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USA: Biden, president elect: what now?

Monday 9 November 2020, by siawi3

Source: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/11/07/biden-has-ousted-lying-and-corrupt-trump-doesnt-mean-democrats-had-great-election

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Biden Has Ousted a Lying and Corrupt Trump—But That Doesn’t Mean Democrats Had a Great Election Day

Loaded with nearly twice as much money as the GOP, the Democrats showed that weak candidates with no robust agendas for people where they live, work, and raise their families, is a losing formula.

by
Ralph Nader

“Will the leaders of these inexcusable defeats—Senator Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—explain how this happened?” asks Nader. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“Will the leaders of these inexcusable defeats—Senator Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—explain how this happened?” asks Nader. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Apart from barely squeezing through the swing states to defeat corrupt, incompetent, lying, corporatist Donald Trump, the Democratic Party had a bad election.

Loaded with nearly twice as much money as the Republican Party, the Democratic Party showed that weak candidates with no robust agendas for people where they live, work, and raise their families, is a losing formula. And lose they did against the worst, cruelest, ignorant, lawbreaking, reality-denying GOP in its 166-year history.

The Democrats failed to win the Senate, despite nearly having twice the number of Senators up for re-election than the Republicans. In addition, the Democratic Party lost seats in the House of Representatives. The Democrats did not flip a single Republican state legislature, leaving the GOP to again gerrymander Congressional and state legislative districts for the next decade!

“Will all this lead to serious introspection by the Democratic Party? Don’t bet on it. The GOP tried to learn from their losses in 2012, which led to their big rebound. Already, the Democratic Party is looking for scapegoats.”

Will all this lead to serious introspection by the Democratic Party? Don’t bet on it. The GOP tried to learn from their losses in 2012, which led to their big rebound. Already, the Democratic Party is looking for scapegoats, like third party candidates.

Will the leaders of these inexcusable defeats—Senator Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—explain how this happened? Will they take some responsibility and tell the American people why they let their profiteering media consultants spend so much money on tepid, low-impact TV ads at the expense of a massive ground game to give voters personal reasons to get themselves out to vote, beyond Trump? A third of all eligible voters stayed home. Could part of the problem be the 15% commission the consultants receive from TV ad revenues as compared to zero commissions from ground game expenditures?

Can the corporate Democratic leaders respond to inquiries by progressives and the sidelined primary voters of Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren? Can they respond to why the living wage, the corporate crime wave, and the GOP blocked stimulus/relief package passed by the Democrats in May (including a $600 a week extension for tens of millions of desperate workers and critical aid to local agencies overwhelmed by the Covid-19 pandemic) were not prominently front and center? Also, why did the Democrats refuse to campaign for full Medicare for All, supported by 70 percent of the American people? The Democrats, as pointed out by political media specialist, Bill Hillsman, did not speak directly to white, blue-collar workers who deserted Hillary Clinton for Donald Trump in 2016.

Moreover, the Democratic Party has a long-standing problem with authenticity. Rhetoric for a large infrastructure jobs program paid for by repealing corporate tax cuts and loopholes is seen as a throwaway line by many voters. Democrats should have explained, at the local level, how determination and integrity could shape the upgrading of our schools, clinics, roads, mass transit systems, waterworks, and other public services, with good-paying jobs.

Meanwhile, the Trumpsters showed their ferocious energy for wannabe, ego-obsessed, dictatorial Donald with more rallies, signs, and door-to-door contacts. The Democrats misread the faulty polls again thinking that the projected huge turnouts were primarily their voters and not also the Trump voters who turned out in greater numbers as well.

Too many Democratic operatives treat Trump with derision and mockery, instead of stressing how his daily lawlessness and serial violations of the Constitution have dismantled the protections for the people and turned the government over to big business to do and grab whatever they want.

Trump openly commits federal crimes (e.g. The Hatch Act, the Anti-Deficiency Act) using federal property, including the White House, for his campaign, spending money illegally, while brazenly defying over a hundred investigative subpoenas from the House of Representatives.

Yet, neither Biden and Obama nor the Democratic Party made these corrupt forms of obstruction of justice, front and center issues. They even ignored Trump’s past criminal assaults of women, whom he has repeatedly degraded.

These many missed, obvious opportunities have consequences. Don’t Trump voters and their families also suffer from frozen minimum wages, from the absence of adequate or any health insurance, from those sky-high drug prices that Trump failed to reduce? He put more toxins in the air and water and allowed more dangerous workplaces. Trump calls endangering people and the planet “deregulation” but what he was really doing is rewarding his corporate paymasters.

Trump just pushes many more buttons than do the Democrats. Why don’t the Democrats promote more unions, more consumer cooperatives, more campaign finance reforms, and more known ways to empower the people directly?

“The Democrats let Trump and his lawless Attorney General William Barr get away with all his corrupt, criminal, and unconstitutional actions, which have turned the White House into an ongoing crime scene. And, despite this ’rap sheet’ Trump came close to winning the Electoral College for a second term!”

Of course, the Democrats would never argue that the American people, not corporations, should CONTROL what they already OWN such as the public lands, the public airwaves, and the shareholding mutual and pension funds investing their money. The Democrats never even think to demand that U.S. taxpayers get a direct return for trillions of dollars of government research and development that have subsidized the growth of modern industries (from aerospace to computers to agribusiness, biotech, pharma, and more).

While Trump incites street violence and then cries loudly for “law and order,” the Democrats don’t throwback “law and order” for violent, polluting corporate crooks who cheat and harm children, consumers, workers, and communities, as well as rip off government programs like Medicare. Trump has gotten away with defunding the federal corporate crime police big time. Never will the Democrats go after Trump for the bloated, runaway, unaudited military budget and its Empire that are devouring necessities here at home.

The House Democrats refused to keep multiple impeachment pressure (apart from the Ukraine matter) on the Republicans. A national TV audience of the Senate dealing with a dozen of Trump’s impeachable offenses would give even the most ardent Trump supporters pause. (See December 18, 2019, Congressional Record, H-12197).

The Democrats let Trump and his lawless Attorney General William Barr get away with all his corrupt, criminal, and unconstitutional actions, which have turned the White House into an ongoing crime scene. And, despite this “rap sheet” Trump came close to winning the Electoral College for a second term!

Next time, the rulers of the Democratic Party should listen to civic groups and advocates and not be so smug and incommunicado. As an example, I’ll refer you to my Eleven Suggestions for turning out the vote, with popular mandates, available to everyone in whole and in part for weeks (See also my latest op-ed in the Louisville Courier-Journal, October 27, 2020).

Now let’s see how many rollbacks and repeals Biden will quickly institute to stop Trump’s devastations and usher in a truly progressive, majoritarian set of long-overdue policies.

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate and the author of The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future. His new book is, Wrecking America: How Trump’s Lies and Lawbreaking Betray All, co-authored with Mark Green.

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Source: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/11/08/now-comes-hard-part?cd-origin=rss&utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Now Comes the Hard Part

Trump’s defeat is just the very beginning of this battle for the future.

by
Robert Freeman

People gather not far from the White House as Joe Biden is declared the winner of the election and the next President of the United States on Saturday November 07, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

There will be two more months to celebrate the Biden/Harris election. But we should have no illusions: the hard part begins now.

Disease is the most obvious problem we need to fix. What was once a pandemic is on the verge of becoming a hyper-demic. More than 100,000 new cases are being reported every day. In several Midwest and Great Plains states, positivity rates are approaching 50%, meaning that half of the population has Covid-19.

Predictably, the counties with the highest rates of infection are those that voted at the highest rates for Trump. This will compound the difficulty of devising an effective national strategy to deal with the problem. But if it is not contained, it will end up killing millions of people and will devastate the economy.

Biden will need to strongly push a national mask-wearing mandate, perhaps imposing fiscal penalties on states that refuse and continue to inflict their disease on the rest of the nation. We don’t tolerate drunk driving. Nor can we any longer tolerate diseased interactions by people who conflate personal freedom with threatening the health of others.

The economy is the next festering wound needing fixing. This has both short- and long-term dimensions. The immediate problem is that more than 20 million people are still out of work. More than 30 million face evictions. We need a large fiscal stimulus that sends money to those out of work, and not to billionaires, which is where most of it has gone to date. It’s not clear that Republicans will go along with this, but they must be shamed into it.

In the long-term, the economy needs profound restructuring. The de-industrialization that began under Reagan out-sourced tens of millions of high-paying jobs and hundreds of thousands of factories to Asia. The resulting downward mobility that was imposed on the white working class was the genesis of the rage that begat Trumpism. This is not a bug, but a feature of the American economy.

The economy is doing exactly what it has been designed to do: funnel opportunity, income, and wealth, not to the working or middle classes, but to those who are already the most wealthy. That is why, year after year, decade after decade, crisis after crisis, through Republican and Democratic administrations alike, the rich keep getting richer while everybody else keeps getting poorer. Trump may be gone, but until this is addressed, the fetid impetus for Trumpism will remain, and will grow.

Closely tethered to the economy, in a double helix of infection that has devastated the country, is racism. It is part of our national DNA, an integral element of American culture for more than 150 years before the country was even born! And though it’s been mitigated over the centuries since, it has never left us.

Racism was always Trump’s main appeal to his base, long before he even ran for office. Execute the Central Park Five. Birtherism. Murderers and rapists. The Wall. The Muslim travel ban. Fine people on both sides. The Caravan. Immigrant children in cages. Stand back and stand by. Protecting your suburbs. These villainies are seared into our culture as scars on the collective consciousness.

It’s important to not lose sight of the fact that the not-even-covert racism that this language heralds has been embraced by 49% of the electorate. Half of the country was willing to set aside democracy in favor of a crypto-fascist who openly advertised that he was not going to participate in a peaceful transfer of power. All they expected in exchange was the continuation of their beloved white supremacy.

This is the reason that fixing the economy is so important. Until those legions of humiliated working class whites have some of their dignity restored through meaningful work, they will continue to fester and infect any polity of the next 100 years. With Trump lurking in the shadows, desperate to be seen, and even more desperate for revenge, this has to be one of the highest priorities of a Biden administration.

Finally, none of this will be solved until the problem of the Democratic party is solved. We need to be brutally frank, here. The Democratic party has been one of the two institutional stewards that has devised and overseen the decades of deindustrialization and the massive upward transfer of wealth that gave rise to Trump and Trumpism.

Oh, it has donned a more polished veneer, a more genteel façade for its predations on the nation, but it serves its corporate masters just as well as did Trump. Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House of Representatives, third in line for the presidency, and the most consequential female in American politics precisely because she is so effective a defender of the interests of great wealth. That includes parrying, defanging, and neutering any reformer—think Bernie Sanders—or proposal for reform that intends to fundamentally alter the distribution of either wealth or power in the country.

This is the real obstacle Biden/Harris will face in delivering effective recovery for the American nation and the American people. The real resistance to change will come from within because, by the interests of great wealth, things are going exceedingly well. We are approaching feudal-levels of income and wealth inequality and oligarchic concentrations of political power. Why rock the boat? Just issue more platitudes, pablum, pontification, and pacification.

In the iconic comic strip of the 1970’s, Walt Kelly’s Pogo declared, “We have met the enemy, and it is us.” We can be thankful that Biden/Harris ousted the odious Trump. And we should expect that Republicans, Trump, and Trumpism will be worthy adversaries in the forthcoming battle. But, far more insidious, and enervating, will be the enemy within.

Robert Freeman is the author of The Best One Hour History series which includes World War I, The InterWar Years, The Cold War, and other titles. He is the founder of The Global Uplift Project which builds small-scale infrastructure projects in the developing world to improve humanity’s capacity for self-development.

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Source: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/11/08/biden-needs-deliver-working-people-who-delivered-him?cd-origin=rss&utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email

Published on
Sunday, November 08, 2020
by
Washington Post

Biden Needs to Deliver to the Working People Who Delivered for Him

Biden and Democrats in Congress now have an opportunity to win a generation’s long-term loyalty, but only if they deliver the big changes young Americans demand.

by
Nina Turner

People show their support as they participate in a caravan for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden event on October 11, 2020 in Miami Springs, Florida. The caravan was held by people from the South Florida AFL-CIO, including LIUNA, IBEW, IUPAT, SFBCTC, SEIU, TWU Local 291, United Teachers of Dade, AFSCME, American Postal Workers Union and others, as part of a countywide caravan in support of Joe Biden. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

People show their support as they participate in a caravan for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden event on October 11, 2020 in Miami Springs, Florida. The caravan was held by people from the South Florida AFL-CIO, including LIUNA, IBEW, IUPAT, SFBCTC, SEIU, TWU Local 291, United Teachers of Dade, AFSCME, American Postal Workers Union and others, as part of a countywide caravan in support of Joe Biden. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

As the dust settles, pundits, political operatives and party insiders are already swarming to tell the story of what really happened in 2020. They’ll zero in on the smallest margins, the most unlikely Trump-to-Biden swing voters, the affluent white suburbanites. But that’s not the story of this election.

The exit polls are still being finalized, but as of now they show that working people — Black, brown and White families making under $100,000, along with the vast majority of young people — delivered Biden his victory. Not only did they vote for him in overwhelming numbers, they also knocked on doors, made calls and carried out the hard work of democracy during a pandemic. These voters are the heart and the future of a massive progressive movement inside and outside of the Democratic Party, and it is to them that Joe Biden and Kamala D. Harris must answer.

“That means passing a Green New Deal to lift our economy out of recession, create millions of jobs and address the climate crisis head-on. It means passing Medicare-for-all to prevent thousands of Americans from dying (or going bankrupt) due to covid-19 and other illnesses. It means making the wealthy pay their share of taxes and reversing the massive tax giveaway that was Trump’s crowning legislative achievement. And it means electoral reform to ensure our government actually reflects the will of the majority.”

Trump has been a disaster for poor and working people, so they used voting as a tool to fight back. Hammered by a government by, of and for the one percent, brutalized by covid-19 inaction and economic disaster, pummeled with racist rhetoric and white supremacist violence, the people have delivered a rebuke to President Trump. But the result was also a warning for Biden: In the midst of overlapping national crises, his administration has a critical window to deliver for the working people and young people who got him elected. If he fails to meet the moment — if he seeks instead to return us to a “normalcy” marked by corporate handouts and extreme inequality — then the next Trump might be far more dangerous than the one we just defeated. We can see hints of this already in the way voters of color — perennially taken for granted by the Democratic Party — shifted marginally toward Trump in 2020. Though they still carried Biden to victory by a 46-point margin, the lesson is clear: The Democratic Party ignores its base at its own peril.

After all, it was working people’s organizations that had millions of conversations with voters this year. It was not the political operatives at the Lincoln Project or the Third Way who knocked the doors, who spoke to the voters, who heard their concerns. It was laid-off union members in South Phoenix; African American community organizers in Kenosha, Wis.; Latinx zoomers in Reading, Pa. None of us intend to let the far-right of the Democratic coalition claim a mandate for status-quo politics.

This goes for Wall St. Democrats as well as Never-Trump Republicans. The latter in particular spent decades using dog-whistle racist appeals and inflaming culture-war fights to throw red meat to their base. We’re glad they finally had their “come-to-Jesus” moment, but that doesn’t mean we are going to invite them to take the pulpit. The people who should lead our country forward are the people who have been building the country all along: the multiracial working class who have helped carry this country through a pandemic and now demand real reform.

Young people in particular showed up this year in historic numbers, increasing their turnout by eight percentage points. This generation is the most racially diverse generation in the history of our country and the most progressive. That’s no surprise: Their future hangs in the balance — economically, politically and environmentally. They turned out this year in force more to defeat the unique threat of Trump than out of love for Biden or the Democratic Party. Biden and Democrats in Congress now have an opportunity to win a generation’s long-term loyalty, but only if they deliver the big changes young Americans demand.

That means passing a Green New Deal to lift our economy out of recession, create millions of jobs and address the climate crisis head-on. It means passing Medicare-for-all to prevent thousands of Americans from dying (or going bankrupt) due to covid-19 and other illnesses. It means making the wealthy pay their share of taxes and reversing the massive tax giveaway that was Trump’s crowning legislative achievement. And it means electoral reform to ensure our government actually reflects the will of the majority.

These and other policies represent not only what Biden should do, but also what he must do. Politically, a return to “normalcy” is simply a circuitous route back to Trumpism. So-called normalcy has never worked if you are poor or among the barely middle class and it will not work now. Being better than Trump is a low bar. This moment demands — and the citizens of this nation deserve — leadership with a vision to provide for the people. Anything less is unacceptable. The Democratic Party’s future and the future of America depend on it.

Nina Turner is former Ohio state senator, founding president of Our Revolution, and served as national co-chair of the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign.