Quick thoughts about the American elections

This is a translated version of my quickly jotted down thoughts in Swedish.

A fascistoid republican has been elected president. It’s bad the same way that electing republicans is always bad, but even worse because this particular victory risks normalizing racism and sexism more than usual.

I think president Trump will have a very negative impact on American domestic policy. It will be felt particularly by women, minorities and the poor. We must show solidarity with these groups.

At the same time, I never had very high hopes that  a Clinton administration would improve life significantly for these groups.

As far as policy goes, I think the differences between Trump and any other Republican president will be smaller than what one might expect. President Trump will probably be different from candidate Trump.

Personally I’m not that worried about foreign policy. American foreign policy has always been a disaster. It was with Obama, and it would have been with Clinton. I don’t think we’re any closer to a third world war today than we were yesterday.

Instead I feel like the global left in general, and American progressives in particular, need to focus on the risks, but also the possibilities, that lie ahead.

Just like in Great Britain, moderates will blame the Trump victory on progressive candidates and voters. Progressives need to be prepared with a response to that propaganda.

The fact that Clinton couldn’t beat Trump, despite all her hyped qualities, shows that nominating Bernie Sanders might not have been such a bad idea after all. If progressives are effective in setting this narrative, that could be crucial in reforming the Democratic party and picking another route in the next primaries three years from now.

The fact that someone like Trump can be elected uncovers just how broken the system is in a country where 60% voter participation is considered high. Maybe it can weaken the stance that America has been enjoying in global politics, which would be a good thing.

But most of all the results means that organizing becomes not only a possibility, but a necessity. Organizing is not the most important task for the American left. Our Revolution, the movement started by Bernie Sanders, has been campaigning for local and state progressives and and initiatives. Judging by the results so far, they’ve been somewhat successful. Maybe the task of organizing progressives will be easier with a clear opponent in the White House than it would have been with a presumed ally.

In short: We must show solidarity with the people who will suffer from four years of Republican policies as well as normalized racism and sexism. At the same time, I see openings for progressive organizing that might not have been as obvious with a Clinton victory.

Dount mourn, organize.

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