Speakout is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. Speakout articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.
America Farm had Old Majors who dreamed of a land where the "animals" were free and equal. These Old Majors drove out their oppressive farmer, created a democracy and wrote "commandments," including that all animals are created equal. America Farm wasn't perfect, by any means, but it improved with time, and soon became the most prosperous and highly educated farm. The dream, however, had always teetered on an uneasy balance.
In an effort to decrease the number of homeless families in San Francisco, city officials have proposed to increase the criteria for entry into homeless family shelters. Instead of speeding up the current seven-month wait and thereby moving more families into long-term shelters, officials are preparing to slow everything down, a backward attempt to lower the homeless count by leaving some families ineligible for shelter entry, while forcing others to move away, no longer able to keep up with this increase in bureaucratic insanity.
I shuddered, horrified to the depths of my soul when Donald Trump's senior adviser Kellyanne Conway presented the Trump administration's false claims as "alternative facts" in a January 22, interview on NBC's "Meet The Press." She was defending the lies told by Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, about Trump's inauguration. For instance, Spicer stated that Trump drew "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration," despite the clear evidence of aerial photos showing that Barack Obama's inauguration drew significantly bigger crowds.
Donald Trump's presidency signifies very clearly for the first time an identification of fascist rhetoric with the interests of the American ruling class, also known as the 1%, in the face of the country's executive power. This problem, however, has not been solely caused by the totalitarian billionaire president of the United States, but expands to his choice of cabinet members, all of whom will most likely be approved by the Senate. Among others, Trump picked Rex Tillerson, outgoing president of ExxonMobil, for secretary of state; Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier, for head of the Environmental Protection Agency; and Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, for secretary of the treasury.
My husband, Kevin, was an almost Trump voter. We live in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, a predominantly white rural area and part of the "Rust Belt" that's gotten so much attention from Donald Trump and the media in the past year. Kevin suffers from epilepsy, mental health issues and arthritis. He has been fighting to get Supplemental Security Income for over 10 years now and has continuously been denied benefits. Kevin can't work a 40-hour week because of medical restrictions which include no kneeling, pushing, pulling, lifting, walking up or down stairs, and no standing for more than 30 minutes at a time.
Maintaining power in a society as grossly unequal as the United States has become is not easy. It can be accomplished, however, through demagoguery and the manipulation of reality. Truth is, modern capitalism has entered a deep phase of crisis. Predatory finance and globalization have produced unprecedented concentrations of wealth. Neoliberal policies have eliminated basic democratic protections, gutting welfare programs, dismantling the public sector and decimating unions. Millions of workers face extreme insecurity. Climate change has reached apocalyptic proportions.
Are Americans ready for revolution? This thought kept going through my head as I stood in the rain among the crowds of hundreds of women, men, children and citizens filling the streets in front of the capitol. We were here for the Women's March on Washington and were representing the state of Oregon. Standing amidst of the crowd, taking note of the various colorful umbrellas, signs and personalities in the crowd, I began to realize something: Are these people truly ready for revolution?
It has now been just over a week since the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, was inaugurated. In that time, popular demonstrations have exploded across the country, reaching their recent pinnacle with what is likely the largest protest in American history, the Women's March on Washington (and its many offshoots in all 50 states). These uprisings portend a strong and multifaceted opposition to Trump's presidency. They also point to what is likely to be a definitive feature of the next four years. Nonviolent resistance, it seems, is on the rise.
An Oregon state budget drawn to douse the political establishment with a splash of reality was released on January 19 by Ways and Means Co-Chairs, Sen. Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin) and Rep. Nancy Nathanson (D-Eugene). Presented as a "framework" designed to work within existing projected resources, this budget will be considered by the 79th Oregon Legislative Assembly Session when it begins on February 1. Facing a $1.8 billion deficit, lawmakers say they will be forced to make drastic cuts to state programs unless the legislature agrees to raise taxes. Raising taxes will be an uphill battle, however.
In this interview, Goldfield discusses the recent Women's March and the balance of optimism and hope and how actions of dissent can lead to an actual progressive path. She also discusses the media treatment that followed the event and marked the difference between the corporatized filtered news and non-filtered perspectives of the march. Goldfield gives further analysis on strategic voting, voter turnout and participation at the local level.