Friday, June 16, 2017
Hard Times “These are times that try men’s souls.” Yes, a Sanders Democrat shot some Republicans on a ballfield in Virginia yesterday and was shot and killed for his efforts. No, in this country we don’t want people shooting each other for any reason. But who is primarily responsible for easy access to firearms, people of the left like yesterday’s shooter or people on the right who have fetishized the Second Amendment to prop up the most liberal gun laws in the industrialized world? I’ve read and heard today (June 15) so much apologist hand-wringing by liberals in the press and on social media that I must remind my fellow lefties that just one leftwing nut job was guilty of yesterday’s shooting and that every day Republicans in office wage war on the common people of America. Who else but Republicans are conspiring in secret to write a partisan health-care bill that does away with our health care, abandoning protection of the critically wounded environment, designing a tax reform bill that redistributes wealth upward, denying women the right to choose how they manage their own lives and bodies, delaying the urgent need to repair our infrastructure, ignoring the daily toll of violence on black Americans, exacerbating the daily trials of Spanish-speaking immigrants working to better their and their children’s lives? In almost every area of government concern, elected Republicans pursue policies to aid the affluent and to hurt the rest of the country. They don’t need guns to prosecute their war on common people, because they have political power and loads of money to back it up. While we must deplore the use of weapons, the Left needs to be more militant in working to retake political power. We must not tolerate yesterday’s shooting, but we should not act as if we are somehow culpable for the increased violence in America, especially when Donald Trump on the stump egged on his followers to commit violent acts upon protesters in their midst. The rightwing has a disproportionately large role in the escalating violence around us, while we of the Left must continue the non-violent struggle for social, political, and economic justice for all.