How Donald Trump will save the left -

How Donald Trump will save the left

The Women’s March proved President Donald Trump can unite the left. Now it’s up to this new force to do something with its energy.

U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledges the audience after taking the oath of office as his wife Melania (L) and daughter Tiffany watch during inauguration ceremonies swearing in Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. January 20, 2017. (Jim Bourg/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledges the audience after taking the oath of office as his wife Melania (L) and daughter Tiffany watch during inauguration ceremonies swearing in Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. January 20, 2017. (Jim Bourg/Getty Images)

Donald Trump is going to save the left from itself, and may end up doing more to benefit progressive causes than any president since Lyndon B. Johnson.

I wouldn’t have said that on Inauguration Day. I spent it on the National Mall in Washington, watching him being sworn in to the presidency. His crowd, albeit much smaller than any recent inauguration, was loudly supportive. And there were very few protesters.

The new President’s inaugural address, with this theme of “American carnage,” was one of the most aggressive and ominous in modern history. It did not bode well for women, peace, the rule of law, and human rights. This was clearly the beginning of a new, much more conservative era in the United States.

But I spent today wading through a different crowd, and by the end I arrived at a very different conclusion. Heading back to the Mall I was frequently forced to a standstill because I simply couldn’t squeeze through the wall of bodies in front of me. And that was just on the side streets. The Women’s March was enormous, much larger than the inaugural crowd. It was more diverse. More energetic. Louder. And angry.

People participate in the Women's March on Washington, following the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump, in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 21, 2017. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

People participate in the Women’s March on Washington, following the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump, in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 21, 2017. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

After some time I gave up trying to move forward. I backtracked several blocks, and then made my way around the marchers to the Washington Monument. It stands on a hill, with a commanding view of the entire Mall. From there I could watch as hundreds of thousands of people carried their placards and their voices right to the gates of the White House itself.

It was an incredible sight. And that was just in Washington. There was a similar enormous march in Chicago. Across the United States, and around the world, rallies filled the streets. I can’t remember the last time so many people, in so many places, came together in protest.

And Hillary Clinton didn’t do this. In her seemingly endless pursuit of the White House, she was never able to inspire even a fraction of this passion. No one marched like this for her. There were no rallies this size to make her president.

No, Donald Trump did this. All of these people, in all of these cities, came together because of him. They had many different reasons. Some were protesting his ties to the Kremlin. Others were afraid he will ban abortion. Many had signs demanding the new president release his tax returns. And there were chants about protecting Obamacare. But behind all of that was one thing: Trump.

His successful campaign for the Oval Office proved he could motivate conservatives to get out and cast a ballot. He attracted more votes for the Republican cause than any other candidate in history. After today, I am beginning to realize he was able to motivate even more people to vote against him. Hillary Clinton is gone now, but the crowds supporting her causes are bigger than they ever were.

President Trump may turn out to be the best thing that has happened to the American left since Lyndon Johnson pushed the Civil Rights Act through the Senate in 1964. Trump has done something that neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama could do: unite the left in one voice and one cause—to stop Donald Trump remaking America in his own image.

But it is up to the left to do something with this energy. This can go one of two ways. The anti-Trump marchers can follow the chaotic, confused demise of the Occupy Movement. Or, they can organize into an effective political force like the Tea Party did.

Which means much more than carrying placards and shouting slogans. After all, as the sun set on Washington on Saturday, not much had actually changed. Donald Trump is still going to sleep in the White House, where the bulletproof windows will block out any noise of the protesters at the gates outside. And not one comma has been changed in the Republican agenda.

Today’s marches didn’t actually achieve anything concrete. It was therapy. It created a sense that those opposed to Trump are not alone, it gave hope that all is not lost, and it gave people a sense of purpose. But none of those things will actually move the levers of power.

Change requires more than a rally. It requires people to organize. It needs citizens to run for office, and if not to run, then to support those who do. Change needs money. It needs calls and letters to Congress. And, above all else, it needs votes.

If Trump does succeed in uniting the left with a powerful new purpose, the left must turn that purpose into action. Today made it clear their moment has arrived. Tomorrow will tell us if they intend to actually do anything with this unlikely opportunity.


See Women’s Marches around the world:

Barcelona, Spain


How Donald Trump will save the left

  1. Oh cut it out !!

    The women’s march isn’t remotely ‘left’

    Ferchrisakes……will you people PLEASE get over the GD Cold War!!

    This march couldn’t be FOR Hillary specifically or it would look like an attempted coup….but it WAS for equal rights.

    In jobs, education and under the law.

    The world changed today….it wasn’t just a ‘protest’.

    Fuck Donald Trump….and all who think like him.

    • If you read some of the twitter feeds the R trolls are out in droves. Makes me wonder how many of them are ‘paid’ staff.

      Don’t underestimate the levels of contempt people are feeling both in and out of the U.S. Politicians and reporters take note.

      • This is the worst mistake the US has EVER made…..and they’ve made more than a few over the years.

        • I’m gonna give them the benefit of doubt and say not all of it is their fault. They need jobs but I don’t think the ‘Republican’ way is the way to go. They need sustainability not immediate gratification. We all know who benefits from immediate gratification.

    • Boo hoo! Are your feelings hurt? I heard the jilted have been provided a Linus blanket and a puppy dog for you to cuddle. What do you care? You’ve told us more then once that you’re not American — and proud of it.

      • Like I said before Chipper……get a better dealer. You’re in the sawdust crowd.

        • Not me man. You’re the one still using sexualized slurs like f@#k. Please, please I beg of you look up its etymology. That term was used to subjugate woman.

          Are you really that blatantly ignorant Emily? Why in the world would you use a term that was invented to subjugate women in an article that celebrates the march of women on Washington? It is utterly baffling!!!???!!! You have no ability to critically think through even you own comments! You flippantly use words and terms that are in direct derision to the contents of the article. It’s almost like your commenting just for the sake of having your voice heard (ironically kind of like Trump).

          • Still being silly and giggly eh?

            Well I never argue with fools……and I don’t have the patience for your brand of nonsense… ciao.

        • Sigh.
          Vulgarity is no substitute for eloquence, education, and class.

  2. You can’t unite the left, as long as you attack progressive social issues that are important to people who want to be included in American society, and separate the church, from the state. The left only needs to unite the center, in order to take back government in the next term, the left will never unite with the fringe far right. Women will be the major driving force behind the next leader of the DNC in order to drive this new pariah out of office, i nominate Michelle Obama to run as next POTUS with Hillary Clinton as vice president, could be a powerful force to motivate every women in the US in 2020. Good luck on your future endeavors.

    • Unfortunately Michelle Obama has said hell no to politics but damn, this sounds really good!!!! New hashtag. #MichelleforPOTUSHillaryforVPOTUS

    • I’m hoping that the Democrats will look at Elizabeth Warren for 2020. She’s got the experience and is in command of the issues. She also has no baggage that I’m aware of. Michelle Obama has already clearly stated she doesn’t want the job.
      The Democrats also need to concentrate on the 2018 House and Senate elections since taking over the White House isn’t enough. In addition, a Democrat Congress in 2018 could put some barriers around Trump much earlier than the 2020 Presidential election.

  3. I would say that “all these people, in all these cities, came together” in spite of him. ☺

  4. Let’s be real. Do you think that a bunch of on the fence Liberals are going to look at lunatics busting up shops and crazy lesbians wearing vagina hats and all of a sudden be like “The Left is great!”. NO!!! They will see them as the deranged nuts that they are and push to the right, which is the demographic trend as of 2016. Find a single “Classical Liberal” that supports the modern left!

    • Boy, yer really not paying attention, areya….

    • I see, Tzar Nicholas, that you’re just as perceptive about the people as you were in Russia in the 1910’s. Remember how that ended?

  5. Good luck with that.Four years of hysterical screaching from the likes of Michael Moore,Ashley Judd etc.will do more to re-elect Donald Trump than “save the left”.

  6. How exactly did Trump’s speech ” not bode well for women, peace, the rule of law, and human rights.”? Lol, you guys are ridiculous. Yea, yesterday was nice that there were no riots. It’s nice to see that many people come together peacefully. But there’s no way that the left will end up being united. They are too far into their Oppression Olympics, Critical Race Theory, Progressive Stack etc. They always devour each other, and I predict that it will continue.

    Honestly, I think all the protests yesterday were more a tribute to the power of media than any kind of protest against Trump. These “nasty women” wear pussy hats and march when a Republican gets legitimately elected. But they can’t be bothered to do anything about all the brutal oppression of women in the Islamic world, or what’s happening to women in Europe now that the Islamic world is expanding into there.

  7. I noticed a few things today…

    1. I have to give Scott Gilmore a break. He wrote this article and has to go home to his wife cabinet minister Catherine McKenna. You have to keep peace at home so you can be bias.

    2. 1,000,000 people world wide protest. Out of 7 billion people that is roughly .015 of 1% . Nothing to brag about.

    3. Most media talked about the low turnout for the inauguration. This means the Republicans have jobs and can’t take the work day off to go to an inauguration and caught it on the T.V.. Add in the people who watched on T.V. (31 million…. why would you watch if your person didn’t win) and you have exceeded Obama’s numbers.

    4. Democrats are a violent bunch. Smashing windows, burning cars, throwing rocks, breaking windows with hammers and starting fights confirms this. This also happened during the election with paid infiltrators trying to disrupt Trump rallies (Project Veritas is a good source). None of this happened when the Republicans lost the previous 2 elections.

    5. Finally… where are all the ladies (actresses, porn stars, people looking for the 15 minutes of fame, or financial gain) that were accusing Trump and then promptly disappeared from the scene. This protest would have been where they should appear.

    Most of the people commenting here are Canadian. Don’t mess in another country’s politics. You are not Obama (threats to Britain over Brexit), nor the CIA ( phone taps on the EU leaders including Queen Bee Merkle) nor George Soros (you don’t have the money to interfere all over the world). Mind your own business and try to work with our most valuable partner (economic and military) in this world. Get over the loss of the election. Trump hasn’t even started and already you are crying and protesting. A special note to Emilyone …you could be so lucky!

    • Like I said, people like you have a low IQ….which is why the US has it’s current mess. They just can’t keep up with the times.

      • Ooopppsss how embarrassing Emily. You made a common mistake with the contraction in your sentence. Speaking of IQs…

    • Ken,
      Did you add the TV audience to Obama’s in-person inauguration audience? Republicans aren’t the only ones who can’t take the time off work. Some people, on both occasions, would have followed it on TV because they live too far away to be able to be in Washington.
      I’m not sure I agree with your comment that only people whose candidate won would have attended or watched on TV. I think there would be those, including school classes, that would have watched the inauguration because it’s part of history. The US is one of those countries in the world where an orderly transition of power takes place.

  8. Say what you want about Trump Komarade Gilmore But got more Fat Women off their Asses marching then Michelle Obama did in Eight Years..

  9. A fresh wind is blowing from the south…it is the death of the PC movement and a return to sanity.

  10. Dear me, even Maclean’s has gone alt left.
    So the alt left consists of the media, politicians, crazy feminists and ignorant, insecure youth. The rest of us are sane, normal, centrists or moderately right. We work for a living, and we don’t use force or hurt others. We believe in merit, results, law and order, integrity, and free speech and expression. And we are fighting all four of you entitled, authoritarian, hypocritical, crminal groups. leave us alone you authoritarian thieves. You are the minority.

  11. Dear Americans. Have you met Leadnow? Here in Canada, we did have a movement to vote out our then current leader, and were fortunate to have a mobilizing force not just asking us to vote out our leader, but to bring in a government willing to bring in three “essential” policies we individual citizens agreed on as our priorities: a strong democracy (meaning a change to proportional representation, or in other words, counting the popular vote), a fair economy (meaning restraining runaway income inequality), and a clean environment (action on climate change and that means more than signing a paper). The movement ended up involving more than just the people who signed on to it, which was a bit of a mixed blessing because it gave us a majority government rather than the minority government everyone was hoping for (because that way the two or more parties would push each other to fulfill the above commitments). What it did not do was express a preference for Bernie Sanders OR Hilary Clinton (i.e., the Canadian equivalents) but simply “whoever can beat the incumbent” It more or less worked!

  12. “The new President’s inaugural address…..”It did not bode well for women, peace, the rule of law, and human rights.” ?????????????????
    I listened carefully to his address and, while it gave elitist politicians of all stripes a lashing, I didn’t hear anything in that address that could not bode well for peace, the rule of law and human rights. In fact, while he was unquestionably crass regarding women in the past, there certainly wasn’t anything of a negative nature towards women in his address. Here’s what I heard reinforced:
    -he wants to send home illegally entered Mexican criminals and strengthen boarder security-seems just.
    -he plans more severe vetting on those coming from areas which support terrorism. This should improve safety for all Americans.
    -he wants others in NATO to deliver against their written obligations-and they will or the US will withdraw-why should the US cover the bulk of military costs for NATO members?
    -he wants to have bilateral trade deals rather than multilateral ones and will replace NAFTA and TPP with 14 such arrangements. These can be far better tailored to meet the desires of the two parties in each bilateral agreement than the lowest common denominator which drives multilateral deals. Better for all.
    -he will bargain off some of the sanctions against Russia for a reduction in Russia’s nuclear arsenal. Sounds like a peace making step to me.
    -he has said many times that he expects women to receive equal pay and benefits for equal work. This is a key plank in his daughter’s (Ivanka’s) musts and she is one of the people he really listens to.
    -he has committed to improve schooling, living conditions and safety for all in the inner cities-the majority of residents there being African Americans.
    -he has consistently given strong vocal support during his campaign and in his address for the men and women in law enforcement and the rule of law. And that was again reinforced in his address.
    -he plans to eradicate ISIS with the help of anyone of a same mindset including Russia. ISIS is the most significant threat to peace and security today.
    -and, he wants to create jobs by delivering a more competitive environment for businesses to flourish in. This will also reduce the numbers on welfare and bring more pride filled meaning to their lives.
    Overall, it sounded pretty damn good to me!!

    • you need to listen to more than just one speech before coming to a conclusion
      – his border wall will not stop the biggest threat from Mexico, drugs. His target for removing illegals is about the same as Obama’s actual results
      – he said NATO is “obsolete”. That is more than just a funding issue.
      – he has stated he wants to ban abortion, and has already taken steps to reduce abortions information available to women outside the usa
      – his nominee for education secretary has no experience with public education and advocates for a charter schools system – which inevitably reduces the education provided to lower income kids
      – he has consistently denigrated the intelligence community and their assessment of international affairs
      – Russia’s version of eradication includes significant collateral damage (see Syria) which will ensure daesh lives on for at least one more generation
      – his jobs plan does not factor in the cost increases for goods as they are made in America again … or the effect on the U$ for his trade policies and the subsequent effect on the trade deficit.
      I happen to agree somewhat on trade. But I believe that the key to balancing trade is enforcing environmental and working condition regulations in other jurisdictions, which would put them on a more equal footing with Cdn and US manufacturers from a cost point of view.
      My favourite example of the issues in the US are Trumps red hats. His website sells them for $25 (made in Cali of all places). Walmart sells a knockoff from China for $15. And Trump supporters continually vote for the Chinese version in their bid to “Make America Great Again”. With supporters like that … who needs enemies!

      • This writer was only talking about Trump’s inaugural speech-not everything he’s said over the last 20 months and the writer’s summary view of the inaugural speech was garbage.
        I don’t believe you understand how a shrewd negotiator works. I’ll use NATO as an example. He said NATO was obsolete “because they hadn’t moved to remove ISIS”. After that they moved. His remaining issue is that every member of NATO committed to spending 2% of GDP on the military. 5 out of 10 are below this target and Canada is the biggest offender at less than 1%. So his next move will be for the members to meet their commitment or reimburse the US for the extra they’re spending to cover the shortfall of the 5 laggards or he will threaten to withdraw.
        He is pro life and pro adoption-that was a well known part of his campaign and he got elected-winning the popular vote in every state except California and with a big surplus of Electoral votes.!!
        His job plan will result in more disposable income by lowering income taxes across the board
        and, in addition he will lower the cost Americans pay for health care. That should easily offset the increased cost of consumer goods.
        Someone within the Intelligence community leaked to the media a bunch of very damaging stuff about him that turned out to be absolute garbage. That would piss me off too. And they
        sure don’t have a clean record when it comes to being correct. And when they’ve been wrong, they’ve been really badly wrong-weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, an anti Allah movie causing Bengazi!! And they did not decide to brief him on the purported Russian hacking until long after the rift had started. When asked why, they reported that they weren’t certain he’d be inaugurated!!
        Regarding trade, the things you noted you want (and I do too) can be negotiated in bilateral deals or you don’t strike a deal They sure weren’t there in TPP with China as a member. And not there with Mexico in NAFTA.

        • Only a partisan hack would look at the speech in isolation of all the other things trump has said.
          Either NATO is obsolete or the other members aren’t paying their share … it can’t be both. Trump said it’s obsolete. Did he not know what this meant? Or was he mistaken again? Or lying? None of the above are good ways to negotiate with your ‘allies’.
          Whatever his stance on abortion, limiting it in the world is a bad day for women who need an abortion. So the comment stands.
          Lowering taxes while embarking on an infrastructure building program is a recipe for deficits that will dwarf obamas and inflaction to boot. The ride will stop at some point …. trumps plan is to hope it keeps going while he’s president. Not a great plan for the country as a whole.
          If you don’t think his relationship with Russia is more than him thinking Putin is a ‘great guy’ …. see my comment about partisan hacks above.
          if you think Trump has a better handle on international affairs than the CIA …. see my comment above about Russia … that’s his most likely source of info on these issues. With Putin leading him around by the nose the US will be in a tough spot as Trumps policies start to take hold.
          Trade deals take 5-10 years to negotiate. Trump wont get them done. At best he will create trading chaos and increase prices for all concerned. Add to that, deals need to willing parties … Trump can’t allow room for others to do well in a trade deal, he’ll make a mess and then be gone …. and as usual he won’t pay the price for his mistakes.
          See my example of MAGA hats. His own supporters don’t really support his initiatives. Wait till they see the price increases across the board for US made goods.

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