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THE LEFT vs TRUMP: A looming battle

THE LEFT vs TRUMP:  A looming battle
The victory of the Republican candidate Donald Trump in the US Presidential elections, has come as a big jolt to the progressives within the Democratic Party and outside who have been working very hard for the Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton for the last three and half months since the end of the Democratic Convention at the end of July this year. 


Once Clinton was finally nominated by the Convention and the Sanders supporters succeeded in incorporating their major demands as a part of the Democratic agenda, the Sanders group as also the US Communist Party, fully joined the campaign against Trump and the entire tenor was that the Hillary victory would open up the path for further progressive changes to the benefit of the American working class, lower middle class and the poor.

That focus is now lost and the stunned Left is reconciling to the new reality that they would have to adjust themselves to the new post-November 8 situation that the battle has to be intensified further to protect the gains that were made during eight years of President Obama. 

The task is to build broadest unity of the American people to fight the Trumponomics from January 20, 2017 and to bring more people, including the Trump voters of the working class who were misled by the Republican demagogue in the course of the election campaign.


The American Left also sees a big opportunity in the coming period if the struggle is properly led since the failure of Trump can be more effectively utilized in the Democratic Party by the Sanders group in 
projecting in 2020 elections a Democratic Party candidate who believes in progressive programme. 

The entry of huge younger members in the Democratic Party in the recent months has opened up a new opportunity for the Sanders Group to put more pressure on the Democratic Party leadership and make changes that will further radicalize the agenda of the Democratic Party. 

Some of the Left activists even mention that the defeat of Clinton can be used as the starting point for a renewed fight against the neo liberal policies in the Democratic establishment and the time is more opportune now to reorganize the Democratic Party leadership in favour of the progressives.

However, this will need innovative leadership of the Left and an unorthodox policy of uniting all forces who will be adversely affected by the policies of the new Republican President in the coming years. Bernie Sanders in a commentary in the US daily New York Times says that he is saddened but not surprised by the outcome of the Presidential elections. It is no shock to him that millions of people who voted for Trump did so because they are sick and tired of the economic and political and media status quo. 


Sanders says that in the coming days, he will provide a series of reforms to reinvigorate the Democratic Party. He believes that the Party must break loose from its corporate establishment ties and once again become a grass roots party of working people, the elderly and poor. 

He says that the Democratic Party must have the courage to take on the greed and power of the Wall Street, the drug companies, the insurance companies and the fossil fuel industry.

Sanders’ organization ‘Our Revolution’ is organizing people at the grass roots level in favour of his programme and he is expected to coordinate his efforts with other sections of the American people who will be affected adversely by the policies of the Trump presidency. 

The view has gained ground in the Democratic Party that Hillary lost good support of the poor and middle class as she was seen as an out and out pro status quo and few believed her promise of change in favour of working people in the course of campaign. Many voters thought that she would be the same pro-Wall Street president once she is elected. 

This feeling should help the progressives within the Democratic Party led by Sanders to have more dominating role in the affairs of the Party in the coming days.

John Bachtell, the chairman of the US Communist Party has been most supportive of Clinton during the recent campaign and he has been consistently writing that Trump as a president is not just dangerous for the USA, he is dangerous for the whole world. He has just written in the Party mouthpiece, People’s World after the elections that there is no sugarcoating it. 

The election of Donald trump as president along with a Republican Senate and House, was a tremendous defeat with far reaching consequences that will ripple for years to come. But at the same time he reminds that defeats are part of life and struggle and they should not lead to paralysis. 

What is urgently needed now is unity So he suggests that every conceivable movement and ally prepared to defend social advances and democratic reforms must be mobilized starting with the labour led peoples movement, Black Lives Matter, climate justice groups, the LGBT community and women in alliance with the Democratic Party and those inspired by Bernie Sanders campaign.

As the US communist leader sees it, one of the first things a right wing government often does after capturing power is to go after the labour movement. Because of their organization and ability to initiate collective action, unions become the first targets and there will be a major assault on labour rights. He says that Trump’s reactionary policy will unfold in foreign affairs as well including withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord and the Iran Nuclear Agreement. 

According to Bachtell, the new balance of forces will usher in instability and unpredictability while aggravating class, racial and social tensions. Then the veteran Communist leader observes fascism does not come all at once, but in steps and stages. To stop it, the beast must be resisted at every turn.
The American nation is now deeply polarized and Trump assumes office as the most reviled and unpopular president in US history. 

Over half the electorate voted against him. Public opinion on all the key issues is against him. Deep internal divisions beset the Republican Party. 

A rejuvenated Democratic Party with a progressive platform is in a position to meet the challenge of the Trump regime. There may be number of occasions when the Trump policies implementation will lead to widest possible opposition and protests having the potential of building massive unity of people including those who voted for Trump. These disgruntled frustrated Trump voters may be the allies of the Democratic Party in the coming days when the battle for policies will be really fought.


 That way, the 2016 Presidential elections outcome, has opened up the possibility of pushing a genuine game changer on behalf of the Democratic Party in the 2020 Presidential elections. The 2016 elections were an unexpected turn which can be converted into a road to building a humane and more inclusive America four years later. 


FACT FILE


  • Indian American Governor Nikki Haley is one of the contenders for Secretary of State or other cabinet positions in the Donald Trump administration, according to media reports on Wednesday.Haley, a trenchant critic of fellow-Republican Trump during the election campaign, is scheduled to meet with him here on Thursday, according to his spokesman Jason Miller.
  •  CNN and MSNBC reported independently that the South Carolina governor is being considered for the top diplomatic job. 
  •  A rising star in the Republican Party, 44-year-old Haley was elected earlier as the vice chair of the Republican Governor’s Association. If she were to get a cabinet post, she would be the first Indian American to be in the US cabinet.
  •  It would mark a political breakthrough for Indian Americans in a year that has seen four of them elected to Congress. 
  •  Haley’s meeting with Trump and the consideration for the post of Secretary of State is a turn around for the highest ranking Indian American politician, who had publicly feuded with Trump.
  •  She had backed Florida Governor Marc Rubio for the party’s Presidential nomination and announced only last month that she would be voting for Trump, but qualified it by saying that she was not his fan.
  •  Haley was elected Governor in 2010 and re-elected in 2014 and her current term ends in 2018.
Nitya Chakraborty

Nitya Chakraborty

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