What makes you angry about Trump's presidency
"Our problems don't start and end with Trump"
A new president will be elected in the USA on November 3rd. Even if Joe Biden wins, as the polls predict, Trump has made lasting changes to political culture. Brigitte Theissl has Rachel Charlene Lewis asked by "Bitch" magazine how big the damage is and how civil society has changed under Trump.
attacks:Donald Trump's election victory was not only a decisive event for democracy and international politics, but also for journalism. Trump has made incitement to serious media and shameless lies his program. What strategy did you develop for "Bitch" magazine to deal with it?
Rachel Charlene Lewis: One of our main goals is to lead our audience through this filth, to provide facts, to call lies in politics also lies. Especially because the word “facts” has meanwhile been completely twisted. We also adjusted our editorial planning and goals to make sure we got a certain number of political stories. We have also started a political newsletter that is published jointly with another organization. While the election is around the corner, we continue to work on our political strategy to get a wide range of voices heard and ensure that we are ready regardless of the outcome of the election.
The day after Trump was sworn in, hundreds of thousands protested against Trump's politics at the Women’s March. In the meantime it has become quiet about the feminist activists of the Women’s March - why has the movement lost its clout?
I wouldn't necessarily say that the activists themselves have become quiet. I think the people who gathered around the Women’s March have calmed down after the initiative was criticized for not being sufficiently inclusive. Movements grow and change, and so do their priorities. Women who participated in Women’s March may have joined the Black Lives Matter protests a few years ago, or more recent protests that arose after the death of George Floyd and other cases of police violence. Overall, I see a new strong commitment and the will to deal with the structures of our society and to join forces to initiate change - even if that means finding new ways and means.
So would you say that the Trump presidency has strengthened civil society in the United States? What influence did he have on social movements?
Trump's presidency has helped destroy the illusion of justice and propriety in US American politics. I am thinking of two things in particular here. On the one hand, I'm glad that more and more people (myself included) are seeing the wide range of failures and missteps in United States history. On the other hand, I am concerned that too many people are crediting him with all the "bad" things that have happened under Trump over the past four years, and that when Joe Biden becomes the next president, they will stop making improvements in health care, advance the fight against climate change and police brutality. Our problems don't start and end with Trump.
Joe Biden is an "old white man", not a progressive Democrat candidate. Criticism rained from the left during the primaries, while at the same time the tenor prevailed: Every democrat is better than Trump. How do you perceive the debate?
The debate is complicated. On the one hand, I personally believe that we must get Trump out of office immediately. On the other hand, Biden wasn't my personal favorite - and still isn't today. I think it is important that we take a back seat and realize that it is not our only duty to elect the president. And that we owe it to ourselves and our communities to get involved politically in other ways, such as through aid funds and volunteer work. We must devote our time, money and energy to the causes that are important to us. It doesn't start and end with Trump, and it doesn't start and end with voting in that one election.
Donald Trump has changed the political culture decisively. Do you think that he has done irreversible damage with his racist agitation, his denial of science?
Yes and no. I think Trump exacerbated problems that were already there. It has clearly wreaked havoc - even if we just look at the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives. This is Trump. We cannot bring these people back no matter how we vote or protest. Racism and white supremacy have flourished under his leadership. We can also see the terrible damage to the environment, even if we just look towards the west coast and see how the sky there has been colored by the raging forest fires. That is Trump too. But it is also our responsibility to keep paying attention to these issues no matter what Trump does. If Biden wins, how will he fight racism and white supremacy, police brutality and climate change, and the destruction of trust in journalism and the media? Do those responsible in our own churches do that? And how do we fight for it in our personal environment? Trump did terrible things and had a terrible impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. We would have been better off if he had never been elected, absolutely. But we can't just dump the guilt on his shoulders just to get ourselves out of duty.
Rachel Charlene Lewis is Senior Editor at Bitch Magazine.
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