George Bush is in the White House. His road to power was paved with the racist disenfranchisement of African-American voters, deceit and outright fraud. He failed to win a majority of the votes. The Electoral College, a relic of slavery originally set up to strengthen the hand of southern plantation owners, gave Bush the presidency.
The tens of thousands who filled the streets Jan. 20 to challenge Bush, his administration, and the system that he stands at the head of are a sign of things to come. That Bush felt the need to attack the right to protest, while surrounding himself with an army of cops that day, speaks volumes.
The wealthy elite that runs this country put Bush in office. They swarmed the capital for his inauguration. The rich and arrogant filled every D.C. hotel, with their furs, chauffeurs, and three-piece suits, clinking their champagne glasses to country western music. They had something to celebrate – another of their own moving in the White House, a drunken frat boy makes good. They had taken a man whose name is synonymous with ignorance, whose claim to fame is 135 executions in Texas, whose sole qualification for office was a deep and abiding interest in serving corporate America and made him President.
For the next four years, Bush will march along the path of Clinton and Gore, but with fewer attempts to hide his agenda. Bush is a yes-man for big banks, big oil and big money – a small-minded person whose idea of a joke is to mock a religious woman on death row in Texas, “Pleasssse don’t kill me,” said Bush to his pals.
Bush is proposing gigantic tax cuts for the rich, even though more taxes are imposed on working people.
Bush will try to privatize what the Democrats could not. Expect more sky-high electricity and gas bills for your homes. The Federal Government will be busy spending your tax dollars on what the Military-Industrial Complex wants-a first strike nuclear attack system. The so-called “Missile Defense Shield”, aimed mainly at China, will spark a new arms race. Bush’s war spending is sure to be above the $305 billion that Clinton and Gore raised it to last year.
Bush will talk about “compassionate conservatism” while the poor and the elderly, especially oppressed nationalities and immigrants fall through the holes cut in the social safety net. Those holes were cut by Clinton and Gore. As the economy goes sour, more families, especially women and children, will find themselves homeless. Members of Bush’s cabinet want to fund religious groups who will “help” the homeless. Many of these groups are poverty pimps and will impose their will on poor people and keep people poor so they can stay in business. Bush will also try to privatize the Social Security system, making retirement uncertain for some and impossible for others.
The Bush presidency will shore up North American Free Trade Agreement and try to consolidate a Latin American economic bloc, making workers everywhere poorer, lowering health standards, and destroying more of the environment. At the same time, Bush will try extend the U.S. domination and control over Asia, Africa, the former USSR, and the Middle East.
Bush’s father, the former President, was the “Butcher of Baghdad” – he rained down death and destruction on the people of Iraq. Clinton managed to kill more than Bush Sr. with the sanctions and his air war. We can expect more of the same from the new administration.
At home, workers and oppressed nationalities can expect attacks on their jobs and unions, on welfare rights, and on affirmative action. We can expect more executions and higher imprisonment rates because of the phony “War On Drugs.” The police will continue to target Black, Chicano/Latino, Asian and Native communities. Bush will try to roll back the gains made by women – he will do everything in his power to attack reproductive rights.
All the attacks under Clinton will continue to under Bush. One way of looking at is this: Clinton and Gore were enemies of the American people. Bush is Clinton-plus.
So, what is the battle plan? We must take to the streets like the protesters at the Bush inauguration! We must encourage workers to support union organizing and picket lines, do our part in getting working people together in our communities to stop racist police brutality, especially against Blacks and Latinos; protest until Congress stops funding U.S. War in Colombia; and rally to stop the execution of Mumia Abu Jamal! We must do the hard work of building movements for basic social change.
Bush is in the White House, we are in the streets!