Donald Trump has served up a steaming pile of shit to the US working class. And the liberal establishment is passing around the cutlery.
Calls for reconciliation are now being voiced across the country by the very people who warned that a Trump presidency would result in Armageddon. Vacuous phrases about “unity” and “healing” and “bridging divides” are being deployed as a pre-emptive block to any genuine resistance that might emerge to the Republican and his agenda.
The liberals know that he, and the right-controlled Congress, will go hard for the cops and hard against Blacks. They know he will go hard against undocumented workers. They know he will go hard against a woman’s right to choose. They know that he has emboldened the right and will further enable its flourishing. They know he will stack the Supreme Court with as many reactionaries as vacancies allow.
They also know that he is a liar. They know that he won’t bring tens of thousands of jobs back to coal country or seriously revive rust belt manufacturing. They know that any attempt to do so would involve a mass assault on wages and conditions in blue collar industries, paired with huge corporate tax breaks and the further erosion of public services as the government’s fiscal position deteriorated.
They know he will not deliver on “draining the swamp” – eradicating corruption and marginalising big money power in Washington. They know his pledge that everything “is going to change and it’s going to change quickly” isn’t worth the air expunged from his lungs as he repeated the words month after month.
Yet the liberal impulse is to tell everyone to sit back and let this fraudulent anti-working class bigot rule in peace. It’s not a tacit admission that Donald Trump isn’t a disaster, but confirmation that Washington insiders of all hues are ultimately all in the rigged system together. They go out to campaign and stir things up, and then they all sit down and speak in glowing terms of each other’s tremendous service to the country.
It takes a stunning lack of self-awareness and selfishness to go down this road. At the very moment that the electorate has decisively repudiated the Democratic Party’s mild-mannered centrism, those same rejected voices of reason have leaped to offer more of the same tepid middle of the road politics. Democratic strategists must think that, after a few years of Trump, liberal candidates will again get their chance to channel the legitimate grievances of a wounded working class into an election night podium speech full of twaddle about opening the doors of opportunity and reclaiming the American dream. Maybe they don’t yet comprehend the significance of the electoral rebuke and the depth of the crisis that has thrown politics as usual into disarray around the world.
One the other hand, maybe establishment liberals do understand, but they choose this path anyway because there is nothing they fear more than genuine resistance to the status quo by workers and the oppressed. They want political normality and stability, not the mass disruption that could actually bring the “real change” that candidates frequently talk about in their stump speeches.
This isn’t just a US phenomenon. Around the world, liberal establishments are calling for calm in the face of Trump while accommodating to the far right in their own countries, in the name of finding common ground.
They tell us all to eat shit for now so we can enjoy liberal caviar at the next opportunity. But there’s no point in us waiting; we know what these “progressives” will be serving up when they get their opportunity. It will stink all the same.