How do fight back in the age of Trump? I looked to Naomi Klein to give me some tips. She was being interviewed by Jia Tolentino as part of the ‘New Yorker Festival’, a long weekend of interviews with a series of famous and/or expert people.
Klein did not disappoint. She said something, which stayed with me, describing the need for joined up thinking from the left. For a long time the right-wing and the men that fund it have financed think tanks that let them formulate future policy. It means that when they obtain power they have an agenda that allows them to hit the ground running.
The Democrats by comparison seemed paralyzed by their inability to stand for any unified idea. They become instead a series of causes. Diversity, climate change, racism and sexism all have their advocates but as Klein points out fighting your corner and getting what you find particular vital done leads to a divided and disconnected series of policies. She by contrast spoke of the need for an inter-sectionality that allowed for the creation of policies that took in all these things when finding solutions to societies ills
At the end of this highly absorbing talk, I even got to ask her question that was roughly this. During the great depression we got the most radical left-wing government of the century in the Roosevelt administration.
After the Second World War in which Britain was bombed so badly whole cities were lost, Britain elected the most radical left-wing government headed by Clement Atlee.
So why after the most sever economic crash since the thirties, did we end up with Trump?
Her answer was succinct. We ended up with Trump because a radical alternative from the left ‘wasn’t on the ballot’. Too true.