GEORGE LAKEY – Activists throughout history have put social movement work on hold for the electoral arena. Determining whether to do so is a matter of strategy and calling.
SONALI KOLHATKAR – A better takeaway from our current economic situation is that there is nothing natural about being at the mercy and whims of an economy designed by corporate profiteers for corporate profiteers.
EBONY SLAUGHTER-JOHNSON – The anger surrounding teaching children a more expansive (and truthful) version of American history can largely be understood as a backlash to the Black Lives Matter era, the victories of which have been largely symbolic and localized. The legislative entrenchment of affirmative action will be spun by conservatives as “reverse racism” that hampers the educational advancement of white children. That argument will hold traction among conservatives, moderates, and progressives. As we prepare for the possibility of a post-Roe future, it might also be time to anticipate a future in which affirmative action is unavailable as a means of promoting diversity in and economic mobility through higher education.
SONALI kOLHATKAR – Those seeking to squeeze Americans while boosting corporate profits and the wealth of the richest few have for years poured resources into shaping a false narrative that people don’t want tax revenues to be used to pay for things that people need. It’s time to expose and upend such a regressive theory.
EZRA KLEIN – Democrates have two years to prove that the American political system can work. Two years to show Trumpism was an experiment that need not be repeated. Two years. This is the responsibility the Democratic majority must bear: If they fail or falter, they will open the door for Trumpism or something like it to return, and there is every reason to believe it will be far worse next time. To stop it, Democrats need to reimagine their role. They cannot merely defend the political system. They must rebuild it.
NORMAN SOLOMON – The best way to not become disillusioned is to not have illusions in the first place. And the best way to win economic and social justice is to keep organizing and keep pushing. What can happen during the Biden presidency is up for grabs.
NORMAN SOLOMON – The Republican plunge into Trumpism has made the party especially unhinged and dangerous, but its basic ideology has long been a shameless assault on minimal standards of human decency. Now — while Democratic leaders and most corporate media outlets are suitably condemning the fascist tendencies of Trump and his followers — deeper analysis and stepped-up progressive organizing are urgently needed.
ASHLEY SMITH – The COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of abating as the death toll climbs ever higher around the world. Spectre’s Ashley Smith interviews epidemiologist Rob Wallace about the global capitalist roots of the current pandemic, the likelihood of future pandemics, and the types of organized resistance necessary to prevent them.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – Democratic majorities were crucial this summer to the defeat of three separate bills, introduced by progressive Democrats, to reduce military spending and/or undo the militarization of police departments. These included amendments in both the Senate and the House to the National Defense Authorization Act, diverting 10 percent of the Department of Defense budget to health care, education and jobs; as well as a Senate proposal to end the 1033 Program, which allows the Pentagon to transfer military gear to the police. The amendment’s defeat in the House was especially an outrage in that the Dems hold a majority in the House and could have passed it.
PETER BERGEL – In the wake of the COVID epidemic, the movement to ensure that Black Lives Matter, the inadequacies revealed in our health care system, the movement to address climate change and the growing disgust our people feel for the U.S.’s ongoing foreign wars and international bullying, the time has come for system-wide changes.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – America’s reluctant democracy: It demands a lot more of us than we’re taught to believe. Yes, voting is important (if you can), but claiming the right to vote and have your vote counted — and being able to vote for more than simply the lesser evil and the maintenance of the status quo — requires continual struggle in the face of lies and teargas. Election season never ends.
MARIA J. STEPHAN, CANDACE RONDEAUX and ERICA CHENOWETH – With elections four months away, and the rule of law under steady attack, people power could prove decisive in ensuring a constitutional transfer of power without violence.
NORMAN SOLOMON – Willingness to challenge Wall Street would certainly alienate some of the Democratic Party’s big donors. And such moves would likely curb the future earning power of high-ranking party officials, who can now look forward to upward spikes in incomes from consultant deals and cushy positions at well-heeled firms. With eyes on the prizes from corporate largesse, DNC officials don’t see downsides to whacking at WikiLeaks and undermining press freedom in the process.
JOHN ATCHESON – It’s worth considering what we are not talking about as we watch the political pornography of the Trump Administration play out and also how the focus on Russia undercuts the Democratic Party. In other words, what if this is exactly what Trump intended when he fired Comey? It’s worth remembering Trump’s mentor was Roy Cohn, who was a master at controlling the narrative and one of his favorite techniques was to change the subject with an in-your-face outrage of one kind or another.
SINGLE PAYER ACTION BLOG – Progressive leaders, led by Ralph Nader and Cornel West unveiled a proposal this week to challenge President Obama in the Democratic Party’s presidential primaries in 2012.
ALEX DOHERTY – [It gives me especial pleasure to present this article to PeaceWorker readers because I recall hearing Mark Rudd speak at a rally on the U of California campus in 1968, just after the occupation he refers to below. I thought his rhetoric was wrong-headed at the time and am delighted that he – who later became one of U.S. movement’s most ardent supporters of violence – has now come to appreciate the importance of nonviolence. – Editor]
[From 1965 to 1968, Mark Rudd was a student activist and organizer in the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) chapter at Columbia University. He was one of the leaders of the Spring 1968 occupation of five buildings and the subsequent strike against the university’s complicity with the Vietnam war. After being kicked out of Columbia, he became a full-time organizer for SDS, where he helped found the militant Weatherman faction. Mark was elected National Secretary of SDS in June, 1969, then helped found the “revolutionary” Weather Underground, which had as its goal “the violent overthrow of the government of the U.S. in solidarity with the struggles of the people of the world.” Wanted on federal charges of bombing and conspiracy, Mark was a fugitive from 1970 to 1977. He spoke to NLP’s Alex Doherty on the dangers of self-indulgent activism and his thoughts on current anti-war organizing in the United States.]
NORMAN SOLOMON: There’s a significant new straw in the political wind for President Obama to consider. The California Democratic Party has just sent him a formal and clear message: Stop making war in Afghanistan.