Dear Jeremy Scahill: Yes, The Democrats ARE Part of the Problem—So Stop Pretending They Can Be Part of the Solution!

by Sunsara Taylor

June 11, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


In the May 30 episode of his podcast Intercepted, Jeremy Scahill provides damning exposure of the horrific leap that the Trump/Pence regime is making in relation to truly sick and vicious treatment of immigrants—now literally tearing infants and children from the arms of their parents. Refreshingly, Scahill reminds listeners that it was under Obama that, among other things, deportations hit an all-time high and that children in detention were routinely abused—kicked in the head, threatened with death, strip searched and molested until they screamed, imprisoned in dog kennels, and more.

In this way, Scahill gets at something essential: BOTH the major parties of this country—both the Democrats and the Republicans—are guilty of towering crimes.

But then abruptly, Scahill’s “reasoning” drops off a cliff.

Despite admonishing his listeners that “We have to go to the root,” he proceeds to do the exact opposite.

Instead of saying another word about “the root,” Scahill champions the completely surface level delusion of solving these problems through a “new generation of candidates running for office,” especially those challenging “establishment Democrats.”

But if Democrats are part of the problem—which they most definitely are!—then how the hell does “retaking” the Democratic Party hold any chance of solution? It doesn’t!

It is revealing that Scahill never even attempts to explain why or how retaking the Democratic Party will lead to stopping any of this. Instead, he does a huge setup and switch: After powerfully exposing Trump and the shared guilt of the Democrats, he substitutes what should be the goal of stopping this nightmare with the “goal” of retaking the Democratic Party.

Scahill also never attempts to explain—or demand that his guest, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is part of this “new generation of candidates,” explain—how any of her campaign promises to “abolish ICE” and “reimagine” U.S. immigration to not be rooted in “racial exclusion” could actually be fulfilled. How could that be done without ripping up the entire social fabric of white supremacy? Without redrawing the blood-soaked borders of this country that were carved through conquest and theft of land? Without ending the military aggression, brutal exploitation, and environmental destruction that has driven millions to cross borders in a desperate search for survival? How could any of this happen under the mode of production of capitalism—where everything, even the survival of human beings, the bonds between parents and small children, and the future of the planet itself are “external” to the demands of the drive for profit and global domination and the need for a repressive state to enforce that with whatever level of brutality it deems “effective”?

The truth: All this is completely unrealistic within this system. But it IS possible through overthrowing this system and replacing it with a radically different system through an actual revolution.

So, let’s really go to the root: The Democratic Party is a ruling class party. It represents the same system of U.S. imperialism as Trump and the Republicans—a ruthless system based on worldwide exploitation which has dropped nuclear bombs on civilians, set up torture “black sites,” and staged more than 100 unjust coups, invasions, and occupations in every corner of the world. The fight between the Democrats and the Republicans has only ever been about how to pursue these imperialist interests.

And here is something else Scahill refuses to confront: Right now, the section of the rulers in power, the Trump/Pence regime, are moving rapidly to hammer into place a qualitatively different form of imperialist rule: fascism. Once consolidated, this American fascism means not only going forward with all-out genocidal ethnic cleansing, imposing vicious Christian fascist theocracy, and ramping up violent white supremacy. It also means shutting down all space to oppose them both from below by the masses of people and even from within the halls of power. When was the last time a U.S. president made a rallying cry of locking up his ruling class political rivals—even going so far as to hint about their assassination? As horrific as the “normal” workings of imperialism are for billions, it’s important to understand how qualitatively more horrific fascism in the world’s only superpower would be for humanity—including the potential destruction of human life on this planet through nuclear war and/or environmental destruction.

The only way to put an end in a lasting and fundamental way to all of these horrors is through an actual revolution that overthrows this system and replaces it with a radically different system rooted in a different economic foundation, a radically different relationship to the people of the world, radically different social relations and values, and a radically different form of rule. This is the New Socialist Republic in North America as concretized in a constitution authored by Bob Avakian. Fighting and preparing now to get in position to make—and to have a real chance at winning—this revolution when a revolutionary crisis emerges is what everyone who truly wants to deal with this problem at the root needs to join with right now. A good way to get started is to read and spread the strategy for revolution and visit every day.

As a key part of getting to a far better world there is the immediate imperative to STOP fascism by joining with the movement to drive out the Trump/Pence regime through mass independent political resistance outside the official political channels which created this nightmare. This is not the same as revolution—but it does require going far outside the bounds of the whole Democrat-Republican routine that has only ever been a three-card Monte game for the masses.

Instead of feeding people the very harmful illusion that this problem can be solved within the confines of this system and on its terms, I urge Jeremy Scahill and all those who recognize that the Democrats truly will not save us to join in earnest in waging this struggle now while seriously engaging the vision and strategy for an actual revolution.


Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.