The Unfortunate Phrasing Of Anyone But Trump
Butt rump anyone?
The presidential campaign of Donald Trump is filled with crude language and ideas.
Should the opposition follow suit?
Such is the risk – on two levels – with the rallying cry “Anyone But Trump”.
A few months ago, someone registered the domain name anyonebuttrump.com, but it hasn’t been very active as a hub for anti-Trump activism. It doesn’t even have its own hosting, pointing to a wordpress.com address.
For those inclined to such things, as Trump supporters are, the phrase “Anybody But Trump” can be easily shifted into Anybody Butt Rump. A serious political movement thus be drowned out by idiotic giggling.
More important is that “anybody” is an awfully big category of people.
If we say Anybody But Trump, does that mean that we would be willing to vote for Ted Cruz? Count me out from that plan. Cruz supports a right wing extremist ideology that would elevate Christian theology over democratic equality and a fact-based discipline for government policy. Ted Cruz has voted to decrease workers’ wages, to double student loans, and to convert Social Security into a for-profit scheme run by the same Wall Street hucksters who brought us the Great Recession of 2007. He’s against sensible environmental regulation, and for expanding the number of guns being passed from owner to owner through American communities. Cruz wants to keep America dependent on fossil fuels, and urges big increases in military spending along with new wars in which to apply that spending.
It’s an awkward moment in American politics, when both liberals and some conservatives share strong feelings of opposition to Donald Trump. This awkwardness persists as long as we simply focus on opposition to Trump. Liberals oppose Donald Trump’s authoritarian policies of persecution of ethnic, religions, and cultural minorities, while Cruz conservatives actually support some of those same awful policies, and oppose Donald Trump mostly because he stands in the way of Cruz’s ambitions. Cruz enthusiasts seem desperate to toss anything at Trump, including the silly accusation that Donald Trump is a “liberal” – a claim that only shows how little conservatives understand what liberalism is really about.
Liberals support equality under the law for all. Both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz oppose that.
Liberals acknowledge and value cultural diversity in the United States. Both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz oppose diversity.
Liberals seek peace. Trump and Cruz seek war.
Liberals value the environment and acknowledge the scientific consensus of anthropogenic climate change. Trump and Cruz reject these things.
Liberals want higher wages for workers and a progressive tax system. Trump and Cruz want lower wages for workers and a regressive tax system.
Liberals support the ban on torture. Trump and Cruz support the use of torture.
Liberals want to end the divisive system of immigration that has created an exploitative shadow economy. Trump and Cruz want to amplify the division.
Liberals recognize the value of the separation of church and state. Trump and Cruz want to use the power of the federal government to promote Christianity over everything else.
Liberals want to establish a more efficient and more beneficial single-payer health care system, eliminating health insurance companies. Trump and Cruz want to restrict health care access and make Americans subject to the insurance companies’ push for profits.
Liberals oppose the expansion of government authority through the Homeland Security regime. Trump and Cruz want to expand Homeland Security’s power.
In 2016, American liberals don’t want anybody but Trump. We have a positive vision of our own.
The problems of reactionary politics in the USA are not embodied in just one person. It’s essential not to get distracted by the excitement caused by a single shouting clown.
On the Left, we need to stay focused on what we stand for: Compassion, justice, freedom, democracy, and peace. It’s not just anybody who will help us move these values forward.