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As the resistance to Trump grows we should identify the real reasons for his illegitimacy. “Trump is Putin’s lapdog”, a sign held during the inauguration protests, is a diversion promoted by the Democratic Party leadership and media pundits in their service such as Bill Maher and Keith Obermann.
The heroic fighter for civil rights Congressman John Lewis called Trump an illegitimate President because of the Russians rather than what he most of all should know so well are the real reasons, a white supremacist Electoral College which weighs white votes more than Black and Jim Crow voter suppression. Despite the impact of the latter Clinton still won by nearly 3 million votes nationally.
But how to explain the profound failure of the Democratic Party leadership to confront the real cause of Trump’s selection ? In the 2016, 2004, and 2000 Presidential elections Greg Palast has documented massive Jim Crow voter suppression; see his film “The Best Democracy Money can Buy”, available on his Facebook page. Largely financed by the Democratic Party rank-and-file, Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein’s historic recount effort highlighted this reality. Nevertheless, soon after November 8, President Obama declared that the voters have spoken their preference, congratulating Trump on his “election”. Instead of pointing to the real cause of this selection the Democratic Party leadership with the cooperation of the CIA is blaming the Russians. But why?
Here is a big clue: “At a Washington gathering, the chairman of the governors' group, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), dismissed the president's false claims of millions of illegal votes cast in November as "lunacy," "something he made up" and "hocus-pocus." "That delegitimizes the president, it delegitimizes, embarrasses the United States of America in the world's eyes that we had 5 million illegal votes - and it's just plain not true," McAuliffe later told The Washington Post” (1).
Of course McAuliffe is right about Trump’s phony claims of illegal votes but Trump is still illegitimate for the real reasons outlined above. Hence the Democratic Party leadership continues to refuse to point to these reasons, otherwise the “Democracy” brand, the appearance of legitimacy of U.S. democratic elections as the cover for imperial policies would be undermined. The National Security State has a well-documented record of interference in elections in other countries, e.g., ironically Russia in 1996 to insure the election of Yeltsin (2). And if these operations fail, US imperialism does their best to promote regime change for countries that challenge their agenda, e.g., Venezuela.
And why didn’t Bernie Sanders stand up as a Senator to allow debate in House and Senate on the Electoral College decision? Recall Senator Boxer did in 2005 for the 2004 election. Will “Our Revolution” protest this cave-in to the Democratic Party leadership, demonstrating that pointing to the real reasons for the Trump selection is the foundation for resistance and struggle for democracy, as we anticipate the 2018 elections ?
(1) Fenit Nirappil, Governors decry Trump's call for voter fraud probe, January 26, 2017, A7, Washington Post.
(2) “Urged by the United States, the International Monetary Fund granted a $10.2 billion loan to Russia in February and enabled the government to spend huge sums paying long-owed back wages and pensions to millions of Russians, with some overdue checks arriving shortly before the June election.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_presidential_election,_1996)
P.S. See https://www.thenation.com/article/heres-how-the-2018-midterm-elections-could-be-fatally-undermined/ for a recognition of the voter suppression challenge with respect to the 2018 election.
Mike Davis has an excellent analysis just published on Jacobin:
However, he barely addresses the issues I raised here regarding the proximate causes of the Trump selection.
Thanks to the author for submitting this to Portside