Monday, April 8, 2019

Get Your Marching Shoes Back On

Today brought the news that Nielsen's ouster at DHS was just part of a larger purge of officials in the domestic security state apparatus. She and many others were proteges of John Kelly, the former Chief of State. This purge was not merely done to maintain slavish loyalty in the DHS, it appears to be part of a broader strategy to "get tough." That I assume means that he wants to separate families and ignore laws about asylum seekers.

Nielsen and Kelly are absolutely atrocious people, but now it looks like Trump will be surrounded only by sycophants like his son in law and daughter, and extremist ideologues like Stephen Miller and Mick Mulvaney. He appears to have decided that the Mueller Report is behind him, and so nothing can stop him. Considering that the Democrats refuse to talk impeachment (and that the Senate would never vote to convict), he's onto something.

Since the midterm election so many people who should be in the streets have been staying at home. This has been a grave mistake. I am not sure where this complacency is coming from, since the Democrats in the House do not really have the power to do all that much. Perhaps this is also down to the misbegotten and naive faith in Robert Mueller's investigation. Opponents of Trump have allowed themselves to become passive observers, rather than active participants. That has to stop.

If you look at the Trump years so far, you will notice that the greatest victories against this administration have come through mass mobilization. The first Women's March, coming the day after inauguration, was absolutely crucial in shifting the narrative and putting the Trump White House on the defensive. The mass actions at airports in the aftermath of the first Muslim ban forced the courts to intervene. Last year mass action in the streets forced the government to back down from family separation. The most powerful force to counter Trump has not been elected officials, it has been what West German activists in the 1960s called the Extra-Parliamentary Opposition.

I've said it before, I'll say it again. Mueller won't save us. The Democrats won't save us. Our institutions won't save us. We have to save ourselves. The other side is readying for a fight. Time to get our marching shoes back on.

No comments: