Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Dissent in the Trump Era



Before we get into the anti-Trump movements, the first thing to come out of the White House now that the former Apprentice host is in the hot seat is an announcement that the US would be pulling out of the awful Trans-Pacific Partnership.

8 a.m.  Day one.  The worst free trade deal yet - and that's really saying something given how porky GATT, the IMF, the World Bank, NAFTA and the EU have been - sinks like a stone.  A transnational monstrosity of a trade deal universally reviled by organized labor but supported by "progressives" like Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau torpedoed by the antichrist of the North American left.  Go figure.  Anyway, good for you, Donald.  Glad to see a Republican do something to actually benefit the common man for once.  Mark your calendars, folks.  It will be a day to remember.

He also imposed a federal hiring freeze, and ended federal funding for NGOs that provide abortion services.  Make of that what you will.

Which brings us to our main topic, and that's the shape that dissent against the Trump administration is beginning to take.  Two initiatives bear paying attention to: the Guiding Vision and Principles behind the Woman's March on Washington, and what looks to be a Young Turks supported initiative called Justice Democrats.  

Bold stuff, this.

As I've previously pointed out, the Women's March came across as a leftist tea party, watching it in action.  I can't say I'm surprised, therefore, to see a hefty does of identity politics in their platforms.  Now, don't get me wrong, there's good ideas here too, and a few things I personally feel are vital to a restoration of the American - and by extent the western left.  But no small amount of the same old same old we've been getting from the women's studies department for quite some time now.   

Examples:


Now look, I don't disagree with any of this per-se.   It's good stuff.  I wonder about the abuse and rape statistics - do they factor in race, religion perhaps?  Immigrant status?  To say nothing of how precisely rape and domestic violence are defined in feminist theory.  But okay, it's bad stuff and shouldn't be happening at all.  Perpetrators should be held accountable regardless of their race, nation of origin, gender, religion or citizenship status. Provided, of course, the accused are also afforded due process. The deeper point, however: why do we have to explicitly limit what's being offered here to just women?  Wouldn't we all be better off if these measures were adopted for everybody?  Wouldn't we have twice the strength with which to implement these measures if they were by and for both sexes?  (yes, I did say both sexes.  If that triggers you, too bad)

But I can just hear the responses of the Jezebel crowd now were any of these questions put to them.  So no sense in that.  They can fight with half the strength available to them.  Good luck with that.

Some of the values and principles are simply unforgivable in their all-too-typical feminist cringe and self absorption.  Consider:


Okay, I'm all for ending the militarization of law enforcement.  Good idea.  

Believe me when I tell you this: women's groups wanting to end gender inequality in the justice system had better think long and hard.  Be careful what you wish for, ladies ...  I'm all for it, of course.  But do these women's marchers understand, really grasp, what it would entail if gender disparities were removed from criminal justice procedure and sentencing.  Like,do they really understand this?  Because sometimes, it warrants (no pun intended) taking a look.  Sentencing disparities do favor whites over people of color for similar convictions, and this is a legitimate grievance of groups like Black Lives Matter.  Not that it justifies their blanket anti-white, anti-police sympathies, but I can see why they're not happy about it.  But if feminists, of all people, wanted to crusade for gender equity in criminal proceedings and sentencing, I would really caution them ... oh hell, who am I kidding?  I'm completely in favor of it.  Bring it on!

And then the Women's March on Washington surprised a brocialist like me and came out with some genuinely decent and good ideas, such as:


Reduce discrimination against men and fathers, where it is shown to occur (cough cough education cough cough) and count me in.  Good stuff.  Like it.

But the creme-de-la-creme of the Women's March Guiding Principles, and even better than any one thing on the long list of good ideas I'm about to get into in a few moments, is this absolute gem.  I'm talking hope diamond of a gem:


I haven't swooned like this in a long, long time.  Where have you been all my life?!  The right to unionize and strike has existed on paper only in the US since George H.W Bush make it legal to permanently scab out workers going on strike for higher pay, which has contributed significantly to the demise of organized labor and hence, the demise of the political and economic clout of the working and middle classes in America.  It must be restored forthwith, and for this reason and this reason alone, this movement, despite its overabundance of SJW fluff and typical feminist claptrap, merits support.

The Women's March - good, bad and indifferent - was merely a call to arm the muskets.  The Justice Democrats, despite their corny name, have a substantial platform for reform that US politics has not seen since the original progressive era and the New Deal.  Clement Attlee would be hard pressed to top this.  Okay, maybe not Attlee.  But just about anyone else couldn't touch this. Believe me, folks, this is that good! 

Here it is.  In all its glory:

·         Pass a constitutional amendment to put an end to Washington corruption and bring about election reform. Super PACs should be banned, private donations to politicians and campaigns should be banned, and a clean public financing system should be implemented to end the takeover of our government by corporations and billionaires.
·         Re-regulate Wall Street and hold white-collar criminals accountable. Despite engaging in systemic fraud and causing a subprime mortgage meltdown and the great recession, you can count the people from Wall Street who are in prison for their crimes on one hand. It’s time to prosecute the criminals, bring back Glass-Steagall, and re-regulate Wall Street to prevent another crash. Prison is not just for the poor and the middle class anymore. We will have cops on Wall Street, not just Main Street.
·         End billionaire and corporate tax dodging, fix the system to benefit middle-class and poor people. Corporations dodge $450 billion a year in taxes by using offshore tax havens. We should end this injustice, as well as chain the capital gains tax to the income tax, increase the estate tax, and implement the Buffet rule so that no millionaire CEO pays less in taxes than his or her secretary.
·         Make the minimum wage a living wage and tie it to inflation. This is about justice and basic human decency. If you work hard and you work full time you shouldn’t live in poverty.
·         Ensure universal healthcare as a right. The United States should catch up to every other modern nation and implement a single-payer, medicare-for-all system.
·         Ensure universal education as a right. Educating the citizenry of a nation pays dividends in the long run, with the economy getting back much more than is initially put in. Crushing student debt for higher education would no longer burden young men and women trying to improve their lives through hard work.
·         End unnecessary wars and nation building.
·         End the failed war on drugs. The goal is legalization, taxation, and regulation. Prohibition only makes drug cartels more powerful, increases crime, and makes drugs more dangerous due to lack of enforced safety standards.
·         Create the renewable energy revolution.
·         Block the TPP and all outsourcing deals that will further damage the middle-class.
·         End Constitutional overreaches. Ban the NSA from bulk data-collection and warrantless spying. Shut down Guantanamo Bay and all extrajudicial prisons. Prosecute torturers and those who violated the Geneva Conventions, Nuremberg Tribunal, International law and US law. Return habeas corpus and due process.
·         Ban arming human rights violators.
·         Enact common-sense gun regulation.
·         Abolish the death penalty.

Okay, personally I think some dirtbags out there really should be executed.  But other than that ... what the hell are you waiting for?  Get out there and support this!

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