Concerned citizens must use the ballot box as a means of saving this fragile democracy.
However, voting is only the first step. After the election, we need to be more active. Of course, we will continue to demonstrate, to agitate and to risk arrest. But we must also be engaged on a consistent basis with our senators and our members of the House so that we can resist the Republican push towards fascism. Under Trump, every form of democracy is under threat. The massive tax cuts for the elite and for the corporations will lead to attempts to severely cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other such programs.
It was really disheartening to read the piece by Richard Ochs – “Why liberals should vote for Maryland Green Party candidates,” especially considering that our fragile democracy is being threatened by a Republican Party intent on making this a fascist nation. Anyone who thinks this is hyperbole should consider what has happened in Brazil, Hungary and Poland.
Sadly, Dick used the all-inclusive term “Maryland Democrats” as a means to tar and feather an amorphous group without any context. The most progressive member of the House of Representatives is Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat. When he was a member of the Maryland Senate, he led the fight to repeal the death penalty and the struggle in our state for marriage equality. In casting blame on the warmongers, Ochs fails to mention Maryland Republicans.
My House member is John Sarbanes, a Democrat, and according to the study done by Peace Action and CODEPINK, he voted correctly on peace issues 92% of the time. He recently signed on to a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanding the restoration of aid to the Palestinians, and has called for an end to U.S. involvement in the Saudi attack of Yemen. Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, led the charge on aid to the Palestinians and got 33 other senators to sign on to a letter to Donald Trump. His ranking for peace votes is 71%. He and Maryland Democrat Senator Ben Cardin voted against tabling a Senate resolution aimed at using the War Powers Act to get the U.S. military out of Yemen.
Maryland Republicans are notorious militarists, as well as being controlled by campaign donations from the elite. In 2002, we managed to persuade our Maryland senators, Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes, and three members of the House Ben Cardin and Elijah cummings, Maryland Democrats, and Connie Morella, a Republican, to vote no to the Iraq War. Possibly the greatest foreign policy fiasco in U.S. history, future generations will be paying for this war which was supported almost unanimously by Republicans.
This has to be the epitome of hyperbole: “Because Ben Jealous and Larry Hogan are part of a militarist system which is destroying our beloved country and destroying the world, not because they want to, but because they need the campaign contributions.” Hogan, a Maryland Republican, has raised millions of campaign dollars, while Jealous, a Maryland Democrat, has been running an under-funded progressive campaign. For possibly the first time, Maryland voters have a progressive running for governor who is calling for $15 as a minimum wage, Medicare For All and other such issues favored by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
In the context of this discussion, it is important to recognize that third-party candidates in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin gave the election to a fascist white supremacist. His election was also aided by Russian interference on social media. The list of Trump’s assaults on democracy are endless. He is actually profiting from his presidential decisions. His latest act of impudence is sending U.S. troops to the border, wasting tax dollars, and labeling poor migrants from Honduras as Middle Eastern terrorists who are planning on invading the USA. He has asserted that this “invasion” is composed of people with leprosy, lice, and other contagious diseases.
This is another statement which defies logic: “Because those who support either major party unintentionally end up like the Germans in 1932 who accepted militarism for jobs and benefits.” Hitler’s party got about 33% of the voted. So 67% of the Germans did not vote for Nazism. In this country, Trump didn’t get a majority of the votes, yet fascism is rearing its ugly head. ·
This is another irrelevant statement: “Because the Green Party will not take a dime of corporate money.” First, the corporations will not give any donations to the Green Party, as it is not a party which wins elections at the federal or state levels. A vote for the Green Party candidate for governor is a vote for Hogan/Trump. The Green Party should instead focus on local elections in order to build a base.
The real issue on Election Day is how do we prevent the onslaught of fascism from overtaking this country. Members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade saw the fascism on the horizon and went to Spain to take on Franco. We must continue to take on Trump and all of his policies, but activists alone cannot protect our fragile democracy. I have witnessed the rise and fall of many third parties. One of the greatest rabble-rousers, Eugene Debs, got 800,000 votes for president while in the Atlanta penitentiary. However, we do not have a parliamentary democracy. Bernie Sanders, a socialist, votes with the Democratic Party. So our only chance to take on fascism seems to be to make the Democratic Party more progressive, as espoused by Michael Moore, Allan Nairn and Noam Chomsky.
You are welcome to dismiss my analysis. But before you do, please consider watching the interviews with Nairn and Chomsky.
Allan Nairn: The U.S. Is Facing Incipient Domestic Fascism, But Rightist Revolution Can Be Stopped – November 1, 2018 Democracy Now
Noam Chomsky on Midterms: Republican Party Is the “Most Dangerous Organization in Human History”-- November 5, 2018 Democracy Now
Use your vote wisely today. Otherwise, Pastor Martin Neimoller’s poem “First They came …” could become a reality in this country in 2018.
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs