The Danger of Trump: A Debate


In advance of tonight’s Clinton versus Trump presidential debate Black Rose/Rosa Negra presents a debate our own on how we see this political moment. We also want to know your thoughts and encourage you to leave them in the comments here or on our facebook page.

The Danger of Trump?

The question is: Does the possibility of a Trump presidency represent an unprecedented danger to the left and social movements in the US such as Black Lives Matter and others? Will a Trump presidency unleash a floodgate of racism and white nationalism that is deeply embedded into his campaign? Or, are these sentiments exaggerated as Trump stands a slim chance of actually winning given that much of the ruling class and “deep state” are adamantly opposed to the unpredictable and bad-for-business antics of Trump? And do these fears serve to drive the left into supporting the Democrats out of fear and emboldening their rightward shift and neo-liberal policy that lays the groundwork for reaction?

We present articles by two sharp left writers that have been publishing some of the best analysis on the current election cycle from critical and anti-capitalist perspectives. The first is by radical journalist Arun Gupta and argues the first set of questions above, essentially that “The Left should take the Trump threat very seriously.” The second is by author Paul Street which argues the later set of questions above and is in response to Gupta. Although we do not support Street’s advocacy for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, him as well as Gupta offer strong points that we should debate and consider.

The Debate

“How a Trump Presidency Would Unleash a Torrent of Racist Violence – And Devastate the Left” by Arun Gupta:

“[A]n authoritarian strongman like Trump is such a threat, there is an urgent need to defend people of color and social movements from the violent white nationalists now riding his coattails and who will shape his White House agenda. … This is not a call to stop criticizing Clinton or to abandon independent organizing and shunt that energy into the Clinton campaign. That must continue without pause, but taking a second to cast a vote to stop Trumpism from taking state power will benefit that organizing enormously.”

“Keep Calm and Vote Green: Fascism Is Not Coming” by Paul Street:

“[T]he American corporate, financial and imperial ruling class doesn’t yet need or want real or quasi-fascism through Herr Trump or anyone else at this historical moment. The U.S. model of corporate-managed and “inverted totalitarianism” sold as “democracy” is not about strongmen and brown shirts. … Neofascism is simply not where the American ruling class is right now. When it is, we will know. If and when it gets there, it will put forward a far more serious and capable frontman than the preposterous Donald … The “deep state” has zero interest in the riotous instability that would result from Trump’s election and inauguration.”