Friday, November 11, 2016

As The Protests Grow

This could get very ugly.

I haven't really been following the continuing nationwide protest actions against the outcome of the election, but what I have seen indicates that they are spreading, growing, occasionally result in "violence" -- ie: property damage, vandalism, police overreaction -- and involve a wide range of mostly young people who see no future for themselves under a "President" Trump.

Police repression so far is relatively light, but the indications are that is soon going to get heavier under the joint control of the incoming and the outgoing regimes. Their first level of cooperation will be to crush the incipient revolt in other words, and thus ensure the traditional "peaceful transfer of power" -- by any means necessary.

Oh dear.

I think the young people who have taken to the streets are brave as heck. Good for them. I hope they don't back down -- but I would understand if they do back down under the paramilitary assault that is sure to come their way. I myself am too old and infirm to join them in more than spirit, but they have my support to the extent I can give it.

On the other hand, I'm hearing (some unconfirmed) reports that violent racist outbreaks are taking place all over the country, proliferating like never before in recent times (of course they're part of a long history of violent racism in this country that has only recently been tamped down a bit).

I live in a majority Hispanic rural county in New Mexico, and if anybody tried that racist shit here there would be the devil to pay. This backwater voted for Trump over Clinton to be sure, but not for the Trump package of racism.

In fact, most of the Trump voters I know, either in my family or among my friends and acquaintances, did so out of their own personal sense of being ever more constrained and in some cases overwhelmed by government interference and impositions. They are for the most part small business people, operating farms, ranches, various businesses of many kinds, most doing relatively well -- some are quite well off -- but they feel increasingly overburdened by taxes and increasingly complex regulations that are "crushing them."

In some cases, they are deeply fearful of crime and criminals and of terrorists and terrorism. Why that is so, I have no idea. I don't know anyone who has actually been a victim of either crime or terrorism, but they sure fear it in their bones. They want protection, and they feel Trump will give it to them, whereas Hillary would just make things worse.

The immigration question is somewhat dicey. Most of New Mexico is pretty laissez faire on immigration from Mexico because of long cultural and social ties. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was never really accepted as binding in some ways, nor has the border really be a barrier. Until recently, anyway, and then more rhetorically than actually. I'd put it this way: they don't see the border as worthy of all the focus there is on it.

That's because the numbers of immigrants from south of the border hasn't been very high in New Mexico, at least not since the first waves of invasion that seized the land from the Indians and made of them foreigners in their own territory. There were far more Anglo invaders following the War of aggression that took the territory from Mexico in 1846. New Mexicans have long, long memories, and those events among others still resonate. Being of the Anglo persuasion myself, I'm well aware of the discomfort my mere presence can sometimes cause. Not necessarily hostility, just discomfort.

So while "illegal" immigration is sometimes seen as a problem, it's more theoretical than real; there hasn't been a wave of immigration from Mexico to New Mexico that compares with the experience of some other areas of the country. And of course Anglos are not in the majority in New Mexico, so a lot of the Anglo racism that you see on display elsewhere is much lower key or nonexistent here. I saw one guy down at the local baseball field sporting a huge Confederate flag on the back of his pick up truck the other day, and I thought, "Gee that won't go over well." I haven't seen anything like it since.

The spirit here is much more Live and Let Live, basically, and Get the Government Off My Back. Trump voters think they voted for that. I'm pretty well convinced they're in for a shock with a Trump regime, and they will,  like people do, rationalize the new impositions that will come as "necessary" -- until they don't any more, and the revolt that is starting with outraged -- and often hopeless -- young people and minorities will spread to many of those who took Trump at his word and discover they've been conned.

The con job is basic to the Trump approach to rule, and because he's done it so successfully, I'm pretty sure that's why so many Republican Pooh Bahs are pledging their fealty right now despite their previous denunciations. They see him as a meal ticket like no other in recent memory -- maybe Reagan could do it for them, but no one else comes close.

Republicans consider conning their constituents as a fundamental part of their jobs, and they've been doing it pretty well over the years, but nothing like the Trump methods. Democrats do it too, don't get me wrong, and their cons can be just as destructive, if not so successful (I guess because they're easier to see through.)

As I said in an earlier post, TPTB can intervene in this growing Trumpian disaster, but will they? So far, no, they won't. They seem convinced for the time being that it's going to be OK -- for them. As long as that's the case, they will have no reason to intervene.

But as the protests grow and spread and involve more and more of the Right People as opposed to just the Rabble, they will have to do something. I don't know that Trump himself is capable of being judicious about doing anything, and I suspect that Obama would be "helpful" in ways that don't help Trump at all.

Canceling the inauguration -- my preferred action -- is unlikely, but a violent crackdown on the protests will have lasting and destabilizing repercussions. It will have the effect of delegitimizing the rule of these assholes, to a far greater extent than the Bush 2 regime was delegitimized by the protests against it. (Credit Cindy Sheehan for actually doing the job...)

Once his rule is delegitimized, as it very nearly is already, the whole apparatus of the Ruling Clique is destabilized. Shit gonna get real.

What have we done to deserve this? I find the whole thing just appalling. Why are Our Rulers so intent on making our lives as miserable as possible? What is with that? Trump has been elevated to be their avatar in office against the advice of most of the Better People, few of whom have any redeeming qualities themselves, and yet they appear to be going along with his program because I think they believe he can con enough people to get away with it, whereas they can't.

Maybe, maybe. But I see that when the mask comes off -- which is pretty much has -- there will be hell to pay.

I would prefer he never take office. Right now, I think pushing the "rigged election" aspect, which he himself is responsible for, may be the way to go. So far it hasn't got any traction, but things are moving fast, and things can change in a heartbeat.

Solidarity. It's gonna be a hard slog. But it ain't over till it's over.

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