The best way to control the opposition is to lead it.
I am of the strong belief that any administration which comes into power in the current environment of nearly unrestrained executive authority, a lawless and sprawling intelligence agency complex, and a debt-driven, rent-seeking rewarding fraud economy should be assumed to represent a serious threat to the civil liberties and remaining freedoms of the American public. This would’ve been true under Hillary, and it’s also true under Trump.
Personally, I think Trump will be reacting to events outside of his control more than he will be controlling his own destiny given the extremely precarious point we are in during this geopolitical, cultural and economic cycle. This is a very dangerous period, and it will likely only get more dangerous as the years unfold. Not because of Trump, but because of the circumstances we have allowed ourselves to be boxed into as a people. As such, I fully understand and appreciate the role of non-violent protest and civil disobedience in the Trump era, just like I understood it and advocated for it during Obama’s transgressions.
Trump’s administration got off to a serious bang with the Women’s March over the weekend, which were unquestionably large events. While I think protest is important, and I don’t want to minimize the achievement of getting that many people out in the streets, there were many aspects of it that left a very foul taste in my mouth. Let’s start off with some of the people actively involved.
From the LA Times:
The Women’s March on Washington may have been filled with celebrities, singers and all sorts of Hollywood A-listers, but it was longtime feminist and writer Gloria Steinem who really revved up the crowd.
Upon exiting the Women’s March after her keynote speech in which she emphasized that protest means more than hitting the “send” button, a crowd formed around Steinem. Mothers rushed up to introduce their daughters to her; protesters held out their signs for her autograph.
Gloria Steinem, feminist icon and CIA-operative in the 1950’s and 60’s. Oh, you didn’t know that?
From The Chicago Tribune:
CIA agents are tight-lipped, but Steinem spoke openly about her relationship to “The Agency” in the 1950s and ‘60s after a magazine revealed her employment by a CIA front organization, the Independent Research Service.
While popularly pilloried because of her paymaster, Steinem defended the CIA relationship, saying: “In my experience The Agency was completely different from its image; it was liberal, nonviolent and honorable.”
Wait, what? The CIA was headed up by one of America’s most notorious psychopaths during that time, Allen Dulles. She must be aware of this fact. This is an interesting person for women to hold up as a role model, and to help lead the “resistance.”
One of the many nefarious things the CIA was up to during this time period was mind control program MK Ultra.
Project MKUltra – sometimes referred to as the CIA’s mind control program – is the code name given to a program of experiments on human subjects, at times illegal, designed and undertaken by the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Experiments on humans were intended to identify and develop drugs and procedures to be used in interrogations and torture, in order to weaken the individual to force confessions through mind control. Organized through the Scientific Intelligence Division of the CIA, the project coordinated with the Special Operations Division of the U.S. Army’s Chemical Corps.
The operation began in the early 1950s, was officially sanctioned in 1953, was reduced in scope in 1964, further curtailed in 1967, and officially halted in 1973. The program engaged in many illegal activities, including the use of unwitting U.S. and Canadian citizens as its test subjects, which led to controversy regarding its legitimacy. MKUltra used numerous methodologies to manipulate people’s mental states and alter brain functions, including the surreptitious administration of drugs (especially LSD) and other chemicals, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse, as well as other forms of psychological torture.
For more on the CIA at that time, see: How America’s Modern Shadow Government Can Be Traced Back to One Very Evil Man – Allen Dulles
But it gets worse. Steinem was a key factor in the election of Donald Trump by irrationally supporting Hillary Clinton and belittling Sanders supporters with some very un-feminist type commentary. In case you forget about this episode back in February, Desperate for Hillary – Feminist Icon Gloria Steinem Claims Young Women Support Sanders to Attract Boys. The only revolution this woman is going to lead is one that slams straight into a brick wall.
Naturally, Gloria wasn’t the only icon of female power to attend. The, always painfully desperate for attention and continued relevance, Madonna was also celebrated. Here’s some of what she had to say, courtesy of USA Today:
NEW YORK (AP) — Madonna is defending her fiery, expletive-laden speech at the Women’s March, saying her words were “taken wildly out of context.”
The singer said at the Washington, D.C., march Saturday that she had at times been angry after the election and had thought “an awful lot about blowing up the White House.”
Power to the imbecile.
Moving along, another red flag about the march were the amount of Democratic lawmakers present and actively protesting. Considering Trump rose to power based on the intense anger from much of the American voting public about how things were going, I find this to be incredibly ironic, and certainly not empowering. As The Hill notes in the article, Lawmakers Join Women’s Marches in DC and Nationwide:
Democratic lawmakers are are marching with women in Washington and across the nation one day after President Trump’s inauguration.
Hundreds of thousands took to the streets of D.C. on Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington, joined by a large contingent of lawmakers.
Other Democrats attended satellite protests in other cities across the country.
Sens. Ron Wyden (Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Ben Cardin (Md.) and Tammy Duckworth (Ill.) as well as Reps. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and others shared images from marches in Washington and their home states.
“And others.” Yes, there were many more Democrats out there “resisting” who went unmentioned in that article. Such as my Congressman Jared Polis, who shared many pictures of his defiance via Twitter.
— Jared Polis (@jaredpolis) January 21, 2017
Pharmaceutical company prostitute Cory Booker was also there.
Of course, former Senator and Secretary of State, John Kerry, was also out there voicing people power. Goldman Sachs executives must be shaking in their boots.
The whole thing makes me wish the Care Bears has led this march, they would’ve been a far more focused and threatening opposition force. At least the care bear stare gets things done.
Finally, to put an oligarch cherry on the sundae, there considerable links between everyone’s favorite Hillary Clinton supporting billionaire financier and the marches. As reported by Asra Q. Nomani via Women in the World, in association with The New York Times, Billionaire George Soros Has Ties to More Than 50 ‘Partners’ of the Women’s March on Washington:
In the pre-dawn darkness of today’s presidential inauguration day, I faced a choice, as a lifelong liberal feminist who voted for Donald Trump for president: lace up my pink Nike sneakers to step forward and take the DC Metro into the nation’s capital for the inauguration of America’s new president, or wait and go tomorrow to the after-party, dubbed the “Women’s March on Washington”?
The Guardian has touted the “Women’s March on Washington” as a “spontaneous” action for women’s rights. Another liberal media outlet, Vox, talks about the “huge, spontaneous groundswell” behind the march. On its website, organizers of the march are promoting their work as “a grassroots effort” with “independent” organizers. Even my local yoga studio, Beloved Yoga, is renting a bus and offering seats for $35. The march’s manifesto says magnificently, “The Rise of the Woman = The Rise of the Nation.”
It’s an idea that I, a liberal feminist, would embrace. But I know — and most of America knows — that the organizers of the march haven’t put into their manifesto: the march really isn’t a “women’s march.” It’s a march for women who are anti-Trump.
As someone who voted for Trump, I don’t feel welcome, nor do many other women who reject the liberal identity-politics that is the core underpinnings of the march, so far, making white women feel unwelcome, nixing women who oppose abortion and hijacking the agenda.
To understand the march better, I stayed up through the nights this week, studying the funding, politics and talking points of the some 403 groups that are “partners” of the march. Is this a non-partisan “Women’s March”?
Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, a march “partner,” told me his organization was “nonpartisan” but has “many concerns about the incoming Trump administration that include what we see as a misogynist approach to women.” Nick Fish, national program director of the American Atheists, another march partner, told me, “This is not a ‘partisan’ event.” Dennis Wiley, pastor of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ, another march “partner,” returned my call and said, “This is not a partisan march.”
Really? UniteWomen.org, another partner, features videos with the hashtags #ImWithHer, #DemsInPhily and #ThanksObama. Following the money, I pored through documents of billionaire George Soros and his Open Society philanthropy, because I wondered: What is the link between one of Hillary Clinton’s largest donors and the “Women’s March”?
I found out: plenty…
Much like post-election protests, which included a sign, “Kill Trump,” were not “spontaneous,” as reported by some media outlets, the “Women’s March” is an extension of strategic identity politics that has so fractured America today, from campuses to communities. On the left or the right, it’s wrong. But, with the inauguration, we know the politics. With the march, “women” have been appropriated for a clearly anti-Trump day. When I shared my thoughts with her, my yoga studio owner said it was “sad” the march’s organizers masked their politics. “I want love for everyone,” she said.
The left’s fierce identity politics and its failure on Islamic extremism lost my vote this past election, and so, as the dawn’s first light breaks through the darkness of the morning as I write, I make my decision: I’ll lace up my pink Nikes and head to the inauguration, skipping the “Women’s March” that doesn’t have a place for women like me.
The protest felt like a march for the DNC while it was occurring, and much of what I’ve read since has only reenforced that perspective.
Moving along, you can get some sense for the tenor of the protests based on the signs. Looking through pictures of protests from around the world, a few things become pretty clear. First, one of the most common sign was “Love Trumps Hate,” which was a straight up Hillary campaign slogan. There were also plenty of “With Her” signs; so what was this, a march for women or a march for Hillary?
That said, I’d say the most common sign seems to have been some derivative of “Women’s Rights = Human Rights.” I unquestionably agree with this statement, which begs the question, who doesn’t? Well many of the barbaric, feudalist monarchies in the Middle East for starters. Saudi Arabia being a prime example, a place where women are not permitted to drive. Fortunately for them, their money is still green and the Clinton Foundation took plenty of it (between $10 million and $25 million to be exact). Democrats protested that by rigging the primary for her.
The Katy Perry revolution will be televised.
I didn’t personally attend any of the protests, so I asked my followers on Twitter who did attend to reach out to me and tell me about what they saw. I received lengthy responses from three people. One was a Gary Johnson voter, one a Hillary voter and one didn’t vote at all. They all pretty much confirmed what you could deduct from the signs. It was a message of “women power,” seemingly focused on women’s rights, specifically abortion and contraception.
This brings me to another observation, which will serve as a segue to the final thrust of this article. It appears the emotional driver of the protest was two fold — a serious concern that certain women’s rights will be rolled back, and a form of catharsis for people still reeling from the election loss. This is interesting, because the focal point appears to be not just driven by identify politics, but on preserving already existing rights.
Ok, fine, but what about all the ills currently at play? The destruction of the middle class, the surveillance state, the fact that Wall Street owns every single administration no matter who wins. What about the wars and the rapidly metastasizing military-industrial-intelligence complex. These are things that are currently happening, and have been getting worse under both Republican and Democratic administrations. Does it make sense for all this energy to be focused on a potential threat, as opposed to all of the many ongoing unethical, destructive aspects of American life in 2017?
Which brings us to the most important point of this entire article. I don’t want to be too judgmental here. While much of the messaging from the Women’s March seems to have been pretty unserious and divorced from the reality of the many serious issues plaguing the nation, I want to see a silver lining here. I think there’s little doubt that Trump’s election resulted in a certain percentage of the population finally waking up to how much trouble this country is in. The problem is that many of these people see Trump as the problem to be eliminated, as opposed to the symptom of a sick, destructive society that he actually is. This is where the entire “resistance” can be easily co-opted by the DNC and the rapidly emerging neocon/neoliberal alliance rooted in identity politics, which poses no actual threat to the people actually in power. In this sense, all of this potentially productive energy could tragically be redirected into simply bringing back the same Democratic types that were forcefully rejected during the 2016 election.
Once again, I want to quote Nafeez Ahmed, because he summarized it so perfectly:
New ties of solidarity are emerging across the left and right of the political spectrum. Constitutional conservatives and anti-Trump Republicans are finding themselves on the same side as progressives.
There is a powerful lesson here. In the wake of Trump’s victory, many of my American friends and colleagues who lamented Clinton’s failure see the future as essentially one-track: we need to get the Democratic Party back in power in another four or eight years.
Yet this utter banality in our political imagination is precisely what allowed the Trumpian moment to arise in the first-place – the abject deference to the inevitability of working within a broken two-party structure, regardless of its subservience to narrow vested interests, regardless of its accelerating distance from the American people.
The solution is not to react to Trump as if he, too, is the Other, but to recognise him as little more than the Great Orange Face of regressive social forces that we all enabled, forces tied to a global system that is no longer sustainable. That means raising the stakes, and shooting to build something bigger, better and brighter than merely an ‘anti-Trump’ movement.
In the Trumpian moment, we must be neither Republicans, nor Democrats, left nor right, conservative nor liberal. We are humans, together, not merely resisting a broken system that is beyond fixing, but planting the seeds to build a new system as we travel deeper into the post-carbon century. Yes, Trump is a psychotic blip in this great transition. But he is also the culmination of a state of political psychosis which began long before him, and which we’ve all been part of.
So the question is no longer what we’re against. The question is this: what are you really standing for? And what are you going to do to build it?
He’s exactly right, and I didn’t see much of that kind of thoughtful and forward looking thinking from the Women’s March. Nevertheless, let’s try to turn a negative into a positive.
Everyone reading this had to become politically aware at a certain moment in time. None of us were born with knowledge of how things work, and how completely messed up the planet is today. Moreover, even those of us who are relatively well informed are still pretty ignorant on all sorts of topics. Indeed, I am consistently amazed at how little I actually know as I continue along the path of understanding, a path that if done correctly, never ends by the way.
Less than ten years ago, I was a well educated, very financially successful imbecile. It took the financial crisis and the inexplicably corrupt government response to it to shake me out of my slumber. While I remained blissfully ignorant for much of life, many people were out there fighting the good fight. I rest on the shoulders of the giants that came before me, and I learned so much from them. You don’t have to agree with thoughtful dissidents on every topic to gain tremendous value from their insights. Noam Chomsky is a great example. I strongly disagree with him on several issues, but when it comes to government propaganda and the nefariousness of U.S. militarism, he has few equals.
If you recently became aware of how bad things are, then maybe you should pay attention to those who have been saying it for a while. If you thought everything was fine and then your world fell apart once Trump got elected, perhaps you haven’t been paying enough attention. If you see Trump as the problem to be solved, as opposed to a symptom of a discredited and failing system, you present more of a danger than a solution. In fact, you’ll likely stand in the way of the paradigm level change necessary.
Getting angry is step one. Getting informed is step two. Those of us who have been in this fight for a while understand this, and we need to do whatever we can to steer the latent human energy into productive purposes, as opposed to unwitting henchmen and women for the neocon/neoliberal DNC. Time is short and the establishment is fighting for their lives. Protesting like sheep will lead to nothing good.