End of Beginning: Trump Xenophobia and Extremism Has Unleashed Mass Resistance

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Trump--Pushing extremism to the extreme

[Op-Ed]

These words, worth revisiting, are Winston Churchill's: " Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

They were off to a fast start to implement their extremist agenda with a dizzying series of executive orders the signing of which became big media theatrical events, the reality star’s narcissism writ large on the world stage.

Steve Bannon the de facto president according to some observers, told the media “to keep its mouth shut” and his young impetuous apprentice, Steve Miller declared “the president’s powers are beyond question.” Kelly-Anne Conway meantime does what she does best, lying and fabricating alternative facts on behalf of the administration.

So ahead of the game that she was again exposed when she reassured the public President Donald Trump had full confidence in National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn, even when he was already drafting his resignation lettter.

President Trump, bully-in-chief, in a clear attempt to intimidate the judiciary lambasted and ridiculed the judges that dared perform their constitutionally assigned-duties by ordering a stay of his executive order to ban Muslims. The stage was set for consolidating power in the White House by the Alt-Right.

Protected by the Republican majority in congress -- after all they played midwife to the birth and growth of the Alt-right-- and establishment media obsessing with the antics of the Keystone cops in the White House, the road seemed clear for the Alt-Right’s unchallenged rise to absolute power. But a funny thing happened on the road to the establishment of a White supremacist authoritarian security state.

Their lies were catching up with them. It would not have mattered if they continued to lie to the public but lying to each other was unforgivable. A carefully-planned takeover of the government by Breibart News types is beginning to unravel. One of the centers of power in the new administration, Gen. Flynn could no longer be trusted and had to be fired. Power now is in the hands of the duo: the de facto and de jure presidents, Bannon and Trump.

They will surely find an uneasy modus vivendi for a while but eventually something is going to have to give. Bannon’s dalliance with the racists and anti-Semites at his old home at Breibart News might come back to haunt him. Donald Trump’s self- absorption and business self-interest will continue to clash with the needs and requirements of running a government. This may be hard to swallow even for the Republicans and it won't be surprising if impeachment proceedings start sooner than we think.

The Republicans would not be unhappy if this scenario was to unfold. It would then pave the way for one of their own establishment Republicans, the soft spoken but no less threatening Mike Spence to be elevated to the presidency.

The Republicans would then be able to carry out their destructive policy initiatives without the theatrics of the showman and take us back to the social and political mores of the 1950s when ethnic minorities and women "knew their place" and America for the most part was monochromatic. It need not be that way.

This period, as haunting and hopeless as it may seem is also an opportunity to be seized. The blatant racism and xenophobia of this administration has unleashed forces of resistance that are antithetical to the vision of the hard right. The huge women’s March and the nationwide daily protests against the Muslim ban are cases in point. The outlines for a new grass roots movement are beginning to emerge. It will be centered around four major movements.

• A sleeping giant has been awakened; the women’s movement is reborn and re-energized with a new generation of leaders, all-inclusive, with a far broader agenda and finding common cause with other progressive forces. It is all geared up to preserve the hard won victories of their predecessors and to fight for gender-equality in all spheres.

• The Black lives Matter movement born out of the response to police brutality is a new nationwide grassroots inter racial movement. It has now developed a comprehensive document that touches on all aspects of social, legal economic and political issues with suggested solutions that should resonate with progressive forces.

• The Millennials and younger who are now coming of age have grown in an increasingly multicultural America and are for the most part global in their world outlook. They are actively engaged in environmental issues concerned about climate change, working to mitigate the damage to the environment which would impact their lives in the future. They are communications technology savvy and are effective in mobilizing their peers instantaneously around an issue through social media. They are also passionate about issues such as human trafficking, a just immigration policy and income disparity both within and between nations.

• Progressive Labor that animated Bernie Sanders’ candidacy is another important piece in this emerging coalition that needs to coalesce to form a formidable force of people power to counter the forces of reaction. A segment of the unemployed labor that was seduced by Trump’s false promise of jobs will soon realize that they fell for the smoke and mirrors of an unscrupulous salesman and will return home to stand with their fellow unionists.

Then and only then would we be able to stop the nascent fascism dead on its tracks. The current disarray in the White House is a reflection of the ignorance and inexperience of a self-absorbed president surrounded by zealous radical extremists who are equally inexperienced in matters of running a government. In their haste to grab power they became sloppy and betrayed a total lack of understanding of mechanics of governing.

Could we be looking at the early signs of the beginning of the inevitable end?
Flynn’s firing could mark the end of the beginning.

M. A. Nurhussein MD is Associate Prof. of Medicine Emeritus, SUNY Downstate. He lives in Brooklyn.

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