Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear spoke with Anoa Changa, host of the weekly progressive talk show The Way with Anoa and contributor to the Benjamin Dixon Show, and with Walter Smolarek, Sputnik Radio producer, about the state of the Republican Party and how both parties have contributed to the current — some say absurd — US political climate.
Changa said that the rise of Trump came as a result of normalized far right politics embodied by the Tea Party, a Republican offshoot group whose sole purpose was to see Barack Obama’s presidency fail.
"The Republican Party brought [Trump] on itself," she said, adding, "And I’ll also place some blame with the Democratic Party because the Democratic Party had the moral high ground coming out of the 2008 presidential election with President Barack Obama, with hope and change, and so many backslid and not only refused to stand with him in the mid-term elections, but stayed silent at some of the worst points, during the rise of the Tea Party, and there was no effective counter from the mainstream Left."
She explained that Republicans "invited in this transient political population that really had no interest in doing anything, they just went there to stop Obama and not let any progress happen in America, and they doubled down on this. Seven or eight years later, now we have the rise of Donald Trump."
Smolarek pointed out that Obama had the support and popularity to pass progressive legislation but was not able to because Republican and Democratic elites alike are often completely disconnected from the everyday issues facing people, who often feel “deadlocked” by professional politicians. He said the only way the two major parties can be made to address critical issues is for progressive movements to make them unignorable.
"What can break that deadlock is struggle of people," he said, "the organization of ordinary people fighting for the changes needed in society. The Black Lives Matter movement has been able to have an immense influence on the tone and the focus of the election. The only reason police brutality is being talked about at all is because of the masses of people in the streets."
Loud & Clear host Brian Becker noted that "during the electoral campaigns, politicians fight with each other in the most vociferous and vicious ways, but at the end of the day, they’re all in the same club."
Chonga agreed, offering that, "If we haven’t learned anything else over the last eight years, we have to hold our elected officials accountable to the things they say they’re doing, and what they’re actually doing. As well as being engaged in the process."