Why Aren't We Marching on Washington?

On my radio show on KNON this morning, callers wanted to know why we weren't marching on Washington. After I got home, I heard Diane Rheim wondering the same thing on her national PBS program.

Clearly, the wealthy people of America and their political stooges are throttling the rest of us. The entire political debate over the past month has been over how deeply they should cut our living standards, not how they could resuscitate this dying economy, solve the jobs crisis, or even give people hope for a better life. Our point of view wasn't even mentioned. Taxing the super wealthy wasn't really even considered. So why aren't we marching on Washington with torches and pitchforks?

I'm ready. I've been ready for decades. Lots of other people are ready today.

But the major leaders of the progressive movement, union and civil rights leaders for example, may be understandably reluctant to call for drastic action. They may think that one would have to be foolish, or an outright lying opportunist, to call for drastic action in this situation. The mobilizations we have had so far have not shown nearly the depth of support that would be needed. We could barely scrape together a few thousand in Austin in April, when the legislature was robbing our schools and our children. What's the biggest anti-war street activity you've seen lately? Forty or fifty? I don't want to deprecate the upsurge we are experiencing. Even in Texas, we are mobilizing at a level higher than anything I have seen in my lifetime. Not only are some of the crowds larger, but the kind of people willing to protest is much more serious than it was in the days of the great student rebellions. Students, after all, could make a lot of noise but couldn't really shut down the economy. The people marching today could!

The answer to the question above is this, "It's just not that easy." Just because you're upset doesn't mean that you can mobilize millions of people. There's a whole lot of work between the realization that you're angry and the fulfillment of your hopes for fundamental change. It's slow, steady, hard work. People don't unify easily, and our enemies are really good at keeping us apart. They know what they are doing and they have the money, control over the media, alliance with the police and military, and mastery of almost our entire culture on their side.

One of my favorite quotes: "It is not sufficient to fight. It is also necessar to win!"

I'm pleased that so many people are angry today, as the $trillions$ in new cuts for working people are being instituted into law. But anger by itself is far too little. It's work that makes things change. Let's do that work!


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