The election is over. Hallelujah. The Hillbots can retreat back to their caves and to the days where no one has to read or hear their ‘analysis’ on their ill-chosen savior. The pro-Trump trolls, white nationalists and other assortment of supporters can rejoice and savor in their victory for a short while, until they realize exactly what they voted for. The Democrats and liberals, with all that time, resources and energy they wasted on writing and speaking on behalf of their chosen messiah has all been for nought. They will spend the next few months spewing even more vitriol at the demise of the Clinton Machine and they will blame it on the men, specifically working class white men (who the liberals consider just a tad more advanced than cavemen), women who didn’t support her, minorities who didn’t support her. In fact, they’ll blame it on everyone and their grandma except to acknowledge the fact that when you choose a shitty candidate, you get shitty results.
This election was a case of two shitty candidates and the electorate gets to choose from the pile they hate less or not choose at all, and from this, we have Donald J. Trump (aka Fuckface Von Clownstick) as our next president. It makes you rethink how America was ever ‘great’.
If there’s one thing I gained from this election is all new words in my lexicon. ‘White privilege’, ‘cishet privilege’, ‘male privilege’, ‘hetero-normative privilege’, ‘psycho-normative privilege’. The word ‘privilege’ has been bandied around and used so many times that it’s lost its real meaning. And then you realize, the word ‘privilege’ is just replacing the word ‘rights’. You can take away people’s privileges but you can’t take away people’s rights. So, if you convert rights into privileges, your rights can be then taken away. Now that the oppression olympics (a phrase I stole from someone else) and privilege scorekeeping is over, we can all get back to the real issues: how to stop the ruling class and their ilk from taking over our economic system and our lives. How can we mount a real worker’s movement where all workers of the world are included. It’s no longer enough to mount workers movements in one geographic location because corporations are multinational now. If they don’t like the rules and workers union of one country, they can up sticks and move to another country (NAFTA made this possible). But if workers of the world is united internationally, corporations have less places to run and hide their ill gotten profits.
The Clinton campaign, instead of addressing the very real issues of workers being scammed out of their labor and wages, they chose to instead to focus on ‘privilege’, with its own cascading scale and scorekeeping. White working class people are not the true victims of globalization and shady trade deals because they are white and with it comes inherent privileges which are not available to people of color. Their grievances are just complaints, they are treated like overgrown man babies who didn’t get what he wanted at the candy store. They are just angry that they have to share the economic pie which used to be exclusively theirs with other people and women. That the Rust Belt of the United States has literally rusted out of existence and with it their livelihood which is largely in part because of NAFTA is not a valid grievance. They should have ‘gone back to school and retrained in another profession’ is one of the favorite refrains of the liberal elite. The ruling class, which includes the Democratic Establishment, assisted with the ruin of working class America is a fact we are supposed to ignore and not bring into public discourse because it doesn’t coalesce with the message of Hillary Clinton . As a result, the working class has been oppressed, suppressed, bitterly divided and they turned on each other and punched down instead of the ruling elite. There is a competition of a race to the bottom. They are competing to see who is worse off instead of unionizing to make everyone better off as they’ve been told the unionizing days are gone and they believe it. The elites are loving this. They are loving the fact that the working class and downwardly mobile middle class are blaming each other, minorities, women and immigrants for their plight instead of focusing on the real culprit; capitalism and those who rule it are the real cause of all of the suffering of not just Americans but workers all over the world. The ruling class wants us to fight over scraps. Is there really much difference between someone making $12 an hour and $15 an hour if the underlying reasons why they are making a pittance in wages isn’t solved? If all the profits still go to the top and the CEO of a corporation is making twenty-three times what his average employee makes, whatever income that employee makes is inadequate.
Bernie Sanders’s minimum living wage of $15 is a start but it’s by no means a solution to the larger problem. Why are wages so depressed when the corporations are earning millions and billions in profits? Why do those profits only go to the top? Why are people’s labor, which is really their time, blood, sweat and tears, treated like it’s disposable and replaceable. Workers spend over 8 hours a day at their jobs, which amounts to one-quarter of their day, most of their adult life is spent working, why is that not valued? One doesn’t need to be a student of Marxism to know that their life (in the form of labor, time and wages) are being stolen from them.
All of the ‘privilege’ mocking aside, I am fully aware the misogyny and sexism that women in power or women who seek power face. I don’t deny that Hillary Clinton has suffered misogynistic attacks and sexism, all of which I abhor and really distracts from the real issues. I know that racism, latent or overt is alive and well and they need to be part of public discourse and addressed (not just in relation to police shootings but in all areas). But when the whole discourse becomes about privilege checking in relation to sexism, racism and all the other -isms, we lose sight of the bigger picture, which is to fight for equality for all people. Real equality. Not the means tested neoliberal bullshit the Democrats love to shove down our throats and then tell us that it’s as good as it’s ever going to get. Free college tuition – yes, for those whose combined earnings are under x dollars, so it’s not really everyone. Universal health coverage – yes, but you can’t make more than 150% than federal poverty guidelines (which are ridiculously low to begin with), so again, you will have people who fall through the cracks. You need housing assistance, of course it’s available, the waiting list is 10 years long and due to the long wait, they aren’t taking any more names but there are thousands of vacant homes, buildings and apartments that Wall Street wants to sell and rent at market premium rather than subsidize the rent to ‘those people’. Those who are poor enough to qualify for government assistance are shamed and humiliated the whole way and are reminded at every turn that it’s the ‘taxpayer’s money’ and they better not waste it. People wax lyrical about just what kind of food should food stamp recipients purchase and eat, while the Republicans openly vilify purchases they don’t approve of (as in the grocery checkout line) and create outright lies of people on food stamps buying steaks and lobsters, liberals are more subtle with their insults, turning the topic to ‘healthy food choices’ (which is combination of poor shaming and fat shaming at the same time). And note to upper middle class clueless liberals – it is very expensive to eat ‘healthy’, i.e. the FDA recommended of 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day and cut out processed foods and carbonated drinks. Processed food loaded with unhealthy chemicals and ‘non-foods’ is much cheaper to buy than fresh fruits and vegetables. Questions like should a mother on food stamps be buying a cake from the grocery store to celebrate her child’s birthday or reward her child with cupcakes? And if you can use your supposedly paltry food stamp allotment on sweets, then how hungry are you really? Are all subtle ways the liberals shame and keep food stamp recipients in their place.
Lastly, when you hear anyone tell you that ‘we can’t afford it’ on whatever social programs the people need and demand; don’t believe them, they are lying. If the US can spend trillions destroying the Middle East, Afghanistan and Libya, arming ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria and elsewhere, indiscriminately violate the sovereignty of other nations and drone their civilians, they can damn well make sure that every American has plenty to eat, a roof over their heads, access to good health care and good education. The latter costs a fraction of what these overseas illegal wars cost.
The US is the richest nation in the world, supposedly the most innovative, it’s the proof of the triumph of capitalism. But homelessness has skyrocketed, good jobs are scarce, worker’s wages are depressed, families are going hungry, many see no way out. Neoliberalism is done. Capitalism is a failure. But it took an election of choosing between two shitty candidates for us to realize that. But there is a silver lining; with the bloviating liberals in retreat and temporarily out of the way (it’s like playing whack-a-mole with these liberals), the Left has a real chance at organizing and putting a stop to Trump just like the Republicans obstructed Obama at every turn for eight years.