Decisions, Decisions

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.



Against Better Interests

I have observed the Right Wing for awhile and, through observations, have realized a few common themes.  I will say my perspective is a bit unique, as I see the former Confederate States of America as having many of the elements of fascism.

One of two common traits that seem to weave through many rightist movements is a desire to create a sort of “Corporate State”.  One need only look at Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy to see how tightly industry was joined to government.

The second common trait is a way to convince voters to vote against their economic interests and for this state.  Usually this involves an “outgroup” of some sort; for the Nazi’s it was Jews, etc, for the American Right of today it is Latinos, African-Americans, Muslims, etc.

Now to do both of these, one needs a sufficiently gullible group.  The less-educated, rural, voters that make up the “Trailer Park Caucus” that may be base of the GOP are perfect “tools” for the “%1”.

A news story from yesterday’s about a bill designed to target “Union Intimidation”, that may actually have the effect of  criminalizing organizing and picketing activities, brought out one example of how well the strategy employed by the Koch Brothers, ALEC, and their media mouthpieces, is working:

Responsible 27 minutes ago

You have to love the liberals when they say “plenty of laws already on the books for this”. Kind of like gun laws. We don’t need anymore, we just need to enforce the ones we have. Have to love the hypocrisy. If union workers want to strike others willing to work for the old wage and conditions should be allowed to do so. Unions once were needed in this country. Now they have simply become a drain on their memberships pay and a means for the complacent to secure higher wages than their skill set is worth. Instead of working with companies to remain economically viable in the market they drive up costs. This causes businesses to be less competitive and to shut their doors leaving all their members out of work. Then the union leaders pack up and go fleece others somewhere else. Too much corruption.