What Are the Real Goals of the Anti-Trump Movement?
The real goals of the anti-Trump movement leaders are more complex than portrayed by the friendly media.
Even before Donald Trump took the oath of office, protests were being planned and executed across the United States. The tone and vehemence of those events are without any precedent, with the sole exception of the reaction to the election of Abraham Lincoln.
There is a certain irrationality to the comments and demonstrations. Some of the conditions those involved are angry about exist after eight years of an Obama presidency, a leader they clearly prefer. Despite the angry shouts, signs, and statements of the participants, there is scant evidence that, absent a strenuous misinterpretation, (which a biased media has been quite willing to provide) Mr. Trump has engaged in any action that could reasonably be construed as racist, misogynist, xenophobic, or anti-LGBT.
Strangely lost amidst all the press coverage concerning the vehement and occasionally violent protests about the inauguration and subsequent policy moves of President Donald Trump are the most basic questions reputable journalists should be asking. What, precisely, are the objections that have led to the near-hysteria that began even before the Administration took office?
Neither Trump’s campaign statements nor his prior history portray him as a doctrinaire conservative that would raise the ire of progressives. His positions on infrastructure are, to take just one example, directly in line with liberal Democrats. Marketwatch noted last year that “One presidential candidate wants to end loopholes for the ‘very rich.’ He’s against trade deals that allow foreign “sweatshops” to steal American jobs. He backs “prevailing wages” for U.S. positions filled by foreigners with special visas.” That wasn’t a description of Bernie Sanders—it was a description of Donald Trump.
The Fiscal Times notes that in trade, infrastructure, paid family leave, carried interest, and the deficit, Trump’s positions are very similar to the many of the people engaging in strenuous objections to his Administration.
Conservative hawks also are clearly distraught over Trump’s soft rhetoric about Russia. Oddly enough, despite decades of seeking to soften tough talk from the Right about Moscow, the left now condemns Trump for doing what they have been advocating.
Human Rights and gender issues are among the more frequently heard issues at anti-Trump protests. Here, too, there is a curious lack of substance.
Throughout the entire eight years of the Obama Administration, there was a stunning lack of concern for the two most oppressed and attacked groups of middle eastern residents, Christians and Yazkidis.
As noted by Chatham House, extensive witness testimonies and the discovery of mass graves around Sinjar have evidenced ISIS’s responsibility for the expulsion, flight, forced apostasy, murder and sexual enslavement of thousands of Yazidi women and men.
According to a Georgetown University study, “a Christian was martyred about once every six minutes in 2016, making them the most persecuted religious group in the world.”
The Obama Administration clearly refused to reach out and assist either of these groups by allowing them to enter the U.S. as refugees. An honest examination of refugee policies during Obama’s presidency would lead to the undisputable conclusion that he went out of his way to exclude them.
It also refused to take any significant steps to thwart the enslavement, rape, and murder of females throughout the region. Which clearly leads to the question why women’s groups, who were so silent about Obama’s refusal to react to this gender-cide against women, are now so vocal in their opposition to Trump.
There does not appear to be any attempt to engage the new president in a reasonable discussion to dissuade him from the views that the demonstrators object to. Indeed, on Inauguration Day, rather than seeking to merely make their voices heard as the process unfolded, the actions were actually aimed at disrupting the process itself.
Originally published on New York Analysis of Policy and Government.