Looking Back On The Indy’s Trump-Era Coverage

By Indypendent Staff Jan 20, 2021

Charlottesville, Aug. 12, seconds after James Alex Fields drove his vehicle into a crowd of antifascist demonstrators. Photo: Mike Ben Zev.

If Donald Trump did one good thing as president, it’s that he made almost everyone care more deeply about politics and the direction of this country — whether it was his enthralled supporters or his horrified opponents. In the process, we’ve seen an upsurge in social movement activism and protest rarely seen in U.S. history. Here in at the Indy, we’ve been right  in our element. 

“We are facing the fight of our lives. It’s that simple,” we wrote in our first issue after the 2016 election. We rolled out news boxes around the city. Our monthly print circulation more than doubled to 40,000 and our web traffic soared too. Below are some of the highlights of our coverage over these past few years made possible by the support of readers like you.


Trump, Born to Be a Crony Capitalist
Peter Rugh looks back on Donald Trump’s shady business career in New York and warn that he aspires to be a tyrant, just as his father trained him to be.

Drifting to Donald: Trump’s Best Chance of an Upset Lies with Working Class Communities Like This One
After Peter Rugh spoke with white working class voters on the northside of Philadelphia one month before the election, we reported that Hillary Clinton’s “inevitable” victory was anything but

The End Is Near: 2016 Election Survival Guide
Immigrants speak, 3rd party vote swapping markets, voices from around the world weigh in. 

Post-Election Special Edition
Mourning in America, Trump’s path to power, movement building in a new political moment, how to talk to your children about Trump, a protester’s guide to “Trumplandia”, ie Trump’s most high-profile NYC property holdings. 


Indy crew handing out the Women’s March special edition at D.C.

Women’s March Special Edition
Furious and determined, millions of women set the tone for the next four years by pouring into the streets on Trump’s first full day in office to oppose his presidency. Our special edition includes a little bit of everything including an interview with Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, a poem by Eileen Myles, the diverse voices of women marchers and a beautiful, pull-out center spread poster to mark the occasion. 

Soon To Be Deported?
Renée Feltz sounds the alarm when ICE moves within weeks of Trump’s inauguration to deport Ravi Ragbir, co-founder and executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition. An epic showdown follows between local activists and elected officials on one side 

After Charlottesville, How to Confront the Right and Win
After confronting white nationalists in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia and narrowly missing being hit by the car that plowed into a crowd and killed Heather Heyer, our correspondent Mike Ben Zev wrote “The only way forward is to make fascism history again.” And lest we have any doubts about that he warned, “The threat is real, and the threat is growing.”


A tight-packed Indy editorial meeting in 2018.

Life After Deportation
When the feds deported immigrant rights activist Jean Montrevil to Haiti, it made headlines for a day. We went back later to see what the impact of a deportation is the deportee, their partner and children.

Beat The Machine
The Resistance that hurled itself against Trump had no patience for business-as-usual Democrats, especially in deep blue New York. In June 2018, socialist bartender-turned-longshot congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shocked Democrat Joe Crowley in their primary. Crowley was the Queens party boss and one of the most powerful Dems in Congress. The Indy’s John Tarleton and Lydia McMullen Laird were out front on the story and a month before her primary became the first publication to ever put AOC on its cover. To ensure voters knew they had a choice, we subsequently distributed thousands of copies in Queens subway stations.

We Will Be Heard
The #MeToo Movement collides with Inside The Beltway power politics and feminist author Linda Martín Alcoff writes, “Brett Kavanaugh is being savagely ridiculed on late night television, in stand up comedy routines, in homemade YouTube scenes. Everything about him that would usually generate respect is now seen as a sign of moral depravity, self-importance, hypocrisy. Change is afoot.” 

The Beginning of The End
After Trump and the Republicans fare badly in the 2018 mid-terms, Nicholas Powers takes stock of the country’s politics.  “Two Americas are on a collision course. The conservative one erected a wall around itself, the progressive one is growing fast and needs more space. Every election, they smash against each other because Republicans already built Trump’s wall, just not at the border. They built it around the voting booth.”


The White Working Class: America’s Prodigal Son
Will the left embrace white blue-collar workers in their hour of need and create an unbeatable progressive coalition?

Green Fascism: A Far-Right Ecology Movement Is on the Rise in Germany, And It’s Spreading Here Too
Some U.S. far-right groups advocate a similar nativist vision that seeks to restrict immigration to protect both nature and the nation from cultural and racial “pollution.” Their ranks are growing.


Black Lives Matter Special Edition
Millions took to the streets to protest the police murder of George Floyd. And when Trump resorted to racist appeals to White America, public opinion swang dramatically behind Black Lives Matter. 

NYC-Based Groups Try to Help Tip 2020 Election in 4 Swing States
How to beat Trump while building power at the grassroots for the long haul.

Blueprint for a Stolen Election
Would a defeated president undermine our democracy to cling to power? It had never happened before in U.S. history, but we were sure it would happen with Trump and that many of his GOP lackies would assist him. In our pre-election issue, we created an illustrated 11-step guide for how Trump would try to pull off the steal and key dates along the way. Check out how we did. We didn’t get everything right (Who knew he would incite his supporters to sack Capitol Hill and try to execute his Vice President?), but we came close enough to be deeply disturbed by what we saw. 

What We Learned in the Trump Era
We invited progressive activists, journalists and scholars to help us make sense of these past four years.

As Trump Leaves Office, Social Movements of the Right and Left Battle Over the Future of America
“When Donald Trump leaves office tomorrow, the political crisis in this country will not subside. It will get worse before it gets better, and the Democratic Party will not save us.” 

Our work doesn’t end with Trump’s departure. If you like what you see here, we need your help to continue doing more great work going forward. Make a one-time contribution of $25, $50, $100, $200, $500 or more or become a recurring monthly donor. It makes all the difference.

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