Was yesterday’s pre-planned, deliberate, violent attack on the US Capitol by rabid Trump supporters the last gasp, the end, the exclamation point to Mafioso Don’s four years of infamy or, God forbid, the beginning of an assertive ultra-rightist campaign of violence and terrorism?
The fact that in two weeks there will be a Biden/Harris Justice Department that should actively investigate how this terrorist action happened and should prosecute the leaders of this dangerous white supremacist network increases the chances that this was, indeed, a “last gasp.” There should be unrelenting pressure on the Biden/Harris team to make sure that happens.
In addition, they need to immediately move to get $2000 pandemic checks to low-income, working-class and small business people and take other actions to help those struggling at this difficult time.
What happens with the weakened Republicans, no longer in control of the Senate or the White House, will also be critical. The best thing to hope for is that the divisions between the militant Trumpists and the more moderate Trumpists and the much smaller group of Trump critics in the Republican Party will continue and widen. Better, if possible, would be the emergence of a bloc, almost certainly a small bloc, which openly and actively pushes for an open disassociation between the Republicans and the racist ultra-rightists.
Then there’s the progressive Left. What is our role?
Clearly, we should support in all the ways we can initiatives to pressure the new Democratic administration to be very serious about prosecuting those responsible for yesterday’s Capitol Hill criminality. Not just those who were there who were arrested but the people who planned and led it. Think Proud Boys and their ultra-rightist comrades.
In addition, those of us on the Left who are anti-racist and of European ancestry need to resolve that we will step up our support of groups like Movement for Black Lives and, also important, step up our work within predominantly white communities and workplaces to speak out against white supremacy and other backwards thinking and actions. We should do so at the same time that we work to address economic justice and food insecurity and health care and other issues affecting white low-income and working-class people. We need to show day after day that we are concerned about all forms of inequality and injustice. Only in that way will we be able, over time, to undercut white folks’ support of people like Trump. Only then can we move white working-class people whose interests lie with working-class people of color in a progressive, time-to-take-on-the-1%-together, direction.
Ted Glick is the author of the recently-published “Burglar for Peace: Lessons Learned in the Catholic Left’s Resistance to the Vietnam War.” More information can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick