On the TrumpenLeft and False Equivalence

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    • #182285
      ZimInSeattle
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,199

       

      ~snip~

      Factions are warring within the American ruling class. So-called deep state agents (that is, ruling class/power elite players both within and beneath the parliamentary and electoral surface of U.S. politics and policy) have been opposing Trump for reasons that reflect elite interests (corporate globalization, investment stability/predictability, imperial and national credibility and branding among other things) that (as Trump’s “left” defenders rightly point out) have nothing to do with principled, democratic, and popular opposition.

      Think of understanding this as a form of basic left mental walking. Does this elementary mental stroll mean that one cannot at the same time chew gum by opposing the Trumpenstein and working for its fastest possible demise based on one’s understanding that the current White House is neo-fascistic, racist, ecocidal, and sexist and headed by a malignantly narcissistic and epically corrupt maniac who takes pleasure in terrorizing immigrant children and flouting civilized norms and the rule of law – and who, by the way, is doing everything he can to accelerate the process of turning the entire planet in a Greenhouse Gas Chamber? Of course not.

      The first 300 times I heard “but Hillary” and “but Obama” automatically thrown up as responses to left criticisms of Trump, I shrugged and went along. One can cite dozens if not hundreds of my own publications and talks on how awful the Inauthentic Opposition party, the Democrats is, with special attention to Obama and the Clintons and the role they and their neoliberal party have played in birthing the fascistic Trumpenstein presidency.

      The second 300 times I heard “what about Hillary,” “what about Obama,” and “what about the Democrats” in response to principled left criticisms of the Trump presidency, I said “okay, fine, but perhaps you have observed by now that the president’s name is Donald Trump, not Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton and the white-nationalist GOP now has all three branches of government [though the Democrats got half of Congress in January of 2019] Please consider that the current titular chief of the American Empire is always Public Enemy #1 and that Trump is particularly noxious in ways that numerous serious thinkers reasonably identify as fascistic. You are sounding like a badly broken record. Your what-aboutism is starting to sound like inverted lesser-evilism.”

      More: https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/10/11/on-the-trumpenleft-and-false-equivalence/

      "Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime" - Aristotle "The more I see of the moneyed peoples, the more I understand the guillotine" - George Bernard Shaw "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable" - JFK "If wars can be started by lies, they can be stopped by truth." ~ Julian Assange #SurviveAndRevolt

    • #182290
      bazukhov
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,996

      Good article.  The idea that if someone is against Trump and fascism they must be for Hillary and neo-liberalism is not only ridiculous but utter rubbish.

      Tell me, great captain, how do the angels sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on? Tom Waites

    • #182292
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 21,756

      Favorited. Great article; Paul Street at his best.

      I particularly like his point that one cannot support Donald Trump and be a leftist at the same time. Trump is a Fascist. Real leftists don’t support Fascists, period. We can oppose corrupt Vichy Democrats and Donald Trump altogether simultaneously at the same time. And we don’t have to take sides in a flawed impeachment process that has been deliberately narrowed in a probably doomed attempt to protect corrupt Democratic presidential contenders.

      Wishing for Trump’s downfall does not make one a supporter of Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden or the CIA.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #182294
      ravensong
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,222

      Yes.  Simple logic, reason, and common sense.  So refreshing.

      The term Trumpenleft is an excellent descriptor.

       

      “A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority.” ~ Booker T. Washington

      The truth is, there’s no such thing as being “anti-Fascist.” Either you are a decent human being with a conscience, or you are a fascist.
      ~ Unknown

    • #182295
      Mick063
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 579

      Trump is the most inept President of my lifetime.

      It says a lot about the inability of the opposition party to defeat him. Four years later, those losers are lecturing me about electability.

      I look at it like this. My general election is the primary. Lose the primary = lose the election. Maybe there will be hope in another four years. The tribe has spoken and they can live with their collective decision. Without my help or influence.

       

       

      "I welcome their hatred" Franklin D Roosevelt

    • #182354
      Maedhros
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 730

      I understand Street’s sentiment, but I take issue with his attempt to shame those who eschew a partisan lens when addressing corruption.

      It is important to acknowledge the “but Hillary” and “but Obama” objections – because the sickness hobbling our democracy is institutional and pervasive through both sides of the partisan divide.  Writers like Street can come across as opportunistic:  only pointing out corruption and criminality when they can use such transgressions as a bludgeon against their political enemies.  In our current hyper-partisan political environment, this allows the opponent to make the argument that allegations of criminality are only a witch hunt.  Additionally, as Russiagate has shown us, sometimes they are, and this further undercuts efforts to counter corruption in government.

      A great many pundits and writers on the ostensible left are just venting their anger at those of us who refuse to participate in their Two Minutes Hate.  This doesn’t mean that we support Trump or are trying to engage in whataboutism – it means that we have stepped out of the partisan Thunderdome and are advocating for true reform of our political process, reform that holds all factions accountable to the people.  All too often the ostensible left succumbs to hero worship and grants their heroes immunity to accountability for bad actions.  This refusal to hold both sides accountable makes their arguments against Trump appear hypocritical.

      His body recovered from his torment and became hale,
      but the shadow of his pain was in his heart;
      and he lived to wield his sword with left hand
      more deadly than his right had been.

      • #182367
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,756

        @maedhros I think Street is just sick and tired of being called pro-Hillary or pro-“Deep State” when he points out that Trump’s establishment accusers are actually right about some of the crimes they accuse Trump of committing, because he really did commit them.

        I’ve seen it here, when I or someone else voices the hope that Trump may fall, we are sometimes lumped in with the Vote Blue No Matter Whoers or told that Trump somehow has redeeming social value solely because a CIA agent said he broke the law, even if he actually did break the law, which he absolutely did. Multiple times. Then when we say that, we get “What about Hillary?” That implies nothing should happen to Trump until something does to Hillary or Bush or whoever, and that’s exactly what Trump’s real supporters say.

        Hillary’s not President. Trump is. She can’t harm us and the planet now. Trump is, and is doing a lot of harm. Right now.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

        • #182433
          Maedhros
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 730

          Fair enough.

          I still have an issue, though, with the selective amnesia at play.  The Obama Administration staged a coup against a legitimate elected government in Ukraine, Biden engaged in some good old-fashioned crony capitalism, then Trump sold them weapons – all so a gas pipeline to Europe would not be built, thwarting Russia’s plans to sell their natural gas and forcing Germany to purchase American natural gas.

          But we’re brow-beaten into cheering for impeachment over the relatively unimportant detail that Trump asked Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden, and we’re chastised for bringing attention to the bigger picture.

          The bigger picture is the bigger problem.

          His body recovered from his torment and became hale,
          but the shadow of his pain was in his heart;
          and he lived to wield his sword with left hand
          more deadly than his right had been.

          • #182438
            Ohio Barbarian
            Moderator
            • Total Posts: 21,756

            You’ll get no argument from me. I was as opposed to Obama’s policies then as I was to Bush’s before or Trump’s afterwards. You have every right to point out the hypocrisy of those of both parties who act like they’re cheering on a football team.

            It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

            You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #182370
      game meat
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,525

      Some fair points, but a bit too one sided of an analysis. The “they do it too” has become the default response for practically everything in today’s politics.

      Far too often Democrats play the whataboutism card in order to avoid dealing with their own issues, and end up engaging in the very practice they accuse others of doing. To speak of Biden’s very own Ukraine problem is off limits because, “But Trump…” To speak against the corruption of Democrats is to be a supporter of Trump.

      The problem is the systemic corruption of both parties, not hand wringing over whose cabal of crooks is the most crooked. Those who have sworn fealty to one of the two sides have blocked themselves from even attempting to see things through an objective lens. If something is only considered bad when Trump does it, then calling that out is recognizing hypocrisy, not a whataboutism.

      I don’t see much value in railing against everything Trump regardless of validity. It really is a case by case thing. If you want to point out how uniquely bad Trump’s environmental policies are, then I’d agree with you. On the other hand, I’m not going to join the pile on when it’s time for ‘bourgeois identity politics,’ and we’re supposed to fall in line and call him a monster because he called Adam Schiff  ‘shifty.’

      • #183065
        djean111
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 6,438

        @gamemeat

        Yep!  Looks like to me real creative preparation for Hillary 3.0 going on, or maybe even to cushion Biden for a while, ensure selective outrage votes for Warren from those who know she is not progressive – too much of this suddenly popping up to not be planned.    Straw men stumbling all about. IMO and all that.  The assumption is that we all have “picked sides” as far as parties are concerned, based completely on TRUMP!!!!.   Nope.

        America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)

        Everything I post is just my opinion, and, honestly, I would love to be wrong.

    • #182375
      sadoldgirl
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,349

      There seems to be someone left out of this story,

      and his name is Pence. He was probably chosen

      as an insurance policy, because I for one fear him

      more than the bungling and ignorant Trump. If

      it comes to criminality, committing war crimes

      and apologizing for torture seem to be by now

      normal events from all sides. Well, in that case

      count me out.Even though I find Bernie’s foreign

      policy wanting,  I will support him as the best of

      possible candidates. The “Dems” have a chance now

      to support him. If they don’t, they are just as guilty

      as the “Repugs”.

    • #182571
      MistaP
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,066

      this is the 300th time I’ve heard someone dismiss talk of Clinton and Obama as the alt-right and alt-left hooking up together, so …

    • #182705
      Earthartist
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,523

      The issues  i have with this is selective memory. One of the reasons I point out that billy boy did the crime bill, or obama made it legal to kill US citizens with out trial, is not what aboutism it is you better not forget that the dems are from the same mother as the republicans. Orwell’s mother

      Earthartist

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