Robert Meeropol





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"Robby & Elli" 1968


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Robby speaking at the re-launch of the Mary Pitawanakwat Fund in Toronto

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STILL OUT ON A LIMB

Trumpophobia?

June 9, 2016

Tags: Trump, Clinton, cognitive dissonance

Iím not as worried about the possibility of a Trump Presidency as many of my friends.

This could be because I tend to look on the bright side. Often, my initial reaction to bad news is to think that it canít be that bad. But this is about more than denial.

I donít take the possibility of armed Trumpomaniacs patroling the streets lightly. I had family members killed in the holocaust. Roy Cohn, one of the principal engineers of my parentsí frame-up and execution, was Trumpís mentor. I understand the danger of his potential Supreme Court appointments and his racist, misogynist policies. I know a Trump victory could hurt a lot of people and would never advocate voting for him.

But Iím more concerned with the underlying anti-Trump message. Supporting the ďlesser evil,Ē because we canít live with a Trump victory, is a tacit admission that the status quo is tolerable. It isnít. While Trump could be deadly for more of us domestically, our current system already is toxic for hundreds of millions of people worldwide, and is in the process of destroying the productive capacity of the planet. Both Trumpís and Clintonís environmental policies would be disastrous for most of the worldís population.

A willingness to vote for the status quo because Trump is worse is also a subtle form of cognitive dissonance. It is a refusal to acknowledge, or to act on the knowledge, that we are about to run out of time and so must make climate change the number one priority. Instead of confronting a longer-term, but qualitatively deadier, environmental impact, some progressives propose we vote for Clinton, a candidate whose policies make that end result more likely, in order to avoid the more immediate sociopolitical threat of Trump. I admit this is not an easy choice, but choosing the latter over the former could be our worst mistake.

Some progressive people say it isnít that bad. We can adjust capitalism to make it greener, a new technological breakthrough will save us or a mass movement could push a Clinton Presidency to change course. Clintonís history of support for war, global, neo-liberal corporate control, and the fossil fuel industry, indicates the last is extremely unlikely. Science suggests that four or eight more years of Obama-style energy policies, plus incremental greening, will not save us. Capitalism, with its grow or die imperative, is not sustainable.

Other progressives reject capitalism, but insist there is no viable alternative. Thatís admitting defeat. We might not succeed, but if radical change is needed, then, by definition, we must step outside of the current political framework to bring it about. We must take to heart Naomi Kleinís brilliant insight that everything has changed and act on it.

Our civilization, even our survival as a species, is at stake. Like so many who have researched this issue, I live every day with that understanding. My fear of Trump pales in comparison.

Selected Works

Memoir
"Bravery is rare. Tyranny is commonplace. Both define the life of Robert Meeropol, son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. In his heart-wrenching, honest memoir, Meeropol recounts the emotional terrors of his childhood, the kindness of Abel and Anne Meeropol-who adopted him and his older brother after their parents' execution-his struggle to vindicate his parents, and his own political activism, culminating in the creation of the Rosenberg Fund for Children, which he now directs."
ĖPublisher's Weekly
"one of those rare books everyone should read"
ĖJoyce Carol Oates

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