We Have Been Asleep For Too Long

Donald Trump is going to the White House and the administration he is forming is horrifying. Trump’s appointments began with Republican senator Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff, and Stephen Bannon, head of Breitbart News, as White House Strategist. Priebus is a far-right Republican who opposes unions, the rights of gay people, and women’s right to abortion. Bannon, as head of Breitbart News, spreads viciously racist, anti-women, anti-Jewish news stories. Bannon has made Breitbart a home for the so-called “Alt-Right”, which is code for openly racist, white nationalists.

It gets worse. Trump appointed Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn as national security adviser and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) as director of the CIA. Flynn is a military extremist. Flynn thinks Islam isn’t a real religion and all Muslims are enemies. Pompeo is no better. He plans to form a database of dissidents using unlimited surveillance of phones and emails.

Trump’s pick for Attorney General is Jeff Sessions, a known racist judge, who as an attorney during the 1980s worked to intimidate black voters in Alabama and prosecute civil rights activists. At the time, Sessions joked that he thought the Ku Klux Klan was “OK until I found out they smoked pot.”

The people being considered for other appointments are no less horrible, like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for Secretary of Labor, and Myron Ebell for head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Walker launched a major attack on unions in 2011 using legislation to severely limit union rights. And Ebell denies that humans cause global warming and believes pesticides are harmless.

As for Trump’s policies, he still promises the immediate deportation of three million people as so-called illegal immigrants. He still promises more war, openly torturing prisoners, expansion of prisons, more militarized police, more shameless killing of black people in the name of so-called law and order, and more extraction of oil and coal.

It’s no surprise that there have been over 700 racist attacks since Trump’s election according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Trump told his followers to stop, but with every racist official he appoints, he is encouraging them to keep going.

The policies of the previous administrations, especially those of the Democratic Party, have opened the door for the Trump brand of hate-filled politics. For decades, politicians, from both the Democrat and Republican parties, have presided over a brutal system of attacks on working people and wars throughout the world. In 1994, Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement that enabled American companies to dismantle factories along with jobs. Hillary Clinton was ready to sign the Trans Pacific Partnership which would do more of the same. Both parties have maintained the vicious wars in the Middle East, killing millions of people. They have deported millions of immigrants, more under Obama than any previous president. Both supported the $16 trillion in bailouts to banks and corporations. Trump won over many voters by claiming to be an outsider who opposes these policies, while stoking racism and xenophobia. But in reality, Trump is not an outsider – he’s part of the club. He’s a billionaire real estate tycoon, and banks and corporations have no doubts he will continue to carry out the necessary attacks on all of us in order to represent the needs of their system.

Today the Democrats say we need to work with Trump. Even Bernie Sanders would work with him if “Mr. Trump has the guts to stand up to those corporations.” No! It’s time to stand up to Trump, the Republicans, the Democrats, and their whole rotten system. Tens of thousands of people have already started by discussing, organizing and demonstrating. We the working class, the 99%, have been asleep for too long. It’s time for us to wake up.