Editor’s note: David is responding to a series of emails not presented. The interview is at the end of this article. Wilkerson makes some good points, but David makes a strong and highly relevant statement about the context and of the interview and the underlying assumptions of many activists.
by David Rolde
I strongly disagree with some of the assumptions that underlie discussion of the Real News interview with Ret. Col. Larry Wilkerson, “Is US Democracy Dying a Slow and Barely Visible Death?” and with the short description
“Ret. Col. Larry Wilkerson examines the dangers that Republican efforts to abridge voting rights and that Trump’s racist and violent exhortations represent to US democracy”.
The so-called “USA” has never had democracy. The so-called “USA” is an illegitimate white nationalist colony on stolen land built on slavery, empire and genocide. The so-called “American revolution” was not a revolution of oppressed people and was certainly not an anti-colonial revolution. It was a revolt of European colonists who wanted to continue the institution of slavery and the expansion of colonization of indigenous land on this continent. African and indigenous people on this continent have been oppressed by the so-called “United States of America” every minute of its existence up to the present moment.
I think it is worth pointing out that the Zionist Entity has exactly the same colonial white nationalist character and illegitimacy as the so-called “USA“. And that the creation of the so-called “State of Israel” is exactly analogous to the “American revolution“: a movement of European colonists in Palestine declaring independence from the British so they can continue and expand genocidal colonization of indigenous land in the “Middle East“.
A lot of us protest against the U.S. “Independence Day” holiday every year. I attended an anti-imperialist picnic protest against the “USA” yesterday as I have been doing every year. It is not about Trump or whoever is the figurehead president of the U.S. Empire any given year. “4th of July” is unhappy every year. So I was bummed out to see an email implying that “4th of July” is unhappy only this year and possibly unhappy only because of Trump supposedly killing “U.S. Democracy“. Again “U.S. Democracy” is an oxymoron. It has never existed.
I know there has been a lot of email discussion of this interview but I am narrowing my response to the distorted presumption. I disagree with the contention that we socialists should dumb down our analyses, and refrain from presenting a revolutionary class analysis, in order to appeal to “the masses” or “the average person“. Ordinary people are intelligent. They can understand or already understand what is going on. Although we are all mentally bombarded by imperialist media, there are a lot of of people who don’t agree with it. Some of the people who don’t understand, or refuse to understand, are actually benefiting from the imperialist system.
I did skim-read the interview. But I don’t want to address all the points in the interview or go through all the historical points. What I want to say is that I find it problematic that the interviewee Wilkerson was Chief of Staff for Colin Powell and thus associated with the George W Bush regime. Even if Wilkerson repudiates some of the stuff from the Bush regime, Wilkerson still seems to be saying that Trump is categorically worse than Bush. I was born in 1967. All my life, whenever a Republican has been the President of the so-called “USA“, mainstream media and the liberal Democrats who surround me vilify the current or most recent Republican President as an evil monster who is worse than any other President in U.S. history. There were polls in the mid-to-late 1970s that showed that many “Americans” named Richard Nixon as the most evil person in history. In the 1980s I knew people who considered Ronald Reagan to be Satan. They pointed out that Ronald Wilson Reagan had 6 letters in each of his names = 666 = Satan. When the U.S. Supreme Court selected George W Bush to be president, many people I know considered W to be different and worse than any previous president.
Now liberals have mentally rehabilitated these former most-evil presidents, and say Trump is much worse. Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton are great friends with George W Bush. Yes, I agree these Republican presidents are all evil, but so have been all the Democrat presidents. It is a fake dichotomy. The leaders of both parties are working together to advance a shared agenda. The Democrats use the intense vilification of each current Republican president to try to pressure us to vote for Democrats against the Republicans as if there is a difference. They do this so that we won’t agitate for real change. Therefore I am not impressed by a dude from the Bush administration being used to push anti-Trumpism and anti-Republicanism.
The interview with Larry Wilkerson that is referenced in the text.
David Rolde is an antiwar, anti-imperialism activist from the Boston area.