People are fed up with the politicians who are running this country. Recent polls show that 58% disapprove of Trump and 81% disapprove of Congress. The figures are probably higher since most people are never polled. People are correct to mistrust and criticize the politicians. Trump continually makes openly racist, sexist, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim comments. He runs the government like it is his private business or his reality TV show, where he can do whatever he wants to. But the problem isn’t simply Trump and his arrogance and bad behavior. He represents the corporate bosses and bankers who control the wealth of our society and who use the government to serve their interests. They buy the politicians and use these politicians to do their bidding.
The Republican administration is proposing the largest military budget in history, giving billions to weapons producers and military contractors to wage war on the people of the world. They plan to cut taxes for the corporations and the wealthy and pay for these cuts with massive cuts to social programs, eliminating healthcare for over 20 million people, cutting funding for: food stamps, disability assistance, student loans, and women’s health care. Trump’s executive orders have given the oil companies the green light for their pipelines and to drill in national parks, and expand their operations in the Arctic and the oceans. This will increase pollution and accelerate climate change that threatens our survival. More executive orders and proposed legislation aim at eliminating workers’ rights, deporting undocumented immigrants and preventing refugees from coming to the U.S.
And if the existing laws, regulations or rulings interfere with their profits – these politicians, bosses and bankers break their own laws, ignore regulations, and defy their courts. They usually do this behind the scenes. But Trump represents capitalist arrogance out in the open.
Under the Obama administration and the Democrats we had more civility. But in fact they too carried out the agenda of the corporations and banks, while attacking the standard of living and quality of life of ordinary people. They waged wars, deported millions of undocumented immigrants, and allowed attacks on our civil and labor rights and women’s healthcare. Since the Trump election, all the Democrats do is whine about Trump and focus on Russian meddling in U.S. politics as if this was our biggest problem. Their preoccupation is how to win in the 2018 and 2020 elections. But changing the politicians and focusing on elections will not stop these attacks.
History shows that ordinary people won major gains when we organized in our workplaces, neighborhoods, schools and in the streets. It is how workers won labor rights and unions, social security and unemployment insurance in the 1930s. This is how African Americans won civil rights in the 1960s. This is how anti-war protestors, and activists in the military helped end the war on Vietnam. This is how women and gay people won rights.
It is this kind of fight that is needed today. A few large mobilizations are not enough. It means making a fight that the 1% can’t ignore. We are the 99%, the majority. We make the whole society run, produce all the goods and provide all the services. We can also make it stop.
It is time we organized new struggles, using the considerable power that we have. We can stop the attacks and fight for what we need if we depend on ourselves and organize to use our power.