Touring Against Trump?
by David Rovics - Songwriter's Notebook
January 3, 2017
I vacillate between being horrified by Trump and being horrified by all the people who are actively trying to make sure I'm horrified by Trump. Specifically, the ones that run nonprofits, NGOs, and other money-grubbing "activists."
I don't know what they do with the rest of their lives, but whenever it involves my inbox, it has to do with fear-mongering and raising money, in equal measure.
Evidently, these groups are making more money than ever before since the election. (This has been all over the press.)
They can presumably use all the money to raise more money, and to have the occasional protest, to make sure we remember that they're "activists," so we can give them more money.
I'm trying to organize this year's concert tour. It's what I do, regardless of who's in the White House. I thought for about two seconds about figuring out how to make it a specifically anti-Trump tour, but then I felt nauseated and had to stop thinking about doing that. See, I'm absolutely certain I could get lots more gigs if I jumped on the bandwagon. But my principles are more important to me than money, so I can't do it.
I'm so tired of referring to the political parties and their figureheads by their meaningless names. From now on I'm going to use my own invented names, which make more sense. The Party of Capitalism and Imperialism #1 and the Party of Capitalism and Imperialism #2 -- POCI1 and POCI2 (pronounced "pah-kee," I think).
POCI1 has been in power for the past eight years. While in power, they have helped turn the USA into the fracking capital of the world. There's no more clean water left in several states. We had the worst environmental disaster in the history of the world -- and I'm not talking about fracking, I'm talking about the Gulf of Mexico. After that, deep water off-shore oil drilling continued. POCI1 deported millions of undocumented human beings back to war zones south of the US border. POCI1 facilitated a violent military coup in Honduras, violently overthrew the government of Libya, continued military occupations of several countries initiated by POCI2 before them, tried hard to negotiate a massive "free trade" treaty, launched innumerable drone attacks against civilians in many different countries, and pushed hard to expand the anti-Russian military alliance called NATO. And that's only a few of the things POCI1 did, only in the past eight years!
During the eight years before POCI1, when POCI2 was in power, in a nutshell, they did all the same shit. They didn't deport as many people or jail as many whistleblowers or launch as many drone strikes, but they very violently invaded and occupied two countries, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians in the process. They didn't do as much fracking, but it was early in the fracking era when they were in power, and the VP of POCI2 ran the company that invented the practice.
While POCI1 was in power -- led for the past eight years by a handsome, eloquent black man from a massive, impoverished, extremely violent US city -- the NRA raised more money than ever, by fear-mongering. By telling their constituency that POCI1 was going to take away our guns. Now that POCI2 is coming back into power, other "activist" groups are telling us to give them money because POCI2 is going to deport even more people than POCI1 did -- though they don't put it that way. We should give them money because POCI2 is going to be even more friendly to the rich, to neoliberalism, to big business -- but they don't put it that way.
They don't put it that way at all. They would have us believe that there is a battle between good and evil going on. On one side, POCI1 and the "activist" groups defending our civil liberties and the environment. On the other side, the evil POCI2 and the haters and deniers and their army of orcs.
I wish reality were so simple. But it's not. And as long as these "activist" groups are trying to convince us it is, just so they can make more money from our fear, they are part of the problem. I don't know how to jumpstart a militant mass movement for real social change any more than you do.
But I do know this: the way forward will not involve the leadership of morally bankrupt, cynical people or organizations that would have us believe there are sufficiently significant differences between POCI1 and POCI2 that we should give a shit which one is driving the train that is speeding towards the cliff. Don't mistake reality for Middle Earth. There is no Lothlorien among these politicians and their hangers-on. Only Mordor.