One sign, waved by someone somehow #StillWithHer, reads: “Not my president.” Another echoes the popular chant: “We reject the president elect.” Finally, and most ubiquitously: “Love trumps hate.”
Such are the slogans seen and heard at anti-Trump rallies since election results rolled in. Calling them riots is pushing it; these are pretty prosaic affairs. I usually don’t put too much stock in the mottoes and phrases mindlessly repeated at rituals of dissent, but here the last example mentioned at the outset instructive. Does love indeed trump hate? Perhaps. Readers of Machiavelli will recall that there’s another sentiment, however, more powerful than love or hate: fear. More on this a bit later; for now, let’s examine the forms of mobilization that have cropped up in response to the prospect of a Trump presidency.
Hysterical liberalism and protest politics
Liberals know that people are angry, so they’ve brought in their appointed “community leaders,” preachers, and various other “peacekeepers” to prevent these protests from being anything other than impotent cry-ins. M. Harlan Hoke was fortunate enough to attend a demonstration in Philly organized by Socialist Alternative, rather than by disgruntled Dems. He comments that SAlt at least managed to stay on point by focusing on valid economic grievances and the need for comprehensive social reform, while also acknowledging the concerns of groups frightened by Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric on immigration, religious discrimination, and abortion.
Elsewhere, in the more “spontaneous” marches — quickly commandeered by professional activists and NGO representatives loyal to the Democratic Party — their purpose was much less clear. In a post on his new blog, Imperium ad Infinitum, Hoke observes that “in other cities, the theme of the protests is basically angry oblivious Democrats. Their message is what? Vote Democrat in the 2018 and 2020 midterms? Just keep protesting Trump?” Protest politics are fairly limited to begin with, and I have my criticisms even of popular front coalitions formed by parties and organizations further to the left (I’ll get to this later). For now it’s enough to emphasize that liberalism is a total dead end.
Woke celebrities like Lena Dunham, Beyoncé Knowles, and Amanda Marcotte are also out in force, of course, expressing their sanctimonious dismay. Katy Perry is proclaiming open revolution in widely-shared tweets. But these are unlikely to carry over into the real world. Pop singer and Aryan goddess Taylor Swift has remained conspicuously silent throughout all of this. Then again, she’s unwittingly become the darling Valkyrie of the alternative right, so maybe it’s in her best interest to hang back for a bit and see how things play out. Riot grrrl pioneers Le Tigre hopefully regret that cringe-inducing video endorsement of the would-be Madame President. Continue reading