We have earned the right to look to a new, socialist future

The door is wide open. The opportunity for socialism is a serious option for a new political future. Let’s get real: The Republicans have abdicated democratic responsibilities. They have given up on our basic democratic values and the U.S. Constitution. The Republican Party and many of its supporters are frankly pushing for a fascist, racist regime. They have abandoned our nation and its people using false patriot arguments.

Who are the false prophets of patriotism? Who are the ignorant self-serving people telling falsehoods and lies about our democracy? Who are the people that violently attacked the U.S. Capitol Building? We know them as the insurrectionists and traitors of the Jan. 6, 2021, failed coup. We already know who the lost souls of democracy are. They are those who voted to acquit Donald Trump.

Trump called the insurrectionists good people. He loves them. He called the second impeachment trial another witch hunt. He said his movement is just beginning. He thanked his supporters, claiming they are fighting for American democracy because somehow the election was stolen. These people don’t even know what democratic values are all about. They have no clue what it means to sacrifice for our democracy.

The true supporters of moral conscience and democratic values are those who stood up to defend the Constitution and to defeat the insurrectionists. Republican members who voted to acquit simply aided and abetted the insurrectionists, posing as defenders of our democracy but in truth merely swearing their allegiance to one mortal man, Donald Trump.

It has now been reported that some of the insurrectionists arrested didn’t even vote in the 2020 elections. The Republicans want us to believe these insurrectionists were essentially nonviolent, and that it was “antifa” or independent right-wing activists who created all the violence. They don’t want us to believe what we and the whole world witnessed.

So let’s be clear. Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, and all the other Republicans who voted for acquittal are not worthy of our respect. They desperately want you to forget the whole incident of Jan. 6—under the guise of “unity,” they say. You know, let bygones be bygones. They claimed it was not under their jurisdiction to impeach someone who is not in office. So someone holding office can commit any crime they want in the waning days of their tenure and get away with it because they can’t be convicted once they’re out of office? Nonsense. Millions don’t accept that argument.

These are not people to emulate or to tolerate. They are traitors. They know exactly what it means to be disgraced and labeled as a traitor. That is why they fight so hard to deny it, even as they brandish Confederate flags in our faces. In fact, they will do whatever is in their power to redirect away from such truthful talk. They will of course hide behind the Constitution and the American flag once again.

The Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021. | AP

We must hold the Republicans who supported the insurrection and those who engaged in sedition accountable now, in 2022, and in the next presidential elections. Traitors don’t belong in our halls of Congress. Those who attempted to take over the U.S Capitol have to be labeled as traitors. So tell the world. Trump is a traitor—to the country and to democracy. He and his fascist movement will not be tolerated.

As they said in Spain during the fascist uprising in 1936, “No pasarán! They shall not pass!” Fascism won the civil war, but the world has never forgotten the heroic lesson of resistance.

The majority of the 81 million people who voted against Trump and for Joe Biden more than likely view the former president as a criminal. There is much talk about the 74 million people who voted for Trump and respecting their vote. What is more important to remember is that a clear majority voted against Trump. Biden won the election by over seven million votes. This is what counts in a democracy.

The old political structure allowed Trump and his fascist supporters the opportunity to hijack our democracy. As we know, Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 and only became president by virtue of the undemocratic Electoral College—which also, in the year 2000, put George W. Bush in office. If just a few thousand votes in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Michigan had gone the other way, Biden could still have won the popular vote by as many as six million, even larger than Hillary Clinton’s margin, and Trump would again have taken the White House.

A political change is necessary

It is clear that a political change is necessary. People are tired of all the nonsense of inaction by Congress. People are frustrated with the continued inequality penetrating every institution in the nation; cyclical economic crisis, endemic poverty, irreversible environmental destruction, attacks on our democratic rights. Is it any wonder that people are seeking a more rational, constructive way to govern?

If you are looking for something different, don’t disappear. Don’t give up. Don’t back down. Socialism is what you need.

What are the options we have to keep the fascists, including the Republican Party, from destroying our democracy? There’s holding the Republican Party guilty in public opinion by continuing to discuss their traitorous actions. The proper institutions can bring up criminal charges both on the national and local levels. Continue building strong voter registration and voter outreach to defeat and deny the fascists political office. Run progressive candidates and create a mandate for a progressive agenda, including a strong message to defeat the fascists. And build a strong movement for socialism.

Our country is in a new phase of questioning and optimism now that the great promise of capitalism has not materialized. A political shift is occurring as democratic forces meet the fascists head-on. In his book Can Capitalism Last? Daniel Rubin wrote, “Having achieved some victories, this broad working-class led coalition will conclude at some point it is necessary to replace capitalism as a whole with socialism” to address the nation’s most pressing social needs.

The fightback has been long and hard, and it continues. Mass coalition-building has taken place throughout the nation. But to move closer to socialism, a still broader coalition is needed. Now is the time for the small steps to be taken. Socialism is not a mystery, it’s not an unknown political approach. We have seen the cowardly action by Republicans to give away our democracy. Nor can we depend on Democratic leaders alone, whose loyalties are often fatally compromised by banking and industrial backing.

Socialism is a real option. At least inform yourself. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

As with all op-eds published by People’s World, this article reflects the opinions of its author.


David Trujillo
David Trujillo

David Trujillo is a member of the National Writers Union, a playwright, writer, and community activist. David Trujillo es miembro de la Unión Nacional de Escritores, dramaturgo, escritor y activista comunitario.