January 23rd, 2017

One of the secondary reasons that I voted for Bernie Sanders in the Ohio primary and then for Jill Stein in the general election is that I knew that a second President Clinton would mean continued business as usual which meant a continued erosion of progressive gains made in my lifetime and further empowerment of our growing oligarchy. The election of President Donald John Trump would be a galvanizing event snapping progressives out of their slumber.

That is exactly what has come to pass.

Owen Jones, writing in The American left will be reborn under President Trump for The Guardian, begins:

Donald Trump is now the most powerful man on Earth. You would expect the American left to be despondent; it’s not. The left is stronger than it has been for decades. They are up against a president who lost the popular vote, who assumes office with the lowest approval rating on record, and whose party is riven by divisions. In November, Clintonian-centrism—whose compelling selling point was the ability to win—was defeated, plunging the American republic into its gravest crisis since the war.

Waleed Shahid is 25 years old, from Arlington, Virginia. At the inauguration I met him in a Washington fast-food restaurant with his fellow activist, Max Berger, a 31-year-old Jewish American from “a town of 15,000 people and four Dunkin’ Donuts” in central Massachusetts. Both are involved in All Of Us, one of the many new progressive organisations [Both links are mine, JH] committed to taking on the Trump ascendancy.

Jones continues:

Shahid’s father moved to the US from Pakistan four decades ago. “He’s literally been working in the same parking garage since 1973.” There were four books in his home growing up: the Qur’an, a collection of Punjabi poetry and two biographies: one of ex-Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, the other of Hillary Clinton.

Obama had politically inspired both his parents for the first time, but their lives have not got any better. “My father had his wages and hours cut since 2008,” Shahid tells me, “and my mother’s healthcare has gone up even though Obama campaigned on this stuff.”

Both were part of the Bernie Sanders surge – and both are preparing to mobilise and fight. “We have to oppose normalisation,” says Shahid. “That won’t happen by the Democratic party alone. They need a countervailing political force to hold the Democratic party accountable to their voters, who are largely working-class people, and immigrants and people of colour.” For Shahid and Berger that means taking on the Democratic establishment.

“It includes change through elections if the Democratic party leadership aren’t going to stand for us and bring new leadership in.” For Berger, Trump’s victory cannot only be explained by a racial backlash on the part of a significant chunk of white working-class Americans. “Look at Trump’s last ad and what he articulates: there’s a global power structure, a global elite that has trillions of dollars at stake in this election.”

Sounds to me like Berger and Shahid are candidates for Our Revolution.

I knew I was.

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