As Trump’s Shadow Grows Over the Land – Let’s Plant the Seeds of Revolution

by on October 4, 2016 · 16 comments

in American Empire, Civil Rights, Culture, Election, History, Organizing, Politics

lord-of-rings-walllpaperBy Jeeni Criscenzo

Last month the OB Rag had a survey asking what people would do if Trump is elected president. Since my husband’s parents were from Mexico, and we have friends in Baja, we have had conversations about moving across the border, even before the possibility that Trump could become our next president was considered anything but ludicrous. Now, that possibility is neither far-fetched nor funny.

A year ago our reason to consider leaving San Diego was more for financial reasons and for now, at least, we have under control. Mexico might be more affordable, but are plenty of other issues that convinced us to take a move there off the table. Now, it’s back.

There is a conversation in JRR Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring”, in the second chapter (The Shadow of the Past) where Gandalf explains that The Shadow has returned and this time it is Frodo who must confront it:

“Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again.”

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I.” said Gandalf, “And so do all who live to see such times. But it is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

Despite the fact that Tolkein’s classic good vs evil trilogy excludes females, I’ve read his stories over and over. A beautifully illustrated version of The Hobbit was my favorite to read to my children when they were young.

One doesn’t need to read classic fantasy to understand what is happening in the “time that is given us”.

We only need to look back at history to see that evil perpetually takes another shape and grows again. Many comparisons have been made with Trump and Hitler, but we can look at any time in recorded history, up to and including the present, to see what happens when The Shadow comes into power.

I recently watched the movie, Child 44, about Moscow under Stalin. What a terrible time and place to have been alive, when you could trust no one, not even your closest friends or spouse. It was every person for themselves. The landscape was bleak and misery was a way of life for the masses. Similar scenarios are being played out under evil despots around the world today.

The specter of something similar happening here, if Trump is elected, haunts many of the people who responded to the OB Rag survey.

I am not alone in feeling that The Shadow has risen again in the form of a United States presidential candidate. And while, like many who had great hope in the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, I am not pleased with Hillary Clinton’s cozy relationship with banksters and war mongers, she at least gives lip service to common decency. Trump on the other hand, like Sauron, is nurturing the festering hordes who have been just waiting for someone to give them permission to be hateful, violent, racist, misogynist bullies.

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the nation’s largest police union, has recently endorsed Trump. Not unlike other dictators, he now has his personal army in place.One only has to look at the rash of police shootings of unarmed black men, including the recent one here in El Cajon, to know that there are police who see themselves above the law and seem unable to differentiate between “serve and protect” and suppress the masses. What will stop them from taking out any citizen they think is preventing Trump’s directive to “Make America Great Again?”

No matter who wins this election, we are in for terrible times. Trump’s newly awakened minions will not go quietly if he cannot take power by election. We have dumbed down the masses and fed them a diet of fear. It’s a proven mind-control technique to make people receptive to propaganda and it’s working for both candidates. Hillary Clinton is using it to convince even the most die-hard Bernie supporter that our survival as a democracy depends on Trump NOT being elected President. After watching the first debate and seeing the enthusiastic response of his supporters following it, I’m convinced that fear, while convenient for her candidacy, is also well founded.

Trump is also playing on the deepest fears of those who are feeling helpless and forgotten by our government. The Neoliberal policies supported by Clinton are, at least in part, responsible for pushing these folks to the edge. But Trump offers them no alternative. Instead he has made scapegoats of populations that are already marginalized and turned bravado and meanness into an art form. Following the recent bombing in New York and New Jersey, I was horrified to see a post on Facebook by a friend from my childhood who said she is voting for Trump. People are buying his lies and that scares the hell out of me.

And all of this is happening while humanity is facing the urgent crisis of global climate change. We may have already run out the clock on opportunities to turn things around. At best, if we could all work together, we could figure out how to get through the challenges to survival of our species that are already set in motion. There couldn’t be a worse time for a divisive leader to take the reins of the most powerful nation on the planet.

So here we are, with only this to decide, “What will we do with the time that is given us?” no matter who is elected. If you choose to crawl into a hole, whether that is a home in Canada, a farm in Mexico or the cave of your own despair, who can blame you? If you think nothing will change, you are in for a rude awakening. If Hillary Clinton is elected, we could be facing a future of perpetual war and increasing economic inequity? Even so, she is still the lesser of two evils by a long shot and I’ve resigned myself to voting for her. The alternative is too terrifying to contemplate.

But contemplate we must. What will we do if the worst of two evils is elected?

I will be grateful for the time I was given: that I had a safe and loving childhood; a life where I had the freedom to choose to be independent and creative, and to accept the financial consequences of those choices. I have known the joy of family and friends, whom I can trust. But I also see that even while I was enjoying these privileges, all around me more and more people were being denied them. And the growing number of people, particularly people of color, who are being denied even the most basic rights – a place to sit and sleep and defecate, is a terrifying harbinger of things to come.

The fact that half of the people in this country are gleefully embracing Trump’s mean-spirited bullyism is demoralizing. But we cannot afford to wallow in despair or run away. There is no “away”. So what will we do?

To each person who is pondering what they will do if Trump is elected, I hand you this ring, this cargo, this burden, this seed of goodness. My answer to what I will do if Trump is elected: I will help to plant the seeds of Our Revolution, and invite you to help me tend the garden, share in the harvest and save the seeds. I’ve got your back and I have to believe, when the dust settles from this nightmare of an election, you’ve got mine.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Chris October 4, 2016 at 10:51 pm

Some of his supporters like this women you almost have to feel sorry for.

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Avatar Chris October 4, 2016 at 10:58 pm

As I posted in SDFP, one young Marine veteran (early 20s) actually told me to my facw to please have a srtoke. One of the more colorful Anti Clinton/pro Trump supporters I’ve encountered.

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Avatar Lupe October 5, 2016 at 8:38 am

Thanks for putting into words the struggles and fears that lots of us are facing at this time. For me the Revolution is on and it will continue regardless of who becomes President. As the saying goes, “There are still lots of battles to be won.”

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Avatar Carl Zanolli October 5, 2016 at 9:31 am

If Trump is elected, it will be because too many ill-informed people decided to waste their votes on third party candidates thereby handing Trump the keys to the White House.

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Avatar Chris October 5, 2016 at 12:41 pm

Yeah but there’s a pretty significant amount of people who fully support and will vote for him.

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Avatar OB John October 6, 2016 at 11:20 am

I am not uniformed and will vote third party.
Allow me to inform you:
1. If you favor TPP then Hillary is your candidate.
2. If you favor continuance of Bush Doctrine if perpetual destabilizing, Middle East wars, Hillary is for you.
3. If you favor Wall Street & Banksters interests over average citizens’ interests each and every time, again Hillary is your candidate.
4. If you favor the continued un-Constitutional domestic surveillance state, it’s Hillary all the way.

Too much to stomach for me! So no thanks, and don’t try to paint third party voters as uninformed. It is a ignorant cynical ploy straight from corrupt DNC headquarters.

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Avatar rick callejon October 6, 2016 at 12:13 pm

OB John, I’m puzzled. Did you misplace your uniform?

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Avatar OB John October 6, 2016 at 12:59 pm

No, Hillary in an enlightened or forgetful moment–whichever, instructed us to “vote your conscience.” And I shall.

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Avatar Jon October 6, 2016 at 1:52 pm

With all due respect to my 3rd party peeps, there is no qualified candidate in the 3rd parties. Johnson and Stein are woefully unprepared for the job of POTUS and completely unsupported. In the fantasy world where they would come into office, they would come in with less than zero support from congress or a major party and would be able to accomplish squat. Maybe that’s unfortunate, but it is the reality we are faced with 30 days away from the polls. Same goes for Trump. He will have zero support save for his handful of radical lackeys, and he has no clue what the hell he’s doing. Imagine Donald Trump addressing the UN… Or even our own congress…Just think about what an embarrassment that would be for our nation. A vote for a 3rd party because we bought into the decades-long smear campaign against Hillary, is a vote for Trump, period.

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Avatar OB John October 6, 2016 at 2:39 pm

I am not dissuaded to vote 3rd Party by ‘Fear of Trump’ arguments. Nader did not cost Gore 2000 election as many falsely believe. Gore could not win his home state Tennessee. Even Mondale won his home state– the only one he did win! A win there would have put Gore over top.

Democrats argued ‘Fear of Bush’ then and lost. Same tact today is crazy, as Einstein noted, “insanity is trying the same thing over and over expecting different results.”

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Avatar Jon October 6, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Such as voting for a 3rd party candidate?

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Avatar Jon October 6, 2016 at 4:02 pm

And of course I understand you won’t be dissuaded by a random blog comment from some guy. My opinions are mine and yours are yours. I hope it didn’t sound like I was attacking you or anything. I just personally don’t care for either 3rd party candidate, and don’t see any viable path to them being elected. Seems like a throw away vote to me. But that’s the awesome thing about our system. You can make your own choice (sorta).

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Avatar Ian October 7, 2016 at 6:30 am

Jon,

It may be your opinion but it it flawed. The reason why is because of the Electoral College. Everyone’s vote in a non-swing state is virtually predetermined. In California that means that no matter who you individually vote for, your vote (and everyone else’s in CA) will be cast for Hillary Clintion.

This means that you have an opportunity to vote against establishment politics, the status quo, and the two party stranglehold. When you vote 3rd party you are not voting because you think your choice can win, you are voting of ideals that most closely match your own, and against the D and R shell game.

Of course, if you think Clinton is the best choice, and she most aligns with your ideals, you should vote for her. But you should also know that you are voting for corporatism, cronyism, and corruption.

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Avatar Jon October 7, 2016 at 7:54 am

Oh I understand the electoral college system. That’s probably flawed greater than either of our questionable opinions. And I guess I just don’t share the same cynicism when it comes to Hillary. Politics is a blood sport, and although it would be nice to have someone other than a Clinton again (our dynastic politics is a bit troubling), I’d vote for her over an ineffectual, inexperienced, fantasy candidates any day. Again, we are both entitled to our own flawed opinions. Thanks for the banter, good luck!

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Avatar ObJohn October 9, 2016 at 10:02 am

Just waiting for the majority to realize their are choices beyond the corporate duopoly. In this era, Nader started that ball rolling and Sanders campaign definitely exposed that avenue of action and the willingness of voters to seek real change.

Voting for lesser of two evils leads to hell as well.

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Avatar retired botanist October 6, 2016 at 4:35 pm

Why not vote for Sparrow? :-)

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