Recently, I’ve seen calls from the Democratic Party, and many of their supporters, for progressives and the Left in general to “unite” behind Hillary Clinton. This is nothing new for those of us who have been around a few elections cycles; but for millennials this is becoming a lesson in how this sham of a democracy works. You see, the Democratic Party elite have been lurching toward the right for decades. They may be progressive when it comes to social issues for political reasons, like LGBTQ and women’s reproductive rights, but they, along with their Republican counterparts, have forged an unbreakable bond forged in the gilded towers of the elite. It is called oligarchy. And there is not a shard of light between them when it comes to wealth, war and the preservation of empire.
The reality is that the vast majority of the American public does not vote in any of its shows, er, elections. Maybe they are apathetic, maybe they see it for the farce it is. But in any case they have checked out of the political process allowing the corporate, wealth class to take hold of all power in this country. The result, of course, is a plutocracy where the police are militarized, prisons are over flowing, the environment is imperiled and the wars of plunder are unending.
The call to unite from Party officials, campaign public relations and Hillary herself may be desperate, it may be cynical, or it may be a sincere rallying call for some, but it is not unique in the least. And it requires absolutely no real commitment to social, economic and environmental justice from those who are calling for it. It seems they can easily give a pass to Hillary’s war mongering, or undying love of neoliberal capitalism, or her promotion of fracking and the funding she gets from the fossil fuel and private prison industry. They can overlook her support from Wall Street and multinational corporations too. And they expect everyone else to do the same.
But in the past week we have seen some Hillary supporters shut down Bernie Sanders Facebook pages by posting porn and other objectionable things on them; and we have learned that a pro-Hillary super pac is funding social media trolls to attack anyone who dares criticize the bloody queen of chaos. Grant it, there has been some of this on both sides, but the Clinton campaign has been far better funded; and this is what makes these calls of unity the supreme insult on top of injury for many people.
But there is hope. I have faith in millennials who have taken to the streets and organized. Whether it be Black Lives Matter or Climate Change activism or BDS, the energy for change is unmistakable. They have shamed my generation. They have shown us that “reform” is just a code word for the status quo and that revolution lies outside the two party hegemony, not within it. If they keep up their agitation of the establishment they may just topple this empire of lies, corruption and death. And in a time of looming climate chaos, we need this more urgently and soon.
But don’t wait for Gen Xers to help you out. With some notable exceptions, most of us have eased into comfy armchairs and will not take to the streets unless it is to go for a latte. The future belongs to you, and I’ll be right there in the streets with you.