Can the Democrats Build a Progressive Movement Against Trump?
Black Agenda Report’s Glen Ford says a progressive movement can’t be build out of the pro-war, pro-CIA, and McCarthyite politics coming from Democratic leadership
SHARMINI PERIES: It’s The Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore.
This is the first edition of the 2017, Glen Ford Report. So joining us from Plainfield, New Jersey, today is Glen Ford. Glen is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Black Agenda Report and the author of “The Big Lie: Analysis of the U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion.” Thanks for joining us today, Glen.
GLEN FORD: Thanks for having me on.
SHARMINI PERIES: So, Glen, lots of new developments in Washington. The inauguration of the 45th President of the United States. And there is a very tumultuous situation in Washington now. It’s a war between the press and the White House and there are many other potential wars in the air that everyone’s concerned about. What are your thoughts as this transition is going on?
GLEN FORD: Well, we should all be most concerned with the possible big war. We saw these huge crowds this weekend in Washington and in cities across the country and most people viewed them as a kind of groundswell of resistance to the new Donald Trump presidency. However, I think that, to the extent that this outpouring of anti-Trump sentiment is also all caught up and all tangled with the Democratic Party’s insane and monstrously dangerous pro-war and anti-Russian propaganda campaign, that it is actually poisoning the well for any progressive movement under a Donald Trump presidency.
So I think we should be very clear. There is no such thing as a progressive movement that is also pro-war. And there is no such thing as a progressive movement that is aligned with the CIA. And yet, that is exactly, exactly the position that the Democratic Party is taking, including its black luminaries, such as Congressman John Conyers, and Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and even Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who is considered to be the most left-wing person on Capitol Hill. All of them are busy attacking from the right, the very right-wing president, Donald Trump. And any fool should know that countering right-wing politics with even more right-wing politics can only lead to a disastrous and definitively right-wing result. You cannot create a progressive movement out of a McCarthyite, anti-Russian, pro-war propaganda campaign such as the Democrats are waging now and which they have now enlisted the support of lots of people who call themselves progressive. And even some who consider themselves to be radical.
Any movement that takes its cues from the CIA is a danger, not only to world peace, but it is a danger to itself. It’s a danger to the very civil liberties that a progressive movement claims that it’s trying to defend from the likes of Donald Trump. And, frankly, it’s just plain stupid and it’s stupid in a very peculiar and very American imperial kind of way.
It’s very sad. But I think this Democrat led movement is very likely to succeed. It will succeed, I think, in stopping any hope of lessening tensions between the United States and Russia. And the reason that it’s likely to succeed is not just these so-called progressive people in the streets, the more important reason is that the Democrats have lots of Republicans in Congress who are basically on their side. That is there are plenty of warmongers on the Republican side of the aisle as well as the Democratic side of the aisle.
And we’ll know whether the CIA has won its battle against Donald Trump and has declared war on his presidency, and that should be very clear. They’ve launched a kind of color revolution only domestically. But we’ll know if they’ve been successful if heads do not roll at the CIA. And I mean roll massively and publicly under Donald Trump. If the heads don’t roll that means that the CIA has won.
What progressives ought to be doing is fighting for issues, the same issues that existed before Donald Trump assumed the presidency. We need to be fighting for single payer healthcare, we need to be doing it now as Obama care is going out the door. We need to be fighting against the banks and calling for the nationalization and repurposing of those banks. And we need to be fighting for black community control of the police and especially we need to be fighting for peace. But if the Democrats get their way in their fight against a man, this is not about issues, this is about a man and it’s about a party and its fortunes, if they get their way we won’t even be able to talk about the possibility of sometime in the future maybe having peaceful co-existence among nations. And there’s nothing progressive about that situation at all.
SHARMINI PERIES: All right, Glen, why don’t you start explaining to us, by giving us a few examples about the Russian hacking. Whether they hacked or whether they didn’t hack, we don’t know at this point. We don’t have any proof from the CIA indicating whether they did the hacking of the DNC emails or not. But at the end of the day it’s a moot point, in terms of, you know, it didn’t make any difference. But this is the kind of behavior that the U.S. and the Russians and perhaps multiple other people — we know Australia, for example, hacks and listens to phone calls, and Canadians — listen to phone calls on behalf of other nations and all of this comes to a head in these specific examples and the climate we are facing now in Washington. Explain some of those motions for us.
GLEN FORD: Well, that’s what makes this whole discussion rather crazy in the context of what Americans already know. First of all, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks people say quite clearly that the Russians didn’t give it to them. But let’s suppose that the Russians did hack John Podesta, the Democratic National Committee official. The documents that they hacked were real. They showed that the Democrats wanted Donald Trump or Cruz or some crazy right-wing Republican to be their opponent in the general election. And those documents show that Podesta and company were instructing the other Democrats to encourage the media to give Trump and Cruz lots of play so that they would be the Pied Piper Republican candidates. Because the Democrats thought they could beat them more handily.
So the Democrats were, at that kind of level, very responsible for us having a President Trump. And certainly, the American people should know that. The American people should have known that the Democrats were rigging or playing dirty tricks during their primary election, which worked to the disadvantage of the Sanders campaign. These things were true. But, more to the point, the United States has intervened in and even overthrown governments scores of times since World War II, and killed tens of millions, I said, tens of millions of people in the process.
This is a country whose name should be “Subversion of Other States ‘R’ Us”. That’s what the United States does. And the United States doesn’t just subvert other countries, it spies upon its own citizens, all of them, and the CIA Chief told a lie and had to apologize, I think it was the NSA Chief, when he lied and said that they weren’t. But the United States spies on the rest of the world, too, not just on the President of Brazil and the President of Germany, but on all the people of Brazil and all the people and everybody in the world who has a computer and a phone. And Americans know this. This is a matter of record.
And to think that the Russians aren’t also doing their best with their limited capabilities, their capabilities aren’t as great as the United States to spy, doesn’t make sense at all. And to think that they wouldn’t use some information that they have successfully divined to their advantage, of course they would. What do you gather information for? But the hacking that they are accused of doing actually had beneficial results for the American public. That is, the American public learned the truth about things that it should have learned the truth about. Actually the Russians should be thanked for educating the Americans.
And if it had an effect on the election, that is if Americans or more educated when they went to the voting booth because of whoever disclosed these actions, well, that’s all to the good too. Certainly progressives shouldn’t be upset about this. They ought to be upset about the tens of millions of people that the United States has killed in the process of intervening with their ability to carry out their own political will, a half million in Syria alone.
SHARMINI PERIES: Right. And so, Glen, given that you’ve been always very critical of the Democratic Party for very good reasons, what do you make of the new administration coming in and the kind of people that President Trump is now appointing to head up our various agencies in his cabinet?
GLEN FORD: Oh, it’s a real horror show. The worst of the worst and the richest of the rich worst. And the only potential saving grace, the only sliver of a silver lining or maybe a copper lining, was the idea that tensions with Russia might be lessened. Because everybody on planet Earth has an interest in not being consumed in a nuclear fireball or dead in a nuclear winter. We are all of solidarity, I would think, about that. And now we have Democrats in league with the CIA taking away even that glimmer of a silver lining, by forcing Trump into a position where any gesture he might make towards Moscow will immediately be attacked as evidence of him being… “a traitor”.
SHARMINI PERIES: All right, Glen, I thank you so much for joining us today.
GLEN FORD: Thank you.
SHARMINI PERIES: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.