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This word “democracy” has come up quite a bit this week, a week that saw a gerrymandering, election-moving, voter-restricting Wisconsin GOP, who garnered only 48 percent of the gubernatorial vote and lost all major elections in Wisconsin, secretly in predawn hours seize power it never earned in a state that had just electorally dismissed them. Democracy has been extremely problematic and soaked in blood throughout our nation’s history. This past week in Wisconsin was just the latest example.

This week, this past year and over the last decade, there has been a constant assault upon democracy throughout the United States – an assault led by the GOP. Through gerrymandering, voter suppression laws, and now in Wisconsin and elsewhere, stripping of the power of Democratically elected Democrats, we’re on the precipice of full-blown authoritarianism. But even then this authoritarianism is one of a special order on a couple levels, it is rooted within white nationalism and white supremacist ideology. One that’s aim is to keep the dominant white power structure of the nation in order, where white men control most of the CEO positions, control most of the money, and control most of the elected positions. The ethnic, racial, sexuality, and gender makeup of the Democratic Party – even in all its progressive faults and failures – is a huge threat to them.

Their America is where only white people get to be “real Americans.” It’s an America when we talk about needing to cater to rural voters, it’s “white” rural people. It’s an America where there is no working class except the white working class. It’s an America where kneeling for the anthem is insulting veterans because only white veterans matter and the lives of black veterans don’t. Even though he was actually far from a socialist, and can be labeled as a centrist on many issues and an imperialist on others, President Barack Obama’s mere presence was a threat to that order. These faces, even if many don’t do anything to truly threaten the destructive capitalism and imperialism of the United States, are black and brown faces that threaten the order they want and need.

The meer diversity of the Democratic party means Democrats are the party of the “other,” and any politician Black, Brown, White, or Yellow that is a Democrat is a threat to their order. Because if the party is multicultural, then it means the boogie man of “multicultural Marxism” – a racist dog whistle for those who don’t know – is around the corner.

The Republicans are running toward the American brand of fascism. (And, sorry, in-denial Republicans, fascism is indeed a right-wing ideology, not left-wing.) It is not like anyone would call North Korea a Democratic Republic even if the government is called the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. But in your world, we’ve always been at war with Eastasia. But, this run towards American brand of racialized fascism would be bad enough in a vacuum, but their brand is also one of ecological destruction.

The outright refusal of the GOP to consider climate change is criminal, but they aren’t just doing that, they’re selling and dirtying our water, destroying our parks and natural resources, putting policies in place that release more greenhouse gasses into the air. They are actively destroying our habitat for the profit of their donors.

These people are evil and some of the most destructive and vile humans to see and feel the sun of our pale blue dot. They are preventing the voices of people being hurt and abused to be heard … people who want a different world … for the power to rule over a burning planet. For their ideology of the white, rich, and powerful deserve to stay – so destruction of the planet, oppression of people, and democracy be dammed. Anyone who votes for this party and anyone elected as such is an enemy of humanity’s survival.

No one should place good faith in them as leaders again, and if you’re not assuming the worst will come to pass then, well, let me tell you – the worst will come to pass. If you don’t think they’ll take the most extreme measures to hold onto their power, then they will do just that. You must believe they are capable of the absolute worst of humanity because everything they’ve shown us and told us so far indicates they are. So it is time for the entirety of the left to act as such. Please stop the chants of “Shame!” You cannot shame people with no shame – the only currency they recognize is power.

In Wisconsin, and indeed throughout the nation, all options must be on the table to keep the worst at bay. At the moment, this looks like escalation beyond afternoon marches, rotunda singalongs, testimony, etc. Yes, work the courts, keep the mass mobilization and organizing going, vote during elections. Yes, continue all of that. But more has to happen, the occupation of the capital, general strikes, disruption of their lives … it must all be on the table.

It is time for the left to continue on the offensive after this past November’s Blue Wave because it indeed was just that. Flip the table and don’t’ play by the rules they want you to. Especially since we have the numbers and we have the people. What is the first rule of organizing? The people, the people, the people.

So, find where you/we have power and use it without hesitation, and without concern about what the Right or their voters will think. Find where you are most useful and act, but know that with any organizers, community groups, orgs, unions. etc, you have to think general strike and even past that. Shut down this illegitimate, undemocratic government that is looking to strip us of our very existence. This is literally the fight for our species’ survival. It is time we act like it.

Written by Matthew Braunginn

Matthew Braunginn

Matthew Braunginn is a Madison native and civil rights activist.

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