Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) dropped out of the presidential race. That doesn’t mean our movement is ending. It means that we’re taking it to the next stage.
Where exactly do we go from here? There’s no easy answer, but one thing is clear: We keep moving left and we drag everyone with us kicking and screaming.
What does this mean for you in a practical sense?
Part of the answer is that electoral politics, while important, isn’t the only strategy. Getting down-the-ballot progressives into positions of power will help to improve material conditions for everyone. As far as getting a proper president into the White House, that’s different.
The reality is that Trump is locked in for another four years. That means that whatever good remains in our institutions will be snuffed out by the time he exits office. Our judicial system, in particular, is being effectively dismantled by Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) fast-tracking conservative federal judges.
Additionally, the rise of the populist Right will only grow stronger for the foreseeable future, with or without the orange man. Let’s face it, Trump is certainly a fascist sympathizer and uses fascist tactics, but he’s a complete amature. He represents the kiddie pool compared to what’s coming down the pipeline. If we’re not prepared to put forth a viable candidate in 2024, we’re probably getting a full-fledged fascist in office.
Democrats are content with this arrangement as long as they get to keep their precious seats of power. The Democratic party has given up on winning strategies for the sake of preserving their “legacy.” They don’t want to win, so WE have to win.
Lessons from COVID-19
The American citizen has been beaten down, demoralized, and deprived of the means to live a humane life. In spite of that reality, the coronavirus pandemic has proven exactly how essential all of us are to society. We need to take our value to heart and never forget it.
Because, if we forget our real value as a human being, capitalists will beat us down again. They’re already pandering to us with commercials talking about how grateful they are of their “essential workers.” Hell, you might even get a small “bonus” this year for the hard work that you have no choice but to do if you want food on the table.
There’s a knife hiding behind their smile — don’t turn your back on them — look them in the eye and demand the life that’s rightfully yours:
- Universal health care
- A decent wage
- Paid sick/maternal leave
- Clean air and water
- Expanded voting options
And, not only will Conservatives and Liberals alike will shower us with false praise all day without ever meaningfully improving our lives. They’re already using this pandemic as another excuse to instill nationalism within Americans. Why is the “peak death week” a “Pearl Harbor” or “9/11” moment? Why does MSM keep using wartime rhetoric, saying nurses and doctors “are on the front lines” and Trump calling himself a “wartime president?”
The language used to talk about COVID-19 is extremely important. We can’t let the establishment force us to think of ourselves as a “fighting force” against the virus. We’re human beings, not soldiers to expended on a battlefield for the sake of the economy.
Push back against the nationalistic war-like rhetoric that’s being sold to you; the world has to unite against this virus, not tear itself apart for scraps of medical supplies and loose change.
Workers of the World Unite
At this point it’s clear that strikes are the most effective way to get the change we need. Even in recent history, the strikes of 2019 were extremely effective. The teachers’ strike was heard loud and clear (especially in Los Angeles), UAW strikes that lasted for record times brought about change, and the general strike in France caught the world’s attention (until neoliberal media decided to ignore it.)
It might come down to enacting a general strike, so we have to be prepared for one.
Join your workplace’s union if there’s one available. If not, there are options. Join the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Only together can we change society.
How to Vote in 2020?
This isn’t an easy question to answer. We won’t be giving specific advice, but rather a few perspectives. This is a personal decision you’ll have to make.
For down-the-ballot candidates it’s pretty straightforward. Voting for progressives could do a lot of good for your local area. If your district is potentially unseating a Republican, then voting for the Democratic contender isn’t a bad choice.
Voting for the president? That’s tricky.
Accelerationism in itself is already controversial. Accelerationism via voting Trump is only irresponsible and neglects the real impact he has on America. Voting for Trump is voting for future fascism.
Voting blue, while not at all ideal, is still understandable. This is a short-term harm-reduction strategy, but there’s no long-term benefit. Democrats are counting on you to vote for their candidate because they don’t expect you to go anywhere else.
Writing in or voting third party essentially has no chance of winning in the current climate. However, it sends a more long-term message to the Democrats: if they want our vote, they have to earn it. Again, if you’re in a swing state, then voting blue might do more good. Even still, Democrats will never be poised to win another general election with their current priorities, so we need to look out for ourselves and get our candidate in the Oval Office. We might need another party, potentially the Green Party, to make that happen.
There are no easy solutions to the problems we’re facing. What doesn’t change is the fact that we need unity and we need to move America left. We have to respect ourselves enough to WANT the change, not just fantasize about it. Everyone can do something to contribute to our movement, even if it’s seemingly small and insignificant.
If we don’t win the culture war and start challenging the establishment over the next four years, then we could very well see a fascist in office in 2024.