Wow, what a year. Everybody sees 2016 as politically extraordinary – literally, out of the ordinary. In some ways that’s true. In some essential ways, though, not so much.
During the U.S. presidential campaign of 1928, Republican Herbert Hoover promised voters that if he won, he’d put “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.” Just a few months later, the stock market crashed. And that pledge, like most of the others made by capitalist candidates, dissolved – this time in the smoke over homeless encampments called Hoovervilles.
During this election cycle, Donald Trump promised to “put America back to work at decent wages” and bring back a mythical golden era of security and prosperity for all. But his real plan seems to be to put a fox in every henhouse! He’s filling his Cabinet with a cast of warped characters with the potential to do great harm, starting with Mother Earth and extending to workers’ rights, public education, healthcare, Social Security, nuclear disarmament, civil liberties and human rights – and the list goes on.
But he’s not going to find it so easy to roll back the clock, is he? It’s up to those who thirst for justice to dash his expectations!
The problem is not just one man or one administration, no matter how loathsome. U.S. working-class voters are tricked every election into voting for one bourgeois politician or another against their own interests. But in the Freedom Socialist Party (FSP), we have confidence in our class, which has seen through the system’s illusions and has risen to great heights many times before – to build a union movement, to gain universal suffrage, to win the eight-hour day, to fight a second American revolution to end slavery.
Sporadic protests are not enough, no matter how militant. The biggest challenge faced by workers and the oppressed is to get organized. That means letting our shared class interest bring us together to discuss and agree upon a common program for common efforts – things like democratic united fronts against reaction, radical union caucuses, an independent labor party, elected civilian review boards over the police, a nationally coordinated resurgent anti-war movement.
FSP’s resolution for the new year is to fight like hell. We know we are not alone in that resolution! And, here in the imperialist heartland, we want our sisters and brothers internationally to know that we battle for them as well. We workers of the world are of many different countries, backgrounds, colors, and persuasions. But our fight is one fight. And in 2017, we need to make it count.