Nov 25, 2019
The following article is the editorial from The SPARK’s workplace newsletters, for the week of November 18, 2019.
Democrats say that Trump is using the instruments of government to further his own personal and political interests. Republicans say the Democrats are using the impeachment process to feather their own political nests.
Tell us something we don’t know!
Trump every day proclaims for the whole world to see that he is still a self-serving, money-grubbing real-estate speculator, with the morality of a predatory alley cat. He ran one company after another into collapse, stuffed the money into his own pockets, then used bankruptcy courts to stiff everyone he owed money to: employees whose paychecks bounced; undocumented workers paid less than minimum wage; banks he borrowed money from; “investors” who foolishly fell for his big-time gambler’s reputation.
Well, he did the same thing with the federal government, pretending the tax bill he pushed through Congress would produce “good times.” All it produced was an even more staggering federal debt, cuts in public services, and big money in the pockets of wealthy people like himself. As for the Republican Party, they go along to get along.
The Democrats act shocked by Trump’s behavior—as though there has never been a Democrat who used government for his own purposes. But what about those Democrats so venal they got caught stealing money from cities, counties, states and even schools? What about tax bills they pushed through when their man was in the White House and their party controlled Congress?
Just like the Republicans, their policies served the banks, insurance companies and biggest companies in the country—at the expense of seniors who have to wait longer to draw Social Security payments; at the expense of the unemployed who are cut off unemployment benefits; at the expense of veterans who became homeless after leaving service.
The impeachment process is a diversion—nothing but a piece of “reality” television.
But while it drags on, real life continues behind the scenes. And real life for working people is getting worse.
For the third year in a row, life expectancy in the United States has gone down. The last time something like this happened in the U.S. was during the great influenza epidemic that killed millions of people at the end of World War I.
But there is no contagious disease epidemic today. The only epidemic is the one created by a capitalist class rushing to increase its wealth at the expense of the population.
Life expectancy decreases in countries ravaged by war. Well, we have been ravaged by a war carried out against the working population by the capitalist class, a war reinforced by politicians, Democrat and Republican, who serve that class.
Both parties should be “impeached,” along with the capitalist class they serve.
But Congress won’t do it, elections can’t do it. It won’t happen just because we talk about it.
It won’t happen until workers in every part of the country take up the road that has been laid down in recent months by workers ready to start a fight for their own interests. Workers at GM broke through the barriers that seem to hold everyone back. So did Verizon workers and teachers in Chicago and Appalachia. But one group of workers fighting by themselves, no matter how determined, can’t change what happens to everyone.
There are periods when our lives improved—when workers in many different workplaces took up struggles started by other workers.
We can do the same thing today. In our workplaces, we hold the reins of the economy in our own hands. We have the means not only to stop what is happening, but to use the power that comes from running everything.
We can’t do that, fighting just in one workplace. But picking up the fight, extending it, bringing more people into it—that’s what holds out the possibility of real power. The working class, fighting for itself, can change the way the whole society functions to make it serve everyone.