General strike talk
This lovely headline graced the Truthout website as of two days ago: "Labor Prepares for Last-Minute General Strike If Trump Tries to Steal Election." So what's the plan?
The 100,000-member MLK Labor Council, an AFL-CIO regional body of labor groups representing more than 150 unions in the Seattle, Washington, area, passed a resolution Wednesday that calls for a general strike if President Donald Trump does not respect the outcome of the November 3 election.
So it's basically some labor who will do this. Also:
On Oct. 8, the Rochester [N.Y.] Labor Council passed a resolution supporting a general strike if Trump refuses to leave office after a November election defeat.
Now, I'm totally in favor of expressions of worker solidarity, but this would be an opportunity wasted unless it develops into something else. Let's see, if Grifter A wins the election, we're going to be in the streets defending him against Grifter B, who refuses to concede. I presume that, throughout this "general strike" (if it at all happens), no question will be raised about a system in which most if not all of our political figures are grifters.
Dictionary.com defines "grifter":
a person who operates a side show at a circus, fair, etc., especially a gambling attraction.
a swindler, dishonest gambler, or the like.
We work within a system, basically capitalism, in which the police, lawyers, judges, financiers, bureaucrats, private security, writers of code etc. exist fundamentally to protect property, and thus to protect those whose ability to steal things and call said things "their property" is recognized by law. Which is to say, grifters. But this is trivial, right? Onward and upward! The New Yorker:
There's a fifty-five page manual, an organization called the "Indivisible Project," people are doing trainings and so on. Very cool.
There's Jacobin, from six days ago:
Unlike most of the world, American unions have almost no history of waging political mass strikes. But with Donald Trump’s exceptionally dangerous and undemocratic threats, some unions are discussing the possibility of withholding their labor to stop him from stealing the election.
Faced with Donald Trump’s repeated declarations that he will refuse to peacefully leave office if the vote results don’t go his way, some unions are speaking up about the crucial role organized labor can play in defending democracy.
Democracy, yeah right. The right to "elect" the grifter of your choice is sacrosanct! General strike y'all. I'd like to ask the folks who are planning a General Strike for Biden what their favorite Biden policy is, to remind us all of what we will all be defending in the forthcoming moment of truth. Is it the 1994 Crime Bill? The 2005 Bankruptcy Bill? The War in Iraq? Here's a list -- go for it, kiddos. (And, as for Trump, well there's a whole life full of grift to discuss there. Start with the bankruptcies and the Mafia connections.)
At this point I'd like to point to a previous diary of mine, "Coalition politics in America today." Real power in America is held by partnerships: police and militias, donors and politicians, city councils and homeowners/ businesses, NGOs and political parties. Something happens, money changes hands, and we discover that the "leaders" have decided and we have no power over our lives. "Democracy" within such a system is the right to "choose" between alternatives none of which we chose.
I hope he does it, frankly. If Trump can lose and then refuse to leave the White House, maybe we'll have a chance to incite a real discussion about what to do. To "defend democracy," you first have to have democracy.