Motherhood, Leftism and Feminism

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Going back to the kitchen radicalized me. I became a leftist and a socialist. I now fully understand and appreciate how Russian women headed into the streets in 1917 full of rage and fury. Pissing off women who spend their days in the kitchen is not a good idea, not in 1789, not in 1917 and not in 2017. It is when I returned to the home to perform the most mundane and traditional of duties that spurred my activism and turned me from a lukewarm liberal feminist to a radical socialist feminist. There is no turning back.

My husband told me that I’ve become too politically radical lately. My criticisms against the police state, white supremacy, institutionalized racism, sexism and misogyny, US imperialism and military aggression, the overt anti-immigrant stance of this and previous administrations has gotten to him.

He told me I am too old to be a radical, a not so subtle dig that my days of political activism and youth are long behind me, that I should focus on “more important things” – translation: being a good mother and wife. Just one year ago I would have vociferously defended myself on the one thousand and one ways in which I am a good mother. I don’t care if I am a good wife or not, but for the record, I am not a terrible wife. I’ve since entered a give no-fucks zone. I give no defense for my actions or beliefs. I don’t care to, I don’t want to and no one will shame me into living my life differently. While I wasn’t much affected by racism, toxic masculinity and patriarchy has scarred me. I won’t defend it, I won’t cater to it and I won’t accommodate it. Me shutting down any fat jokes, racist, sexist, misogynistic or ableist speak has made me a politically correct bore. I used to be so much more fun or I used to laugh at slightly inappropriate jokes. Perhaps, but at who’s expense?

I naturally lean left, but I grew up with mostly conservatives (in culture and politics) around me. My father was a registered Republican but would be considered a Democrat today, he was a social liberal (pro-choice) and fiscal conservative. He died before the 2008 elections heated up, he didn’t live to see our nation elect a black president. My mother and her family are Confucianists, largely apolitical but conservative in culture and beliefs, with an authoritarian bent. My natural anti-authoritarian nature didn’t fit well in this mould. Many times I was far too reactionary for my own good. My early feminism came of the desire to defy convention and there’s no better way to piss off the authoritarian males in my life than to become a feminist.

Feminism is natural to me. How could anyone not be a feminist? What kind of a person isn’t for promoting equal rights for women? If the majority of the people are for equal rights for all people, feminism ties right into that. Feminism seeks to liberate half of humanity.

I became a leftist for my children. I went from a liberal feminist to a radical socialist feminist for my children. I was born in 1979, a generation no-man land between Gen. X and Millennials. I am too old to be a Millennial but close enough in age to see up close and empathize with their plight. I graduated from college in 2001 and was probably one the last batches of college graduates who got a full time job with benefits and 401K plan within six months after graduation. I saw the last vestiges of the corporate boom before it all came crashing down. When the crash of 2008 happened, I had enough work experience under my belt where I could get another full time job and I wasn’t ‘too old’ to start over. I am lucky. Those who were born a few years after me weren’t so lucky.

They experienced the cruelty and evils of capitalism without ever tasting its rewards. The ruling class has completely looted the economy and not any single one of them have gone to prison for their crimes against humanity. Their crimes created untold poverty which might last generations, the economic violence which they unleashed on the working and middle classes is on a scale we haven’t seen since the Great Depression. And nine years after the 2008 crash, they act like all is well again, and the economy is stronger than ever. I heard one financial ‘advisor’ describing the crash of 2008 as getting rid of the “deadwood” which invariably exists in capitalism. People’s jobs, lives, homes, families are “deadwood” to capitalists.

Article after article is promoting the hipness of the ‘gig economy’ as the next ‘cool’ thing. It’s what Millennials want, it’s what they like so they have free time to pursue their other passions. The truth is the economy has no more good jobs on offer; no one has a stable job with benefits because capitalism has exhausted itself. Everyone has to make do with part time contracting work and try to make it seem cool and hip. Remember that Lyft driver who got a special commendation for working until the day she gave birth? If that isn’t sadistic I don’t know what is.

I became a leftist for my children. I grew up in an authoritarian household under authoritarian male and female figures. With the exception of my maternal grandparents and mother, I hated every single one of them. My contempt for them was barely contained and palpable. I became a self-taught feminist out of my disgust for authoritarianism and I reserved extra bile for the women who upheld male authoritarianism and used it to suppress other women. My early feminist influences were Betty Friedan and Simone de Beauvoir; I devoured the ‘The Second Sex’ and ‘The Feminine Mystique’, the early seeds of giving no-fucks were sown. It affirmed my latent belief that as a woman I do not owe anyone an explanation about my choices, that if I made a mistake, I need not hang my head in shame and beg for absolution. There are no such things as the scarlet woman, the whore, the sinner; it was all invented by men to oppress women so they can go on and be the scarlet man, the man-whore and sinner without impunity.

At the time I didn’t see the connection between the oppression of women and the role capitalism played in that context. In order for capitalism to succeed a large number of people need to be oppressed. They include the middle class, working class and within those categories, women. Women provide uncompensated domestic labor so men can go out and earn his living. The woman provides a comfortable and relaxing home so the Fortune 500 company executives can focus on his career and earn all those bonuses. None of it is possible without women giving their labor away for free at home. Even women who work full time still does more chores at home than her male counterpart. Part of the Steinem, de Beauvoir and Friedan’s philosophy is that women can do anything and everything a man does and more, and that includes joining the boardroom, making her own money and more importantly having full control over her own money; a sort of first-wave pre-Sheryl Sandberg ‘Lean-In’ ideology. While that sounds good in theory, in practice, women have just stretched themselves even thinner; never mind the fact that Lean-In doesn’t apply to working class women, only well educated elite women with jobs that earn above the median wage apply. That aside, while she may be the boss of the boardroom, she still has the responsibility of being the archetypical wife and mother outside of the boardroom, and with those titles, there are still expectations attached to them where no amount of status or high salary can erase. Anne-Marie Slaughter’s long essay in The Atlantic brings this point home, literally; she had to give up her dream job as Director of Policy in the State Department because her two young sons were struggling without their mother (her family lives in New Jersey and she commuted weekly to Washington DC for her job). But to save face for her husband, because let’s face it, all that means is he couldn’t hack it, he couldn’t be a tenured professor at Princeton University and look after the needs of his two sons at the same time, something his wife manages everyday without giving it a second thought. Slaughter said she had to return to her tenured position at Princeton University because she had been absent for two years and they can take away her tenure if she doesn’t return. It’s a load of crap. If Anne-Marie Slaughter was a man, it would have never occurred to him to quit his dream job and return home to manage his children, his wife would be expected to handle it, and if she couldn’t she’d be seen as the loser, a mother who can’t handle her responsibilities. She’s supposed to know how to do that without the involvement of her husband.

While Slaughter correctly pointed out the way the American workplace is structured is what contributed to her dilemma, she didn’t point to its biggest culprit which caused her to abandon her dream job and that is capitalism. It is the exploitative nature of capitalism which caused Slaughter to nearly crumble under the stress of her dream job and being there for her family, not the ‘corporate work policy’. We can argue that the way companies and their work policies are set up suits men and single women more than women with children or people with other care taking responsibilities, meaning if we institute more flex hours for those that need it, more people would be able to participate in the workforce. If we can only get out of the rigid nine to five concept of work, we can get more people involved in employment. But the baseline question is still not addressed, who made it a rule that people must sell their labor and time to earn a living. Depending on how much wages we are able to earn, that then determines how much goods and services we can purchase and the quality of life we can lead. How much wages one makes has no correlation to how hard they work or how many hours they work. If that were the case, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet wouldn’t be the richest people in the world. They do not work, they’ve stopped ‘working’ decades ago, they let their capital, which is earned on the backs of workers from all over the world, work for them. They haven’t done an honest days work in decades. Like a good capitalist, they let their money work for them while everyone else works backbreaking hours to just pay rent and put food on the table. And somehow we are brainwashed into thinking all of this is normal and this is the way it should be, because capitalism is deemed the most efficient way to do business, the cream rises to the top, the deadwood float until a tide sweeps them way and the rocks just sink right to the bottom.

Capitalism is a drug, a powerful toxic drug. In the West, Capitalism is equated with affluence, freedom and democracy. Socialism and communism is equated with poverty, oppression and authoritarianism. Capitalism is a system of exploitation, where the ruling class owns the means of production and exploits the middle class and the middle class exploits the working class and the lumpenproletariat. Hence poverty will always be a byproduct of capitalism. Capitalism cannot survive but for the poverty it creates. No amount of reform can change this simple fact, neoliberals can dress it up however they like, but at the end of the day, someone, somewhere, will have to work slave wages in deplorable conditions in order for capitalism to thrive.

I believe socialist feminism can free the world from oppression. This might sound naive and fanciful but I believe it wholeheartedly. Women as a category, is the largest group of oppressed people. Women as a group have been oppressed by the patriarchy since the dawn of time. To liberate women is to liberate the oppressed. But liberation cannot come at the cost of some women over other women. The price of women’s liberation cannot be paid with the blood of underprivileged women so privileged women can enjoy freedom. The first wave and second waive feminists addressed specific rights such as voting, property rights, right to self-agency, to be able to open bank accounts and purchase property without a male co-signer. Then it was right to our bodies, access to birth control and safe abortions so we can have agency over our bodies. If women in Third World countries and the Middle East are being bombed and subjected to unbearable conditions and oppressive authoritarian regimes installed by Western governments, then the liberation of women in the West is meaningless. Freedom and liberation cannot come at the expense of other people, that is not true liberation. Liberal feminism and their brand of Lean-In feminism has no place in socialist feminism. Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean-In method of female advancement in the corporate world has no meaning to working class women all over the world. Feminism which doesn’t address capitalism as the root source of female oppression has no place in socialist feminism.

Women will not experience true liberation unless the underlying economic inequalities is addressed, which again goes back to capitalism. Even if men and women made equal amount of wages for the same work, we are still beholden to wage slavery. Our time and labor can still be exploited and stolen from us, the issue of surplus value still isn’t addressed. Capitalists will still control the means of production, which will determine how the rest of us live.

I do not know what kind of a world my children will inherit. There will be no jobs left for them. Everything will be automated, digitized and robots will take over most of the jobs that used to be done by humans. They have two options, join the army of part time contract workers soon to be the surplus army of laborers or they can become capitalists where they become the oppressors. Both of those options are unacceptable to me, so I became a leftist to show them another way. When I am long gone, they can continue the fight. I hope they sharpen the guillotines and use them when the time comes.

Dear Senator Sanders: The Time for Universal Healthcare is Now.

I wrote and sent this to Bernie Sanders through the Contacts page on his official website. I encourage everyone who cares about Universal Healthcare for all to write to Bernie Sanders. Since Trumpcare failed and not likely to be resurrected any time soon. Now is an opening for Congress to draft the real alternative to Obamacare.

The link to his Contacts page is here: https://www.sanders.senate.gov/contact


Dear Senator Sanders:

Now that Trumpcare has failed spectacularly with no hope of it ever resurrecting itself, I implore you to introduce legislation which provides Medicare for all. The time is now. The time has come. There will be no time other than now where this legislation is the most necessary, most imperative when compared with other legislations. None.

Access to good healthcare is a universal human right. It should be freely given on demand, no questions asked. Lifesaving medications should be dispensed on demand, not after checking with the insurance company and collecting a copayment.

Families are choosing whether to put food on the table or visit the doctor or to fill that prescription, this is unacceptable. Senior citizens are choosing whether to eat or pay for their medication, this is disservice to them. Healthcare and pharmaceuticals for profit is an abomination. For publicly traded corporations to profit from the illnesses of their customers is an abomination. To put a price on a person’s health and deciding whether that person deserves to live or die based on how much money they have or don’t have is an abomination. People filing bankruptcies because they’ve had an unfortunate medical emergency and are uninsured and do not qualify for state Medicaid is an abomination. Young people crowdfunding on social media to pay for their medical costs should cause an outrage of biblical proportions.

Access to quality healthcare is an inalienable human right. It is a feminist issue, it is a child advocacy issue, it is a family advocacy issue, it is a senior citizen issue, it is a civil rights issue and it is a LGBTQ issue (this group receives some of the shoddiest medical care when they do get access to healthcare). It is lifesaving for the most vulnerable and marginalized people. Access to healthcare and medicines on demand is a non-negotiable inalienable human right. What use is all of our amazing medical innovations and advancements if the people that need it the most can’t get access to it. What good are medical breakthroughs if only the richest 5% can enjoy it?

The Affordable Care Act was supposed to be a step towards the direction of getting everyone covered under one form of insurance or other. If your employer doesn’t provide health benefits and you are too poor to purchase health insurance on exchange, you can get covered by Medicaid expansion (if your state agrees to sign on). While the intent may be there, the implementation has been a disaster. The minute that insurance companies see that they are not profitable being in the market exchange, they start charging higher premiums, increasing deductibles and reducing benefits. Some companies have withdrawn from the exchange all together which then reduces the pool of competition so that the remaining insurers can charge whatever they want, which renders the idea that of competition will drive prices down to be moot. What’s worse is doctors started cherry picking which insurance they would accept and which they wouldn’t and many doctors in my home state of California has refused to accept private insurance regardless if it was purchased on or off exchange, they only want the big group plans sponsored by employers as those almost always guarantee coverage and payment. So we are back to a two-tiered health coverage again: those with good coverage and those with poor coverage.

What we need and what we needed all along is a Single-Payer system, Universal Healthcare, or Medicare for all. And we shouldn’t have to wait until we are the age of 65 with one foot in the grave to get it. This means-testing method has failed on almost all social welfare programs. Those who are vulnerable but not quite poor enough fall through the cracks – and this group is only increasing every year.

To those who say ‘how will we pay for it?’ or ‘we can’t afford it?’ or the better question ‘who will pay for it?’ I would point to a small island nation 90 miles south of Florida, a country that has been under economic embargo for decades; Cuba has managed to train an abundance of good doctors to where they go to other developing and third world countries to train other doctors. Cuba provides universal healthcare for all, and this is supposedly a bankrupt country that is barely hanging on and is about to collapse every other month. There are many problems in Cuba but not having access to a doctor and medical services when you need it isn’t one of them. They have also made huge innovations and progress in cancer treatment and managing chronic illnesses.

Our medical cost for services and medicines are through the roof. They are at inflated prices, put there for profit, they are not the real prices. An Epi-pen doesn’t cost $600, it doesn’t even cost $100 to make. A packet of lifesaving 10 dose Tamiflu doesn’t cost $145, it should be free. A bag of antibiotic IV doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars, it costs tens of dollars at most. When hospitalized, a single tablet of Motrin or Tylenol doesn’t cost $15, a whole bottle doesn’t cost $15 at the local drug store. A routine stay at the hospital shouldn’t cost tens of thousands of dollars. A ride in the ER van shouldn’t cost hundreds of dollars out of pocket. These are routine drugs and services which have been in use for decades. Profit in medicine and healthcare services needs to be abolished, just like we don’t expect the local fire department to make a profit when they are putting out fires and pulling people from burning buildings. It is immoral and unethical to make a profit off of someone’s illness.

I am fully aware the bill may not pass and it may not even make it out of committee and for sure the senior leadership in both parties won’t be behind you advocating for this bill and for sure Trump will veto it. But it’s worth a try to get some senators behind you, and it is worth convincing them that if they lose their reelection over their support of this bill, it would have been for a good cause – advocating on behalf of the people.

You ran for president on this platform and this resonated with your supporters, because it is the necessary and humane thing to do. For all the millions of people who voted for you in the primaries, myself being one of them, please draft the Single-Payer legislation for them.

 

 

Moonlighting (1982) – Polish Working Class Comes Full Circle

Moonlighting (the movie not the insipid television show) by Jerzy Skolimowski where Jeremy Irons plays an illegal Polish worker in London is a story that foretold the Polish working class of the 20th century. For better plot analysis and a better marxist reading of class struggle and conflict between capitalists and communists, I’d refer you to this:

Moonlighting is a deceptively simple movie. At the end of 1981, just before General Wojciech Jaruzelski declared martial law on December 13, four Polish construction workers, Banaszak, Kudaj, Wolski, and Nowak fly from Warsaw to London on a tourist visa to renovate a town house for a man referred to only as “the boss.” By hiring Poles and paying them in Zloties, Nowak explains, the boss can get his house in London for a quarter of what it would have cost to hire English workers and pay them in pounds. On the surface, it looks like a good deal for the four men. They get a trip to London. They get paid above the rate they would be getting paid back in Poland. They each get a 20 pound bonus. But the devil is in the details. “The Boss” has given Nowak 1250 pounds for expenses. It sounds like a lot of money. Nowak remarks that it’s more than he’d earn in 25 years in Poland. The problem is that the 1250 pounds must cover not only building supplies, but food, clothing, entertainment, and the 80 pounds Nowak will need to pay the four 20 pound bonuses. Technically it should be enough, but there’s no margin for error. The slightest mistake means they come up short.

Jeremy Irons, a quintessential Brit in real life, has transformed himself brilliantly into a Polish migrant worker: anxious, insecure (financially and emotionally) and always having to think three steps ahead so he and his crew don’t go under. He underwent this transformation without resorting to crude stereotypes of Eastern Europeans yet he doesn’t come across as a Brit pretending to be a Pole either, he is thoroughly convincing as a Polish migrant worker. It’s one of his best films yet so few people have heard about this movie.

The movie was set in 1981 which was 23 years before Poland joined the European Union. Poland was given a special waiver so Polish workers did not have to wait the obligatory 7 years before they are allowed to travel to another EU country for work. The difference between the migration of the Polish worker in 2004 and 1981 is in 2004 they could do so legally. Any Pole can book a flight to Germany, France, the UK or any place in the EU they like for the sole purpose of work and they need not have a job lined up in advance to be allowed to make that move. They will immediately have legal residency and can access nearly all of the services of the citizens of that country. One of the premises of the establishment of the EU is free movement of labor to create a more competitive market. By 2015, over 831,000 people living in the UK are born in Poland, they’ve surpassed India as the largest group of foreign born residents in the UK. Many Poles have also resettled in the UK permanently and a second generation of Polish-British children are being born to these emigrants.

Particularly in the case of the UK and Poland, this exchange of labor and capital was welcomed. Many Poles were desperate to get out of Poland and go to UK to earn a living, most importantly, they earn their wages in Sterling, which when converted back to Zlotys is quite a lot. For the British, Polish workers, especially in the technical trades such as plumbing, electrical work and building have similar skill proficiency as British workers, but without the high wages and possible hassle of dealing with British trade unions and British builders. Polish workers will work overtime and on weekends without much complaint.

The EU referendum for Brexit on June 23, 2016, the UK decided to leave the European Union. There reasons were many but on the part of the Leave campaign, emigration was a huge part of the reason for leaving the EU. Many British people feel that the open borders and free movement of labor had gone too far, and with the major economies in the single currency and single market collapsing, many Europeans migrants chose to go to the UK for work. Though not explicitly stated, the large number of Polish emigrants to the UK had become too much of a good thing. They were undercutting the wages of Britons and while the Polish working class are getting ahead in Britain, the conditions of the British working class have gotten more desperate. There were also huge debates about emigrants using the NHS and claiming benefits and contributing to the budget deficit (which upon closer examination and research, EU migrants claim lesser benefits than Britons).

Had Nowak and his men been born a generation later, they could have come to England to renovate the town home of “the boss” legally, with some protections from the law. They could have demanded to be paid in Sterling and Nowak’s crew would have had recourses when Nowak was detaining them against their will inside a London town home. Nowak and his men were the precursor to the legal migration in 2004. Poles also came to the UK for better jobs, better wages to support their families back in Poland. Poland on the other hand, was happy to export their unemployment to richer Western EU countries. Poland is only a short plane ride away, unlike Mexican, Central American or Filipino migrants in the United States – where going home isn’t an option because they can’t safely return, Polish emigrants can visit their families any time they like. They can enter and exit any EU country safely, the set up is perfect for someone to go to the UK to work and send money home every month but not lose the connection with their families.

Moonlighting is about the concept of solidarity (or lack of in this case) amongst the proletariat; but it can be expanded to include solidarity of all the proletariat of the world. In order for the Revolution to succeed, the proletariat must recognize who the class enemy is and find solidarity to fight that enemy together. Nowak certainly showed no solidarity with his fellow proletariats, in the end he was stealing from their wages too. The three men who played Nowak’s working crew had no lines in English (the plot of the story is Nowak is the only one who speaks English), a few lines in Polish, but besides being the muscle in the renovation job, they had no other purpose, they were the average worker looking for work everyday; there are millions like them, not just in Europe but all over the world. Except just when you are about to write them off as just workers who only know how to follow and not lead, they kick the the living daylights out of Nowak when they find out that he kept the very important news of Poland being under marshal law declared by General Wojciech Jaruzelski from them. It was a well deserved thrashing.

Jerzy Skolimowski argues that the biggest oppressor of the workers is not capitalism, but each other. Given a chance to get ahead, any worker will grab the opportunity by the horns and gladly sell his fellow worker with whom he’s worked alongside with many years down the river; and it doesn’t even have to be for a lot of money. This is probably how the British working class view the Polish emigrants who undercut their wages which would then help destroy what’s little left of their unions. If capitalists can hire a lot of workers to do the same job and a fraction of the cost why bother negotiating with trade unions?

But I argue that it is precisely of capitalism that forces workers to treat each other this way. It’s the classic divide and conquer. Capitalists toss a few crumbs to a few workers to get the other workers in line. These ‘crumbs’ are mere pocket change to the capitalist, they won’t miss it but to the proletariat, it’s everything. It is capitalism that destroys solidarity of the people, not the other way around. Confucius said before we lecture people about having good morals, they must first have warm shelter and food in their bellies; hence it is why poverty is the worst kind of violence. It makes good people desperate, forces them to do desperate things to feed themselves and their families, things they normally would not do had they had their basic needs met.

If Nowak had a child, his child would be eligible to legally emigrate to the UK for employment, but with the Brexit referendum of 2016, Nowak’s grandchild could possibly face expulsion from the country that they were born and raised and consider home; modern events have again proven, ‘the workingman has no father land.’ Polish emigrants who’ve settled in the UK for over 20 years may be forced to uproot again and go back to Poland where there are probably no jobs waiting for them and they’ve grown accustomed to British lifestyle. The Polish working class of the 20th century with their relationship to the UK labor market have come full circle.

Post Election Meditations

I haven’t written in a while. It’s been an unduly germ-ridden winter where bugs and viruses were passed around like candy. There’s also not much to say so quickly post-election. The ‘news’ and blogosphere is already over saturated with post-election analysis and post mortem. It was fun to sit back and watch the Clintonites go completely hysterical at the loss of their anointed queen; to see a group of people, so devoid of self reflection and their total inability to accept any form of constructive criticism. The concept of if you put forth a corrupt candidate, run a bad campaign, you have a good chance of losing to your even worse opponent is alien to Clintonites.

The election of Trump is a ‘mask coming off’ moment for me. It’s the moment where you get to see at once where people stood on not just on the political spectrum but where they stood on issues such as racism, immigration, militarization of police and overall bigotry of the other. The election of Obama shattered the notion of the ‘moderate Republican’, there were none, there were racist Republicans like Jeff Sessions (our new Attorney General) and there were the dog whistling Republicans. The loss of Hillary Clinton revealed liberals to be militant right-wing Democrats, where instead of self reflection they turned to state-run fascist institutions for answers. It was the Russians and the director of FBI who caused her downfall, not her bad campaign and total disregard for the left wing of the Democratic party. The CIA suddenly became a credible institution which establishment Democrats turned to for help. Because the CIA declared, after a short investigation, that Russia did indeed tamper with US elections (as if the CIA never lies), therefore they are to blame for Clinton’s loss, we are to accept it as fact. To question the veracity of the CIA report, is anti-Hillary, sexist, racist, anti-establishment (fill in all the words that Clintonites used to describe Sanders supporters) and we get all we deserve under the Trump regime.

Since Trump’s win, all Republicans who hold public office have jumped on board his administration, even those that gave the harshest criticism of him during the campaign, which proves my earlier point, there are no ‘moderate Republicans’. Anyone who ascribes to the right wing world view is elitist, racist, warmongering white supremacist. The Democrats on the other hand doubled down on what got their ass handed to them in the first place, capitalism, neoliberalism, interventionism and reinforcement of the mass surveillance state. The party that was suppose to (but never really have) serve the working people have finally given up that mask too and showed their true colors.

I am an armchair or observing socialist or leftist at best. My political inclinations always lean left, despite being surrounded by right wing people most of my life. I don’t believe that the United States will ever adopt socialism never mind communism, but with recent events unraveling, it’s not a matter of choice, left is the only place to go. The conservative right and moderate right have exhausted itself and has revealed itself to be as ugly as Donald Trump. No one should be shocked that Trump was able to swing it and win the election, the US is this ugly underneath. When Democrats and Republicans alike rips off their mask, what is revealed is Donald Trump; an  elitist, openly racist, bigoted, Islamaphobic ranting compulsive tweeter at 3 am. While Democrats and liberals may not be openly racist, sexist or misogynist but the ire and hatred towards the working poor of this country, a demographic they’ve long abandoned, for voting for Trump is just as ugly. The founder of Daily Kos wrote an article expressing glee at coal miners losing their health insurance because they voted for Trump is one example of liberals ripping off their masks and their distain for the working poor is exposed. Matthew Yglesias, another Clintonite and liberal defending the inadequate safety rules in Bangladeshi garment factories as “OK” because different places need to have different rules or in other words, lives of poor Bangladeshi garment workers working for American companies at slave wages don’t matter as much as a GM factory worker in Detroit because Bangladesh is a poor country and they are lucky to even have a job and the US is a rich country and therefore US workers deserve better. If there is a more disgusting defense of neoliberalism, capitalism, wage theft, labor theft and murder it is summed up here:

Bangladesh may or may not need tougher workplace safety rules, but it’s entirely appropriate for Bangladesh to have different—and, indeed, lower—workplace safety standards than the United States.

On a more local level, the election of Trump has emboldened some closet racists to come out of the closet. People who I thought were ‘nice liberals’ have revealed themselves to be ugly and bigoted. The few police officers I know peripherally have rejoiced at the prospect of finally being able to do their jobs properly and not fearing suspension, termination or civil lawsuit every time they discharge their firearm. Corporate lawyers and those that work in finance finally admitted that the financial crash of 2008 wasn’t their fault but the fault of ‘irresponsible and stupid people’ who took out mortgages they couldn’t afford and feel personally aggrieved that they’ve had to take the blame and had to live modestly for fear of being scorned for their wealth while everyone else was struggling.

The conspiracy of  normalizing elitism, bigotry and racism was fomented by both liberals and conservatives. While the conservatives banged on about how black and brown people were taking advantage of government welfare; hence the relentless argument for small government (note: the largest group of welfare recipients are white people) and how the Mexicans were stealing our jobs, the liberals sat there and promoted neoliberalism even though it was causing massive poverty and killing people across the world. They reinforced the idea that rich people got their money and deserved every penny of it because they worked hard, which is indirectly saying those who are poor don’t work hard enough. There is nothing more violent than to be poor, to stay poor, to raise children in poverty. When you are poor you are invisible, no one cares what you think and you have to beg for scraps. When you are poor, member of a minority, undocumented, your existence becomes a danger as the recent ICE raids at school gates have shown. Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigrants isn’t about undocumented people, it’s about ethnic cleansing of the “bad hombres” he doesn’t like. Illegal immigrants are not only confined to Latinos, there are undocumented people of every race, including Europeans who have overstayed their visa which would categorize them under undocumented; but they are not the target of ICE raids, only brown people are. While the courts were successful in shutting down the Muslim Ban, it isn’t as successful with deportation cases are they are usually heard individually.

The thing more ugly than Trump is the faux outrage of liberals, deeming Trump’s actions ‘un-American’, calling him corrupt and a stooge of Russia. Where was the outrage at Hillary Clinton’s lies? Where was the outrage when the DNC denied Bernie Sanders a fair chance to win the nomination? And before this election, where was the liberal outrage when Obama deported almost 2 million undocumented persons or dropped 27,000 bombs in Muslim majority countries in Middle East and Africa, when Obama bailed out the banks and let American middle and working class suffer? Obama blamed Republican obstruction, but Trump was waving that executive order pen like a magic wand to get what he wants, did Obama forget how to compose an executive order and sign his name on it? What about when Obama expanded the mass surveillance state in the name of national security and terrorism threats and his relentless persecution of whistle blowers who challenged the big brother state? Now with the recent State of the Union address by Trump, fawning liberals and conservatives on CNN have declared Trump to be ‘presidential’ for the first time, all because he praised the heroism of a fallen Navy Seal during a botched raid in Yemen which killed scores of civilians that included women and children and the real ‘terrorist target’ they were after wasn’t there and the raid yielded no significant intelligence and a few days before Trump blamed the generals for its failure. A few words of platitude in front of the Navy Seal’s tearful widow makes him suddenly presidential? Perhaps the most nauseating is the normalization of the blood drenched war criminal George W. Bush. Michelle Obama and Ellen Degeneres have both been photographed hugging him in the most affectionate manner; as if he were nothing more than a loving grandpa enjoying his retirement. Iraq is still reeling from the illegal invasion initiated by George W. Bush. Presently, Iraq’s PMU forces (People’s Mobilization Unit) are in a ferocious and courageous battle to retake the Western part of Mosul from ISIS terrorists.

The two-party system has collapsed. There’s no where to go but left or self-destruct. The jig is up, the poor and downtrodden are no longer convinced that their poverty and their plight is a result of their laziness or lack of ambition, it’s the result of capitalism and neoliberalism. The ruling elites put them there and the Democrats failed to help them.

Those that rolled the dice and voted for Trump, either to piss off the establishment, their parents or to give their middle finger to liberals, hoping against hope that Trump might not be as atrocious as he appears, that he might actually care about working class whites (Trump made it clear that he advocates for white America), they’ve been scammed too. Trumped increased the military budget by $54 billion, that huge infrastructure project he talked about to put Americans back to work hasn’t materialized. He spent far more energy fighting the courts for his illegal executive order than drafting the infrastructure bill. While he can win an election with bombast and braggadocio, he’s unable to govern because has no loyalty from the executive branch of government who are leaking embarrassing details of his administration left and right. He’s begun an ‘investigation’ on the leaks, but good luck, the federal government is a behemoth and they are all united in their dislike of him.

The best thing for the United States is for the rot in government to be exposed, let the state collapse, let the unjust fascist institutions collapse, so that the left, the People, the working people, can pick up the pieces and rebuild.