By David Glenn Cox
Donny likes playing with his plastic soldiers. The little toy President playing with his little toy army men. Pretending to be tough guys taunting the tiger from behind the bars. Republicans sow the whirlwind ninety days before the election and ignore the reality of thirty million unemployed. Ignore their hunger and ignore their desperation in the world’s most heavily armed society.
In March of 1932, five thousand marchers protested hunger in Detroit. Marching to Dearborn. The fire Department sprayed the marchers with fire hoses in sub-freezing temperatures. Police fired tear gas and Ford Security opened fire with machine guns killing five injuring sixty. The marchers responded by pelting police with rocks and ice injuring 25 policeman and breaking every window in the Ford Personnel building. Four days later funerals were held and this time the crowd was between 25,000 and 60,000 and the police and Ford Security hid in fear for their lives.
What we’ve witnessed in Portland and Seattle is small potatoes, penny ante stuff. One or two thousand demonstrators against a few hundred policemen. Imagine 60,000 demonstrators, unemployed, hungry, angry at being unable to feed their children. Donny’s toy soldiers would be about as useful as tits on a boar hog. The choice for police would come down to shooting into the crowd or abandoning the city. Shooting into the crowd would mean all bets are off. Anything goes, burn the city center, and murder the police out numbered sixty to one.
There isn’t a police department in the country that could stand off 60,000 demonstrators, and there’s not a National Guard unit in the country unit that would fire on them. Hunger is a nuclear weapon with fear as its trigger. Take a man and make him poor. Take his self-esteem and take his house. Take his children and make them hungry. Scoff at them, saying unemployment benefits are too expensive and disincentivizes work. Clock out and go home without extending benefits at your own peril.
Estimates run as high as 500,000 families facing eviction in Los Angeles county alone. Now spread that out nationally. Millions of Americans out in the street with winter coming. The Republicans anxious to open the economy instead open a pandora’s box.
In February of 1930, a march of 2,000 unemployed was broken up by Cleveland police. The marchers reformed and the protest became a riot swelling to thousands forcing the police to abandon the city center.
“Marching columns of unemployed became a familiar sight. Public Square saw demonstrations running into tens of thousands. The street-scene is etched in memory. It was in the heart of working- class Cleveland, during a communist-led demonstration. Police had attacked an earlier demonstration. In the Street battle, several unemployed had been injured, and one had since died. In the same neighborhood, the Unemployed Councils had called a mass protest, a solemn occasion that brought out thousands. The authorities, under criticism and on the defensive, withdrew every cop from the area, many blocks wide. . . Len de Caux, labor Journalist living in Cleveland
By the end of the month, there were riots in Boston, Chicago, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and New York. 35,000 rioted in New York prompting city officials to develop a fund to aid the unemployed.
“If Franklin Roosevelt hadn’t been elected, there would have been a revolution in this country, and I would have been damn proud to take part in it.” – David Moore unemployed auto worker
During the French Revolution thousands were executed for ignoring the plight of a suffering people. Regardless of the legality or brutality involved in the executions, it should be recognized that the ruling elite never allowed hunger to return. A ruling Republican elite spits in the faces of unemployed workers. Ignores them, disparages them while asking for their vote. I predict Mitch McConnell is gone. We can discuss tax policy and foreign affairs but cutting off families from needed assistance in a time of crisis is well-known Democratic recruitment tool.
The US Senate once considered a Republican lock now leans Democratic and not just because of Trump but because of the toadying to Trump. Thirty million unemployed can swing an election. Thirty million can swing a lot of elections. The ultimate irony being in their greed they are willing to strangle the goose that lays the golden eggs. The money not given to the unemployed are broadsides aimed at Walmart, Target, Kroger, and a dozen others. Millions of evictions with no tenants to take their places as already landlords are anxious to sell but find no takers.
Two-thirds of all wealth in the United States is in real property. Most of us remember the mortgage crisis of 2008 and as the numbers stand today this crisis is nearly four times larger. Twenty percent of the American workforce is unemployed and dependent on assistance. Ignore them at your peril. Make foolish demands for more bombers or a new FBI headquarters the people are watching. They worry about paying rent, and they fear what will happen next while brave Republicans with no awareness of the past or the future offer a paltry $200 per week. Even before the crisis most families in the United States would struggle to manage a three-hundred-dollar emergency. A multi-millionaire Republican senator expects to keep his seat and his head by offering the struggling American families a great big bite of destitution.
The billions given to Carnival cruise lines and the airlines spending billions to save corporate America while drowning their customers. The idea that you can just turn your back on Americans will make the Republican Party extinct for the foreseeable future. Revolutions never occur in good economies they occur when times turn bad and a government ignores their plight. When the workers demand bread and the government spits in their face. Society and civilization are voluntary organizations with no other purpose than to maintain the citizenry. When they fail to do that, they are destroyed. The same old story with a new kind of ugly.