 2018.”

The problem is, calling your Republican lawmakers will be all but useless when they have the total upper hands in all branches of government. They don’t need to worry about what liberals care about.

Democrats, on the other hand, have already run to the press to make sure everyone knows how eager they are to “reach across the aisle” and to “compromise” on bills in an effort to appear as though they can still accomplish things when they have a total loss of control.

While Moore did call on the Democrats to install new party leaders, the establishment elite has already rejected this tactic. They reelected Nancy Pelosi to be minority leader, and she went as far as to say that Democrats don’t want to change course.

Moore needs to realize that any resistance to Trump that has a chance of working will not come from lawmakers but from the radical left in the streets and the few more radicals elected to local governments outside of Washington.

State leaders willing to make their cities or states sanctuary cities for immigrants — or entire state governments, such as the one in California — sent a clear message they will not be bullied by Trump and will defy any action of his that will set forward, progressive progress backward. This is especially true on the issues of immigration and climate change.

These local governments are useful tools, but even they are outnumbered. Leftists in the streets, on the other hand, can be the loudest force for change. They have the ability to create change in their communities.

Trump’s administration has goals on cutting social safety net funding that provides medical care, food, shelter, and other essential needs to those most vulnerable.

In the late 1960s and ’70s, the Black Panthers set up food programs in their communities, even educational programs to make up for the lack of programs offered to their oppressed and abused communities. Leftists can look to be inspired by this and other movements that stepped in when the government failed them. They did not rely on phone calls and letters to politicians — they took action into their own hands.

White nationalists and the Christian right feel more empowered than ever. Setting up regular escort services at Planned Parenthoods will be necessary as these anti-abortion activists feel more brazen in their attacks against women and these clinics.

Moore did find the right tone eventually as he encouraged those fed up with the establishment to seek office themselves.

“It’s time to stop carping about politicians and become one. But a different kind of one! We have no choice. We’ve left it to others – yes, Democrats – and they are inept and continual losers. Haven’t you had enough? Run for office, any office!”

Hopefully, he will lend his supports to these candidates even if they choose not to run as Democrats — they shouldn’t. The Democratic Party has dug its feet into the dirt of neoliberalism, and unless they change the culture at the top, leftist candidates will not be welcomed into the fold and will be silenced and pushed out, much like Bernie Sanders was during the primaries.


Dan Arel is a political activist, award-winning journalist, and author of “The Secular Activist” and “Parenting Without God.” You can follow him on Twitter @danarel.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill. 

Tags 2017 2018 Bernie Sanders Democratic Party Donald Trump Election left Politics Republican Party right

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