In my opinion, the best shot the Democratic Party had at reversing the country’s slide into fascism was to nominate and elect Bernie Sanders as president. I suppose you could argue that that means they never had a “best chance”, but here we are. The second best chance is for the Democratic leadership to do everything in their power to both improve the material conditions of the American people, and to crack down on those who attempted to overturn the 2020 election.
The problem is, while I think this advice is good, I don’t think it’s enough. Even if they were to come down hard on everyone involved, if the general public doesn’t see their lives improving under Biden, they will ask – as some are already – why it was so important to remove Trump and the GOP. Throughout my life, when the Dems have had power, they have also had a tendency to act as though they lost the election anyway, and spend all their time trying to meet Republicans in the middle. If Pelosi, Biden, and Schumer believe in anything beyond their devotion to capitalism, it’s a nebulous conception of “The Process”. They don’t actually have material goals in mind that they want to fight for. It seems their goal is to be the “team” that always plays by the rules, even if the other team doesn’t even pretend to try. The GOP actually pushes the boundaries of what they can get away with to achieve their material goals, and guess what? It works. Everyone knew that Trump’s promised Muslim ban was unconstitutional, and they tried it anyway. When it got shot down, they adjusted the content and their legal argument and tried again, until the Supreme Court decided it could stand. There was no punishment for trying and failing, just as there is never punishment for those in power.
The Democratic leadership does not believe healthcare is a right. They do not believe housing is a right. They do not believe food or water are rights. They do not believe education is a right.
If they did, then they would be trying to ensure those rights existed in reality. They would be pushing the boundaries of what’s known to be possible, because their goal would be to get those material results, not to “play the game” better or something.
They can’t even be bothered to look like they’re fighting for the rest of us, and it’s going to help the Republicans in the midterms, and in 2024. This is not a foregone conclusion. They could actually fight to deal with climate change and to make life better for people, but they don’t want to.
And so the threat of a fascist United States continues to loom, and those sworn to defend American democracy are either working on the side of fascism, or are in denial.
If you’re not involved in any form of community networking or organizing, that should change. Talk to friends and neighbors. Talk to family. If you need to start online, start online. Go through the suggestions and resources here, and if you can’t find anything to do, then think and talk about what’s preventing you. Comment about it if you like.
Our best shot at blocking a far-right movement is with left-wing policies that directly address the problems that are blamed on the groups the fascists try to blame for everything, and unapologetically work to build up the collective power of the working class. All we have is us.