A Working-Class Response to Trump's 2018 State of the Union Address

By Colin Jenkins / filmsforaction.org
Feb 7, 2018
A Working-Class Response to Trump's 2018 State of the Union Address

The wealthy have taken everything from us, and continue to find ways to take even more. It is never enough for them. And, year after year, their political puppets in both capitalist parties ensure that their rivers and avenues of unfathomable, flowing wealth never dry up or close down. When needed, they construct more. Always at our expense, and always through our collective (and manufactured) misery. The wealthy create or produce nothing of value, barely lift a finger in their daily routines, and get richer and richer directly through our labor, our exploitation, our indebtedness, and our mass dispossession of land and resources. 

Barack Obama was the empire fully clothed, hiding these horrors with impressive displays of eloquence and articulation. Donald Trump is the empire without clothes, naked and with all of its horror on full display. With or without clothes, the horrors exist. With or without clothes, these horrors have disastrous consequences for billions of people worldwide, which are viewed as nothing more than collateral damage sustained through coordinated resource extraction and [disaster] capitalism. For the majority, including most Americans, this reality has existed for centuries. 

This "response" was written an hour before last Tuesday's address because I knew that whatever words would come out of Trump’s mouth would be empty. They are inconsequential to us. They are nothing more than damage control, designed to instill false hopes through the vast wastelands of this country. Just as they were with Obama, both Bushs, Clinton, Reagan, and so on. No matter who stands and delivers this yearly address, the poor get poorer, the rich get richer, and the bombs never stop falling. The working-class struggle also never ends, and has only become more and more difficult. 

We have had enough. 

Capitalism's predatory onslaught has run its course. America's bourgeois democracy is no longer a suitable cover for a nation that has committed systemic crimes against the global majority, including its own working-class citizens, and especially its indigenous people, its women, its immigrants, and its people of color. From constant war and never-ending exploitation to forced indebtedness and smothering repression, the people no longer believe in this charade. We know that governments in capitalist society are but "committees of the rich to manage the affairs of the capitalist class."

The future does not belong to Presidents, Senators, bankers, executives, hedge-fund manipulators, speculators, investors, financiers, shareholders, police officers, landlords, bosses, owners, prison guards, ICE agents, and border patrol. It belongs to warehouse workers, carpenters, laborers, bus drivers, teachers, forklift operators, restaurant workers, nurses, social workers, firefighters, farmers, prisoners, the unemployed, the homeless, the disenfranchised, and all who have been forced into a hopeless existence only so a small percentage of the population can accumulate more wealth than they know what to do with. 

The empire has been exposed. The "state" and the "union" are myths constructed to hide the class and racial divides that are deeply rooted in the country’s foundation. The American "middle class" was an historical anomaly that will never return, and is only kept alive as a carrot for politicians to dangle in front of us every election season. Capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy are approaching their demise. The fascist tide that has reared its ugly head under late-stage capitalism is already being snuffed out in the streets by courageous, working-class warriors. 

The people are rising, like lions after slumber, in unvanquishable number. The future is ours. And your words, Mr. Trump, mean nothing to us.

All power to the people.

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