A note from the Editor…

A note from the Editor...

Donald Trump was just elected president of the United States of America.
I’ll admit it: this caught me off-guard. Finally I know what it felt like to be a UK citizen when the voters there decided to leave the EU, catching all the pollsters and establishment politicians with their pants down.
While extremely disturbing, it’s not exactly hard to understand why this happened. Anyone who has been paying attention to international news knows how a wave of right-wing populism is sweeping the West. The two issues that seem to unite this international backlash against the establishment are a rejection of economic globalization and a strong reassertion of white identity.
The former I can sympathize with. The latter? Not so much.
The reason globalization finds such strong opposition among the populations of the West is that it is first and foremost the globalization of capital and not that of labor. Capital is reaping huge profits and the gap between the upper class and the working class is yawning ever wider.
Globalization makes the American working class suffer because capital views it as too costly to employ. Its traditional jobs are shipped off overseas, to countries where people are desperate enough to work for far lower wages. This is how you create what has become known as the “rust belt,” the former heartland of American industry, which incidentally was absolutely critical to securing Trump’s victory.
But that’s where the rationality of this phenomena ends and the self-destructive irrationality begins.
The other side of this revolting coin is a resentful reassertion of white identity. While Trump demonizes illegal immigrants — who apparently all go around raping and murdering everyone while having the audacity not to speak English — and Muslims — who are all apparently potential agents of the Islamic State, waiting for just the right moment to strike, his far-right counterparts in Europe do the same thing to Middle-Eastern refugees fleeing wars and poverty.
It doesn’t matter to Trump and his supporters that illegal immigration is at its lowest level in decades. It doesn’t matter that violent crimes in this country are similarly at their lowest levels in decades. That’s not the point. What really rustles their collective jimmies is the fact that white people might not have majority rule for much longer.
They can’t tolerate the emerging multicultural society, so they elected a demagogue who promised them that he was going to “make America great again.” We all know that’s a dog-whistle reference to the good ol’ days when minorities knew their place.
One major difference between Trump and his counterparts in Europe is his hateful rhetoric against women. In Europe the far-right is careful not to do this, but not Trump. Trump seems to have relied primarily on uneducated white men as his core group of supporters. Much like their attitude toward non-whites, these tragically ignorant suckers want the good ol’ days of unapologetic patriarchy to return.
Young alt-right Trump supporters who populate the greasy corners of the internet are fond of referring to everyone they oppose as ‘cucks,’ which is shorthand for cuckold — an oblivious husband with a wife who regularly cheats on him. This is how they picture the real America, being cucked by Mexican immigrants, Muslim refugees, freeloaders on the system and so on and so forth. I’ve always found it fascinating that people who are so fond of this imagery don’t see the irony of rallying around an authoritarian billionaire strongman, an elite who is about to ‘cuck’ his own supporters harder than they ever dreamed. Freud would have a field day.
Yes, Trump is now the president of the United States of America. Worse, the House and the Senate are both controlled by Republican majorities. The pendulum has swung back — and with one hell of a vengeance.
For those who oppose Trump and what he stands for, the most important thing you can do is organize with like-minded individuals. People forget that politics is far more than voting. There are all kinds of struggles happening outside of the ballot-box. Look at Standing Rock. Look at Occupy Wall Street. Look at the various anti-war movements of recent decades. Even better, look at the Civil Rights Movement.
Despair and apathy are a cop-out. The coming years of a Trump presidency are going to make it necessary for those of us who oppose him and his supporters to push back — and hard. This is our America too, and we have to be ready to fight for it.
–Sam Hartley, Editor-in-Chief