From: John Hemington
Saturday, January 28, 2017
Fwd: Defanged by Privilege
---------- Forwarded message
From: John Hemington
From: John Hemington
I have held off sending these pieces for a bit in order to rethink my own prejudices. I held off because I believe that some of the comments contained therein will likely offend some of you reading them. However, on reflection, I believe that they are correct and must be considered if we are to be honest with ourselves. It particularly concerns the Women's March in Washington as a demonstration organized by and focused on privileged whites frightened by Donald Trump but not terribly concerned with those not similarly privileged.
I have to say at the outset that I was personally thrilled and impressed by the turnout of millions of people in hundreds of sister marches throughout the country and the world. It was an impressive show of unity and strength when really needed. But I was also concerned that it might end up being nothing more than a "feel-good" event out of which little or nothing comes. Behind this concern lies my fear that it was really orchestrated and controlled by operatives of the elitist side of the Democratic Party – the New Democrats – in order to galvanize support for their continued domination of the Party. Given the list of official speakers this certainly appears to be the case. Each one I saw was a long-term Clintonista New Democrat.
If this is correct it is highly likely that most of the energy will be diverted from change into focusing on further demonizing Donald Trump and, down the road, re-electing the same old crowd of New Democrats that brought us Donald Trump in the first place by failing to fight for policies to end the economic starvation of poor, middle and working class Americans while serving up trillions for international corporatists, Wall Street financial gangs and the military-intelligence elite and their corporate suppliers ensuring that endless illegal and self-defeating wars of choice will continue without pause.
Yes, the Trump administration will be awful and millions will suffer as a result. Things worldwide will certainly get worse, but the solution is not simply to return the Democrats who created the conditions which led to Trump's victory back to power. If the recent marches cannot be used as a springboard to overthrow the power structure now controlling the Democratic Party – that is, if we allow those same people to control and direct the outrage – we will see Trump succeed into a second term. Or should the Republican oligarchy tire of as they may well do, a second term of Mike Pence and company.
As one of the articles suggests, the New Democrats despise and fear the progressive left and will do just about anything to prevent them from making inroads into control of the Party. We cannot, we must not allow this to happen by aligning with the New Democrats to shift the focus away from the failure of their neoliberal/neocon fantasies which have brought us to this terrible time in history. We cannot allow them to divert our attention to whether Russia might have hacked the election and inciting anger at those who supported Trump instead of to those New Democrats who created the conditions which encouraged former Democrats in the "flyover" regions of the country to vote for Trump.
In short, we must do everything within our power to retake control of the Democratic Party from those who serve only the financial and corporate elite while pretending to work for all Americans by pushing "identity politics" while ignoring the very real and serious needs of most of us. Be assured that the New Democrats and their privileged spokes people will speak words which sound as if they care – as did Barak Obama – but most will be lies and distortions. Their policies over the past forty years are what define them and they have almost uniformly awful for most Americans who were not among the privileged.
And I speak as one who is privileged. I do not have to worry about where my next meal will come from. I do not worry about whether I can afford to pay the rent to keep myself housed. I am not struggling with unpayable student debt. I don't have to worry about being shot and killed while "driving as black." I don't have to be particularly concerned that any illness will bankrupt me or my family. I don't have to worry that my job will be eliminated and my family will lose everything. I don't have to worry about living in desperation in a slum where the laws are enforced only against those who live there and not against the slum lords who fail to maintain their properties. I do not have to worry about being deported because I lack citizenship papers.
But I am not without cares and concerns. I care that our government has chosen to ignore the plight of those who do find themselves in these plights. I am concerned that our government has for forty or so years continually cut back on the social safety-net programs instituted in the New Deal to protect those who, through no fault of their own, fall through the cracks of an increasingly neoliberalized market economy which glamorizes success and demonizes failure. I am concerned that we have bought into the myth that the government doesn't have enough money to provide the necessary social and medical services which every other advanced economy provides its citizens; but always has a magic pot from which to pull dollars to bail out billionaire financial titans and fight endless costly wars as well as provide arms to the rest of the world. And I care that we remain, as a society, as racist today as almost at any time in the past – we simply disguise it from ourselves more effectively.
Please read the attached articles and give some thought to your own privilege. Think about what might have been had the New Democrats not commandeered the Democratic Party during the Clinton presidency; and consider how we might work to take the Party back. Otherwise, there may not be much hope for the future. There is a class war being waged and it is being waged against all Americans who are not among the privileged elite. The goal of this class war is to insure that we, its victims, continue to blame one another and never look to the real source of our problems.
I'm sorry for the length of this but not for the content.