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Seed the Vote: Political Assessment

Our goal is not just to push Trump out of office, but to help shift the balance of power in the states where we are working in favor of communities of color, social justice organizations, and labor.

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, Seed the Vote

Introduction to Seed the Vote

The Trump era has been all about the naked aggression of the far right, but cracks are appearing. Trump is battling impeachment, a result not only of his criminality but of the changes that the blue wave brought to Congress. Last month we saw further losses for the right in Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania – the result of sustained organizing by hundreds if not thousands. That work didn’t start this year; it’s the culmination of many years of work.  None of this was spontaneous. When we organize, we can win. When we step up to fight, we can win. 

Those are the lessons of last year, and this week – lessons that we have to apply to 2020.  Seed the Vote is a project in the Bay Area attempting to create a vehicle to do just that. We want to leverage the experience, capacity, and expertise of organizers and activists in California in support of long-term organizing in our neighboring states. Our goal is not just to push Trump out of office, but to help shift the balance of power in the states where we are working in favor of communities of color, social justice organizations, and labor. We want to be tactically and politically smart, and move our politics and organizations forward.

The following political assessment was made to guide our work, but our hope is that it can spur conversation and debate for other groups that are considering similar work.

Seed the Vote: A Project to Fight the Right and Build the Left in 2020 and Beyond

Political Assessment and Strategy as of December 1, 2019

The possibility of Trump’s re-election in 2020 is a real one. And it’s one we are determined to stop. When we – a group of left activists rooted in community and labor organizing in the San Francisco Bay Area – gathered this spring, it was with the urgency that came from seeing our communities under relentless assault from a white nationalist, authoritarian administration. But we also knew that 2020 – with the size, energy, and leftward shift among the opposition to Trumpism – would give us an opportunity: if we plan carefully and think big, we can make a difference at the ballot box in 2020, the kind of difference the Left failed to make in 2016. And we thought we could do this while building a stronger and more cohesive Left.

So we launched Seed the Vote. Our practical focus is centered on bolstering 2020 electoral efforts to defeat Trump and the GOP in two key states, Nevada and Arizona. We are already building infrastructure and recruiting to (1) deploy several hundred Bay area activists to work with partnering unions and community-based organizations in Nevada and Arizona for two-week periods in October 2020; and (2) connect volunteers with remote call-in and text efforts from the Bay Area to register voters, protect voting rights and increase turnout in key constituencies in November 2020. We are also considering partnerships in more states and expanding our field work depending on capacity—this may include connecting some Bay Area folks back to their home states and/or work with college students. We launched Seed the Vote as a project of a federal PAC.

This effort is not only designed to impact the 2020 election outcome. We are including a training component to provide our volunteers with the skills and experience to lead electoral engagement work, ranging from advanced canvassers to team leaders who can train and supervise others, to campaign managers. And our program is crafted to increase the capacity and reach of partner organizations in Nevada and Arizona, as well as participating organizations in the Bay. Seed the Vote is an active investment in the long-haul work of building the independent electoral strength of social justice organizations rooted in communities of color and the working class.

Our decision to take up this practical effort is based on an assessment of the current political landscape in the country and key tasks facing left organizers and progressive groups. To develop that assessment, the Seed the Vote core organizers held a series of in-depth political discussions. The analysis below reflects our conversations. It does not reflect full consensus of the group, but rather lifts up the ideas and questions we have been in and think are important for Left organizers to wrestle with as we seek to engage in the electoral process in ways that position us for increasing strength. We intend to use this as the basis for producing powerpoints, videos, talking points and other materials to foster political and strategic discussion and development alongside training in practical skills. We will revisit and revise these ideas at various points going forward, and welcome your feedback toward that end.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Seed the Vote Education Team: Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Dylan Cooke, Jazmín Delgado, Max Elbaum, Lee Gargagliano, Rose Mendelsohn, Jason Negrón-Gonzales.

 

 TRUMPISM

  1. Background to Trumpism’s Ascent to Power:

The outlook and narrative that Trump has used to galvanize and consolidate a racist and authoritarian bloc has deep roots in U.S. history. Its constituent elements are not brand new. But they are combined in a particular way at a historic turning point and thus constitute an extreme and unprecedented danger. Trump’s ascent builds on 45 years of backlash against the gains globally and in the US of 1960s freedom movements. But two developments in the last decade are especially important to understand how and why Trumpism rose to power: (1) the crisis of the neoliberal economic model, thrust to the fore in the 2008 financial crisis, which has meant intensifying hardship for workers, the most vulnerable and oppressed, and even large layers of the ‘middle classes’; and (2) demographic change in the US, with people of color an ever larger proportion of the population, thrust to the forefront of the country’s consciousness by the election of the first Black President. The far right seized on this combination to fan the racial anxieties, fears and prejudices of large numbers of white people and to scapegoat people of color and immigrants for all the country’s problems. It’s no wonder that Trump has aimed his especially venomous remarks at the most progressive women of color in Congress.

  1. The Right-Wing/Trumpist Goal: A Racialized Authoritarian State:

While much of the media is focused on Trump’s Twitter outrages, an extremely dangerous agenda is being steadily implemented largely via executive branch actions – the rollback of environmental protection regulations, increased repression of immigrants, the appointment of know-nothing ideological federal judges – with a Supreme Court conservative majority ready to affirm its essential elements.

This agenda aims to establish a racialized authoritarian state. Given the unpopularity of their actual economic program and climate change denialism, and the fact that demographic changes are not working in their favor, the right sees a racist authoritarian state as necessary to implement their full program of fossil fuel-driven, no-limits capitalism and permanent U.S. global hegemony. This is not classical fascism. But it is an arrangement more like the U.S. during the height of Jim Crow or today’s Israel than the bourgeois democracy the U.S. has had since legalized discrimination was abolished in the 1960s.

Bottom line, Trumpism in power is not just a ‘more conservative’ version of business-as-usual. It is a concerted drive to drastically narrow hard-won democratic space and shift away from the gains won through mass struggle – the end of Jim Crow and racist immigration quotas; major gains for voting rights, women’s and LGBTQ rights – toward a new kind of repressive regime.

  1. The Trump Coalition and its Glue:

Trump has captured the GOP and transformed it from a conservative party into a party driven primarily by white nationalism and authoritarianism. The new dispensation – Trumpism – has been financed and anchored by right-wing billionaires, sectors of capital rooted in the fossil fuel industry, low-end retail, and the military-industrial complex. It is also rooted in the most racist layers of white middle-class and working-class people, and those gathered in white Evangelical Churches. Openly violent white supremacist and anti-Semitic organizations, previously shunned by the mainstream right-wing, have been welcomed into the fold under Trump. Trumpism deploys a massive media operation with FOX News and talk-radio at its core. Contrary to some pundits, Trumpism is not mainly a working-class bloc. The glue keeping the less-well-off sectors within the coalition is the narrative of “hard-working white America as victim of globalist elites, dark-skinned barbarians and uppity women,” resulting in the need to “take our country back” by whatever means are necessary.

Support for Trump has ranged between 38 and 42 percent. A number close to the lower end of that scale – roughly a third of U.S. adults – likely represents the hard-core pro-Trump camp. Buoyed by a strong economy, his support has not dipped far below 40 percent since mid-January 2019. The Trumpist bloc encompasses only a minority of the population. (We will discuss the larger but more heterogenous opposition to Trumpism in the next section.) But the Trumpified GOP now holds a disproportionate share of political power, having control of the presidency, the Senate, the Supreme Court, and both the legislatures and governorships in 21 states.

  1. Key Take-Aways:

**White supremacy and authoritarianism are at the core of Trumpism.

**Trumpism has captured the GOP and aims for drastic narrowing of existing democratic space and long-term rule by a minority of the population in the form of a racialized authoritarian state.

  1. Recommended Supplementary Material:

Trump Following Early Playbook of Rise to Fascism:

https://portside.org/2019-08-16/leading-civil-rights-lawyer-shows-20-ways-trump-copying-hitlers-early-rhetoric-and 

What the Reactionary Politics of 2019 Owe to the Politics of Slavery:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/republicans-racism-african-americans.html

Trump Needs His Base to Burn with Anger:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/03/opinion/trump-republican-base.html

There Really Are Two Distinct White Working Classes:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/26/opinion/pelosi-white-working-class.html

THE OPPOSITION

  1. Background to the Rise of the Anti-Trump Opposition:

As of fall 2019, majority sentiment in the country is opposed to Trump and a large proportion of this majority “strongly disapprove” of the President. The most energetic and committed components of that majority lie in communities of color and among young people, but opposition stretches all the way from corporate power brokers in the Democratic Party through the millions who turned out for Bernie Sanders, a re-energized women’s upsurge, environmental organizations, most of the trade union movement, and many Marxist revolutionaries. So it includes players with contradictory interests: some who oppose Trump because they view him as an unreliable guardian of U.S. global power, others who see his administration as a barrier to the big changes in US society that they believe are needed.

What events have shaped this anti-Trump majority?

The crisis of neoliberalism, especially coming off the 2008 global economic crisis, changed economic and social realities and put particular stress on the working and middle classes. The bailout of the big banks – driven by the GOP but collaborated with by the Democratic leadership under a Black President – opened the door for right-wing racist populism to gain heightened initiative. The rise of a racist and authoritarian right wing in the U.S. was part of a global process, as Trumpist-like forces with ‘strongmen’ leaders gained ground or took power in numerous other countries.

On the other end of the political spectrum, Occupy and Black Lives Matter renewed energy for mass direct action. The concept of the 99% vs the 1% entered the mainstream; racist police abuse and mass incarceration became targets of large-scale protest. The Bernie Sanders insurgency in 2016 fed off this energy and convinced many people that a radical program could make an impact in the electoral arena.

When Trump unexpectedly won the presidency in 2016, the racist right-wing momentum that had been developing under Obama now operated from a position of executive power. Accelerated attacks on Muslims, immigrants and people of color were at the center of Trump’s agenda. The Obama administration had already been upping immigration ‘enforcement’ – this intensified dramatically under Trump. Attacks on voting rights accelerated, climate denialism became official policy, a huge tax cut for the rich was pushed through Congress, the administration battered rights and protections for structurally marginalized groups, including transgender people, women, and people with disabilities. The administration created a crisis on the US/Mexico border, launched trade wars, worked to destabilize Central America and Venezuela, supported the brutal war in Yemen, and gave Israel a green light to further entrench apartheid. All this fueled opposition from Election Day through Trump’s inauguration and into his presidency.

  1. A Broad but Politically Diverse Opposition, and Tensions Within It.

Since 2016, a growing number of people have thrown themselves into efforts to defeat Trumpism by advocating a broadly left politics. What does this opposition look like?

Social justice efforts have been able to activate significant mass actions in opposition to Trump and right-wing policies, from the Women’s March to airport protests to the more recent teacher strikes. Mass mobilization played a particularly important role through 2018, in stalling or rolling back many of Trump’s assaults on communities of color and democratic rights. Alongside the energy in the streets, progressive institutions have gotten renewed energy.

There has been an increase in the number of previously existing community-based organizations working against Trumpism. This has taken place among c3s, but has also led to the formation of new c4 and PAC organizations, particularly focusing on women and people of color. There’s also been an uptick in the number of people volunteering with or joining those organizations.

The Our Revolution organization developed out of Bernie Sanders’ campaign and works nationwide. Bernie’s 2016 campaign also spurred a large number of people (especially young people) to identify as socialists, with DSA going from about 5,000 to more than 50,000 members in three years.

The resistance has also opened up new possibilities in the electoral arena. A major development since 2016 has been the surge of new people running for office on progressive and left platforms at every level. Many have won races at state and local levels and the 2018 electoral victories of several radical women of color – the Squad – has changed the dynamics on Capitol Hill and within the Democratic Party, and also affected the strategic thinking of many on the left.

The Democrats who recaptured the House Majority after the 2018 midterms are made up of candidates of various political views. There was a noteworthy increase in left candidates, especially women of color; women candidates flipped 2/3 of the districts won by Dems. Another sign of progressive momentum was the increase in voter turnout (almost 47% compared to 37% in 2014) for midterms, some of which was catalyzed by mobilization strategies that engaged left grassroots organizations (e.g. Stacy Abrams in Georgia, Andrew Gillum in Florida).

But it is not only the left/progressive wing of the opposition that has scored gains. Many victories were in suburban, largely white districts, where “moderate” Democrats replaced Republican conservatives.

Since the mid-terms there has been a complicated relationship between the progressive Democratic electeds and the establishment moderates. There has been tension and public confrontations, as well as periods of expressed ‘truce’ and unity. Differences are out in the open – and sometimes very heated – over the Green New Deal, health care policy, foreign policy (regarding Palestine-Israel in particular) and many other issues.

Overall, the progressive/left forces are growing, but remain weaker, less coherent and much poorer than the Democratic Party establishment and ‘mainstream’ moderate/liberal organizations, think tanks and media. The social justice sector still lacks sufficient durable infrastructure and vehicles to shift power. We have the raw numbers but lack a centrifuge to draw and keep those numbers together and leverage them.

  1. Vulnerabilities and Challenges

The anti-Trump opposition faces numerous obstacles in terms of reaching sufficient scale and power to change the direction of the country.

While the Democrats won necessary seats in 2018 midterms to take a majority of the House, they are still far behind the power they held during the Obama administration. Majorities in both houses of Congress and control of the presidency (as well as grassroots pressure) is needed to pass meaningful legislation. Even then, conservative control of the Supreme Court presents a danger to many pieces of legislation regarded as key by the anti-Trump opposition.

The opposition also confronts a government willing to incite violence and resort to suppression in order to maintain its grip on power.

The 2020 election cycle may be the most violent in living memory for an entire generation of young organizers. We will likely see increasing violence by both state and non-state actors primarily aimed at targets of white nationalism but also anyone opposed to Trump.

Trump’s moves to establish a racial authoritarian state affects both our electoral efforts and our organizing campaigns more generally. The criminalization of opposition is an obvious danger given both Trump’s tweet threats and his policies: alleged “Black Identity Extremists” (a kind of labeling started under Obama), Trump’s call to label Antifa as terrorist group. And voter suppression is a HUGE threat: Black voters will be especially important to turn out in 2020. Some estimates suggest Black voters will account for fully one-quarter of all votes cast in the presidential primaries. Latinx and API voters have been among the groups showing the biggest jumps in turnout for the 2018 midterms. At the same time, voter suppression is at levels as high as it’s ever been with people of color and Indigenous people being the most directly targeted by formal measures such as voter ID laws, voter roll purges, poll taxes, and gerrymandering and extra-statist activities including intimidation, violence and misinformation campaigns. Attacks on Latinx communities (violence, raids, etc.) have created conditions in which we’re hearing more and more stories about Latinx people being fearful to stray too far from home.

Then there are specific challenges facing the social justice wing of the opposition:

The Democratic establishment makes consistent efforts to squelch progressive electoral insurgencies, for example proposing bans on consultants who work with radicals challenging incumbents in the primaries. And the ‘moderate’ forces use their command of the media to undermine or even smear left candidates and grassroots non-electoral organizations. This poses a challenge for navigating ‘unity and struggle’ within the anti-Trump movement: If the Left cannot abandon electoral politics as a terrain of struggle, then how is the Left developing enough independent initiative so we are not merely asking people to select the lesser of evils? This is especially important for those of us who believe power depends upon mass action, and grassroots pressure, not just electoral activity. After 2018, we’ve seen a decline in the frequency and size of mass mobilizations. This is due to a number of reasons, but it also has proven difficult to sustain large-scale mass actions as energy goes more and more into electoral battles.

  1. Key Take-Aways:

**The majority of the country is opposed to Trumpism, but this opposition is much more heterogeneous sociologically and politically than the Trumpist bloc. This reality poses big challenges to a Left that is challenged to both build and maintain the broad unity necessary to defeat the Trumpist-GOP in the 2020 election AND build the independent strength of the social justice forces.

**The influence of progressive ideas and the reach of organizations espousing a social justice agenda have grown substantially since 2016, but a realistic assessment of the balance of forces tells us that the progressives remain fragmented in many ways and, even if we were more united, remain weaker and far less resourced than the long-established centrist and corporate forces in the opposition to Trump and, specifically, within the Democratic Party.

  1. Recommended Supplementary Material:

Video about the complexities of building alignment and coordination between different left electoral and social justice vehicles, featuring Maurice Mitchell (Working Families Party), Kayla Reed (Movement For Black Lives Electoral Justice Project) and Andrea Mercado (New Florida Majority) talking https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrWd5ONPGLM&feature=youtu.be

Politics Is About Power: Assessing the 2018 Mid-Terms:https://portside.org/2018-11-12/politics-about-power-assessing-2018-mid-terms

 

STRATEGY TO BEAT THE RIGHT AND BUILD THE LEFT IN 2020

  1. Turning General Goals into Specific Strategies:

We have identified defeating Trump and the GOP in the 2020 elections as an absolutely key step in beating the racist, authoritarian right wing. In addition, we must do a set of other things to build the left: strengthen unity and ties among different social justice organizations, build the influence of left ideas and a progressive program, and increase our numbers. Positioning the social justice forces within the massive opposition to Trump, including the electoral opposition, gives us the best chance to do those things.

  1. Beating Trump and the GOP in 2020; the Primary Stage and the General Election Stage:

The only way to oust Trump in the 2020 elections is for the Democratic nominee to win the majority of electoral votes. Therefore, beating the right means we will work to turn out voters for whoever that nominee is in the general election, and put special focus on “battleground states” which will determine the election outcome.

At the same time, the candidate, campaign message, and voter-target priorities that emerge from the period leading up to the Democratic National Convention (the “primary” stage) will shape our prospects in the general election. So will the level of energy (or lack of it) for opposition indicated by mass non-electoral action. Hence, there are knotty questions about strategy in both stages.

A key element of victory will be galvanizing excitement and voter turnout among constituencies most hurt by Trumpist policies. Accomplishing that is dependent to a significant degree on who becomes the Democratic nominee. A Hillary-like establishment candidate who campaigns on “everything was fine before Trump” is likely to suffer the same fate as Hillary. Hence there is broad sentiment within the social justice world that a priority in the “primary stage” is preventing a Biden nomination. But there is disagreement over whether the left should rally behind one of the more progressive candidates, and if so, which one – Bernie or Warren? Should social justice groups work hard for one or the other in the primary stage, or do a dual endorsement? Or should they concentrate on raising key issues and press all candidates on them?

For the general election, there is debate over what voters we should be focused on trying to reach: for instance, how much attention to galvanizing voters and potential voters of color and fighting voter suppression? How much to breaking off some who voted for Trump in 2016, especially white workers? These aren’t contradictory in theory – we hope to do both. But with limited resources, what should be our priorities?

What is a winning mix of campaign messages for the general? There are lessons to be learned from the 2018 midterms here: In those, there were districts – like AOC’s – where an alignment of social justice and left forces (Justice Democrats, DSA, Working Families Party, Our Revolution) drove the campaign and won behind a candidate identified with the left. There were also districts – many suburban and less racially diverse – where more ‘moderate’ candidates whose campaigns were driven by the Democratic Party ‘establishment and large donors, with participation by groups such as Planned Parenthood or Daily Kos, drove to victory. It took both to flip the House. The social justice forces do not yet have enough strength to oust Trump from the White House on our own, so how do we fight for maximum progressive influence during the primary stage while preparing ourselves to pivot for maximum unity against Trump in the general election stage? We note that both Bernie and Warren have pledged to go all out to beat Trump no matter who gets the Democratic nomination, meaning both are fighting to win but in a way that does not burn bridges if they lose.

The Electoral College (a racist institution that we want to abolish when we can) gives disproportionate power to small, mainly white states. It means a national election is decided not by popular vote but in a few ‘battleground states’. This year most analysts identify five key battlegrounds: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida and Arizona. To win, the Democratic candidate must carry all the states Hillary carried in 2016 plus at least three of these five.

Mass action – demonstrations, strikes, civil disobedience, etc. – has an important role to play in setting the political terrain. It can have impacts on direction of both the primary and general elections. The Women’s March and airport mobilizations early in Trump’s term were crucial for setting the tone of opposition. More recently there have been important if smaller mass turnouts for Close the Camps/Keep Families Together actions, climate change and more. The teacher strikes have inspired many and are a step toward a hoped-for revitalization of the labor movement. Mass action in the months ahead can help shape the dominant narrative in opposition to Trump. It may also be necessary to ensure Trump leaves office if a Democrat wins the election. (Among other things, mass mobilization could contribute to popularizing a left perspective on the drive for impeachment: see reference materials below).

  1. On Building a Left that Can Contend for Power:

We want to come out of November 2020 not only having defeated Trump and the GOP but having built a stronger left. That is, one with the independent institutional strength in numerous localities, many if not most states and nationwide to be a serious force in mass politics. One that can elect people to office and hold them accountable to a progressive agenda; consistently mobilize people for mass action on key issues; play a pivotal role in revitalizing the labor movement, build broad coalitions to advance the interests of people of color, women and all specially oppressed groups, and over time contend for governing power.

The context for taking this on is likely to be one of political polarization in the country becoming even sharper than it is already. This is the dynamic that has taken place in all previous periods of intense battle in US history: in the arc from abolitionism through the Civil War through reconstruction and its roll-back; in the Depression/New Deal period of the 1930s; and in the 1960s upsurge against Jim Crow and the Vietnam War. As the right wing forces in each period have dug in, the struggle has intensified and this has led to increased radicalization among significant sectors of the opposition. This dynamic has already been at play in the years since Trump was elected. For instance, there have been big shifts among white Democrats toward more progressive positions on racism. This trend is likely to continue.

But intensified struggle alone will not automatically translate into heightened progressive power. For that to happen social justice activists will need to make breakthroughs in work on many levels. We need a more developed assessment of the political landscape; better ways of integrating progressive positions on specific issues into an overall program with wide appeal; a media reach that goes orders of magnitude beyond where we are now; more on-the-ground work using ‘best practices’ in building unity against racism and US militarism; a leap out of silos to build alignment and cooperation among activists and organizations across the entire nation working on numerous different issues and in different sectors; and much more.

A key process that focuses these different elements is gathering together significant numbers of social justice activists in some kind of organized collective form that can fight on both electoral and non-electoral terrain, inside and outside of the Democratic Party, on the local, state and nationwide levels. Some building blocks toward this end exist at various levels of development and with different strengths and weaknesses in a number of places. There are local alignments such as the way Oakland Rising and San Francisco Rising function in alignment with numerous community-based groups and unions in the Bay Area. There are “state tables” made up of community-based groups, immigrant rights and other issue-focused formations, unions and “power building” forms in several states. Nationwide there is Our Revolution; DSA; the Working Families Party; several national community organizing networks (CPD, Peoples Action, Center for Community Change, Faith in Action, and the State Power Caucus); the Left Inside Outside Project, and the newly formed Supermajority group. These are among the more prominent formations that may become, or play a role in creating with others, a more unified vehicle for building power for a millions-strong multiracial working class base on the basis of a comprehensive social justice agenda.

There is a tremendous amount of important work being done by specific issue-focused and constituency-focused groups around the country today, and by pre-existing and new groups that have thrown themselves into electoral engagement. These efforts have given the social justice wing of the anti-Trump opposition much of the energy, momentum it has today, and pushed key elements of our agenda – the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, Close the Camps, Abolish ICE, End Mass Incarceration and more – into the center of nationwide debate. But it will require leaps in alignment, scale, organizing practice, funding, media capacity and more to become a coherent and influential force able to contend for political power. Making headway toward that big picture goal is not something that can be put on the back burner because of next year’s election. On the contrary, the intense polarization that is gripping the country creates conditions where we can, and must, work on building the institutional and political strength of the left while working to defeat Trump and the GOP in November 2020.

  1. Key Take-Aways:

**Defeating Trump and the GOP at the polls in November 2020 is an absolutely crucial step in the fight against the racist authoritarian right. This means Left organizers need to engage in the electoral battle, and since participation in the electoral battle to oust Trump is also galvanizing the vast majority of people in the sectors of the population that are crucial for building a strong left (communities of color, the hardest-hit layers of the working class, women, youth, the LGBTQ community), engagement alongside these millions sets the best conditions for building a durable, rooted and influential left.

**Building the independent institutional/organizational strength of those with a holistic social justice, peace and environmental protection agenda is a task that must be taken up on the local, state, and nationwide levels in the thick of the 2020 campaign.

**Social justice forces need to pursue a complicated unity-and-struggle approach within the broad front against Trump, and doing so effectively requires us to differentiate the challenges that exist in the “primary” stage which lasts until the Democratic Party National Convention from those that move center stage in the general election period from then through Election Day.

  1. Recommended Supplementary Material:

Video of Maurice Mitchell (Working Families Party) and Jon Liss (New Virginia Majority on the 2020 Election:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kuw__whjX5k&feature=youtu.be

Trumpism, El Paso and Our Responsibility as Left Organizers:

https://organizingupgrade.com/trumpism-el-paso-and-our-responsibility-as-left-organizers/

The Left Needs to Seize Impeachment from Centrist Elites:

https://portside.org/2019-09-29/left-needs-seize-impeachment-centrist-elites

Are We the New Radical Republicans?:

https://organizingupgrade.com/are-we-the-new-radical-republicans/

BEYOND NOVEMBER 2020

The Trumpist right will not disappear even if Trump and the GOP are beaten in a landslide in November 2020. A hard core base of tens of millions of people have been won to a Fox News version of reality that sees white Christian America (“civilization itself”) as being threatened with extinction by those opposed to Donald Trump and mandates the defense of the “American way of life” by any means necessary. Therefore the fight against Trumpism will continue and could even become more intense.

But the forms that fight takes; the relationship between it and the battle between progressives, centrists and corporate forces in the anti-Trump coalition in general and the Democratic Party in particular; the relationship between electoral and non-electoral engagement, and much else depends on (1) the outcome of the 2020 balloting, not just for the presidency, but for the Senate, the House, Governorships, State Legislatures and numerous local offices; and (2) how much progress has been made in building the left. Therefore we anticipate the need for a re-assessment and new planning effort immediately after the balloting. We look forward to joining with others in that process as well as in the practical organizing efforts that will follow the November 2020 election.

Seed the Vote Education Team: Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Dylan Cooke, Jazmín Delgado, Max Elbaum, Lee Gargagliano, Rose Mendelsohn, Jason Negrón-Gonzales.