Senator Sanders (I-Vermont) posted this on his twitter account when the clock strikes 12AM for New Years– and I couldn’t agree more.

But let us dissect the two components of this tweet:

  1. What does it mean to “intensify the struggle against Trumpism”?
  2. What does it mean to “increase our efforts” at spreading a “progressive vision” everywhere?

First, what is Trumpism?

Describing characteristics of ‘Trumpism” reveal something much bigger than Trump himself, although he embodies, quite acutely, this sort of sentiment that has become structurally engrained in U.S. politics and in the (white) American body politic

  • strong authoritarian rulers
  • nativists
  • populists
  • conspiracy theorists
  • xenophobia
  • racism
  • Islamophobia
  • white supremacy

And, quite frankly as I call it: U.S. grown fascism.

Thus, when Sanders calls, in 2018, to “intensify the struggle against Trumpism,” he is not calling for a denunciation of Trump the man– although that is a part of it–but he is calling for a denunciation of what Trump represents to a large white majority of the American society.

Thus, we must intensify our commitments (struggle)  for

  • denouncing racist agendas that have real political effects on peoples lives.
  • denouncing white supremacy and the violence that comes with it.
  • denouncing conspiracy theories through holding the media accountable for reporting facts on the same level as misinformation. Subsequently, we should be supporting independent media for doing better job at this than the mainstream media.
  • denouncing anti-immigrant laws and racist immigrant framings
  • denouncing distrust, racism, and anti-immigrant framings and laws for entire Muslim populations
  • denouncing AmeriKKKan patriotism for what it has meant — racism and everything else mentioned above, to the point of nationalism (turning to fascism and nepotism)

If you do not understand that this is what Trumpism is, and that the above is what it takes to intensify the struggle against Trumpism– then you are not fighting for those harmed by it.

Again, Trumpism is more than just the man.

Second, increased efforts at spreading a progressive vision across the U.S. includes getting involved. I spoke about this two blog posts ago, on what getting involved looks like– both online and physically.

Because I’ve spoke about it before, I would just add to what has been said, to say that if your progressive vision does not include things like fighting for anti-racism and immigrants it is not progressive.

For example: you cannot say that you are ‘perpetuating a progressive vision,’ if you are committed to the fight to legalize the recreational usage (/ legal selling) of marijuana in the U.S.– without also fighting for those (disproportionately black and brown) in prison for their marijuana usage (/ selling of it). You can not be fighting for cleaner access to vegetables and non-GMO products, without recognizing the labored cost (usually of immigrants) of that (our food) industry.

In short, if your progressive vision only focuses on you and your wants (or the wants of those that you know) and not others, it is not progressive.

In short, we must intensify the struggle against a structural condition within the U.S. and replace it with something more progressive. However, because most people view their progressiveness outside of other populations realities, I have a feeling that in Sanders progressive vision, people of color and immigrants will continue to be disproportionately negatively affected.

In relation to my life as a graduate student, I have six expectations for myself this year:

  1. Passing my comprehensive examinations
  2. Learning as much as I can about my field (see 1)
  3. Traveling more
  4. Presenting at more conferences
  5. Getting my work published
  6. AND, hopefully, by the Fall 2018, successfully defending my dissertation proposal and starting the writing and/or collection process for my dissertation.

Happy New Year!