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RIGHT AND WRONG WAYS FOR ANTI- AND PRO-TRUMP PEOPLE TO UNITE

This is based on my conversations with pro-Trump people at their rally

by John Spritzler

October 9, 2017


There are two kinds of anti-Trump people, and there are two kinds of pro-Trump people. The difference is how they respond when asked if the message on the PDR button is a good idea or a bad idea. The button says, "Let's remove the rich from power, have real--not fake--democracy with no rich and no poor."

I and others have shown the button to, and asked this question of, about a thousand people, some pro and others anti-Trump. Among both anti- and pro-Trump people substantially more than 80% say the button's message is a good idea (or a great idea!)

In July of 2016 the Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) organized a rally in Boston in front of the Massachusetts State House to protest an attempted infringement on the right to buy guns by the Attorney General. I went to the rally with PDR buttons and the button's image on the front of the T-shirt I was wearing, to ask people what they thought of its message. There were several hundred people at the rally, all white, most of them wearing Trump Make America Great Again hats, many holding American flags and many wearing NRA insignia shirts. I asked 50 randomly selected people if they thought the message on the button was a good idea or a bad idea.

Of those 50 people, 43 (86%) said it was a good idea; every single one of these 43 people gladly took a button when I offered it to them and many of them pinned the button on themselves right on the spot. One woman gave me one of the bottles of cold water she had (it was a very hot day) in appreciation, she said, for what I was doing.

Of those 50 people, 4 (8%) expressed verbal hostility; they did not like the message on the button one tiny bit! They said things such as "This is a capitalist country and you have the right to get rich" and "Now we have a billionaire on our side" (referring to Trump's support of the 2nd Amendment.)

The remaining 3 (6%) people said they didn't know what they thought of the button's message.

When I and a friend did the equivalent thing in Unity, N.H., which is a very rural little town where people (according to my friend who lives there) listen to Rush Limbaugh and not NPR, the response was also that more than 80% agreed with the message on the button and even signed a statement to that effect.

When I asked hundreds of random people on the streets of Boston (where most people are anti-Trump and prefer NPR to Rush Limbaugh) to respond to the button, 91% said its message was a good (or great!) idea. (You can see them responding in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95b3SmBYwfU )

What this demonstrates is that, among pro-Trump as well as among anti-Trump people, there is a large majority who agree with the revolutionary egalitarian message of the button, and a small minority who disagree with it.

In both cases (pro- and anti-Trump groups) virtually nobody actually KNOWS that a majority want the egalitarian revolution that the button calls for. Why don't they know this? Because the subject of egalitarian revolution--the very idea of removing the rich from power to have no rich and no poor, and the very idea that what we have is a fake democracy--is never placed on the agenda by the leaders of either the anti-Trump or the pro-Trump groups.

The pro-Trump people at the GOAL rally who loved the button did not know (still don't know!) that they were an 86% majority at that rally who wanted an egalitarian revolution and that 8% of the people at that same rally were vehemently _opposed_ to egalitarian revolution. All they knew is that all of them supported the right to bear arms. Their leaders focused on the right to bear arms in a way that obscured the _fundamental_ disagreement (being for versus being opposed to egalitarian revolution) among the people at the rally.

Politicians are experts as obscuring this fundamental disagreement amongst their followers. Instead they emphasize secondary disagreements between their followers with the followers of opposing politicians, such as being pro- versus anti-Trump.

To build a successful, majority movement for egalitarian revolution we need to emphasize the fundamental agreement between the majority of pro-Trump people who want an egalitarian revolution and the majority of anti-Trump people who also want the same thing. This is the basis for the unity that can win what most people actually want.

To do this requires that we know that the fundamental disagreement actually exists within both the pro- and anti-Trump groups, and that we know that the fundamental AGREEMENT exists between a majority of pro- and a majority of anti-Trump people. By "know" I don't mean hope, or suspect; I mean really know, the way one knows that if one drops a rock it will fall down and not up. That kind of knowledge can only come from actually talking with individuals in a respectful manner.

Yes, there can be unity between pro- and anti-Trump people, at least between the majorities within each group. But this unity can only develop from a clear understanding that a) it is unity around the desire for an egalitarian revolution, and b) this goal is OPPOSED by a minority within each group and c) the leaders of these groups want to obscure this fact.

One of the main ways these leaders obscure the fact of enormous agreement about the goal of egalitarian revolution is by using maximally divisive frameworks for discussing "social issues" such as same-sex marriage, immigration, Muslim refugees, abortion, gun control, Israel, etc. We need to break out of these divisive frameworks, and that is what my book DIVIDE AND RULE: The "Left vs. Right" Trap is all about.

Obviously the wrong way to try to unite pro- and anti-Trump people is to ignore what I have written above. That can only lead to unprincipled attempts to ally with enemies of what we are trying to attain. This can only lead to disastrous defeat.

 

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READ THE BOOKS IN THE "NO RICH AND NO POOR" SERIES

 

Articles by Dave Stratman

Articles by John Spritzler

Turn the World Upside Down (John Spritzler's blog #1)

End Class Inequality (John Spritzler's blog #2)

 

Books

We Can Change the World: The Real Meaning of Everyday Life by Dave Stratman

The People as Enemy: The Leaders' Hidden Agenda in World War II by John Spritzler

NO RICH AND NOPOOR: The Populist Goal We CAN and Must Win

DIVIDE AND RULE: The "Left vs. Right" Trap