— Madelyn Hoffman
January 6, 2021 will be remembered as the day the President of the United States whipped his supporters into a violent frenzy and the rage-filled mob stormed a shockingly unsecured Capitol Building while it was in the process of confirming Biden’s Electoral College victory. It wasn’t hard. Trump has been howling about being the real winner of the election since his defeat to Joe Biden last November.
With every court loss, Trump and his legal team, aided by far-right wing echo chambers such as Newsmax, InfoWars, QAnon and Parler, doubled down on their fever dream of widespread voter fraud and machine tampering (apparently at the behest of China and the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez!). Trump and his allies’ “stolen election” narrative harkened back to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party’s “Stab-In-The-Back” myth that insisted Germany didn’t lose World War I but were forced to accept a humiliating rigged defeat that had been orchestrated by the Jews.
The media talking heads were initially in shock — an angry mob had forced its way into the Capitol during Biden’s confirmation hearing, sending the Congress into such a panic that they needed to be whisked o undisclosed locations. They hadn’t seen this coming.
Before long that shock turned to rage — this “assault upon our democracy” would not go unanswered or unpunished. But we need to look closer at these politicians and their paid mouthpieces in the mainstream media who are clutching their pearls over the riot at the Capitol and what “democracy” really means to them both at home and abroad. We also need to look more closely at what fascism is and how far into it we’ve already descended without any help from Trump and his supporters. What we are seeing, in the words of Malcolm X, are “the chickens coming home to roost.”
“We Will Coup Whoever We Want. Deal With It!”
That had been the response of Tesla CEO Elton Musk, one of the richest men in the world, when confronted about the U.S. role in staging a right-wing coup in Bolivia in a mad quest to steal their lithium resources. The Bolivian people were unmoved. They issued a blistering rebuke by giving Louis Arce of the Movement Towards Socialism Party a tremendous win in their 2020 election.
Why was this alleged “joke” by Musk not met with the same outcry as the January 6 riots? How long has the ruling elite been able to subvert democracy around the world with their hired hands in Congress and the White House carrying out their dark agenda for U.S. global hegemony? Some of us recall the celebratory tone struck by the corporate media when looting and violence broke out in Iraq following the U.S.’ illegal invasion in 2003. When seen in this light, the full hypocrisy of their crocodile tears over Trump and his followers’ violent riot at the Capitol last week is laid bare.
Biden is NOT the answer to fascism!
Biden has a 40 year history of promoting violent U.S. domination over the right of self-determination for sovereign nations, including support for Gulf Wars I and II against Iraq. He is also an author of the crime bill that many blame for the rise of the carceral state, so he is certainly not someone who understands the Black Lives Matter movement.
Biden is no answer to Trump’s fascism; he’s the polite, smiling face of neoliberal war, austerity, and climate destruction. Much of the ruling class simply views him as a more effective manager to save our late-stage capitalist Empire from its inevitable demise.
The violent uprising on January 6 was just another way the U.S. Empire has had its weakness exposed. The mass death from coronavirus and the expanding wave of homelessness cannot be fixed by Biden and the Democratic Party. They’re every bit as committed to their vain schemes to save capitalist rule as the Republicans. As the late, great Black Agenda Report editor, Bruce Dixon would often say, the Democrats aren’t the lesser evil, they’re the MORE EFFECTIVE evil.
Left Failure to Hold Fast to Its Ideals Leads to Rise of Fascism
The 2020 election had a left alternative to Biden in the Green Party’s Howie Hawkins/Angela Walker 2020 campaign. Running on an ecosocialist platform, Hawkins and Walker called for a 75% reduction of the military budget and a Green New Deal that would bring about millions of jobs. They demanded that health care and housing be treated as human rights and that every American be lifted out of poverty.
Much of the left both ignored and ridiculed the Greens for even running a Presidential candidate that they viewed as a threat to Biden’s ascendancy. Now was not the moment for a “protest vote,” they said, because the threat of fascism under Trump was too great. Of course, those of us running as or supporting Greens have heard that refrain year after year. It’s always the same.
However, in taking this approach, the left gives away their power without asking for anything of substance in return. The “He’s not Trump” dynamic allows Biden to do anything that Trump would have done. Demanding nothing, that’s what they’ll get.
Those of us who have stood alongside and marched with Black Lives Matter, or called for defunding the police, or have supported those living on the streets because they can’t afford to rent a roof over their heads, know that neither Democrats nor Republicans have done anything to address theor concerns for the past 50 years. We know that neither party heeds the call for a living wage, or sees a need to address gross income inequality.
An effort a few months ago to cut the military budget by a paltry 10% failed miserably, while Greens had called for 50% to 75% cuts in the military budget, the only way to take strong action to confront devastating climate change with an eco-socialist Green New Deal and a workers’ bill of rights. Some policies in the workers’ bill of rights include a single-payer health insurance program, such as improved and expanded Medicare for All, forgiveness of student debt, tuition-free college, cancellation of rents and mortgages and a moratorium on evictions.
We have learned that the leadership of both parties does not care to address these concerns. Democratic and Republican parties alike have thrown one obstacle after another in the path toward achieving a fair and just nation at peace and have done so primarily because of their allegiance to big monied donors instead of the people they are elected to represent.
Whether it’s called “the duopoly,” “the one party with two corporate heads,” or even “fascist imperialists,” the party elites will not budge because they take their orders from the military contractors, the pharmaceutical companies, the private insurance industry, the polluting manufacturers and others who contribute to their campaigns. Green Party candidates pledge not to take money from corporate Political Action Committees, so we can speak out for the needs of the people without worrying what a corporate donor will whisper into our ear. We might spend 17.5 cents a vote, while our opponents in the Democratic and Republican parties will spend hundreds, and while their partners in the corporate media decide which candidates are worth highlighting and which are not, deciding themselves who shall be anointed the people’s representatives instead of letting the people decide.
In a recent moment that showed what we’re up against in this country, Senator Bernie Sanders attempted to hold up the U.S. Senate’s override of Trump’s veto of the $370 billion military budget in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) so that the U.S. Senate could vote on increasing the second relief check from $600 to $2000. Whatever one thinks about the wisdom of tying these two measures together, what happened next is extremely telling. More Democrats than Republicans voted to end this filibuster, including the two Democratic Senators from New Jersey, Senator Booker and Senator Menendez.
The U.S. Senate still hasn’t voted on raising the amount of the stimulus check. But as soon as the filibuster ended, they voted to override Trump’s veto, thus authorizing $370 billion for the military, including $33 million for continued attempts to destabilize Venezuela and overthrow democratically elected Nicolas Maduro, send our annual $3.8 billion to Israel to continue their brutal occupation of the Palestinians and restrict the ability of the president to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. These are just a few “highlights” of the NDAA.
This bi-partisan commitment to war is not new. The U.S. has been at war for all but about 25 years.
On January 6, 2021, the world saw the long-time divisions and tensions in this country bubble over and unfold in real time, replayed and shared over and over on social media around the world. For activists like us, now members of the Green Party who have campaigned for public office or supported others who have, what happened on January 6 is just one part of our struggle, a struggle to end unnatural and imposed divisions between people, based on their race, gender, religion or ethnicity, a fight that has raged since the likes of Nat Turner and Frederick Douglass and so many more. A fight against the very wealthy, the owners who exploit the people in order to become wealthier.
Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris’ inauguration on January 20 was a gaudy, patriotic spectacle, with the NY Times trumpeting “Democracy Wins!” Buried in the pageantry was the news that the new administration would continue to recognize Juan Guaidó as the leader of Venezuela as opposed to the democratically elected President Nicolás Maduro; proving once again that for all their noise about the greatness of American democracy, in reality to the neoliberals the democratic will of the people can be easily tossed aside in favor of their Imperialist conquests. These conquests include turning up the volume on saber rattling in suggesting the new administration will bring more U.S. troops back to Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. The official narrative is that we’ve entered a new era of decency and civility, but that doesn’t change the magnitude of festering problems both at home and abroad. The failure of the Biden administration to adequately address the need for jobs, healthcare, housing and stability will lead more and more into the arms of the far-right.
Only through building a truly independent left force like the Green Party will we be able to turn the tide away from a full descent into fascism. Rosa Luxemburg warned us that without socialism we would have barbarism. Now is the time for socialists to organize like never before as we view the abyss of barbarism creeping ever closer to its horrific endgame.
We need to take a long, hard look at what this nation has become and have some very important conversations so we can stop allowing those in power to exploit divisions between us, deflecting from discussion of the real issues at hand, the corruption of this nation’s political process, since day one, that serves its rich and corporate masters.