What worries me most is not what a Trump presidency is. That worries me too of course; people will die, people will be hated, people will be oppressed, but what worries me most is what his presidency means globally. What worries me the most is that we now have a context.
A new socialism
Let me explain. Brexit was a victory for the alternative right (who are alternative only in name, they are the same extreme right as they’ve always been though with new methods) but it was possible only one victory and could be an isolated phenomenon. But Trumps victory gives Brexit a context and that is that some of the world’s most important states are won over by the extreme right. That means that we will see more losses for the progressives, since that is the way the world moves towards now. How many? We cannot know. Maybe the energy will have gone out of the movement until the French elections next year. Maybe it will take ten years to conquer them. Maybe this is the new socialism, an ideology that will change the world for a hundred years and more. We cannot know.
And do not deceive yourselves, this is a global movement and they are cooperating. They are the new International, the Comintern of the alternative right (the Altintern?) and it is as scary for us as it must have been for the enemies of socialism at the time.
A new reality
The alternative right is a threat that is uniting even while despising otherness and therein lies the danger. They want to conquer the world, to be bombastic, and they can do it. And what beckons then is not the end of the world or Nazi rule as some claim, but that they will change the ideals of our society to be one of nationalism, racism, sexism and homophobia. Our society is far from perfect, but it is the result of constant struggle by progressives to make it better. The right can repeal those changes and make their own, they can change the way we think about the world, as the progressives did. This is a real danger. This is now our struggle. This is now our reality.
There are two weapons we have to combat this. A sword of constant struggle and a shield of unity. Europe must unite, take up the banner of new leaders of the free world and offer a new progressive leadership to the world. New calls for Europeanism must be voiced its detractors won over, its enemies challenged. It will not be easy; it certainly will not be fun and there are more losses to come before the dust settles. But it must be done, otherwise we have truly lost. We are entering a new age and it will not be one in which we are blessed by constant steps forward. But, as a certain Tolkien character dressed in grey said, it is the time that has been given us. The only thing left is to decide what to do with it.
There is one bit of good news though. The best changes come after times of great struggle.Take care of yourselves and each other. Have each other’s backs when it gets dangerous. Be generous with love and stingy with indifference. Be well.