I remember, as a young man asking how do the Republicans win elections? After all, they are clearly in the minority and, yet, seem to fare well at the voting booths. I was unaware that for some elections, more than half the eligible voters, most of them working class people who realized that it mattered not who won, did not vote. Whether Republican or Democrat, their struggles remained unchanged.
In some ways, we have to respect the Republican Party. They have told us outright that their constituency consists of those with money and power and if we don’t like it, we could go screw ourselves. Their strategy is clear…they gather the votes of the working class and convince them to vote against their own interests, by raising social issues like abortion, race, immigration, socialism, etc. It is no accident that with Trump in the White House and the Republicans controlling the Senate that legislation lowering taxes for the wealthy was passed.
The Democrats, predominantly liberal, on the other hand, pose as the party of the people. Yet, despite the fact that there have been many occasions where the Democrats controlled Congress and the White House, the plight of the working class and those living in poverty has not improved. While the wealthy have accumulated more income and wealth, the income of working men and women has remained stagnant for the past several decades.
Whenever I hear that Congress has come to a bipartisan agreement, I know that working people have been screwed once again…that the liberals have once again sold us out. What people don’t seem to understand is that any agreement with those who represent the interests of the very people who have declared war on us many decades ago, is not a compromise but a sell-out.
Donald Trump has become the symbol of evil primarily because he is. But Barack Obama has often been labelled the best president ever. Yet, it was Obama, not Trump, who was president when over 3 million immigrants were deported. It was during Obama’s presidency that these miserable concentration camps were built. It was Obama who was president when corporate outlaws, who came close to collapsing the economy, were bailed out with over 700 billion dollars of public money. No corporate executive who was responsible for illegally gambling away billions of dollars was charged with a crime nor did Obama create guidelines that would prevent these same executives from repeating their criminal behavior.
It was under Obama’s leadership, that the US was bombing seven different countries. It was under Obama’s leadership that the drone program was expanded, a program in which thousands of innocent people were killed or maimed and their homes destroyed. This was Obama’s attempt at a gentler, kinder war effort.
It was Obama who dashed the attempts of the people to get the public option as an alternative to private health insurance. The Affordable Care Act was a bipartisan agreement to allow the private insurers to continue business as usual with no control on premiums while mandating that everyone must have medical insurance. This plan allowed the private insurers to benefit from millions of new customers mandated by the plan.
But, in all fairness to Obama, we have to realize that the Democrats betrayal of the people did not begin with him. While Trump’s policies are often a continuation of what was begun under Obama, Obama’s policies were a continuation of those who preceded him. For example, Bill Clinton, Democrat, was the chief when legislation that led to mass incarceration was implemented as were changes to the welfare system where single mothers on welfare were instructed that after 2 years, they would have to get engaged in employment in order to continue receiving welfare checks. This meant that mothers were separated from their infants at a crucial stage of their lives and had to find someone to care for their children while they went to work. So much for family values.
The party of the people does not exist. As Sako Sefiani stated in a Facebook posting, the “lesser evil” liberals’ main historic mission within capitalist societies is the prevention of revolution and the preservation of capitalism.
It is more dangerous to have liberals in power because they project the illusion that they are working for us. Their presence immobilizes us. While tens of thousands have taken to the streets to protest Trump’s immigration policies, there was silence when Obama deported over 3 million immigrants. Both Clinton and Obama were successful in neutralizing the left, leaving us with 16 wasted years. We must remember, that that is their function…to neutralize any action of the people that threatens capitalism.
That is why Malcolm X referred to liberals as the most dangerous thing in the Western Hemisphere.
Dave Alpert has masters degrees in social work, educational administration, and psychology. He spent his career working with troubled inner city adolescents.