“Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.” - Barry Goldwater
Today, Tom Perez was confirmed to be the Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Perez was seen as the establishment candidate, and the representative of the Obama/Clinton wing of the Democratic Party. This is a disappointing return to the strategies that lost the Democratic Party the 2016 elections. The people of the United States are clearly fed up with the corporate elitists who control the Democratic Party, and Tom Perez is not the radical change that is needed.
Regardless of the personal achievements or the abilities that Hillary Clinton possesses, her name is a stain on the Democratic Party that must be wiped out by radical change. Does it make sense to stick with the policies of a losing candidate? I would argue that if the Democratic Party wishes to fight Donald Trump in an effective manner, we must adopt the radical and grassroots tactics of the Tea Party that were so successful. The Town Halls, the Marches, these are actions that have been extremely effective, the trick is to keep the momentum going.
Tom Perez is undoubtedly an intelligent and qualified person for the job, but he is not what the Democratic Party needs. We need a revolutionary firebrand like Keith Ellison, not a qualified bureaucrat like Tom Perez. The Democratic Party is coming to the fight with kiddy gloves on, and the Republicans are bringing out the brass knuckles. This cultural sensitivity and compassion is something that the Democratic Party needs to keep, but we need to stand for our values. The Republicans are nominating extremist candidates and using unorthodox and seemingly ridiculous tactics, and the Democratic Party needs to do the same.
Tom Perez has promised to continue Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy, which is an excellent strategy, and one that will win elections. The Democratic Party must fight at all levels of government, and use vicious and hard-nosed tactics, because at the end of the day that is what wins elections. Political Moderation is fantastic to use if you’re the party in power, and the Democratic Party is not.
The victory of Perez shows that the Democratic Party is not changing and responding to the will of the vast majority of liberals. In the future, I would recommend that DNC elections be opened to all registered Democrats, not just the 144 members of the Democratic National Committee. The Democratic Party must be the voice of the ordinary people of the United States, not just the leadership in Washington.
In conclusion, if the Democratic Party wants to move past the failures of the Clinton wing of the party, we must adopt the tactics of the Tea Party, and fight the Republicans at an equal level. No struggle has ever been won by reverting to the tactics of the previous loser.
Recently, several states have been pushing anti-union bills in their state houses, most notably Wisconsin, and Scott Walker’s War on Unions. These anti-union laws are not only discouraging local and statewide economic growth, they’re hurting the economy of the United States as a whole.
Unions are the most important economic organizations in the United States. Unions lead to higher wages for workers, and an overall sense of class consciousness. It is a fact that our economy is better when the spending power of the proletariat is increased. Higher wages mean more purchasing power, and this means that people can buy more things.
Scott Walker and other Republicans are pushing this anti-union agenda because they are bought and paid for by the CEO’s that would rather increase their personal profits over benefiting the ordinary people of the United States. Top donors to Scott Walker’s include Sheldon Adelson and Richard DeVos, husband of the Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
The fundamental base of Democratic Economic Policy is to decrease inequality and aid the least fortunate in our society. Unfortunately, many of the wealthy Centrist Democrats seem to have forgotten this.
Unions are important because they guarantee the rights of the workers of America, and ensure fair practices and safe working conditions for everyone. Far too often, part-time and full-time workers are denied unionization opportunities, and lose money as a result.
Since the peak of Union membership in 1979, the rate has steadily declined in the private sector. This is directly correlated to the overall loss in spending power in the American Middle Class, and in the wealth of ordinary Americans. Union-busting only benefits the wealthiest in our society, and the ideas behind “pro-business” laws have been inspired by the greed of the bourgeois class.
The most important thing about Unions is that they guarantee overall prosperity to the Middle Class, not just to the owners of the company. The United States benefits when we have a functioning Middle Class, and strong Unions ensure that we have them.
“This break in the link between representatives and represented weakened parliament after 1930, and presaged the movement toward what could be called, “parliamentary idiocy.” Concomitant with this was the relative increase in the power of the military, the bureaucracy, and private-interest groups.” - The Collapse of the Weimar Republic, David Abraham
For those who may be novices in the field of history, the Weimar Republic was the government formed between Imperial Germany and Nazi Germany after the defeat of the Central Powers in the First World War. It was wracked by inflation, unemployment, and severe political turmoil. The German Citizenry was mistrustful of the Weimar Republic, and political extremism proliferated to the point in which armed groups fought each other in the streets of Germany’s major cities.
The Weimar Republic collapsed because the public lost faith in the abilities of their government, and they lost trust in the German Media, and in other public institutions. The political structure was so fractured that the government was powerless to establish themselves as a body.
The Nazis were able to seize control through parliamentary means, and their brutal and violent tactics destroyed any potential opposition. Their strength was their appearance of strength, and they crushed the Weimar Republic and the decent-minded Germans, and gave way to the most authoritarian and evil government that has ever existed in the history of the world.
This mistrust, this division, is happening in the United States. We have a weak and confused President Trump, and a Republican Congress that does not seem to be working with the President either. We have seen sharp political divisions, with both parties allowing extremists to gain influence, the Democrats with Corporate America, and the Republican Party with the Trump Corporate/Populist Movement.
The government will fail the less that it governs, and the Weimar Republic is a prime example of this. The people working with the courageous in our government in order to save our democracy is the most essential task at hand.
In order to ensure that tyranny does not destroy our Republic, we must fight for our values. The rights that we are guaranteed did not come by naturally, rather it took peaceful, and sometimes violent action. The lesson learned from this period is that complacency is the key to failure. The German Social Democrats failed because they trusted the Weimar Institutions to assist them. The Democratic Party must not do the same, or risk failure. Just today, President Trump called out 100,000 National Guards to assist in the deportation of undocumented immigrants. This is tyrannical, and it is wrong.
There are some in the government that will fight, like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, but as we have learned from Weimar Germany, the most powerful weapon on Earth is a united and motivated people.
In conclusion, the United States has the potential to beat back the hatred and bigotry spouted by Donald Trump and his supporters, but only if we are courageous and we stand for our values. Being silent and standing by is no longer an option.
We, as people of the Earth, not as Americans, nor any other nationality, have certain rights that cannot be taken away from us. The right to free movement, the right to reproduce, and among other things, the right to privacy.
The Internet has ushered in an information age where almost anything is accessible to us with an internet connection. To most who have it, it is essential. We have become accustomed to it, we have come to rely upon it. If you are willing to look at the details of the Big Brother-esque programs that the NSA runs, this is not the article for you. There is one of that nature available on Leftish, but this article will strike a different tone.
One of the things that I hear most often is, “Why does it matter if the US Government spies on me?” “I’m not doing anything wrong, I don’t care if the NSA looks at my stuff.” These are idiotic arguments, and I shall explain why. First, your online activities are generally monitored for criminal activity. Most people do nothing wrong, but the NSA still feels like bulk collection of information is still something worthwhile in pursuing. But a large part of your online activity is monitored for commercial purposes, by the very services that you use. Google and Facebook are the biggest offenders.
Privacy, at least online privacy, does not seem like it matters much right now. However, I would argue that that is only because technology has not managed to infiltrate our lives at the level at which it would be noticeable. You have your computer, your phone, a TV, among other things, and these all record your activity, but you can turn off the TV. You can get rid of your phone. It is difficult, and extremely unlikely that anyone would do it, but it is possible to de-technologize your home.
This will change soon. I would argue that the possibility of people receiving government-mandated brain implants is possible within the next century. Maybe there will be some sort of Google Glass device that you can get implanted in your eye, eliminating the need for devices like laptops and phones. I cannot predict the exact course of the future, but the arc of progress is bending towards mass surveillance.
Privacy does not seem to matter right now because it is not threatening. We still have a semi-functioning Constitution and some people who care about privacy, like the ACLU.
This too will change. The youth of today are born and raised with advanced technology. Think about how common it is that you see a small child with a phone walking down the street. The Government and corporations are brainwashing the people of today to think that these advancements are good. That they protect us from terrorists and the like. The odds of being killed by terrorists is quite miniscule, however every person in the United States is continually monitored for no apparent reason.
The mass citizenry will not be alarmed until it is too late, and it is the responsibility of every person to fight against this mass surveillance. Allowing the US Government and other corporations to trample on your constitutional rights sets a dangerous precedent. Today it is the 4th Amendment, tomorrow it could be any other.
Your privacy matters because it is your right as an American to have privacy. Whether or not you care is up to you, however it is a right that everyone should have.
There is no doubt that this is a well-debated topic in the past few days. Ever since Trump’s travel ban, it has consumed the news like nothing else. So I will hopefully provide a different perspective.
The main argument for the travel ban is for national security. Their argument is that the United States does not need Islamic Extremists, and they constitute a clear and direct threat to the United States.
The argument against the travel ban that is more popular is generally humanistic in nature. It attempts to emotionally connect with the reader, and it does this with varying degrees of success.
However, an argument that is less popular, but just as valid, is that accepting refugees and immigrants is economically beneficial to the United States. First, more people means more tax revenue for the US Government. Ironically, it is often those who are hurt the most by taxes, the poor, who pay the most consistently. If these refugees/immigrants pay taxes, this will help us. Second, they fill jobs, and help do many of the menial things that nobody really wants to do, but assists our economy nonetheless due to the nature of Capitalism itself. Immigrants pick our fruit, clean our rooms, and cut our lawns, and this is often disregarded.
The fact is, the more people that are in the United States, the more we benefit. We are a nation by immigrants for immigrants, and no fake concerns about National Security can tarnish the dreams of millions of people. These people are fleeing wars that the United States created, or wars of unimaginable brutality. I would argue that the least that we could do is accept them, regardless of the economic benefits.
The American way of life has an effect on the mindset of every person. Our society has a way of harnessing the human spirit to accomplish goals that any other nation can barely dream of. The more people who we allow to immigrate here the better, because these people will become Americans, and they will be a functioning part of our society, while still maintaining their links to their origin.
In conclusion, it is not the job of Congress to dictate who can come to the United States, because the US was founded to be open to everyone. There are certain ideas that transcend laws and ideological struggle, and the free migration of people is one of them.
When FDR was elected President in 1932, America was in the midst of the Great Depression. The economy was destroyed, and people were hungry and desperate. FDR enacted radical change in order to restore the greatness that America once had, by wielding the hammer of government to crush the forces of inequality and greed.
Every system requires an overhaul now and then, in order to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. To use a rather simple example, every now and then you have to clean the trash out of your room so that it is a liveable space. The United States did this after the Civil War, and after the Great Depression with the New Deal. We have not had this sort of radical change in decades, and because of this America has grown to stagnation, fear, and economic turmoil. We are poisoned by the vile influence of corporations in government, and weighed down by the bureaucracy of a government without purpose other than to exist.
The United States must change in some way or it will perish. I do not propose changing the Constitution, the Constitution is and always will be the bulwark of liberty against the oppression of a tyrannical government. However, there are some ways in which America can do better.
First, America should cut the size of the military by a minimum of 10 to 20%, and reduce our bloated Cold War-era stockpiles. The United States does not need the military that we have at this point, it is not equipped for the mission that we will face in the 21st century. Modernization and efficiency should be the key words, not that we have more tanks than one country or the other.
Second, the US should reduce the regressive sales tax, which hurts the poor and less fortunate more than anyone else. The US Government should be the hand that lifts the less wealthy out of poverty, not the fist that keeps them down. Instead, a progressive, tiered income tax should be introduced. Those who earn more than 400,000 pay a ridiculously small 39.6% income tax, if they pay income tax at all. Hardworking members of the middle-class pay 25 to 30%, which is unacceptably high. We need to decrease the income tax for the middle class to 15%, and raise the tax to 70% for the wealthy. This is not an unprecedented move by the US Government, in the 1950’s, a time of great prosperity, the income tax for the highest tax bracket was 92%.
Third, the United States should work to desegregate our schools, which is a crippling barrier for millions of impoverished minority youth who do not have the educational access to succeed. It is morally disgusting that white wealthier schools should receive better equipment than any other school in America.
Fourth, the United States must end the corporate welfare that is raising the deficit and benefiting those on top who do nothing to help the vast majority of people. Any company that does not pay their fair share of taxes must be fined and heavily penalized, regardless of company size or influence.
Fifth, we must look to the past in order to improve the future. The United States must reimplement the CCC, the WPA, and all other successful New Deal programs. This will allow the United States to reach full employment in a matter of months, not years. The reason that FDR was so popular in many Republican areas was because he provided jobs.
If you look at our website (leftish.org), it says “Real Policy for Real Change.” The United States will not get better by playing tug-of-war with regulation and deregulation like our Presidents are doing. The only way in which the US will get better is long lasting, jobs-creating policy, and this will help. The best days of America are still ahead of us, if we are able to take firm and decisive action.