Far Right Still a Threat: Fight for Democracy Must Continue

Assault on the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. PHOTO/Video still from New York Times

PTLN 1.13.21

Far right still a threat: Fight for democracy must continue

From the Editors

The attack on democracy that took place Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C., was ominous in itself, and it has set the stage for more ominous things to come. The fight against dictatorship has entered a new stage.

The people’s fight for democracy and survival scored tremendous victories in the national election and in the Georgia run-off, but democracy is still threatened. The 74 million who voted for Trump (up from the 2016 total), the coup attempt orchestrated by Trump, and the willingness of certain senators and House members to vote to overturn the election, among other things, show that Trumpism is far from dead. Indeed, Trump, in a video from the White House on Jan. 6, told his supporters “this is only the beginning of our movement.”

Numerous armed far-right rallies took place in state capitols across the country Jan. 6, and there has been talk among some extremists online about mounting additional armed attacks in Washington, D.C. and in all 50 state capitols this month. And Trump and far-right politicians and media outlets are still egging on the violent right.

Meanwhile, our movement has been fighting back valiantly and pushing forward—marching, mobilizing, voting, organizing and educating at the grassroots, and making demands that the government do what is necessary to feed and house people and serve our health needs. From the defeat of Trump, with voters waiting up to 12 hours to cast their ballot, to the unprecedented mobilization led by Black women that produced election wins in Georgia that will undermine Republican control of Congress, the power and strength of a united people’s movement for democracy and survival in America was seen here and around the world.

Underlying this struggle is the ongoing failure, seen especially over the past few years, of the economic system and the government to provide for the people. This has exposed the callousness and disfunctionality of a corporate, for-profit system. Now the failure to protect us against the pandemic has exposed it more. We are in a fight for our very lives. Democracy is key to winning the fight for all we the people need to survive and thrive, including a healthy Earth. And there can be no real democracy without people having their basic needs met. That’s exactly why democracy is under attack by the powerful 1%.

The attack has taken many forms: the promotion of white supremacy; police violence against people of color, especially Black Americans; voter suppression of all kinds; violence by police and vigilantes against protesters; destruction of civil liberties; attacks on immigrants; mass incarceration; criminalizing homelessness; little or no protection against evictions; no action on climate change, etc. The attack on democracy and on our fight for survival will continue, and will come in many ways. We cannot let our guard down.

Right now, we are looking at an ongoing armed assault by the far right on the legally elected government. Certain things must be done in response: Trump should be impeached and removed, then convicted of treason and imprisoned for his role in inciting the insurrection; the eight senators and 139 House members who voted to overturn the election should be expelled from Congress; and the violent far right and its fascist movement must be crushed so it cannot rise again.

Our recent victories have shown the importance of organizing and educating people at the grassroots, and of relying on the movement to keep pressuring the government to do what the people need done. As the Detroit Will Breathe organization said in a statement about the Jan. 6 events, “We have to be our own heroes! We have to be the ones who keep us safe!” There is plenty of wealth in the hands of the giant corporations and billionaires to provide healthcare, housing, food and a decent life for everyone. We need a massive movement united around a simple program: that our society must be democratic, and that government is obligated to guarantee the people’s needs are met.

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