On 20 January 2017, Donald J. Trump was officially sworn into office. The very next day, hundreds if not thousands of marches against Trump were held worldwide. By most estimates, more than 1 million protesters assembled in Washington, New York, Boston and cities across the US. They attacked Trump for his perceived anti-women, anti-human-rights stance on issues.
This was not just an East/West Coast movement. It was nationwide. It was worldwide: Los Angeles. Paris. Omaha. London. Denver. Melbourne, Australia.
Until this transfer of power, the definitive moment the Trump presidency became reality, the political opposition’s anti-establishment energy was dormant, uninspired and unfocused. And while masses did protest, they remain fragmented. They are not yet unified by a championing, overriding theme and purpose that benefits the economically and politically disenfranchised majority.
To those masses who protested Trump’s swearing-in, the new president played the Trump Card: Where were you on election day?
As we wrote in the Fall 2016 Trends Journal:
“And, as evidenced by polling data, the myth that reactionary white-working-class men elected Trump continues to be perpetuated by the presstitute media and promoted by anti-Trump demonstrations that erupted following his election.
In fact, Trump received the same number of white-male votes as did Mitt Romney in 2012. And, despite playing the ‘first woman to be elected president’ gender card since (Clinton) launched her campaign in spring 2015, she received 2 million fewer votes from women than Obama did in 2012. Most importantly, just 30 percent of eligible women cast their votes for Clinton, compared to 47 percent who did not. Also, some 2 million black voters who cast ballots for Obama in 2012 did not cast ballots for Clinton.”
Moreover, where were they during the last eight years when the Democratic Party lost power, lost passion and lost meaning?
Where were you when, under President Obama’s watch, 95 percent of the wealth gained in the US went to the 1 percent, and 51 percent of full-time workers earned less than $30,000 a year?
Going to war under Obama’s presidency was OK. How about stealing our rights through the National Security Agency and the famous Patriot Act, robbing us of our habeas corpus, that he signed into law in 2011 on New Year’s Eve when no one was paying attention? That was OK.
And then, with Obama exiting the White House, he took this action: “In light of hypocrisy, Obama expands NSA spying” (World Socialist Website, 14 January 2017). Just days before Trump’s swearing-in, the Obama administration vastly but quietly empowered American intelligence agencies to expand their ability to spy on the world. In response, as NSA nemesis Edward Snowden tweeted, “As he hands the White House to Trump, Obama just unchained NSA from basic limits on passing raw intercepts to others.”
Handing the Obama legacy off to Hillary Clinton signaled to the American populace “more of the same.” In contrast, Trump’s simple message — It’s about jobs, stupid — resonated. And playing the Trump Card ensured the message stuck.
As a result, the playing field has been dramatically altered. As evidenced by post-inauguration protests and other developments during the early days of Trump’s tenure, a counterbalance to the power structure that did not exist under the Democrats is being born. But, most critically, if it is revived within the current Democratic structure, it will fail to inspire a new movement to drive a mission that reflects the populace’s discontent with the status quo.
Under Obama, the real numbers telling the economy’s true story were sugar-coated. For example, while he bragged about creating 10 million jobs under his presidency, as the Harvard-Princeton study proved, 94 percent of them were low-paying, temporary jobs.
Other than seeing the facts, his supporters, from Hollywood to Silicon Valley, from the LGBT community to women’s rights groups, bought the party line.
In contrast, Trump brought the economic realities that the vast majority live with to the forefront. In playing the Trump Card, there’s an understanding that activism, grounded in middle class and individual rights and freedoms that promote personal opportunity, can be born and grow. Not understanding the real problems, which was endemic under Obama and would have been reinforced under Hillary Clinton, kept activism irrelevant and ineffectual.
In political circles, international affairs, in business and finance, across numerous industries, in pop culture and across all socioeconomic arenas, playing the Trump Card will challenge the status quo like nothing we’ve seen in our lifetimes.
But ultimately, having substance, fortitude and workable ideas will determine whether meaningful, positive change is achieved. The door has been flung wide open. We are entering an unprecedented period when change is again possible — and long overdue.
“Make It New” is no longer a silent, inactive idea. It is a salient call to action, a blueprint for every individual to play the Trump Card.