The American Left is supposed to be the ones whom the general public expects to storm Capitol Hill, cut the heads of the oligarchy and establish a Socialist Republic. What the world however last January 7 saw was a large group of people, estimated around 150 to 200,000, marching towards the bastion of legislative power in America and creating scenes that would forever be etched in the collective consciousness of all Americans for centuries. Am I seeing a permanent reversal of roles here?
In the eyes of a Marxist, the recent storming of Capitol Hill is proof positive that America’s crisis is now at surface level. America’s elites cannot anymore apply cosmetics to hide the morass that their country had been thru for the past decades. Many had predicted of such things happening, of Americans expressing their frustration over the “system” and of many seeing the system as ineffective, and of unleashing their frustrations thru demonstrations, or worst, civil war. The subsequent failures of America’s elites to “shorten the gap” between their “haves” and “have nots” have reached crisis point. Everyone knows it and everyone feels it, that’s why things are leading to a boiling point.
American media described those who went to Capitol Hill as “extremists,” “Terrorists”, ” conspiracy junkies” and “right-wingers.” Instead of understanding where these people are coming from, the media and traditional politicians resort to negative tags in the hopes of isolating and depicting these people as a minority. Some politicians even described them as “un-American” subtly promoting the widely held belief that Americans do not resort to violence to solve an electoral crisis.
What is most interesting in what’s happening in America is the similarity between what these Trumpers say and what Saunder’s group is saying all along–they all agree that their country is in deep shit. Curiously though, the American Left blames the economic elite for their troubles and Right wingers do so too. However, the American Left never went so far as demanding a radical change of the system compared with what the Right wingers demand. As an observer, I expect true Leftist leaders to demand revolution yet I’ve been hearing revolutionary rhetoric not from these side of the political spectrum and not even from minority groups but from white supremacists and so-called extreme Right wingers. Am I seeing a reversal of roles here?
Truly, what happened at Capitol Hill is not something unexpected. For the past decades, the American Left has become less revolutionary and has become more of reformers rather than true advocates of Marxist-Leninism, even Maoism. Credit that to the invention of the “Green” movement and the re-definition of the Left as that group of hippies all waiting to create a Socialist Eden out of American society, except of course that this Eden constructed pales substantially different from the original ideal espoused by Socialists like Marx, Lenin and the like.
Evidently, the rhetoric that the Left had been shouting at at demonstrations for decades, had been creating an impression after all with the American public, except that such rhetoric is now fused with indigenous elements of American conventional thinking. There is nothing philosophically dissimilar with Left and Right arguments and there is even a similarity with their call to action: revolution. The only major criticism especially with what the Right is asking is—what creature does they intend to establish the minute such a revolution does succeed in toppling the American elite superstructure? Evidently, they have such an image of that creature, and it happens to be what Trump had told them from the onset of his administration: a strong Republic that provides wider economic opportunities to all yet with limited exercise of liberal democracy.
Why does Trump rhetoric appeals more than Saunders?
Trump’s strong republic appeals more than what Senator Saunders proposes because many Americans see Trump’s prescription as more realistic than Saunders. Trump created a perception that suggests using the state as a direct weapon of the people against those who greatly enriched themselves to the detriment of the people. Trump’s rhetoric, by this, slightly differs from Saunders since as a Socialist, the Senator does not believe in retaining the state—he wants the state to wither away. For most Americans, this is something strange or weird because for most, the state is government and by suggesting its withering means destroying government that is not well within their personal liking or interest.
Trump’s rhetoric appeals to a wider audience because it is anchored on a popular theory most Americans use in explaining their present social predicament. Trump is intelligent enough to discover that Americans do have their own views about what’s currently happening and though these views are acutely similar with Leftist arguments, Trump ingeniously put his approbation into it, making it legitimate. Coming from someone who benefited from the system, putting a mark of acceptance means for many, that their views are “true” and “legit” or legitimate”. And since Trump was the first to accept their views as “true”, Americans saw in Trump a man who is willing to lose everything just to expose the “truth.” That explains why even though Trump got a tremendous beating from American media outlets since the beginning of his term, the American President did not lose his constituency because these people held these “conspiracies” for a long time, and Trump just happens to be wise or wily enough to exploit it and make them his own. That explains why the more shit Trump gets from the media that Trump describes as the tools of the “elite,” the more sympathetic the American public becomes of him, because they see him as somebody who is standing up for them no matter what. Why are all these accusations against Trump do not stick as much as the media expects it? Because Trump and his gang already marked the traditional media as “biased” and “enemies of the people.” There’s a whole perception wedge created and it would take a very long time before this perception goes away.
Never mind if Trump’s interest to become president or stay politically relevant is actually a self-interested tactic that he thinks would help his businesses or make him wealthier than his peers in the game. Never mind also if Trump already transgresses the very constitution he swore to defend and protect and never mind if he becomes a pariah in the eyes of America’s traditional elite circles.
Trump and his Republic Party know that America’s problems are deep-seated and mainly systemic by nature and three years are definitely not enough to solve even those problems with straight away solutions. Everyone knows that the core issue is economic and this very fact is now facing them straight in their faces.