Mike Klonsky, a longtime political activist in Chicago, warns that the rise of Trumpism in the US and Europe signals a dangerous white nationalism that threatens the fabric of civil society.

 

The rise and seizure of political and military power by a narrowly-based clique of white supremacists and neo-fascists, in the U.S. and much of Europe, combined with an inadequate response on the part of liberal democrats, is plunging the world closer to a global conflagration than it’s been since World War 2 and Trump hasn’t even been inaugurated yet. The Trumpists are too weak and their base too narrow to rule primarily through diplomacy and negotiation. Their strong suit is their control of military (including nuclear capacity) and police powers (including an apparent willingness to use torture)….

 

Then there’s the Trump’s war on the press; trade war with China; Betsy DeVos’s war on public schools; Trump’s war on science; Trump/Pudzer’s declared war on labor unions; Trump/Perry/Tillerson’s war on the environment; Sessions’ war on civil rights; and so it goes….

 

As for teachers and educators, we have a significant role to play in resisting the Trumpists drive towards war and in defense of civil society. War is the enemy of education, families, children, women, and democracy. Resistance to Betsy DeVos war on public education will be a key part of the opposition movement. Defense of public space and of public decision-making, teaching students to think critically and to become shapers of their own future, are some of the essential pieces of the resistance movement based in the schools.