I know these are troubling times. We are justified to fear what can happen in a Trump presidency. We know history and know how calamitous history can be with even small choices that snowball into something bigger. We do have to be vigilant, organize, and mobilize. That being said, I think we can also take a more positive path.
Trump did not get anywhere near a majority of the electorate. He got about 1/4. The vast majority of people voted for Hillary or did not or could not vote. The majority were not motivated to support Trump or his policies.
You will also notice that Hillary got a great deal of support from urban areas. This is not simply because these areas have more educated people as well as more people working in the new economy of technology and media. It is also true that the urban areas are also the place that have the most innovation and progressive experiments. We have to capitalize and mobilize around those.
Much of Trump’s support came from people feeling the severe dislocation caused by an economy driven by automation and globalization. He won’t be able to reverse those, even if the Congress goes along with his ideas. What we need is a path that can take advantage of those processes in order to shift the economy towards satisfying human needs. The best place to engage in these experiments is in urban areas.
One example. We can’t stop capitalist firms from shifting their manufacturing to foreign countries. Import duties won’t do anything more than limit consumption here and send our economy into recession. But we can develop different kinds of capitalist ownership models that can keep jobs here while also producing profit, though probably lower than what firms are now used to.
This means developing community and worker owned firms. Such firms will permit workers and urban residents to gain from the automation of manufacturing. This could take the form of higher income and/or reduced work weeks. Such firms are also unlikely to ship jobs overseas by their owners. The best example of this is the Green Bay Packers of the NFL. They are the only community owned team whose success has never caused them to abandon their small market community.
There are plenty of more of these kinds of social and economic experiments that we should promote and implement in urban areas. Cities can become islands of ‘hope and change’ during the troubled times that Trump will create. It will also create the foundations that will make the progressive movement succeed by the end of Trump’s four years.