By Kathie Malley-Morrison
The growing torrent of protests against the assaults on life and liberty being perpetrated by the Trump agenda are a welcome sign of resistance in the eyes of millions of Americans, including me. But we must remember that Trump is just the tip of a deadly, destructive iceberg about which former Republican President David Dwight Eisenhower warned us all.
Trump was elected President in part because of a flawed electoral systerm, but also because millions of Americans have seen jobs disappear, incomes plummet, the rich get richer, the middle class crumble, the poor get poorer, safeguards fail, health worsen, educational and occupational opportunities recede, and health care costs rise—with limited help from a government they have reason not to trust.
Although favoring some actions that represent horrendous threats to democracy and human rights ,Trump supporters also have many legitimate complaints needing to be voiced.
It is good to recognize that much is wrong with the American political and economic systems. Injustices abound. It is good that people are trumpeting their woes. But how can the injustices be repaired? Aye, there’s the rub.
The populist rebellion—the eager embracing of alternatives to the self-serving imperialistic establishment displayed in the enormous support for Trump among disenchanted Republicans and for Bernie Sanders among disenchanted Democrats—was long overdue.
Yes, it is time to recognize the discontent, clean the house, and clear the swamps. But more than words are needed.
People will not be able to participate in the necessary resistance and reform if they spend their evenings sitting in front of the boob tube watching the horror stories offered by the corporate media to divert them. Nor will knocking over gravestones or attacking the scapegoats at whom fear-mongering leaders point.
What to do? We can start by actively (and non-violently) participating in and supporting the most effective environmental groups, anti-nuclear groups, anti-racism groups, pro-peace groups, pro-human rights groups, and so forth.
Good start, but to truly reform government, we need to work on ways to break the hold of the richest individuals and corporations, the dark and non-elected shadow government working behind the scenes to promote nobody’s interests but their own.
To create a more perfect union, all the many individuals and small groups working for peace and social justice must find ways to work together.
There are many other good ideas out there about how to Take America Forward. Please share them.