Supreme Court sends a clear message: Elections matter
Wikipedia (CC)

It’s been a tough week for the working class and people of our country. On top of Trump’s crude and cruel zero tolerance immigration policy, the Supreme Court has delivered a string of disastrous rulings, ending with the announcement of Justice Kennedy’s retirement.

In Janus v. AFSCME, the conservative majority of the Supreme Court ruled that public-sector unions are now obligated to provide services without compensation to non-members in their bargaining unit. The decision, which represents the culmination of a five year effort by billionaire donors, conservative think tanks, and the Republican Party, overturns clear precedent in an attempt to break the back of organized labor and remove the strongest obstacle to austerity and privatization.  It is an attack on the whole of the working class.

In other cases this year, the conservative majority of the Supreme Court has upheld voter suppression, racist gerrymandering, and Trump’s Muslim ban. It has also made police officers nearly immune to prosecution for use of excessive force and restricted states’ ability to protect abortion rights.

As disastrous as these decisions are for the working class as a whole, and for working-class women, people of color, and refugees in particular, they should come as no surprise at a moment when right-wing extremists dominate all three branches of government.

The Republican Party has cobbled together its agenda from the debris of the Confederacy, polished up and repurposed for the neoliberal age. It brings together white male supremacy, right-wing evangelism, and the glorification of state and private violence, harnessing them to the project of supplying big business with cheap, flexible labor and securing capitalist profits against the looming crisis.

The opening of a second Supreme Court seat with Anthony Kennedy’s retirement escalates the danger even further. When Trump took office, Senate Republicans handed him a stolen Supreme Court seat and 114 lower court vacancies. At the same time, the Federalist Society handed him a list of extremist nominees prepared to work with far-right think tanks and Republican-dominated state legislatures to dismantle reproductive freedom, civil rights, LGBTQ equality, public education, collective bargaining, separation of church and state, and due process.

The clear partisan divide on the court and the aggressiveness of the majority in pursuing its reactionary agenda should drive home the fact that the two parties are not interchangeable, and elections have consequences.

Today the consequence is that each ruling and every move by the administration is meant to entrench GOP institutional dominance for generations to come despite changing demographics and politics. GOP strategy also includes ensuring each issue reaches the Supreme Court for a favorable ruling. This can only embolden Trump to suppress the Mueller investigation from the court and ensure a coverup of his vast crimes.

Thus, these Supreme Court decisions, and those to follow, must be met with a wave of grassroots resistance, from rallies and demonstrations, to labor actions and direct confrontation of officials and their corporate backers. If it is to be effective, however, that swell of protest must fuel a mass electoral mobilization against the Republican Party in the midterm elections.

As recent primary victories by progressive and socialist candidates suggest, there’s good news. Riding a wave of grassroots activism, anger and outrage at Trump policies, candidates who take clear pro-people and pro-working-class positions on issues are winning. Women, black, white, Latino and Asian are playing a key role. But Trump is playing to his base as well and stakes couldn’t be higher. The fate of democracy itself hangs in the balance.

Ruling class racism is a central organizing principle of this administration. The country has been treated to a now daily fair of attacks on the press, political opponents, and the very foundations of government the logical outcome of which if not arrested is an American style strongman dictatorship. Make no mistake it can happen here.

This is what’s on the ballot in November: a complete defeat of the Republican Party and a repudiation of its vicious, reactionary agenda. The labor movement is not going to take Janus lying down. The women’s movement as well have their eyes on the prize of November. So too with the African American, Latino, LGBTQ and Asian civil rights movements and youth. All out to the ballot boxes on election day. That too can and must happen here.


CONTRIBUTOR

Communist Party USA
Communist Party USA

The Communist Party USA is a working class organization founded in 1919 in Chicago, IL. The Communist Party stands for the interests of the American working class and the American people. It stands for our interests in both the present and the future. Solidarity with workers of other countries is also part of our work. We work in coalition with the labor movement, the peace movement, the student movement, organizations fighting for equality and social justice, the environmental movement, immigrants rights groups and the health care for all campaign. But to win a better life for working families, we believe that we must go further. We believe that the American people can replace capitalism with a system that puts people before profit — socialism. We are rooted in our country's revolutionary history and its struggles for democracy. We call for "Bill of Rights" socialism, guaranteeing full individual freedoms. For more information, visit us at www.cpusa.org

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