Month after month we have been bombarded with the run-up to the presidential elections. When it all began, it was supposed to be business as usual. It was a done deal, run by Democratic and Republican Party insiders and pre-approved by the 1%. It was supposed to be a Bush vs. a Clinton.
But something happened. People in this country aren’t satisfied with the same old thing. Donald Trump appeared and those in power dismissed him as not having any possibility. Bernie Sanders challenged Clinton and was basically ignored.
And now, after months of campaigns, the election is approaching. The Republican Party officials have sort of accepted that Trump is their candidate. The Democratic Party officials wish Sanders would go away and leave Clinton to take what they view as her rightful place.
As boring as much of this campaign has been, it has revealed one thing. We, the 99%, the working class, aren’t really part of the process. It is still the same Democrats vs. Republicans. Trump wasn’t their choice. But how did he get where he is today? In fact, he is one of them. He’s not a politician but he is a billionaire reality show personality. And every time he opens his arrogant, hateful, racist, anti-woman, anti-immigrant, nasty mouth, the media gives him headline coverage.
Trump says, “Make America great again”. Great for whom? He attacks immigrants, Muslims, women, social programs and any other target that will get him attention. He claims the world is laughing at the U.S. and threatens to use nuclear weapons and increase the military budget in preparation to go to war against the rest of the world. Now he is in California denying there is a drought.
The Democrats aren’t as insane or insulting. But they don’t represent any real change. Clinton thought she would have the nomination pretty much secured because most of the “super delegates” had already pledged to her. But when people looked at her they saw that Clinton has defended the policies of her husband who cut millions of people off welfare and intensified the war on drugs which imprisoned hundreds of thousands of people. She supports the wars against the people of the Middle East and defends Obama’s policies, including massive deportations of immigrants. While she may talk about the need for jobs and programs to support poor and working people, her role in the government shows just the opposite.
Because of this, the Sanders candidacy seems like a breath of fresh air. At least he tells the truth about some of the attacks on working people. He says Wall Street is screwing the majority of people. He talks about the need to support young people with free tuition, the need to rehabilitate the cities – the need for a jobs program. He even says that he won’t be able to bring the changes into being without a mass movement. But the focus of his campaign now is to try to have an impact on the Democratic Party – to get Clinton to repeat some of what he says. And while he was in the Senate, he basically voted like a Democrat, voting with them 98% of the time.
We can’t accept to be trapped by elections and believe that our future has to be guided by choosing between these two parties. There are real problems that need to be addressed. This system is destroying the environment, which is the basis of life. Millions of people are barely scraping by. Wars are raging around the world. An entire generation of young people is facing a future of deep uncertainty.
This is not a time for a clown show, put on by the 1%. It is time to correct the mess created by this system. Sanders is right when says that we need a political revolution. We don’t need a change of faces in Washington. We need a real change, a change of power relations where society is organized to meet the needs of the majority of the people. That will not come through elections. We need to find the ways to use the power we have, in the workplaces and in the streets. Workers need our own party – a party that we control and which will work to organize and lead the fight for our interests and our future.