This past week was not a good week. The US Supreme Court rendered several decisions that will affect large segments of the American population, and one of the “Swing Justices” announced his impending retirement; thus clearing the way for Trump to nominate a justice who will be able to undo decades of progress and impede future progress.
I can’t help but wonder if the “Bernie or Bust” and “DemExit” folks thought of any of this. I can also see why they couldn’t. Most of them will not see the effects of the decisions that should have them asking “How would Garland have ruled?”
Very few Sanders supporters will be unable to have their families visit them, or visit their families for fear of being unable to return; they may know someone who is in this situation, but that doesn’t directly affect them. Their daughter, or son’s girlfriend, will likely to still get an abortion or some way to provide for the baby can be found. They, or their immediate descendants are unlikely to be serfs to the Koch’s or Amazon. Many Sanders supporters, because they are from positions of privilege.
But that privilege can be useful as well. They could contribute to various groups that are working with and for those who are affected. The travel ban may mean one would have to find local groups working with, and for, the Muslim community. The decision on abortion clinics might lead someone to donate to Planned Parenthood, NARAL or The National Network of Abortion Funds.
The Janus Decision leads to several possibilities. AFSCME and SEIU will need funds to protect their members from what is likely to be an aggressive and well-funded campaign to get them to give up their memberships. As public-sector unions were an key source of resources for the AFL-CIO, who will also likely need to build capacity, that group could use support. There is another option, though, perhaps it is time to look at changing the system as a whole.
Could the problem be capitalism itself. Could the Democratic Socialists of America, of which I am a member, or the Industrial Workers of the World, which I am involved in the formation of, have the right idea?
Or maybe it’s too late. Perhaps we should be ready for America to become either a corporate state like Bangladesh, or “The Republic of Gilead” portrayed in the novel and TV series The Handmaid’s Tale. Perhaps folks should start building the networks of mutual aid now.
Of course, building that network might require actually going into the streets and working with affected communities. That is something a lot of Sanders supporters seem reluctant to do.