Column: Warning! System failed. Hard reboot required.

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Credit to Wikimedia Commons.

By: Marjaan Sirdar, Freelance Writer

Disclaimer: The UpTake is not responsible for the content of this article.

October 1, 2020

Donald Trump — who we all know is a lying racist, sexist, xenophobic, tax cheating draft dodger — is now stacking the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), disputing the election results in advance of election day, and refusing to commit to a peaceful transfer of power come November. In the first presidential debate Tuesday night when asked by moderator Chris Wallace if he will commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses, the president refused to agree adding: “This is not going to end well.” But who is honestly surprised? The Trump family is who we said they were: a criminal syndicate. We cannot simply vote our way out of this mess. It is going to require a struggle because fascists don’t honor elections. We need to take to the streets and fight like never before because we know we cannot depend on Biden and the Democrats to do anything but compromise. Although these are uncertain times and stressful for everyone, imagine what we can overcome and achieve if we get organized. Now is the time for something grand: an economic restructuring of society where we tax the one percent out of existence and leverage power between the People and the state.

Warning!

Trump is set to seat his third SCOTUS appointment with the up-coming confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, and the Democrats’ inability to stop it. With calculation, U.S. Attorney General William Barr is laying the pretext to indict protestors with sedition before the election, anticipating that demonstrations will ensue. On November 4th, the day after this election, even if Chief Judge Roberts sides with the liberals, Trump will have a 5-4 majority to immediately stop counting votes declaring himself the winner. The Republican Senate, who blocked Obama’s SCOTUS pick in 2016 crying foul due to it being an election year, has “vowed” to cooperate with a peaceful transfer of power. Sticking to their “word”, the Republicans will indeed call for a peaceful transfer of power (read: continuation of power) using the Trump SCOTUS ruling to legitimize their power grab, keeping the White House and the Senate. Trump will try to use our military to clear demonstrators in the streets with a show of force, potentially causing a standoff with the National Guard in blue states with Democratic governors like Minnesota. Trump, the criminal Republican Party and their corporate backers, with a stacked SCOTUS will waste little time declaring war against abortion, protestors, immigrants, same sex marriage and civil rights. 

The Democrats will be useless in stopping them just like these past four years and the eight years under George W. Bush. Except this time the People across the country are agitated and ready to rebel in the streets at any moment. However, Trump’s base made up of law enforcement and their armed apologists are now openly collaborating right-wing militia-style (Kenosha and Portland) to crush these demonstrations, making the conditions perfect for a large-scale conflict (read: civil war). At the first debate the president encouraged his supporters to monitor polls in liberal cities as he continued to cast doubts on the fairness of the election. When asked by Wallace to denounce white supremacists, Trump told the Proud Boys watching to “Stand back and standby.” People like the Proud Boys who are more enthusiastic about supporting Trump after the debate are willing to use violence against their opponents and we must prepare for that reality. Former Trump lawyer, Michael Cohen, confirmed Wednesday night on CNN that “Trump sees the Proud Boys as his army…waving the MAGA flag” and will deputize them to fight his cause “if he loses the election”. Imagine if the Republicans are successful with stealing this election like they did in 2000, or more violently like Cohen is suggesting. If this happens he will remain in power for an undetermined amount of time and we will likely see a long, violent struggle.

System failed 

Bernie Sanders warned us that both major parties are waging class warfare against working people. Trump, a man who has cheated his whole life, is not an anomaly but rather a product of a system designed to fail the people at the bottom because their sole purpose is to serve the system and those who control it. They are America’s low-wage workforce who are disproportionately Black, brown and female. This arrangement allows the few at the top, who Bernie calls the 1%, to have the kind of extreme wealth and power that the Trump family flaunts. This racket has managed to work thanks to the cognitive dissonance of poor and working class white people voting for Trump against their own interests, despite paying more than him in taxes. 

Racial capitalism is what we on the left said it was: a racket. It has never been intended to trade a full day’s work for a fair wage. Our system was originally designed to extract labor by the crack of the whip. Today it is the privatization of land that keeps the average worker indebted to landlords and banks, and thus their bosses, for most of their lives; but when all else fails the powers that be will use incarceration and the separation of families, starvation, and violence to keep their profits flowing. Trump is simply the face of this kleptocracy that wants you to give up democracy in order to save racial capitalism. We want you to give up racial capitalism in order to save the world. That’s what’s at stake here. 

Democrats failed

For years the Democrats fought socialism and their own base instead of fighting the growing fascist movement in the new millennium, as it grew under the guise of fighting “terrorism”. That is simply because the party is corrupt and controlled by corporations, not the People. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Joe Biden’s campaign stripped the party platform of Medicare For All, as Obamacare left millions of Americans uninsured. Biden defended his position at the debate. Our Democratic governor caved to right-wing activists last spring and allowed businesses to reopen. Now reports show our state has a record increase of new Covid cases. Walz and his Democratic Party at the state legislature seem impotent in dealing with the Republican controlled senate thus failing Minnesotans most in need of policies like rent cancellation and a wealth tax, proposed by activist groups such as United Renters for Justice. At the local level, the Democratic controlled Minneapolis city council ordered the bulldozing of several park encampments for unsheltered neighbors and abandoned their pledge to defund and dismantle the MPD, thus continuing to use our taxes to fund an organization that perpetually harms our communities rather than putting it towards housing people in the midst of a pandemic, reducing the chances of harm. It has been 128 days since they murdered George Floyd. If we cannot hold our local officials accountable at the city, county and state level, there’s no way we can hold Trump accountable. 

Mayor Jacob Frey is standing by the MPD trying to reimage and rebuild trust for the department. This is dangerous because it is clear the police federation president Lt. Bob Kroll, not Chief Arandando, has control over the rank and file. Kroll and his ilk are openly aligned with Trump and hostile towards democracy and liberals (read: Black people, brown people and whites who tolerate them). This should scare all Minneapolitans who cherish democracy. The Intercept reported this week that there is indeed a white nationalist problem inside law enforcement: “A 2006 intelligence assessment reveals that officials had concerns about the infiltration of police departments for years but failed to warn the public.” On August 27, Minneapolis City Councilmember Andrea Jenkins admitted in an email to me and nine other community members that it is “very likely” that there are white nationalists “in the Minneapolis Police Department, however because we live in America these things must be proven before they can be acted upon. To that end, the Minneapolis Police Department is being sued by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.” What are the mayor and city council doing to purge fascists from leadership and the rank and file of the MPD? Obviously not enough. 

Action steps

Only we can save ourselves. 

  • Call and email Gov. Walz and demand the state have a plan to protect us at the polls on election day and the protestors in the streets when Trump steals the election. 
  • Call and email your city council member and demand the city create a plan to protect us at the polls and the ensuing demonstrations from outside agitators like Proud Boys. Demand the city defund the MPD and fund communities who are self-organizing, now!
  • Most importantly, organize with your neighbors, make a pact not to turn on each other, create safety plans for election day and beyond. I found this resource from Choose Democracy helpful.
Credit to Marjaan Sirdar

Hard reboot required

A system that saw no crime committed in Louisville when the police murdered Breonna Taylor in her sleep is beyond reform. But this is not going to be easy because we are under attack. People in other countries around the world have woken up the day after their election to a coup without warning. We have ample warning because Trump is dumb enough to say these things out loud. Are we dumb enough to not take him seriously? His niece, Mary Trump, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that her uncle “will do everything to save himself including taking down all of us.” If he’s saying he will not leave office by ballot box then We The People are going to have to mass mobilize and take to the streets and force his resignation, similar to the Arab Spring. There is no other way around it. If the police can lawfully choke out George Floyd in broad daylight in front of witnesses and murder Breonna Taylor in her sleep, then imagine what they’re capable of doing when they decide to actually “break the law”. There is now clear and present danger with the upcoming election and the open collaboration between law enforcement and armed white supremacist counter-demonstrators. Minneapolis artist, activist Ricardo Levins-Morales recently made it plain in his latest blog post, When Lies Collapse:  “We can expect a fair amount of the pretense to fall away. Their ties to the racist right and embrace of authoritarian practices can no longer be hidden, so why bother.” Although the fascists traded in their swastikas for stars and stripes, the brutality they are prepared to unleash on their enemies will seem eerily familiar to a world that stood by and did nothing until it was too late, again


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