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Much has been made in the recent campaign about the alienation of working-class whites from the Democratic Party. Michael Pierce shows this is a path long traveled; Bill Clinton undermined the budding multi-racial labor coalition in 1970s Arkansas.
Michael Hirsch, Saulo Colon, Murray Schneider, Lois Weiner
The form of political action that Clinton defenders in labor advocate is a suffocating loser. It seeks accommodation when confrontation is required. It is more concerned with the longevity of the union as an institution – an important consideration for labor, but one that demands a more courageous vision – than with the overall strength of its members vis a vis their employers, which in fact is the only guarantor of institutional survival.
The battle lines are clear. Democracy is in peril and the left must take itself seriously electorally and politically. Ruth Potts speaks to Gary Younge, who was based in Muncie, Indiana, for the US election, about the implications of Donald Trump’s victory.
Radicals have long argued that American labor leaders are not only isolated from their rank and file, but actually have a set of interests that are distinct from their members. If labor is going to avoid such astronomical blunders as Trump’s victory in the future, rank-and-file workers will have to lead the charge against their Clinton-backing leaders.
Besides birtherism and anti-Blumenthalism, Donald Trump basically ignored the entire Republican agenda of the past eight years. The upshot of last night is not merely that one candidate is hyper-qualified to be the next president of the United States and the other one is not even a decent beauty-queen host; it’s that the entire Republican Party agenda of the past eight years has been a hoax.
How – and how far – the “political revolution” will continue remains to be seen. What has already occurred is a surge of support for the Green party. Many of Sanders’ delegates will be pressing the campaign’s radical demands within the Convention. This activity will draw its participants beyond what they could hope to achieve within the constraints of Sanders’ candidacy. Yet it was the vast reach of that candidacy which made possible these steps to go beyond it.