Scattered thoughts on militarism under Trump

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This past weekend at our war tax resistance gathering in rural Florida, we had a discussion about post-election organizing. Before I knew it, emotions were rising about whether people should vote Clinton or third party, whether Clinton was better than Trump, and other such topics. These topics have set anti-war folks against each other throughout the election season. We refocused, knowing that the discussion was not going to be productive, by pointing out that no matter who was elected, we were going to have some work to do on militarism. The question is – how should that work be done? And we didn’t get very far in the limited time we had.

I quite frankly did not believe that Trump would win. Even as I didn’t vote for any presidential candidate (for a variety of reasons), I was also confident that enough other voters supported Clinton. I thought that while Clinton would continue US militarism that would cause the deaths of many people outside the US, she would not also escalate racism, homo/transphobia, and general bigoted violence in the US. Now I am concerned for an escalation of militarized violence here and abroad.

Trump’s calls for “law and order,” crushing ISIS, ending the nuclear deal with Iran, and “not apologizing to our enemies” are chilling for everyone who believes in peace.

1/2 of your income tax dollar buys war - Don't like what you see? Find out what you can do about it - - 800-269-7464But peace is not what the military establishment gives us under any president, and so this is not what Trump will give us. (Although Trump has also questioned the widespread presence of US military bases in other countries, who knows whether he genuinely wants to close them. This leaves aside entirely the question of whether closing any bases would result in a decrease in military spending or death/destruction, or only a reallocation toward other “more effective” uses of the money…)

As we discussed many times during our gathering, war tax resistance will grow as a movement if we work in solidarity with people most affected by militarization. We’ll have more on this issue in upcoming reportbacks from the gathering, but I couldn’t go ahead with writing a blog post about that today.

What are you thinking about the election results – presidential or otherwise? Will it change anything for you in how you approach anti-militarism work?

Post by Erica

7 thoughts on “Scattered thoughts on militarism under Trump”

  1. Anne barron says:

    Pls read Greg Palast “best democracy money can buy”. This along with Uncounted shows how the vote is rigged in the favor of neocons. I worked on election protection in NJ a ways back…after freed people & women got the vote, power structure set up system to keep them in power. Easier now due to electronic voting machines…conservatives have been working undercover to derail out voting system…so this was another tainted election where the truth of the real people’s choices at the federal level el is a myth. Easier to vote on local eelections ( except those that have attracted attention of the powers that run the country). We need to liberate demo racy!!

  2. Anne barron says:

    Which has makes the Obama election fascinating

  3. Larry Bassett says:

    The polls and the media caused me and many others to think that the militarist Clinton was going to win. I voted for Jill Stein. So I was shocked as I watched CNN report the states going for Trump. But thank goodness I am a war tax resister and know that my mantra of no nukes and no drones applies to either major party candidate. My biggest fear with the Republican control is the Supreme Court. My anticipated confrontation with the IRS next spring due to a substantial taxable inheritance gives me a focus. I have redirected the major share of the inheritance to family, friends, and good causes. The IRS will have slim pickings by the time they get to me!

  4. Ruth Benn says:

    No idea to what to say about the next four years…. But I was at Catholic Worker yesterday and one of the women there said she is thinking it might be time to start one of the “accompanying” projects like Christian Peacemaker Teams or Nonviolent Peace Teams or Peace Brigades International here in the U.S. to accompany immigrants, Muslims – anyone who feels endangered by the next administration. Not a bad idea at the same time being a sad commentary for us all.

  5. Bre R. says:

    Given the role that Facebook and Twitter played in promoting false news stories and furthering campaigns of bigotry, I encourage progressives to do as I have done and refuse to use such platforms. Social media companies extract more value from you than you extract from them. The peace and justice community needs to rethink the tools it uses and the way it communicates. The means are the end.

  6. Nikki says:

    Is there a way to make it clear to the IRS that we will not support a white nationalist federal government, and it’s xenophobic, racist and homophobic agenda with our tax dollars in addition to fighting militarization at home and abroad. I voted for HRC in what I considered a harm reduction vote, and now I would like to obstruct and resist the militarism the a Trump administration and what is to be a tax and spend regime. I am lower income, but would like to help organize and divert funds to schools and worthy causes and non-violent agencies. If Trump thinks taxes are for suckers, then he cannot be trusted with our tax dollars.

    1. Erica says:

      Hi Nikki – I certainly think that’s an area that’s ripe for development! Can you e-mail me at wartaxresister at nwtrcc dot org? Let me know what area of the country you’re in and we can connect you with other resisters in your area.

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