Naomi Klein explores the rise of and resistance to Trump in 'No Is Not Enough' | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Naomi Klein explores the rise of and resistance to Trump in 'No Is Not Enough'

Author Naomi Klein poses for a photograph for her new book "No Is Not Enough: Resisting the New Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need," in Toronto on Wednesday, June 7, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
June 15, 2017 - 5:22 AM

TORONTO - Donald Trump's historic rise to the U.S. presidency and tumultuous tenure in the White House has been stunning to many — but don't count Naomi Klein among them.

The award-winning journalist, columnist, filmmaker and author had a sense of deja vu observing the tactics Trump's campaign used to help catapult the billionaire businessman and reality star to power.

In "The Shock Doctrine," Klein explored how the public's shock and disorientation after disruptive events — like wars, coups, terror attacks, market crashes and natural disasters — have been points in history where damaging policies have been pushed through. She said many people asked her to reissue the 2007 book after Trump took office.

"So many people were in a kind of state of shock that Trump could be elected, and that shock was continuing because he was moving so quickly," Klein said in an interview.

"In his first week of office, there was this tsunami of executive orders, and he just seemed to be doing everything at once. People seemed destabilized."

Klein also thought about the ascension of lifestyle brands explored in her 1999 bestseller "No Logo." She felt it would be useful to revisit the material and examine the tools used to help Trump — whom she described as a "fully branded president" — get elected.

"I really wanted to put him in context because I felt like so much of the way he was being talked about was like all about how this has never happened before," said the Toronto-based author.

"It's not coming out of nowhere. And it shouldn't be shocking because he's actually the culmination of so many of these other trends."

Klein said she felt a sense of urgency to publish her new book "No Is Not Enough: Resisting the New Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need" (Knopf Canada) to offer strategies for action rather than just tuning out those in power.

Klein said she's concerned that the critical coverage of Trump is focused too much on the ongoing Russia investigation, the firing of FBI director James Comey, and "palace intrigue" which doesn't speak to those who put the president in office.

"I think it mostly just reinforces a narrative that again their guy is under siege, that there's some sort of grand conspiracy against him," said Klein.

"Of course the Russia connections need to be fully investigated ... and the Comey firing needs to be investigated. But does it need to be 90 per cent of the media coverage?

"I think if we maybe spared 30 per cent of it to look at how Trump is systematically breaking the economic promises that he made to his voting base, and how despite all the seeming chaos swirling around his administration, there has been a methodical pushing-through of policies."

Klein pointed to Trump's tax and health-care plans, and regulations in the environmental and financial sectors as examples of policies she said are transferring wealth to those within his own class — and at the expense of his voters.

"I don't think I'm going to reach every Trump voter, and I think there are lots of voters who voted for him for incredibly ugly reasons," said Klein. "But I do think that there are people who were primarily motivated by economics and a desire to raise a middle finger at Washington, and I think that those are the people that are most likely to be swayed with information that catalogues this massive economic deception really at the heart of the Trump campaign."

Klein said active measures at the grassroots and political levels are needed to bring about concrete change.

"I'm not saying 'no' isn't important. I think it is important to resist and it's survival for so many people to resist. But if that's all we do is hold the line on all these other fronts, then that's no kind of solution because we actually need to move forward," said Klein.

"We live in this time of multiple overlapping crises. Economic inequality is a crisis.... Racial injustice is a life-and-death crisis for the people who are being targeted, and climate change is an existential crisis for our species — and we're on a deadline."

Klein said there have already been early signs of more active resistance that have made an impact. She said many people "rightly took a lot of pride" in airport protests in response to Trump's travel ban against several Muslim-majority countries.

She was also encouraged by pledges of several U.S. cities and states to implement the Paris climate accord goals after Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the deal.

"People are putting forward plans for how they're going to build a cleaner, fairer economy. That's the kind of thing that's going to create jobs. That's the thing that's going to change the quality of life," said Klein.

"People are going to feel that they have real power and they're going to want more of it."

Follow @lauren_larose on Twitter.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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