Monday, July 25, 2016

A quick observation on tonight's Democratic Convention

Richard Mellor
AFSCME Local 444, retired

Well I've just stepped away from the television after watching some of the Democratic Party Convention and I have a first short take on what was said. I heard Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders speak and as expected, the big guns were brought out to unify the party and they all did a good job of it. It should not be hard to defeat an opponent like Trump, his latest comment about closing down the Internet is an example of the lack of a serious campaign on his part. Some people have suggested he was a plant to ensure a  Democratic victory in November and at the same time unhinge the Republican party already in disarray.

There were a couple of things that struck me from the three speakers I heard.  Bernie was clearly the most political but it was the same message we have heard throughout his campaign. What stood out was not one of them mentioned the trillion dollar wars or foreign policy at all.  Warren and especially Sanders talked of a massive social spending program that will cost trillions. Where will the money come from? It is impossible that such a program would get off the drawing board without dealing with the massive defense budget. And even if it gets on to the party platform getting them to act on it is another matter. The Democratic Party defends bankers and the system they rule, it will not represent the interest of millions of workers it is a capitalist party. Michelle Obama talked of a level playing field, or maybe it was Warren, but this system is built and dependent on an uneven one. It has never and never will have a level playing field.

Then there is the next downturn, a deep recession or slump that will occur during the the next president first term; that will throw up some roadblocks.  But why bother with that, we don't want to dampen spirits do we. Plus, it's just plain divisive, no negativity here.

And what about the composition of the US Supreme Court.  This is Sanders' political revolution, he never lied about that, he always defined it as getting more people involved in the process and that means voting and voting Democrat.  He is, and never was, talking about a mass movement, of organizing the power of workers and youth in to a direct action/political movement that would act in it' own interest. He contrasted Trump's nominees to the Supreme Court with Clinton's. But didn't the Supreme Court exist in the 1950' s and 60's when black people were being set upon by dogs? 

Every freedom, every right and benefit we enjoy today we owe to the struggle US workers, black people, women, Native Americans and all victims of oppression waged against a most violent and ruthless opponent. The US ruling class is a collection of some of the world's mass murderers par excellence.

I have to say though, that I can only imagine how black women must feel seeing a woman up at that podium, one of the most powerful women in the world, that looks like them I know black men have had similar feelings because friends have told me; they never dreamt it could happen here given the violent racist history of this country. I recall seeing Jesse Jackson in tears when Obama had that huge crowd in front of him at his first term, I think it was in Chicago. They were real, genuine tears at a sight he probably never thought he would live to see.

I am sure many women will feel this way about Hillary Clinton who, as I wrote in previously must be defended against attacks from the misogynists in her class. There's enough to oppose her on politically but even bourgeois women have a right to not be discriminated against because of their gender.

But you don't get to be the head of the Harvard Law Journal and president of the US through one of the major big business parties without being trusted, without having a deep sense of class loyalty. Obama has that, was the best choice and Clinton is definitely the choice of the 1% this time---class loyalty comes before gender. She will be the next president bar any unforeseen calamity  So while I understand why so many African Americans stand strongly in support of the Obama's given the historical importance of having a black family in the White House, the crisis facing the black working class and poor, the hundreds of thousands of black people incarcerated, will not be solved by simply changing the color of the guy sitting in the driver's seat.

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