Spectacular, massive, and novel
Here are a few thoughts on the social movements that have sprung to the surface on the heels of Trump’s election and retrograde policies. First is their large spontaneous character. Overnight these movements have erupted in spectacular, massive, and novel ways. Another interesting feature is their organizational orbits are outside of the traditional organizational forms of the center, progressive, and left. Also standing out is the extraordinary role of new social protagonists that compose these movements at the leadership and mass level. High school students, suburban women, and women generally have jumped on the social-political stage as leaders and activists in these eruptions of social action.
What is striking as well is their tactical sophistication when it come to electoral politics. They don’t, neither automatically nor viscerally, turn up their noses at the notion of participating in two party politics and electing Democrats, including moderate ones, this fall. In fact, they see electoral politics as essential to their particular struggle and the general struggle against Trump and Trumpism. Nor are they trapped strategically or tactically in the language of neoliberalisim — a language that glosses over the real differences between Democrats and Republicans, especially at this moment when the danger of authoritarian rule is palpable.
Finally, each of these movements approach politics in a way that interconnects what is roiling them with what is roiling others. The walls of separation that kept one movement or struggle apart from other movements and struggles are less visible today in the thinking and actions of these activists, and actually activists generally.